Our politicians are betting on losers

Nobody LIKES to lose, do they? Sometimes it seems that New Mexico’s politicians enjoy putting taxpayer dollars behind losing businesses. Of course, we remember Eclipse Aviation of the Richardson years which went belly-up after blowing through taxpayer subsidies valued at $100 million.

The latest favored enterprise in danger of disappearing may be Virgin Galactic. The company for which Spaceport America was built (and expanded) at $275 million in taxpayer expense and counting, recently saw its stock price drop to $1.00 per share. The company’s stock had been as high as $55/share back in 2021, but it has now suspended manned flights and is “hoping” to construct a new spacecraft to help it turn a profit. The company is now in litigation with Boeing and there are real concerns over its future.

Enough about boondoggles past. The latest prospective boondoggle remains ahead of us. Maxeon Solar has announced plans for a massive factory based in Albuquerque. The plan is for New Mexico to provide a $2.4 billion industrial revenue bond and $20 million in LEDA funding for the facility (this is in addition to federal subsidies and state/local mandates). The facility is expected to cost $1 billion.

Maxeon’s stock has also been crushed in recent years with the share price having dropped from over $50 back in 2021. The current share price is below $2.00 per share. The solar industry is of course a darling of the Biden Administration and MLG, but would Trump keep the subsidies flowing and mandates in place to help solar companies like Maxeon? Are those even enough given the collapse of the company’s valuation in the last few years?

Only time will tell, but RGF has long opposed government subsidies for specific companies or industries. We support improving New Mexico’s tax policy by reducing taxes, improving our education system, and reducing crime. Those can be challenging, but they will actually succeed if seriously attempted.