Apparently, this is “praise Democrat week” here at the Rio Grande Foundation (that or hell has frozen over according to Steve Terrell). Maybe it’s just that Holiday spirit. Who knows? Anyway, I was very pleased to read in the Albuquerque Journal this morning, this story in which Sen. Smith, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, contradicted Governor Richardson’s calls for tax hikes to fill the budget gaps facing New Mexico for the current and future fiscal year.
Said Smith on the issue of tax hikes, “Most of the support for tax increases has come from Albuquerque and Santa Fe and legislators who represent those larger New Mexico cities.
If you go to the Farmington people or the people in my part of the country, where they’re closing mines, people say no (to tax increases). Depending on what part of the state you come from, you get different answers.”
Interestingly enough, this stance puts Democratic Sen. John Arthur Smith firmly to the right of the Albuquerque Chamber which has endorsed tax hikes to solve the budget issue. Kudos to Sen. Smith. Hopefully his leadership and firm stance moves the debate away from higher taxes and towards spending cuts.