The Research Director’s Top Ten of 2016

On an almost daily basis, Errors of Enchantment brings its readers facts, data, and analysis documenting the dire condition of liberty, opportunity, and prosperity in New Mexico — and suggestions for how to turn things around. But some entries stand out more than others. Herewith, the Foundation’s research director lists his favorite posts from 2016. Enjoy!

10. OEA Bucks for New Mexico’s DOA Economy

Can Pentagon funding help the state kick its addiction to Pentagon funding? The question came to mind after attending a “community meeting” of the “Defense Industry Adjustment Supply Chain Map and Portal Project.” We’re still waiting for evidence that the effort is yielding results for taxpayers….

9. Why Isn’t New Mexico a Manufacturing Powerhouse?

The fracking renaissance, according to the American Petroleum Institute, “is making U.S. manufacturers increasingly competitive, or even more competitive, than overseas rivals.” And there’s plenty of cheap natural gas in New Mexico. So why are manufacturing jobs here declining? (Since the post ran, employment in the sector has further dwindled.)

8. Hands Off My Mountain Dew, Javier

Javier Gonzales, Santa Fe’s mayor, has a lot on his plate. Crime, unaffordable housing, a lousy economy, and persistent budget woes plague the state capital. So what is The City Different’s mayor putting in his crosshairs? That’s right … soda.

7. New Mexico’s Real Budget Numbers

You hear a lot about the Land of Enchantment’s “General Fund,” but as this post revealed, total state spending is far, far higher than $6.2 billion.

6. Behavioral-Health Reform or Political Theater?

Substance abuse and mental illness are devastating problems in New Mexico. Too bad March’s “#NMspeaksCrisis Town Hall” was more interested in political posturing than exploring promising solutions to the behavioral-health crisis.

5. One Chart Says It All

More than a quarter of New Mexicans are on food stamps. The rolls have grown every month since April 2014. Seriously.

4. Subsidizing, and Targeting, the Mother Road

Taxpayers are providing funds to both support and threaten Route 66 history. Only in New Mexico.

3. What New Mexico’s Tax-Hikers Don’t Want You to Know

Yes, Bill Richardson cut the income tax, and Susana Martinez cut the corporate tax. But other taxes have been hiked — some, substantially — during the governors’ administrations.

2. Texas, Where Spaceports Are Real

“Spaceport America” remains empty, while launch sites proliferate in the Lone Star State. Look for that harsh reality to continue in 2017.

1. Celebrating New Mexico’s Potemkin Industry

Better Call Saul‘s Patrick Fabian, an admitted “knucklehead actor,” believes that New Mexico’s corporate-welfare giveaway to Hollywood is leading to “vibrant production” that’s making the state a “top-tier destination for entertainment.” Hogwash.