Earmarks and Lost Funding

The Journal’s Outlook section contained an interesting article about the fact that New Mexico has lost some earmarks that were supposed to be coming from Washington. The author quoted several recipients of federal largesse who worried about the impact such relative restraint in Washington giving the impression that somehow New Mexico is “losing out.” Of course, while this year’s numbers are not available, it is important to note that New Mexico gets more money from Washington relative to what it sends than any other state in the nation.
The author ended the article by saying “the cry is out for stronger private-sector support to emerge.” This certainly makes sense and the business-friendly income and capital gains tax cuts of recent years have been helpful even though other taxes have been raised. Ultimately, however, it is not up to businesses to “pick up the slack” because entreprenuers will always try to make money when the incentives are right.
Instead of jacking up spending by 11 percent, Richardson and the Legislature should keep cutting income taxes, thus laying the groundwork for a stronger private sector to emerge.