Ending Poverty as We Know it in NM

Wow! Free money is rolling in. Some excerpts:
“The windfall has been greatest in the sparsely populated states of Alaska, Wyoming and New Mexico, where revenue from oil and natural gas has yielded large budget surpluses at a time when most states are recovering from deficits. Together, the three states are on track to pull in $4.5 billion from royalties and taxes on energy for fiscal 2004, up $900 million, or nearly 25%, from fiscal 2003 and from a mere $2.9 billion as recently as 2002.”
“A similar scenario is playing out on a much grander scale from Saudi Arabia to Russia to Venezuela, where money is pouring into oil producers’ coffers. The U.S. produces five million barrels of oil a day, behind only Saudi Arabia and Russia, and 19.15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. When energy prices rise, as they did to $55 a barrel in October before falling back recently, so do taxes and royalties on oil and gas. Yesterday, oil traded on the Nymex was up $1.79 to $43.91 a barrel, as violence flared in oil-rich Iraq and Saudi Arabia said it is making good on a pledge to cut output.”
What is to stop NM from ending poverty now? We are well on our way to imitating utopian Venezuela.

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