New Mexico Republicans have one job for the next two years

The Republican Party remains fractured. While unfortunate, there are always personality differences and strategic considerations that make political organization akin to herding cats. This is nothing new and can be overcome.

But one thing Republicans MUST agree on if they want to avoid being in the political wilderness for ANOTHER 52 years is opposing tax increases (as Gov. Martinez has consistently said). As Grover Norquist says, Republicans succumbing to the desire to raise taxes is like Coca Cola dropping all their quality controls and allowing a rat’s head to be found in one of their beverages. No one will buy your product if you abuse your brand and the Republican brand MUST mean not raising taxes, especially in New Mexico’s flailing economy.

If fundamental tax reform is indeed possible (and that means tossing out the entire gross receipts tax or squeezing out nearly ALL exemptions), Republicans should work to ensure that those reforms are as close to revenue-neutral as possible. In the absence of fundamental tax reform, Republicans must oppose raising taxes like the gas tax, income tax, attempts to impose Internet taxes, and any other attempt to collect NEW revenues on existing activity (taxing and regulating pot would NOT be a tax hike b/c it is currently illegal).

By way of publicly affirming their opposition to raising taxes, legislators (of both parties) should strongly consider signing the Americans for Tax Reform pledge. Think of it as a “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval.

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