Posted by Michael Swickard on Thursday, March 31, 2011
Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the Department of Energy during the Carter Administration? The DOE was institution August 4, 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil which was at that time 30 percent. In 2010 the budget for the DOE was $242 Billion a year. It employs 16,000 federal workers and has about 100,000 contract employees. So when it started working on the problem of our dependence on foreign oil that dependence was 30 percent. Today 70 percent of our oil consumption is from foreign sources. What is the chance we could do away with the Department of Energy? About the same as the DOE actually doing the job it was founded to do… no chance whatsoever.
Posted by Michael Swickard
Labels: Swickard Columns
From NM Politics.net - Commentary by Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - I have heard many times our legislators talk about how unfair it is for our society to allow the evil rich to keep their ill-gotten gains. These legislators keep changing the tax code to take more and more from the rich, but if we are to have a just society, they have not taken enough until they take all of it. Example: Last week someone plunked down a dollar in the Mega Millions lottery drawing and came away with more than $100 million after taxes. How can we Americans allow this to happen in our country? Remember, this is someone who does not need $100 million. They were getting by fine and, in fact, had an extra dollar to waste on the lottery. The media covers it like it is a good thing. They ignore the fact that this money came from all of the poor people of our land who essentially got nothing in return for putting their dollars in the lottery. We cannot allow prizes to be awarded from the lottery because that would be ill-gotten gains – like when someone in a company gets a golden parachute. We must confiscate all lottery winnings if we are to have a just society. P.S. – I am not a nut. Read full column
NMPolitics - New Mexico’s U.S. senators are continuing to push for new conservation and wilderness areas in Northern New Mexico, but they have not decided whether to try again this year for permanent protection of land in Doña Ana County including the Organ Mountains. From the Associated Press: “U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would preserve about 236,000 acres of public land (in Taos and Rio Arriba counties) managed by the Bureau of Land Management by designating a combination of conservation and wilderness areas. “Much of the land – 214,600 acres – would be managed as a conservation area. “Two other parcels would be managed as wilderness. “Fellow New Mexico Democratic Sen. Tom Udall is cosponsoring the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area Establishment Act.” Asked if there are plans to try again this year for permanent wilderness designations for land in Doña Ana County, Bingaman spokeswoman Jude McCartin said that’s currently “unclear.” Read full story here: News New Mexico
NMPolitics - States are grappling with the dual problems of immigration and border security, but it’s a no-win situation for them; real solutions must come from Congress and the president. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asserts that the border is safe. She claims the cartel violence that has plagued Mexico hasn’t spilled over in a serious way. “There is a perception that the border is worse now than it ever has been. That is wrong. The border is better now than it ever has been,” she was quoted by The Associated Press as saying in El Paso last week. With all due respect, that’s crap. Read full story here: News New Mexico
Capitol Report New Mexico - It doesn’t call for uncorking Champagne bottles but New Mexico received some good economic news this week. The US Census Bureau released its figures for state tax collections and in the fourth quarter of 2010 (October-December), the state received reported slightly more income than in the same time period the year before. In addition, income from severance taxes was up by nearly $20 million. The severance tax receipts are especially critical since those taxes reflect the overall strength of the oil and gas industry in New Mexico, which contribute so heavily to the state’s economic well-being. “I was expecting a slight bump.” Sen. John Arthur Smith (D-Deming) said Wednesday, “due to the price of oil going up lately.” In total, the state collected $1.3 billion in total taxes in the fourth quarter of 2010, up from $1.1 billion raked in at the same time in 2009. Read full story here: News New Mexico