Errors of Enchantment

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MLG’s latest unconstitutional power grab: suspend 2nd Amendment for 30 days

09.08.2023

With the end of COVID emergencies nationwide (and in New Mexico) by spring of 2023, people have been waiting to see what the next “public health emergency” would be and where it would take place. Some believed it would be on the environment and climate. Others thought another round of COVID would bring it on, but as it turns out the issue is guns and the location is New Mexico. where Michelle Lujan Grisham has imposed a 30 day ban on carrying a gun in Bernalillo County. 

The plan is clearly unconstitutional and illegal under New Mexico laws. But the point seems to be that no rights are safe in New Mexico under this Gov. She will suspend your rights in an “emergency” and let the courts sort things out in time.

Attacking both the 2nd Amendment AND New Mexico gun law could be just a prelude to other rights in the future.

MLG signs executive order to ban firearms in all public spaces in  Bernalillo County. : r/Albuquerque

Tipping Point NM episode 537: Representative Larry Scott – Electricity Policy, Gross Receipts Tax Reform and more

09.08.2023

On this week’s interview Paul talks to Rep. Larry Scott. Rep. Scott represents part of Hobbs, NM in the Legislature as a Republican. Paul and Larry discuss the electricity situation in New Mexico and whether nuclear might be a part of the “energy transition.” They also discuss other issues with New Mexico’s electricity reliability and price.

Paul and Larry then talk about the prospects for gross receipts tax reform and how a bill passed in 2019 impacts those prospects.  Also, Rep. Scott has introduced legislation to assist New Mexico local governments hold onto additional tax revenues that could assist with replacing revenue lost previously as well as potential lost revenue from needed GRT reform.

RGF in National Review Capital Matters: Bill Richardson: Another Clinton-Era Democrat Exits

09.08.2023

The following appeared in National Review’s Capital Matters on September 8, 2023.

With the passing of former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, yet another Democrat of a bygone era departs the scene. Richardson was personally friendly and ideologically simpatico with Bill Clinton, helping the president pass the NAFTA free-trade agreement and then being named U.N. ambassador for the final few years of that administration.

Free trade is (sadly) increasingly unpopular on both sides of the aisle, and in this sense both Richardson and Clinton are creatures of a different era.

However, it is worth examining Richardson’s economic record as governor of New Mexico to better understand his own career and just how far and fast the Democratic Party has moved to the left (both nationally as well as in the Land of Enchantment).

Richardson was governor of New Mexico from 2003 to 2011. He had the good fortune of succeeding Gary Johnson. You see, while New Mexico used to be a purple state on the national stage, its legislature was and has remained a stronghold of big-government Democrats. Johnson, known to many New Mexicans as “Governor No,” was known for his prodigious use of the veto pen. As a libertarian-leaning Republican, he did this, in part, to keep a lid on government spending.

Johnson’s attempts to get tax cuts through the heavily Democratic New Mexico legislature proved fruitless, but when Richardson took over in 2003, he immediately pushed for significant tax reductions. He cut the state’s top income-tax rate from 8.2 percent to 4.9 percent and reduced capital-gains taxes dramatically. He wasn’t just a tax-cutting Democrat. In his era, he was arguably the best tax-cutting governor in the nation. This paid off in strong job-creation numbers and personal-income growth, and New Mexico jumped from the 47th- to the 42nd-ranked state in personal incomes in just a few years. Pro-growth economic policy is no longer an element of Democratic politics.

Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson dead at 75

But Richardson was by no means an avid supply-sider. During an era of strong economic growth nationally and in the relatively impoverished Land of Enchantment, Richardson sadly fell into the trap of putting significant taxpayer resources into big-government boondoggles.

It is worth noting that much of this (good and bad) was leading up to a run for the White House in 2008. As governor of a small, impoverished state with a low national profile, Richardson, who already had federal-government experience, believed that he needed a splashy track record of transforming New Mexico’s economy.

To that end, he created the Rail Runner commuter train, which began operation in 2006 and runs nearly 100 miles, from the south of Albuquerque to the state capital in Santa Fe. It cost more than a mind-blowing $1 billion to build (it needed 20 miles of brand-new track) and requires more than $20 million in annual taxpayer subsidies to operate. Despite running between two of New Mexico’s largest cities, much of the route is sparsely populated. As with so many transit systems in the Covid and post-Covid eras, it continues to lose what little ridership it had.

Another one of Richardson’s taxpayer-funded projects that remains unproven (at best), even after having launched more than a decade ago, is Spaceport America. Billed as the “world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport,” it has finally seen its first commercial space-tourism flight, via Virgin Galactic. The spaceport, in the harsh desert of southern New Mexico, was built at the behest of Richardson for Virgin Galactic at a cost of $225 million to taxpayers, though add-ons and further investments have driven the cost to around $275 million, and the facility already needs major repairs.

Subsidies for particular companies, including personal-jet manufacturer Eclipse Aviation and solar-panel manufacturer Schott Solar, also failed to ensure long-term economic success. In fact, those companies went out of business long ago, which only proves government’s unfitness for picking winners and losers.

Finally, Richardson laid the groundwork for New Mexico’s costly film subsidies, which have helped the film industry while failing to more broadly develop New Mexico’s economy. The program, as Richardson designed it, led to New Mexico taxpayers reimbursing Hollywood film producers for up to 25 percent of their overall expenses for filming in the state. Richardson is by no means the only politician to have thrown money at Hollywood: Under current Democratic governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, the program has expanded even further, offering producers a subsidy of up to 40 percent of their expenses.

Highlighting his relative moderation, Richardson (gently) reproached Governor Lujan Grisham for her overly zealous and failed Covid lockdown strategy. He also (sagely) urged state legislators and Lujan Grisham to avoid raising taxes in the most recent legislative session. During this session, New Mexico had a $3.6 billion (42 percent) year-over-year budget surplus, yet Democrats in the legislature were seriously considering a number of tax hikes.

Fortunately, they did not go through.

Bill Richardson’s death is a reminder of just how far the Democratic Party has moved to the left on economic policy. His willingness to listen to all sides and try to forge consensus across party lines is sorely missing from today’s politics.

Numerous specific issues with electric vehicles and especially government mandating them

09.08.2023

MLG’s plan to push an electric vehicle mandate through the Environmental Improvement Board is kicking into gear. The Board is expected to begin deliberation on ramping up New Mexico’s EV mandate to 43% by 2027 and 82% by 2032 on November 15.

This is a DEEPLY flawed policy that Rio Grande Foundation will be working hard to stop. Here is a fairly comprehensive list of the many reasons why EV mandates are harmful:

Ultimately, EV’s may or may not be a good replacement technology for the internal combustion engine. But, government through mandates and extensive subsidies should not be the final arbiter of this choice. That should fall to consumers. Sadly, Gov. Lujan Grisham has joined the EV bandwagon at the expense of personal freedom.

Turning California's EV Zero Emissions Mandate Into Reality | Resource Capital Funds

Thoughts on MLG’s “literacy institute”

09.07.2023

Gov. Lujan Grisham’s announced $30 million “literacy institute” drew groans from conservatives online. New Mexico education spending has exploded on a per-pupil basis in recent years as  oil and gas money has boosted spending and fewer students are in the public system (NM is now ranked 20th nationwide per-pupil). The State spends more than $4 billion for results that by all accounts are abysmal.

So, what’s another $30 million “literacy institute” going to do? If the money results in improved teaching of reading and better student outcomes it will be money well spent. On the other hand, New Mexico already spends more than $15,000 per-student and fails to get the results of states that spend closer to $10,000 per student.  This doesn’t even include all those education degrees for teachers who should have been taught to read in their college of education.

So, if it works, great, $30 million is a drop in the bucket in a State that already spends more than $4 billion on the worst results in the nation. Of course, Mississippi is just one of large number of states that has dramatically improved education outcomes at a fraction of the cost that New Mexico achieves the very worst outcomes.

Eight New Mexico schools named 'model schools' for literacy

Tipping Point Episode 536: Gov. Richardson’s Passing, Joe The Plumber, Call To Censor Free Speech At NMSU, NM Doctor Shortage And more

09.06.2023

During this week’s conversation Paul and Wally discuss their respective recent trips out of state and their coincidentally winding up on the same flight.

With the recent passing of former NM Gov. Bill Richardson, Paul and Wally discuss him and his mixed legacy in New Mexico. 

Joe “The Plumber” who once spoke at an RGF-sponsored event  also passed recently. Paul and Wally discuss his rise to notoriety.

Some leftist southern NM Democrats are calling for NMSU to censor conservative speakers like Matt Walsh.

Op-ed; Time for an All of the Above approach to education (plus our conference).

More work needed to address NM’s doctor shortage, especially in rural NM.

Oxfam has a report on “Best States to Work.” The report misses the boat, but even more importantly is the fact that with a $1 billion + annual budget it raises questions about what the organization is telling impoverished foreigners.

Downtown Starbucks has closed as of July 31

09.06.2023

Whether you are a fan of Starbucks or not, these stores are like printing money and with no other Starbucks located within the downtown ABQ urban core, it is NOT a good sign that this store has closed permanently. There are plenty of other great coffee places downtown and we’ve been to a number of them, but tourists and others in a hurry love their Starbucks.

Why the store closed is hard to say. It seemed busy enough. It WAS closed for a LONG time during COVID, but had been open for the last year or so. Crime? Lack of downtown foot traffic? Inability to find employees?

Winning an election = following the science?

09.06.2023

In a post yesterday we reminded New Mexicans that skeptics of lockdowns and other extreme COVID policies were right and those (like Gov. Lujan Grisham) who imposed such policies were wrong.

Apparently one of New Mexico’s most prominent bloggers believes that determining scientific accuracy is based on a reelection vote in which the Gov. ran on completely unrelated issues including “democracy” and abortion.

To reiterate, Sweden bucked the global lockdown trend in 2020 and wound up outperforming on a number of important data points.

Just a reminder: on COVID we were right, they were wrong

09.05.2023

As the media has attempted to spin up fears over the spread of COVID in recent weeks it is worth reminding New Mexicans that we (those skeptical of strict government controls) were correct while those like Gov. Lujan Grisham who pushed them have been proven wrong (or at the VERY least their chosen policies have NOT proven effective (heavy-handed policies. SHOULD be based on strong evidence).

Here are a few major issues:

  1. Keeping students out of school as MLG did was a massive fail. New Mexico was the 6th-longest. state in terms of kids being kept out of school. There is widespread agreement and data highlighting that this was a massive failure.
  2. Arbitrary and lengthy business closures were unfair and we knew it from the very beginning. The idea that Lowe’s and Home Depot could remain open as “essential” while smaller garden stores and other competitors had to close was silly. Same with restaurant closures and silly “outdoor dining” requirements.
  3. Masks were a flashpoint and while their effectiveness remains speculative (studies can be found on both sides), mandating their use as MLG did was not effective. Currently masks are worn willingly by a small number of people. Hopefully mask mandates don’t return.
  4. Vaccines may be wise for some to take, but their effectiveness at stopping the spread of COVID was over-sold. Regardless, there should never have been vaccine mandates.
  5. Rather than encouraging physical activity MLG closed off numerous opportunities for healthy activity and recreation (even golf courses were closed for a few months). This is one of many ways in which her misguided and anti-science policies hurt New Mexico.We at the Rio Grande Foundation opposed the Gov. every step of the way on these and other COVID policies. Did we miss any? Put yours in the comments.  Governor extends NM public health emergency for the last time

Bill Richardson, appraising his legacy

09.03.2023

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has died. While we at the Rio Grande Foundation often disagreed with the former Gov. we also had our areas of agreement. Here are a few thoughts on him and his legacy.

Compared to today’s Democrats Richardson was a moderate. He genuinely seemed to desire economic growth for New Mexico and had a plan (which was fairly successful) to grow NM’s economy. He cut NM’s top income tax rate from 8.2% to 4.9% and reduced capital gains taxes as well.

Sadly, Richardson ALSO fell into the trap of big government boondoggles. His purchase of a supercomputer was one, but his Rail Runner and Spaceport have been very costly. The RailRunner continues to lose ridership while the Spaceport remains unproven even as Virgin Galactic FINALLY has started manned tourism launches. Subsidies for Eclipse Aviation and Schott Solar also failed to create long-term economic success.  Richardson also laid the groundwork for New Mexico’s costly film subsidies which have helped film while failing to more broadly develop New Mexico’s economy despite hundreds of millions in subsidies.

Richardson was pro-2nd Amendment, especially compared to modern Democrats. He was endorsed by the NRA twice. 

In broader terms Richardson was a consensus-builder who genuinely tried to represent the entire state whereas current Gov. Lujan Grisham often ignores rural New Mexico in favor of vote-rich urban areas.

Richardson (gently) reproached Gov. Lujan Grisham for her overly-zealous failed COVID lockdown strategy. He also (sagely) pushed NM legislators and Lujan Grisham to avoid raising taxes in the most recent legislative session.

Finally, as with so many other New Mexico politicians, ethical questions abound. Richardson was associated with noted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and missed out on a key role in the Obama Administration due to ethical questions. There is likely a great deal to both of these stories that the public is not aware of, but they highlight deep-seated problems with New Mexico’s political culture and Richardson’s own character.

Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson dead at 75

 

Left wing New Mexico senators call on university to censor conservative speakers

09.01.2023

According to The Daily Wire left-wing Democrat Senators Soules and Hamblen recently sent a letter to the University president in which they “expressed their ‘extreme disappointment’ that the university allowed (conservative political commentator) Matt Walsh to speak on campus at a Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) event in April.”

The senators apparently don’t want anyone at the University to have an opportunity to hear from Matt Walsh.

Walsh is known for his documentary What is a Woman? in which he asks numerous academics and gender “experts” that simple question. You can watch Walsh’s full speech at NMSU below. Considering that the talk remains available through the oft-censored Youtube is an indicator that is speech was hardly as offensive and inflammatory as the senators would have you believe.

Opinion piece: Time for all-above approach to education

09.01.2023

The following piece appeared recently in numerous news outlets including Eastern New Mexico News. In addition to the link below you can click on the picture above to register for the conference.

New Mexico should be in crisis mode. Our K-12 education system is certainly facing a crisis. Problems abound: recent reports highlight serious school attendance issues, the NAEP (known as the “Nation’s Report Card”) test places New Mexico 52nd across ALL age groups and subjects studied, the Kids Count report shows New Mexico kids are losing ground, and no one seems to have a solution. Education spending has increased markedly in recent years with nothing to show for it.

With New Mexico already suffering from poor educational outcomes the COVID pandemic and lockdowns instigated by Gov. Lujan Grisham truly put our children into a crisis. Getting our children out of last place and into something resembling a functional, successful system that prepares them for future success should be THE issue that everyone in New Mexico is concerned with.

Sadly, for reasons that include the unions’ hegemony over education policy in New Mexico and the fact that many New Mexicans have resigned themselves to policy failure, our political leadership rarely addresses the need to dramatically reform our education system. Instead, we’ve seen money poured into an education system that has seen a massive reduction in the number of students served.

There are many ways to measure this, but perhaps the most direct is a recent analysis from Wallethub, which found that New Mexico spends 20th-most among states on K-12 education for results that rank 51st. Being in the “High spending, weak system” category is obviously the worst place to be in education, but here we are. More money is not the answer.

So, what IS the answer? That may not even be the right question. Rather, we at the Rio Grande Foundation are advocating for an “all of the above” approach to education in New Mexico. For example, Mississippi has done some amazing things in education to the point where The Associated Press labeled their success “the Mississippi Miracle.”

By reforming the existing education system Mississippi has achieved major gains in student outcomes. New Mexico policymakers should take note and enact similar reforms.

New Mexico has long had charter schools. They are the major form of “school choice” in our state and they include a disproportionate share of the state’s best performing schools. But more is needed to make our charter schools the best they can be for New Mexico kids. This can mean everything from making it easier to start a new charter school to making it easier to close failing or under-performing charters.

Finally, we’ll talk about private options. Arizona and several other states have boldly embarked on a path where money for schools follows the student, but there are other options including school choice tax credits and “microschools” that are worthy of discussion and analysis. What do these options mean in practice and can we get them in “blue state” New Mexico?

At the Rio Grande Foundation (and our education project “Opportunities for All Kids New Mexico”) we believe New Mexico’s education challenges are an existential threat to both our children and our economic prospects. So, we are hosting a free, day-long education conference in which experts from across the nation and state discuss these and other potential solutions.

The conference, set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 22, will be held at St. Pius X High School on Albuquerque’s West Side. The event is free but sign up is required at: http://www.oaknm.org. Let’s all work to solve New Mexico’s existential education crisis.

Paul Gessing is president of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation, which promotes limited government, economic freedom and individual responsibility. Contact him at: pgessing@riograndefoundation.org

Tipping Point NM Episode 534 Paul in Chicago, Carbon Capture in NM, another Budget Surplus Forecast for NM and more

08.31.2023

This week Paul joins Wally from Chicago where he is attending the State Policy Network conference of free market think tanks.

Paul and Wally both attended a presentation on carbon capture held by the American Petroleum Institute in Albuquerque. Wally has significant experience with this technology and the two discuss its potential in New Mexico.

NM has another massive surplus. Will the politicians blow it again? What should they do?

Paul further flushes out the concept of MLG-nomics.

Along with unprecedented revenue there have been unprecedented increases in construction costs. What can be done about rising costs? Is the federal government helping?

ABQ’s contract w/ James Ginger has been revised.

More work needed to resolve NM’s medical provider challenge

08.30.2023

According to recent news reports (and RGF’s own work) more work needs to be done to address New Mexico’s medical provider crisis, especially in rural areas. Talk of an obstetrics “desert” and two-thirds of hospitals in the state with expenses exceed their revenue over the last 12 months dominated recent hearings.

For starters, New Mexico is by no means alone in facing a health care shortage. A recent Wallethub report ranked the State 34th overall. America’s increasingly government-driven health care system is inherently dysfunctional.

However, while the Legislature tackled some low-hanging fruit in the last session like addressing medical malpractice, ending GRT on medical providers, and pumping up Medicaid reimbursements, there is more to be done and this is where it gets difficult. Also, some issues impacting the supply of health practitioners (like immigration policy) are not under state control.

  • Reducing the State’s Medicaid dependency is a starting point with 47% of the State’s population on the government program.
  • Expanding New Mexico’s scope of practice laws and increasing use of telemedicine.
  • Reduce income taxes (doctors are high earning professionals)
  • Work broadly to improve the economy, especially in rural areas.

There is plenty to be done. We’ll see if Gov. Lujan Grisham and the Legislature have the will to take on these challenging issues.

The Challenge of Rural Health Care

 

 

 

Oxfam “best states to work” report misses the boat

08.30.2023

Oxfam is typically known for its international work Oxfam that, as they describe themselves, “fights inequality to end poverty and injustice.” Interestingly they just came out with a new report which purports to rank the “best US states to work” in America. 

Since Oxfam is typically considered a “left wing” organization, it is no surprise that we at the Rio Grande Foundation would find the results lacking, but it is not merely a question of ideology. The fact is that the report’s top ranking states are: California, Oregon, DC, and New York at the very top. New Mexico is 16th which is unusual for the Land of Enchantment which finds itself at the very bottom of most lists.

Some of the fastest growing states happen to be ranked at the very bottom by Oxfam including: North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Utah. Utah in particular is a state that usually performs very well on all manner of state rankings, but not Oxfam’s.

Of course, Oxfam’s report heavily focuses on restrictive wage and economic policies including: minimum wages, paid sick leave, and the absence of Right to Work laws.

Sadly, Oxfam’s report is completely worthless. It totally misses economic reality and the preferences expressed by millions of Americans leaving “blue” states like New York and California and flocking to the very “red” states that are growing fast. 

In addition to this report being based on a misguided philosophy one must wonder what public policies Oxfam is encouraging with its $1 billion + dollar yearly budget.

Unprecedented revenue, unprecedented inflation in NM construction

08.25.2023

As mentioned recently, New Mexico policymakers will again have a stunningly large budget surplus when they convene in January, but revenues are not the only thing rising. Inflation is as well, especially in the construction industry Daniel Chacon writes in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

In addition to Chacon’s article, RGF’s Paul Gessing recently sat down with Carla Kugler to discuss the current state of New Mexico’s construction industry.

We definitely agree with analyst Cally Carswell on the following:

  • Prioritize or restrict 2024 capital appropriations to complete existing projects.
  • Prioritize emergency or critical infrastructure projects.

We’d add a few more:

  • End Davis-Bacon work requirements and ban Project Labor Agreements (on the books in ABQ and Bernalillo County, both of which raise costs and restrict labor supply on construction jobs.
  • Make a specific, long-term plan to increase New Mexico’s low workforce participation rate with a special emphasis of increasing participation in the construction industry.
  • Finally, while it isn’t a state policy issue per se, it is worth noting that the Biden Administration’s massive debt-laden spending bills including the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” are further increasing construction costs.

 

Tipping Point New Mexico episode 533 Carla Kugler – New Mexico Construction Industry – Finding Workers and Competing for Projects

08.25.2023

On this week’s interview Paul sits down with Carla Kugler. Carla is President & CEO at Associated Builders and Contractors New Mexico Chapter. She represents the non-union construction industry in New Mexico. Carla recently won “Executive of the Year” from the New Mexico Society of Association Executives.

In addition to that Paul and Carla discuss New Mexico’s construction industry and their constant struggle to find good workers and what they are doing about it as an industry. Carla also addresses the latest on projects in Bernalillo County/ABQ that by law give unions favorable treatment when it comes to government-funded construction. projects.

A recent news story that ran AFTER our conversation relating to the construction industry and rising costs can be found here. 

RGF president joins KOAT Channel 7 to question City of Albuquerque payments to James Ginger

08.24.2023

The City of Albuquerque’s police department monitor James Ginger has been paid over $11 million. While the overall merits of what DoJ is doing with the City’s police department is up for debate, the City’s payments to Ginger have remained high even as the City increasingly complies with DoJ’s mandates.

RGF’s Paul Gessing had a chance to weigh in on Ginger’s ongoing payments in a recent story KOAT did on the topic. Find the story at link or click on the screen shot below.

Another unprecedented oil surplus: will Santa Fe blow it again?

08.23.2023

On the heels of a massive $3.6 billion surplus which was available to the Legislature and Gov. Lujan Grisham in advance of the 2023 session, analysts are now predicting another banner budget year for New Mexico. The current surplus is estimated at $3.5 billion.

Of course, this number is all the more impressive because New Mexico government has grown rapidly in recent years (meaning more money is needed to fulfill the baseline). In addition to growing general fund spending, the State has also plowed money into various permanent funds and endowments (deferred spending).

There have been minor GRT rate reductions (in 2022) and elimination of GRT on medical deductibles and co-pays, but the Legislature also seriously considered tax hikes in the last session. Nothing fundamental has been done to improve or diversify New Mexico’s economy for the long-term.

Can this Legislature and Gov. enact needed tax reductions and reforms? We remain in a Show-me state of mind, but will keep pushing and fighting. By all accounts the Legislature will again have record revenues when it convenes in January thanks to the production-driven oil boom in New Mexico.

Kingdom Exploration LLC: Why Invest in Oil Wells

 

Understanding MLG-nomics

08.22.2023

Joe Biden has “Bidenomics: the taking on of debt, rising inflation, and impoverishment of average citizens to support preferred industries and special interests (see the Inflation Reduction Act).

Gov. Lujan Grisham has her own version of Bidenomics which we’re calling “MLG-nomics.” While the Albuquerque Journal has a fawning article detailing all of the numerous “green” projects going on around New Mexico, the reality is that MLG’s entire economic strategy appears to be to use massive revenues created by the booming oil and gas industry to pump up her preferred “green” projects and Hollywood.

The good. news is MLG’s plans are not as reliant on debt as Biden’s, but the bad news is that New Mexico remains among the poorest states in America with a failing education system, high crime, and numerous other challenges that COULD be addressed with the money flowing into the State. Instead, MLG’s friends in her preferred industries will make out very well at the expense of both federal and state taxpayers and the economic future of New Mexico.

New York's Climate Change Boondoggle | City Journal

 

 

Arbitrary cap on short-term rentals wrong approach

08.21.2023

UPDATE: We are pleased to report that City Council rejected the proposed cap.

Albuquerque’s City Council is considering (possibly tonight) a number of new regulations on so-called short-term rentals. The proposed number is 1,200 citywide which is purely arbitrary and could easily prove to be inadequate now or at some time in the future (thus requiring a new law). Also, if you are going to cap short-term rentals, why not cap the number of hotel rooms?

The existing permitting regime (if strictly enforced) and arbitrary cap could have especially harmful impacts during Balloon Fiesta when, according to the Albuquerque Journal, “the number of available rentals shot up by about 600 units between August and October to 2,310 units.”

That increased supply is directly correlated with the reality that hotel rooms become expensive as people flock to the City for it’s biggest event of the year.

Furthermore, the proposed “cap” is not a real cap because it doesn’t include single rooms. We’re not advocating the cap be made more strict, but simply note that enacting the cap will result in a shift toward single rooms and any other exemptions that can be found.

Short Term Rental Information | City of Deadwood South Dakota

Tipping Point NM Episode 530: Bidenomics, Increasing the Price of Public Works Projects, Best and Worst States

08.18.2023

On this week’s conversation Paul and Wally discuss. a recent opinion piece highlighting the fact that the environmental left doesn’t care about “democracy” or even addressing CO2 emissions.

President Biden was in Albuquerque recently touting “Bidenomics.” In reality his economic policies have been a complete failure.

Speaking of that, a new rule from the Biden Administration will increase the price of roads and other public works projects. During that same trip he also placed some of the best uranium available in the US off limits to development.

A new study claims NewMexico is the very worst state to live in. Are they right? Paul and Wally often criticize the New Mexico government, but they have a lot to say about this report.

Finally, while the Gov. is pushing to force New Mexicans to buy electric cars, she is having the state buy a plane (partially for her use). 

Tipping Point episode 531: Tax History Discussion with Brian Domitrovic, co-author of “Taxes Have Consequences”

08.18.2023

Brian Domitrovic is an intellectual historian interested in the history and development of supply-side economics. He is the author of the book “Taxes Have Consequences: An Income Tax History of the United States” which was published in 2022 and he co-authored with Arthur B. Laffer and Jeanne Sinquefield. Brian spoke at a recent Rio Grande Foundation luncheon so we sat down to discuss tax history, Art Laffer, and more.

Due to a power outage this show was recorded in two parts.

Taxes Have Consequences: An Income Tax History of the United States by Arthur B. Laffer | Goodreads

Time for “all of the above” approach to education for NM

08.18.2023

New Mexico should be in crisis mode. It’s K-12 education system is in crisis. Problems abound: recent reports highlight serious school attendance issues, the NAEP test places New Mexico 52nd across ALL age groups and subjects studied, the Kids Count report shows New Mexico kids are losing ground, and no one seems to have a solution. Education spending has increased markedly in recent years, but with nothing to show for it.

At the Rio Grande Foundation (and our education project “Opportunities for All Kids New Mexico” we believe New Mexico’s education challenges are an existential threat to both our children and our economic prospects. No solution should be off the table. So, we are hosting a free, day-long education conference in which experts from all across the nation and State discuss potential solutions which include: private choice, charter schools, improvements to the existing system (like Mississippi), micro-schools, 529 plans, and more.    

The conference will get started at 9am and last until about 4. If you are interested in attending or finding out more, click below: