New Mexico named top “death-spiral” state due to imbalance between “takers/makers”

Concluding what has already been a very challenging 2015, a new report from Forbes has named New Mexico the #1 “Death Spiral” state due to its high ratio of “takers” to “makers.” According to the report, New Mexico is in the worst shape of any US state with 143 government clients for every 100 private-sector workers. The three other states with taker/maker ratios over 100 include such economically-challenged places as: West Virginia at 116, Mississippi at 111 and Arkansas at 103.

The scary thing to me is the margin by which New Mexico’s taker/maker ratio was larger than any other state. We’re at 143 and the next state is “only” at 116. Wow.

See the interactive map below:

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33 Replies to “New Mexico named top “death-spiral” state due to imbalance between “takers/makers””

  1. We’ve been in this mode for decades. If it wasn’t for our natural resources and Federal dollars we would have been declared bankrupt many years ago. Don’t recall the exact numbers from then but it was out of balance in the ’80’s’ for sure.

  2. All states with republican governors and mayors! When Bill Richardson was here he brought the movie industrie and gave them a tax break, as soon as Susanna Martinez became governor she wanted to get rid of that tax incentive.

    1. States don’t have mayors, cities do. California is at the top of the “death spiral” list along with New Mexico and they are not Republican at all. Also, the film subsidies are not a tax break. They are a direct subsidy payout from the taxpayers. Liberals and conservatives agree that they are wasteful.

      1. The movie industry actually brought jobs to New Mexico…now all we have is call centers. We are becoming the American version of India.
        The subsidies given to the movie producers were tax breaks not cash payouts We may have lost tax income but no actual checks were being written as Gessing implies.

        1. Sorry Denny, they are cash payments. This is directly from the New Mexico Film Office’s webpage:

          Q: 01. Is it a rebate or a credit?
          A: New Mexico offers a “refundable tax credit” for film production. In other words, the production receives a cash refund (which some may refer to as a rebate) for the full qualifying amount, with no brokering required, when a state return is filed. The NM Tax & Revenue Department literally sends a check or deposits the amount into the filing entity’s bank account. If your company has a tax liability in New Mexico, the liability is offset by any approved credit amount.

    2. Many are not aware of the historical extent of Democrat single party rule in N.M. For example: the last time Republicans held a majority on the state Supreme Court was in the 1920’s ; our Court of Appeals was created in 1966 and has never had a Republican majority ; the last time Republicans held a majority in the state house and state senate at the same time was 1930 and in the 84 years since 1931, Dems have held the governor’s office in about 57 of those years. The enormous problems facing N.M. have developed primarily under Democrat rule.

      1. bullsh*t…. we’ve had two terms of repukelicans in office, the last one a joke on administration. Sorry, but her admin is REPUBLICAN. Democrats TRY to manage an administration not fully funded as per other states by Federal government, with little support from outside resources. Because New Mexico has been the guinea pig for structures such as higher education funding, medical insurance, New Mexico having provided FREE health care to its less fortunate citizens for decades now, I’d take their structure and way of living, quality of life any day over New York. So, you live more moderately in New Mexico and still have the best quality of life you choose with hiking and biking at your finger tips in beautiful areas. We may pay for those things with tax revenues, but it’s worth it.

        1. I have no idea what you are saying here. Your writing is opaque and your facts are off. “Two terms of Republicans in office?” Gov. Martinez has been office for 6 years now, but the Legislature is still split. And the rest of your statements are gibberish. NM has not provided “free” health care for decades. Otherwise we wouldn’t have expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare.

    3. Ray,
      You are holding Richardson as a better example of Gubernatorial guidance. The subsidies for the film industry that you reference are an example of wealth transfer and the “taker” mentality. As Charles referenced, NM has been under the control of the Democrat party and the failures today the result in part. Since inception, the Republican party has had control of a bit more than 20% of the chambers and in the past 85 years they have had a bit more than 4% control. Meanwhile, states around New Mexico have seen excellent relative growth rates. It is time to give up on the statist control methods that are failing New Mexico.

      1. This implies that Republicans actually practice lower government spending. They do not. New Mexico is a federal welfare state and by that I mean the labs and bases as well. Cannabis legalization and a o % tax rate and repealing of restrictive regulations along with a just justice system that actually seeks remedies for wounded parties could make this state a paradise. Texas is rich because of what’s in the ground and the petro-dollar. I agree the Democrats suck but so do the big government Republicans

        1. Pat,

          It is certainly true that Republicans’ records on spending are spotty at best, particularly in Washington. I do think their have been some state-level success that are worth noting and most of these are from Republicans. After all, spending is important, but regulations and other government policies (like school choice for example) have a lot to do with making states more or less successful. Texas’ success is not just about the oil and gas money. New Mexico is more reliant on oil and gas than Texas as a percent of our budget. Texas, on the other hand, has diversified high-performing economy due in part to its low taxes on work/investment and its much better regulatory climate.

        2. We don’t have enough of a problem with drunk drivers? Pat, you can’t possibly want to put stoners behind the wheel?

          1. “Pat?” Are you referring to Paul? Not at all supporting stoned or drunk driving. I don’t believe Colorado has seen an uptick in crashes. There is more awareness of drugged driving and more testing for it, but unless there is a serious uptick in crashes, I don’t think it is a significant issue.

    4. Republicans voted into office by the “makers” who are tired of picking up the ever increasing tab for the “takers”.
      Democrats have had virtual monopolies on the Governor’s office for well over 100 years in Mississippi, Arkansas and West Virginia until very recently.
      People are tired of the tax and spend policies that have helped cause the economic decline in those states.
      New Mexico is unique in that it has significant numbers of Mexican immigrants (both legal and illegal) and Native Americans that skew the ratio regardless of who is in office. A whole lot of people there receive government assistance or subsidies.
      And by the way…West Virginia’s incumbent Governor is a Democrat, and with one exception, they have all been Democrat since 1989.

    5. Ray you’re the problem in this state! Bill spent and spent all the reserves gone and a state legislature that is filled with democrats of corruption. This has been here for generations before Susanna. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Oh must be product of NM schools! Sorry I forgot.

  3. Democratic control means that New Mexico (and similar states) must rely on “silver bullet” attempts at economic development — such as the film subsidy and the Spaceport — instead of the comprehensive reforms that have proven successful in states such as Florida and Texas. New Mexico’s economy will turn around if we implement tax reform, right-to-work, licensing and regulatory reform, school choice, tort reform, workers’ comp reform and governmental restraint. Nearly all of these commonsense measures are off the table in New Mexico because of the vested interests of Democratic constituencies.

  4. New Mexico has $10B or so in a rainy day fund with less than 2M people. That money is invested. The state if agreed to could be the top state in anything it wanted to be with that kind off money. Most states are broke. So we have the richest state per capita on government funds, last in unemployment, last in health, last in schools… Hmmm, why is that?

    1. You are correct that our state has a large permanent fund. I’d also agree that this money, while it shouldn’t be used on trivial matters, could be put to good use today. I’m inclined to use it to move forward with pro-growth tax reform (like eliminating the personal income tax and reforming the gross receipts tax). Using the permanent fund to create a new government education program is not going do anything for our economy or state’s long-term success.

  5. Is anyone here from NM/ know what NM means??? Effin A lets see NM only protects 98 percent of the world’s plutonium. We are obviously not broke nor going to be :p

  6. One reason for the sad statistic is that so many of us native New Mexicans left the state when we finished school for better higher education opportunities, and then professional careers. I love New Mexico and will probably retire there, not so many years from now. But I have had a wonderful, successful life in Dallas, Texas for 27 years. My kids are Texans, received great educations here (one still in school) and are fine, contributing professionals with bright futures in front of them. By comparison, the schools I attended growing up were of poor quality until i transferred to New Mexico Military Institute for most of my high school. I went on to UNM and upon completion, there were no quality opportunities to be had. So, I left the state for graduate school and looked eastward and found my future career. I have many friends here in Texas who tell the same story. It’s unfortunate for New Mexico to lose so many aspiring professionals. For me, the silver lining is that I return to visit a place of wide open spaces, beautiful, uncomplicated, and stress-free (relatively speaking). I realize this is somewhat self-serving, but I’ve often wondered if the powers that be in New Mexico prefer it that way too.

  7. Of course they would have the lifestye of Norway if they did the one thing Norway does, share the natural resourse revenue. NM actually sells its natural gas to California cheaper than to its own residents.

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