Given the busy holiday season, I’m probably not the only one who hasn’t been able to keep up on their newspaper and current events reading. That said, if you haven’t already done so, I urge you to read the interesting article “State Can’t Waste This Budget Crisis” which appeared in the ABQ Journal on December 21.
In the article, New Mexico Senator Steve Fischmann emphasized the role of over-spending in causing the current budget situation and even pointed out the issue of political corruption as a cause. Then, Fischmann argued strongly in favor of reducing government spending by targeting the most wasteful and unnecessary government programs rather than copping out and cutting spending across the board. He also specifically mentioned criminal justice reform, a topic that RGF has promoted as a possible cost saver.
Lastly, Fischmann discusses “revenue enhancement.” And, while the devil is undoubtedly in the details, the concept of eliminating narrowly-targeted tax breaks and spending programs is certainly worth looking at. I recently discussed the ineffective ways in which New Mexico attempts to develop economically. Before going overboard on raising revenue, I’d urge Fischmann and his colleagues to eliminate special interest payouts like the film industry’s very generous subsidies first.
Regardless of this minor point of disagreement, I think Fischmann is someone that fiscal conservatives can work with on the budget issues facing the state. Hopefully he joins other common-sense Democrats like John Arthur Smith and Tim Jennings to stop tax hikes and cut spending during the 2010 legislative session.