Stephanie Maez of the left-liberal Center for Civic Policy makes several reasonable points about the process that hatched the big tax compromise at the end of the 2013 legislative session. I don’t think anyone would say that the process was ideal.
But there’s no doubt that the liberals would have been the first to scream and blame Gov. Martinez if Intel had decided to close up shop in Rio Rancho and move over to more tax-friendly Arizona where the company already has several large factories.
True, the Legislature should have just gone along with the tax cuts (the combined impact of the corporate income tax cuts and optional single sales factor reporting will be $100 million in FY 2017). After all, those tax cuts combined are less than half the size of the annual spending increase contained in this year’s budget.
So, the questions remains: what would the “progressives” do? Further raise the job-killing minimum wage? Throw even more money at the film industry? Waste money on pre-pre-pre K when our existing government schools are failing and the data on pre-k is indeterminate at best? Allow one or New Mexico’s largest and best-paying private sector employers leave?
The legislative process is ugly and becomes increasingly difficult when it is split on partisan lines and in terms of outlook. The hard left will criticize the process with some justification, but the truth is that their ideas have failed New Mexico for decades.