You Owe - Enough is Enough!

News New Mexico site visitors should click on the You Owe page just above. This page contains a link that will give you a sense of how fast the national debt is rising on a per taxpayer basis. We began tracking the per taxpayer basis increase in debt obligations only a week ago. Today on the 4th of July we see that our federal government actually borrowed $221 on behalf of every single taxpayer since Sunday June 28, 2010.
    The reason we print the ridiculous fiscal policy opinions of partisans like Paul Krugman is to let everyone know there are actually people ADVISING the president and congress (three pictured above) to continue to borrow money on behalf of all taxpayers at this rate. We are reminded nearly every day by riots in Southern Europe that the nation of Greece is bankrupt thanks to this borrow and "stimulate" approach to economics. We encourage everyone to write elected officials in Washington and let them know, enough is enough!

Campaign Contributors of Denish & Martinez

    News New Mexico has been doing some digging on in the hopes of gaining a better sense of how the New Mexico gubernatorial candidates are being financed.  A quick survey of reported contributions through March 2010 shows the Denish campaign relies heavily on lawyers and lobbyists.  This group is by far and away the campaign's largest contributor, both in terms of dollars and number of people and organizations identifying themselves as such. We found the names of about 453 different lawyers or lobbyist organizations that have contributed to the Denish campaign since 2008.  Over the course of her entire political career Denish has collected well over $793,000 in contributions from this group.
    For the GOP nominee, Las Crucen Susan Martinez, it is a somewhat different story.  In sifting through the Martinez campaign contribution records (on we found the names of 47 lawyers/lobbyists who have contributed a total of $21,487 to her campaign.  Clearly Martinez, a lawyer and Dona Ana County's D.A. is not yet nearly as popular with members of the legal and lobbying professions. 
    Perhaps time, the polls, and the emphasis of Martinez own fund-raising activities will reveal whether these numbers and percentages regarding the implied influence of lawyers and lobbyists actually change in some meaningful way. For now it seems clear that Denish is much more beholden to this very politically active segment of society.

Ken Blackwell - American Exceptionalism

Columnist Ken Blackwell discusses ideas that go right to the heart of the News New Mexico series on the Denunciatory Ethic. He begins with where America came from and the principles that brought the nation into existence. Read Blackwell's ideas here:

Maureen Dowd: Contrasting Biden and Obama

New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd weighs in with her views on the differences between President Obama, Vice President Biden, and the press. Read her latest comments here:


Part II - Partisan Politics and Energy Policy

    Opportunities to create and secure dependable domestic supplies of crude oil have been repeatedly eschewed over the last 37 years. And forget about logical efforts to convert to nuclear energy.  Even obscure and remote places have been placed off limits to production due to the impractical, yet effective actions of American environmentalists. A tiny minority of activists, who continue (conspicuously) to drive their automobiles to work every day, have managed to create the illusion that drilling on otherwise invisible land at ANWR near the Arctic Circle, is actually a greater risk than deep sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
    ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, is a place that continues to be unseen by 99.99999% of the world's inhabitants. It is a geographic location that alternates between a few weeks of being a thawing mosquito infested swamp, and many months of hopelessly frozen arctic tundra.
    ANWR could easily be a rich source of domestic crude oil. And tapping into ANWR’s vast crude oil reserves would be so simple. However, instead of using ANWR as a temporary bridge source of energy, while America paves the important long term road to the inevitable nuclear conversion, one U.S. Congress and President after another has manipulated the alternative energy industries. Developers of non-nuclear alternatives have been forced by Senators and House Members to make annual (or bi-annual) campaign contribution pilgrimages to Washington D.C. In exchange for re-election campaign contributions, temporary tax-credit incentives have been handed out........piece meal of course. And this thinly disguised bleeding and milking process has insured the re-election of many congressional incumbents in both parties. Sadly, this process has also guaranteed that NO substantial investments in nuclear energy or automobile battery technology have been made.

    Long before 2010, neither major domestic political party has had an ethical leg to stand on. When Republicans have held the bulk of the political power in Washington there have been modest improvements in our nation’s ability to produce domestic energy; but never any long-range planning for permanently renewable energy. Alternatively, when Democrats have held the bulk of power, there have been efforts to improve temporary tax-credits offered to investors in alternative energy supplies….non-nuclear of course. However, with Democrats in charge, ZERO long range planning for the domestic reserves required during the transition period has ever been considered.  And thus we have an America destroying stalemate.
    In the final analysis, energy policy with Democrats and Republicans is always the same old story. It is just a different cow that gets milked by the respective political machines. Re-election, rather than problem-solving, is the only true goal or the partisan.  No wonder the gulf is being flooded with a massive deep water crude oil leak causing human lives and wildlife to be destroyed.  Republicans and Democrats are still in charge.

A Culture of Entitlement & Borrowing - Part I

Despite what you might have read about American consumers, there are millions of individuals in our nation who are not over-extended entitlement seekers. However, high current levels of delinquencies on home mortgages and credit card balances are alarming. And when further considering the level of personal and business bankruptcy filings, one can only wonder what percentage of Americans do fit this description.
Two questions arise. First, how did America wind up adopting such a dubious culture of entitlement and borrowing? Second, what if anything are we doing about it?
    Quite similar to a biological process, a nation’s cultural history tends to evolve over time. Pivotal points in economic history often mark the beginnings of periods of more rapid cultural evolution.
    By 1936, the cultural attitudes in America were experiencing rapid rates of change. In response to the banking crisis that led to the Great Depression, elected officials had become completely receptive to the idea of increased government borrowing, while also fostering a much greater sense of entitlement in the American electorate. And as early as 1932, it became a winning political tactic to demonize the image of business interests. Before the end of the 1930’s there were dozens of new and culturally transforming literary works published. John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath (1939), and other literature with similar messages, helped propel the process of government being perceived as a compassionately gentle savior of the people, while simultaneously casting businesses as nothing more than a cold heartless exploiter of American society. With Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes awarded to literary works associated with this viewpoint, the public education system jumped on the entitlement and anti-business bandwagon. As America’s cultural sense of entitlement and willingness to take on debt gradually strengthened, the nation’s cultural sense of thrift and self-reliance were gradually subordinated. And naturally, the attitudes of America’s ever attentive and ever opportunist elected officials reflected the nation’s changing cultural biases.
    By the mid 1960’s, the modern American adage that “anything worth doing is worth over-doing” was in full force. And as such, the relentless quest for a public policy-engineered utopia required ever ambitious elected officials in the federal government to subscribe to the theory that the passage of a few additional laws could somehow eliminate poverty.  Forty-five years after the so-called “War on Poverty” was initiated, we find the unintended consequences of the electorate severely over-estimating the managerial capabilities of government in evidence everywhere. In the wake of several generations of continuous government subsidies for low skilled, single parent households, today America suffers from the burden of an enormous and firmly entrenched subsidy-dependent subculture. The defining characteristics of this subculture remain unskilled, single parent, households.  Some thirty years ago the stark economic realities of government’s limitations collided with the naive world view that sees endless government-managed entitlements as sustainable.
By 1980 America’s economic performance had been so dismal for so long, voters were ready to try anything different in an effort to get the nation out of the competitive rut. Supply-side economist Arthur Laffer pointed the direction out of the abyss. There were few believers in Washington D.C. when the turnaround began. In Part II we will see how the economic policies of Ronald Reagan got things half right after policies of LBJ, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter got things all wrong.