At our recent Kids Count Conference, I asked the room of nearly 400 attendees to raise their hands if they had ever spent money on activities such as music lessons, team sports, preschool or a tutor for a child or grandchild. Then I asked if any of them would characterize that spending as “throwing money at the problem.”
Besides being a champion of conservation, President Obama has used the Antiquities Act to celebrate important American stories and preserve their birthplaces for future generations. By preserving the epicenters where critical turning points in our nation’s history were made—many of them driven by the need to right societal wrongs―we are commemorating the tapestry that is America and telling the story of the richness and diversity of our country.
Because poverty has multiple causes and tends to be generational, we must address it by meeting the needs of the family as a whole. This is called a two-generation approach, and it does more than ensure that children are fed and safe. It also gives parents the tools they need to better their own situations—whether that means access to job training and further education or health care to deal with substance abuse problems or chronic illness.
This revenue free-fall has hardly come out of the blue. We’ve been cutting taxes for well over a decade in the hopes that somehow jobs will materialize and we’ve created so many exceptions to our gross receipts tax that it’s got more holes than Swiss cheese. This one-sided approach to economic development has put us too much at the mercy of oil and gas revenues to pay the bills.
None of us becomes successful entirely on our own. Teachers and government programs played an important role. If it wasn’t for food stamps and commodities I would’ve gone to school hungry. Government assistance after my Grandmother died ensured we could pay the rent. Encouraging and supportive teachers helped me make it through some pretty traumatic and rough times.
The Gila River diversion is not only bad for the environment, it’s a terrible way to invest such a big chunk—as much as $1 billion—of taxpayer money. There are better ways to meet our state’s water needs and much more important investments to make with those public funds.
NM has the highest long-term unemployment and extreme hunger, so why does the state want to make parents work for food?
There’s an old saying that when you’re stuck in a hole the first thing you should do is stop digging. New Mexicans are used to hearing that their home state is in the hole. We are at the bottom of the nation in everything from child well-being to poverty to hunger. Despite this, there are some up in Santa Fe who want to continue to dig.