I knew that my writing (here and here) on the success of tax cuts in driving New Mexico’s economy would eventually get a rise out of some left-wingers. Today, Gerry Bradley of New Mexico Voices for Children rose to the occasion with this article decrying both the Bush and Richardson tax cuts. The gist of Bradley’s article reminds me of Bill Clinton’s quote from some years back “sure, we could cut taxes, but what if you spent your money wrong?”
Bradley seems to assume that anyone who saw their tax burden reduced under the Bush and Richardson tax cuts of the past decade took off for a European vacation and that these cuts had no positive economic impact at home. This is just silly. Richardson’s tax cuts, for example, reduced rates for everyone earning more than $16,000 annually. This hardly qualifies as “rich.” Even those who are earning more money — which includes small business owners — are spending a vast majority of that money here at home in New Mexico, not on vacations overseas.
Lastly, Bradley fails to even address why New Mexico’s personal income level rose above several other states (and has continued to rise even as oil and gas prices have fallen). Yes, we had a housing boom, but so did many other states. He also does not address findings by Arthur Laffer and others that states with no personal income tax are magnets for population and investment. Bradley just doesn’t like tax cuts. He and his cronies at “Voices” would rather have government control all economic output. That is the argument, plain and simple.