With the recent report of unprecedented revenues flowing into the State of New Mexico (largely from oil and gas), New Mexico’s general fund budget will have increased from $5.7 billion in 2017 to $8.8 billion in FY 2023. That is an astonishing increase in excess of 54%.
The revenues come at a time when New Mexico’s economy as experienced by a majority of the State’s residents remains mired in a slump. The unemployment rate is 2nd-highest in the nation and the civilian labor force is struggling to recover even from earlier in the pandemic. But, oil and gas operate on different market forces such as newly discovered formations and prices that are driven by myriad government policies and international market forces.
So, despite higher taxes and more regulations imposed by Gov. Lujan Grisham and the Legislature, the Government of New Mexico is doing very well. Unfortunately, the State’s economic trajectory won’t change for the better until the electorate demands that oil and gas money which currently fuels bigger government (as seen in the bar chart below) is actually used to benefit New Mexico’s economy instead.
2 Replies to “NM: rosy budget picture/lousy economy”
As you point out, the economy of New Mexico and tax revenues collected by the state are two very different entities. I think that this is widely recognized in our state. Also widely recognized is that NM ranks near the bottom of states, especially surrounding states, in socioeconomic metrics. The issue is how to proceed going forward while recognizing that 25% of our GDP is federal R&D funding that is NOT TURNING NEW MEXICO INTO A MECCA FOR ENTREPRENEURS. There are two strategic planning efforts proceeding: one is at the state level; the other is at the greater Albuquerque level. In view of the importance of these efforts to NM’s future and their inherent complexity, it would be helpful if these efforts were more transparent.
If lujan and the rest of the dimrats concentrated on the good of New Mexicans, the lop-sided economy would balance out a little. When we stop pouring millions into illegals medicaid, welfare, food stamps and housing, there will be a whole lot left over to finance projects really needed in our state. Shame on lujan for her dedication to illegal interests instead of the betterment of our own people.