New Mexico’s Vulnerability to Washington’s Fiscal Follies

The new federal fiscal year starts October 1, and without a budget in place, D.C. “will officially run out of the legal authority to spend money.”

With an egregiously underdeveloped private sector, the Land of Enchantment is at particular risk when Congress and the president can’t agree on a spending plan. As the Tax Foundation documented earlier this year, 36.6 percent of the state’s revenue comes from Washington:

Federal-Aid-as-a-Percentage-of-State-Revenue_0

The feds are $18.2 trillion in debt, but that hasn’t kept the moolah from flowing. In the last few weeks:

* The U.S. Justice Department awarded the New Mexico Department of Public Safety a $561,000 grant “to combat methamphetamine trafficking and related violence.”

* The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the New Mexico Department of Health $850,000 to “stop prescription drug overdoses.”

* The U.S. Department of Commerce handed $1.4 million to the Siete del Norte Community Development Corporation.

* The National Institute of General Medical Sciences wrote a $11.6 million check to UNM “to find new ways to help people recover from strokes and traumatic brain injuries.”

Without an aggressive economic-development strategy, implemented yesterday, New Mexico will remain dangerously exposed to federal budget shenanigans. Isn’t it time to break free from D.C. dependence?

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