According to Dan Boyd over at the Albuquerque Journal, House Speaker Ben Lujan has postponed the body’s vote on a $5.6 billion budget bill. Reason being, the House “progressives” (or socialists) want to add another potential tax hike to the mix in order to avoid making any tough decisions that could cut their beloved government programs. Instead, they’d rather push $400 million worth of tax increases on New Mexico taxpayers.
Thankfully, the Senate, led by stalwarts like John Arhur Smith remain opposed to massive tax hikes absent any real attempts to redress spending or make government more efficient (the House would cut spending by only 1 percent). Unfortunately, Governor Richardson seems to be willing to forfeit his title of “tax cutting governor” as he has sided with the House thus far. Thankfully, Republicans in both the House and Senate have remained opposed to balancing the budget based on tax hikes.
The House’s behavior is no surprise. They have a long track record of doing the Governor’s bidding and being to the left of him on tax and budget issues. The question that moderates in the House ultimately have to decide is whether they are facing a massive repudiation at the polls this coming November. Obama seems to have taken Republican Scott Brown’s upset victory in Massachusetts as an opportunity to double-down and attempt to pass his left-wing agenda. New Mexico’s House seems to be following the same tactic which I believe will ultimately lead to electoral despair.
For the time being, New Mexico hangs in the balance and the Atlases in the Senate dare not shrug!