Albuquerque bus system continues to lose riders

Albuquerque’s prior City Council (not the recently-elected group) collaborated with Mayor Keller to eliminate fares for bus riders. It is hard to say whether the new policy will result in more ridership or not, but it is clear that fewer and fewer people choose to ride the bus.

In the private sector this would result in resources being shifted away from an increasingly unpopular system. In government, failure results in more resources being wasted to provide a service that fewer people desire. Finally, the better option would be to return money wasted on “free” buses to taxpayers. 

Here is the data from the City with the percent of decrease added:

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Tipping Point NM episode 369: COVID-19 Censorship, Mask Fine, Legislative Session and more

On this week’s podcast Paul and Wally begin by noting that the Foundation’s recent interview with Dr. Deane Waldman was censored by Youtube. The Foundation is currently working to find another video hosting site to host interviews and discussions.

A new report from Yahoo News via the London Telegraph indicates COVID was both man-made AND leaked from a lab and Fauci lied about it.

MLG Cancels MLK parade due to COVID, but Comicon goes on as scheduled at the ABQ Convention Center.

Local Christian (private) school, Hope Christian, fined $5,000 by NM PED for not enforcing masks on students.

Novak Djokovic story just keeps getting more bizarre: he won’t play in Australian Open and has been deported. Now a new law in France may keep him out of the French Open:

SCOTUS denies Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandate on businesses (6-3), but the court allowed a more limited mandate requiring health care workers at facilities receiving federal money to be vaccinated. The vote in the employer mandate case was 6 to 3, with the liberal justices in dissent. The vote in the health care case was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh joins the liberal justices to form a majority.

Despite far more restrictive policies New Mexico now exceeds both South Dakota AND (soon) Florida on COVID deaths per population. Here is the latest tally from World o Meters. 

Albuquerque Public Schools cancels classes due to a cyberattack. Another bad look for APS. Will APS get back to school on Tuesday? Bernalillo County ALSO suffered from a major cyber-attack recently and Santa Fe Public Schools have canceled in-person learning for the time being.

Councilor Dan Lewis proposes cutting Albuquerque GRT. That’s triple the tax cut proposed by MLG. 

Eliminate New Mexico’s Social Security tax, don’t shift the burden. Paul has put together an early list of the worst bills. These were pre-filed in the 2022 session.

NOTE: the following is posted on Rumble, a platform that respects free speech, unlike Youtube:

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COVID Farce at the Roundhouse

Today is the first FULL day of activity at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. Having been vaccinated and with evidence to that effect, RGF president Paul Gessing headed to the Capitol for a series of meetings.

Gessing was highly surprised to find out upon attempting to enter the building that his vaccine (Johnson and Johnson administered June 1, 2021) was not acceptable for entry to the “People’s House.” He was told that an ADDITIONAL (booster) shot was required for entry.  Since Gessing had COVID over the holidays despite being vaccinated he has no intention of getting boosted as well.

After some scrambling Gessing managed to gain access to a religious exemption form to enter the building. So, if you plan to come to the Roundhouse this session and are NOT boosted, you should definitely reach out to a conservative member of the Legislature or their office in order to obtain a religious exemption form and gain entry.

Whatever your opinions on the vaccine (or masks which are also required for entry, cloth masks will do) the push for boosters is NOT based on any scientific “consensus.” As was WIDELY reported this fall, no fewer than two top scientists at the Food and Drug Administration QUIT over the Biden Administration’s push for widespread boosters. Those scientists wrote a scathing critique of Biden’s booster policy in The Lancet.  

Coronavirus clash at New Mexico Capitol | Local News | santafenewmexican.com

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RGF interview censored by Youtube

The Rio Grande Foundation’s podcast Tipping Point New Mexico takes on some difficult and controversial issues. Unfortunately, that is simply too much for many social media companies including Youtube.

In fact, the company recently removed an interview with former UNM Hospital pediatric cardiologist Dr. Deane Waldman. You can see the note from Youtube below which goes on to say, “YouTube doesn’t allow claims about COVID-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO). Learn more here.”

The Rio Grande Foundation HAS NEVER opposed the vaccines. Rather, there appear to be some legitimate concerns about certain heart issues in young men and menstrual changes in women. It appears that Youtube/Google would like us to not be able to discuss these and other health issues.

You can watch the censored interview with Dr. Waldman below and subscribe to our new Rumble feed:

 

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Here are some early contenders for worst bills of the 2022 Legislature

As of the day before the 2022 Legislature kicks off, here are some of the worst bills introduced in the session (so far). You can see the updated list of bills introduced in the session here as of January 17, 2022. More will be added. Given the large number of bills likely to be introduced, I’ll also offer a brief thought on how likely they are to pass:

HB 6, Rep. Nathan Small (D). Sets legislative framework for “net-zero” CO2 emissions in State of New Mexico. Likelihood of passage: High as Gov. MLG has said she wants to make New Mexico “net-zero.”

HB 11, Reps. Debra Sariñana (D) and Meredith Dixon (D). Creates a tax credit of up to $5,000 and 40% of the cost of “energy storage” systems. Likelihood of passage: High This yet another part of the push toward unreliable forms of electricity that will demand massive and costly battery storage.

HB 14, Reps. Christine Chandler (D) and Debra M. Sariñana (D). Allows local governments to issue Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB) and gross receipts tax deductions for “energy storage” systems. Likelihood of passage: High (see above).

HB 33, Rep. Joanne Ferrary (D). Imposes massive (regressive) tax hike on tobacco consumers at a time of massive budget surpluses. Likelihood of passage: Moderate (it will hard for legislators to explain a tax hike at a time of record budget surpluses).

HB 34, Rep. Joanne Ferrary (D). Expands and extends an already-generous solar panel tax credit that disproportionately benefits wealthy New Mexicans. Likelihood of passage: High (furthers “green” agenda and benefits well-connected, wealthy solar customers and companies).

HB 71, Rep. Matthew McQueen (D) and Jason C. Harper (R). Allows taxes on residential property to rise by up to 10% ANNUALLY (as opposed to 3% currently). Likelihood of passage: Moderate (Property taxes are notoriously unpopular and it is hard to see the Legislature passing a big tax hike in an election year, even with a GOP co-sponsor).

HB 75, Rep. Sponsor Patricia Roybal Caballero (D). Sets up a state-run bank in New Mexico. New Mexico already has a robust network of banks and credit unions, the last thing it needs is a government-run and taxpayer-financed bank. Likelihood of passage: Moderate this is a concept likely to be seen as too far beyond the pale even for many Democrats.

HB 78, Rep. Patricial Roybal Caballero (D). Creates artificial limits on interest rates charged by certain lenders in New Mexico that will limit credit availability to those with poor or no credit. Likelihood of passage: High as this concept has numerous groups supporting and high-interest loans are misunderstood and by legislators, the media, and the population at large.

 

 

 

 

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Eliminate Social Security tax, don’t replace them

As the New Mexico Legislature’s 30-day session kicks off on Tuesday with massive budget surpluses and (likely) massive spending increases, there is at least a fighting chance for some kind of tax cuts. The Gov.  has put forth a proposal for a slight gross receipts tax cut while a few other bills have been introduced to eliminate the tax on Social Security. You can find them here and here.

Sen. Bill Tallman (D-Bernalillo County) has also introduced a bill that would eliminate the Social Security tax for. 90% of New Mexicans. We have not been able to find the pre-filed bill, BUT there is a news story about it here. Unfortunately, rather than providing a pure tax cut, the bill strives to be “revenue neutral” by adding new taxes on tobacco users.

Given New Mexico’s incredibly large budget surplus ($1.6 billion) AND the massive spending expected this session (a 13.5% increase or $1 billion), the ONLY acceptable option is to eliminate Social Security taxation (reducing revenues by a mere $85 million), not to replace one tax with other tax hikes as Tallman would do. It also happens that Tallman’s bill would be “regressive.” That is, it would cut taxes on relatively high income seniors while raising them on relatively low income smokers and other tobacco users.

New Mexico is one of just 13 states that tax Social Security. It’s time to eliminate New Mexico’s Social Security tax once and for all.

 

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A look at MLG’s Proposed budget

You can find the full budget here. It represents a 13.5% annual increase over the prior budget. There is not a whole lot to get excited about for anyone who cares about economic (as opposed to government) growth, but here are some interesting items:

  1. She doesn’t explicitly discuss her small GRT cut in her budget. I went back and found an old Bill Richardson budget online and you can bet HE mentioned cutting taxes! With the State experiencing banner growth in the budget thanks  to the oil and gas industry (and Washington money-printing), cutting taxes SHOULD be a much higher priority.
  2. In her budget,  Lujan Grisham claims, “This administration has created more jobs during the pandemic than the prior administration created in eight years – roughly 40,000.” She provides ZERO footnotes or citations for her assertion which is made on page IV of her budget. We used data from Bureau of Labor Statistics and found a very different story. Using the “total civilian labor force” for the beginning/end/most recent month available (November 2021) we see that the number of jobs grew by 7.1% under Martinez while Lujan Grisham is at-2.1 percent since the start of her term.  It is hard to tell how Lujan Grisham justifies her claim aside from absolving herself from ALL jobs LOST during the pandemic and then taking credit for ALL jobs CREATED since its darkest days.
  3. Lujan Grisham’s budget request includes $2.5 million to create a 15-person “Climate Change Bureau.” (page XIX). The newly-created bureaucracy would cost taxpayers more than $166,000 per employee and would give the Gov. a paid group to push her radical environmental agenda.
  4. Finally, while there are many items contained in the budget to take issue with, Gov. Lujan Grisham proudly repeats one of her most disturbing lines. On page III she touts “a cradle-to-career education system for all New Mexicans.” You don’t have to be a raging libertarian to be skeptical of a government that pushes its long tentacles into the cradle.

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Tipping Point NM episode 367: CDC finally gets curious, Bad Bills Drafted and much more

Several COVID-related issues at the start of this podcast. Cases are at record levels in New Mexico. More than 4,000 cases for the first time EVER. Lujan Grisham extended the universal indoor mask mandate yet again on Friday. Only WA, OR, CA, HI, IL, and NM have universal indoor mask mandates.

SCOTUS heard case on Biden COVID mandates. The ignorance of several justices, especially the Court’s liberals, was striking regarding basic COVID and even legal issues. Australia is refusing Tennis player access to the nation due to the Nation’s vaccine mandate. Novak Djokovic had COVID and an exemption, but JUST received a ruling that allowed into the country to play in the Australian Open. AOC has COVID after partying in Florida. Chicago’s teachers’ unions are refusing to teach (generating national outrage and even with the Mayor). So far the same hasn’t happened in New Mexico and schools remain open. The CDC after two years is finally going to study those hospitalized WITH COVID as opposed to because of COVID;

MLG releases her budget proposal for the upcoming session with 13.5% annual increase, Paul and Wally discuss. What will happen during the upcoming 30-day session?

Voting bill is bad news: it would extend the early voting period to the Sunday before election day, creating a permanent absentee voter list, automatically register people to vote with a transaction at the MVD, allow electronic signatures for nominating petitions, create a straight-party ballot option. It would also allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in local elections, like school board elections.

Conservative legislative group ALEC ranks MLG “worst governor in the nation.” 

As expected, US greenhouse emissions rose in Biden’s first year.

Emissions rose by about 6.2 percent in 2021 over 2020. Still, emissions remained about 5 percent below 2019 levels;

A lawsuit filed by former CFO over alleged fraud totaling $200 million. Allegations are made against: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Attorney General Hector Balderas, New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia Keys, and current managers at Spaceport America.” 

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Among the most locked-down states in America, New Mexico exceeds South Dakota, soon to exceed Florida in deaths/population

Remember when liberals (both here in New Mexico and around the nation) were ripping into Kristi Noem (SD) and Ron DeSantis (FL) for their supposedly poor management of COVID. For a taste, check out this particularly bad piece by Milan Simonich of the Santa Fe New Mexican and see comments from the “illustrious” Liz Thomson below (who repeatedly used the Twitter hashtag #deathsantis this fall as a COVID wave hit Florida.

Well, according to the COVID tracking site World o Meters, South Dakota now has a lower “COVID deaths per million” than New Mexico and if trends continue for another week or so, Florida will soon slip below New Mexico as well (see below). Both South Dakota and Florida have been MUCH more open economically and in terms of their schools than has New Mexico.

In fact, MLG has followed the failed leftist playbook of masking, social distancing, and hectoring people about vaccines. She has NOT pushed treatments such as monoclonal antibodies or addressed obesity as a leading risk factor as Ron DeSantis has.

You can see both the deaths per million number below in the far right column and also see the trend which favors Florida in particular, a much higher-population state than New Mexico.

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Apparently, being well-informed isn’t a prerequisite for SCOTUS

On Friday the US Supreme Court held a special hearing to hear a case on Joe Biden’s COVID mandates on businesses of 100 or more employees.

Having watched the Supreme Court do its work for decades, it has always been OUR assumption that while we may disagree with justices on their decisions, these are at least well-informed people who simply read the law/Constitution differently. Friday’s hearing proved a disheartening display of flat-out ignorance (not just of the law, but of basic facts involving COVID 19) that have thrown our faith in yet another American institution into doubt.

Justice Sotomayor’s failure to grasp basic facts was striking regarding basic COVID issues. She said:

  • We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition, and many on ventilators.” In reality, the current seven-day average for this age group is 766 hospitalizations.
  • “Omicron just as dangerous as Delta” when in reality early studies show Omicron to be less deadly;
  • And, more fundamentally on the legal front, she failed to grasp why a state “I’m not sure I understand the distinction why the states would have the power [to institute a mandate such as OSHA’s], but the federal government wouldn’t,” (police powers).

Justice Breyer jumped in claiming that the US had “750 million new cases” of coronavirus on Thursday not realizing apparently that the US has about 335 million people.

Finally, Justice Elena Kagan claimed misguidedly that “The best way” to prevent the spread of Covid-19 was “for people to get vaccinated” when in reality the vaccines have done little to “stop the spread” (which is at record levels right now despite high vaccine rates) and instead do seem to mitigate against the worst outcomes of the Virus.

If the Court were to rule in support of this vaccine mandate it would be one of the most sweeping expansions of federal executive power in American history. The Court has ruled in favor of state-level vaccine mandates and unfortunately refused to hear New Mexico’s (also misguided) vaccine mandate which was implemented by MLG on her own without the Legislature, but has NEVER allowed such a sweeping mandate at the federal level imposed by the President, let alone without Congress which should be the basic minimum required by the Supreme Court for ANY major new policy. Better still, they should read the Constitution which grants LIMITED power to the federal government.

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