The next time you hear a “progressive” decry “cuts” to New Mexico’s budget, respond with this statistic: 22.3 percent. That’s how much the state’s inflation-adjusted spending grew between 2004 and 2014.
It received scant media coverage, but earlier this month, the state’s latest Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was released. In fiscal 2014, all expenditures — from unemployment insurance to the state fair, the New Mexico Finance Authority to government schools, prisons to legislative costs — totaled $17.1 billion.
In 2010, spending peaked at $18.4 billion. (Aided, of course, by the Obama administration’s “stimulus.”) Expenditures have indeed dropped a bit since then, but remember that New Mexico is losing population. And viewed from a decade-long perspective, it’s clear that New Mexico does not suffer from slumping state expenditures.