Some in the media are calling it a “jobs plan.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
The points released so far include:
* Raising the state minimum wage to $12 an hour over the next four years;
* Requiring power companies to generate at least half of New Mexico’s energy from renewable sources by 2030 and
* Lifting the $50-million-a-year cap on tax credits for the movie industry so that taxpayers are forced to subsidize the industry to an even greater extent than it does now.
It’s almost as if Lujan-Grisham and her campaign staff looked through the Rio Grande Foundation’s work over the last decade and decided to do the exact opposite.
It is hard to make it any simpler, price controls are economically-harmful and that includes those placed on labor. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated job losses of 500,000 if the federal government adopted a $10.10 minimum wage. Those job losses are not happening in high-wage states where nearly everyone already earns $10.10/hour, they are happening in low-wage states like New Mexico. A $12/hour minimum wage will be even more harmful to New Mexico. That’s exactly the opposite of what 2nd-highest in the nation New Mexico needs.
RGF has estimated that the State’s existing RPS has cost the State 3,000 jobs annually and reduced economic growth by $444 million. Given the challenges faced by New Mexico’s economy in recent years, it is hard to argue that the RPS has done anything but harm the New Mexico economy.
Lastly, film subsidies are an economic dead-end. While Gov. Susana Martinez unwisely failed to kill off the program early on in her administration, the fact is that analysts from left, right, and center have agreed that film subsidies pad Hollywood’s bottom line at taxpayers’ expense. A study from New Mexico found that, at best, the program returned 43 cents in tax revenue for every dollar spent.