Fact check: Is Michelle Lujan-Grisham a fiscal conservative?

Recently, in an Albuquerque Journal profile, Michelle Lujan-Grisham attempted to “embrace the middle” by portraying herself as a moderate in the race for Governor of New Mexico. Among her claims was that she was a “fiscal conservative.”

I know it is hard to believe, but Lujan-Grisham may be stretching the truth just a bit….

Her statements about economic policy do not give much hope for those of us who actually ARE fiscal-conservatives. Rather than cutting New Mexico’s already bloated corporate welfare, she wants to increase spending across the board.

    1. She wants to eliminate the cap on film subsidies. Already New Mexico taxpayers spend $50 million annually to subsidize Hollywood millionaires and billionaires. Even liberals abhor these subsidies.
    2. She plans to raise New Mexico’s renewable mandate to 50%. The costs of this mandate would fall mainly on New Mexico families and those on fixed incomes, but just because government would not be spending a great deal more, artificially raising electricity costs to payoff friends in wind and solar industries is hardly “fiscally-conservative.”
    3. Lujan-Grisham wants to massively-increase funding for the education blob with zero accountability or real reform to the broken system. She wants to tap the permanent fund to pay for new universal pre-K and she also vows to withdraw the appeal of the recent decision on the part of a liberal New Mexico judge that “demands” the State spend more on K-12. Where the money would come from is an open question, but tapping the permanent fund yet again would seem like a leading option.

Spending more money on failing systems absent dramatic reforms is not the hallmark of a fiscal conservative. But, Lujan-Grisham’s public statements are long on more spending and very light on reform ideas. If New Mexico was a frugal state this MIGHT be forgiven, but New Mexico outpaces its neighbors as a percentage of personal incomes. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly Lujan-Grisham’s record in Congress is not that of a fiscal conservative either. Numerous fiscally-conservative groups (like my former employer the National Taxpayers Union) rate members of Congress based on their propensity to spend, support basic market principles (like free trade), and whether they want to raise or lower tax burdens. As can be seen below, Lujan-Grisham has received an “F” since taking office. The NTU has ratings going back many years for all members of Congress, it is hard to see how Lujan-Grisham is anything but a big-spending liberal.

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