If you want to understand the dark forces that hold New Mexico back, Rep. Javier Martinez does a great job of illustrating the jealousy, anger, and refusal to take responsibility for their own station in life that so many on the left harbor. He argues (once again) in this opinion piece to tap into the Land Grant Permanent Fund.
And, with Sen. John Arthur Smith gone next year and New Mexico’s economy likely in shambles, unless the Democrats lose big this November, the Legislature will likely tap this fund. Of course, the mere existence of such funds is hardly “racist” as Martinez asserts. No fewer than 10 US states and numerous foreign countries have such funds.
The Rio Grande Foundation has always considered these Permanent Funds to be deferred State spending. The money is invested and spent over time. And, given the State’s sorry financial condition, it would be far better to use Permanent Fund money rather than raise taxes (the best strategy would be to cut spending, but unless dramatic change comes this November, that is unlikely).
So, IF the permanent fund is tapped, can the Legislature do something besides grow government? Money is fungible. In other words, tapping the Permanent Fund COULD allow for more K-12 spending, more for higher ed, the left’s dream of universal pre-K, AND some kind of tax cuts and/or economic reform for New Mexico businesses.
Would the Gov. be so bold as to do something like that? Will the GOP have an alternative come January? The Rio Grande Foundation has advocated for using Permanent Fund dollars to eliminate personal income and capital gains taxes. Those may not fly, but what could/should conservatives and the business community get behind?
The following is a list of some of the largest “permanent funds” by state:
|1||Texas||Permanent School Fund & Permanent University Fund||55.2 (August 2016)||Commodity / Oil & Gas|
|2||Alaska||Alaska Permanent Fund||52.7 (June 2016)||Oil|
|3||New Mexico||New Mexico State Investment Council Permanent Funds||20.2 (June 2016)||Oil & Gas|
|4||Wyoming||Wyoming Permanent/Endowment Funds||12.6 (March 2017)||Minerals|
|5||North Dakota||North Dakota Legacy Fund||3.8 (March 2017)||Oil & Gas|
|6||Alabama||Alabama Trust Fund||2.5 (June 2016)||Oil & Gas|
|7||Utah||State School Fund||2.0 (March 2015)||Public Lands|
|8||Oregon||Oregon Common School Fund||1.4 (December 2016)||Public Lands|
|9||Louisiana||Louisiana Education Quality Trust Fund||1.3 (June 2016)||Oil & Gas|
|10||Montana||Coal Severance Tax Trust Fund & Public School Trust||1.2 (June 2016)||Fossil Fuels / Public Lands|