7 Wounded In Roswell Shootout

From KOAT-TV.com - (Swickard) I may be guilty of an assumption but all seven refuse to talk to police but are willing to accept medical care that we taxpayers pick up. Problem? I think so. ROSWELL, N.M. -- Roswell police say seven people wounded in a shootout at a party also are suspects in the shooting. Police spokesman Officer Travis Holley says one group of people went to a Roswell home Sunday with force and were met with force. Holley says the shootout apparently began with a dispute about a boyfriend, a girlfriend and an ex-boyfriend. He says neither side is cooperating with the police investigation. Holley says four of the wounded were treated at hospitals in the southern New Mexico city and the other three were airlifted to regional hospitals. more

Martinez Signs Tax Relief in Santa Teresa

Susana Martinez
SANTA TERESA - Governor Susana Martinez visited Santa Teresa today to sign three key economic development bills into law, including a locomotive fuel tax exemption that will help to create approximately 3,000 jobs in New Mexico. Joined by Sen. Cynthia Nava (D-Las Cruces), Rep. Mary Helen Garcia (D-Las Cruces), Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert (R-Corrales), Economic Development Secretary-designate Jon Barela, and numerous other state and local officials, Governor Martinez signed Senate Bill 179 and House Bill 523, the Locomotive Fuel Tax Gross Receipts Deduction. She also signed House Bill 24, authorizing special permits for the operation of certain overweight commercial vehicles near the southern New Mexico border, and House Bill 322, granting additional powers to the Border Authority. The locomotive fuel tax exemption, sponsored by Sen. Nava and Rep. Powdrell-Culbert, will put New Mexico on par with neighboring states like Texas and will bring operational facilities currently housed in El Paso across the border to New Mexico.
It will allow for the groundbreaking of a new Union Pacific rail facility near Santa Teresa. Union Pacific estimates that the construction of the facility will create roughly 3,000 jobs over time, including 900 sustained jobs at its peak. In reference to SB 179 and HB 523, Governor Martinez said, “By eliminating New Mexico’s competitive disadvantage with neighboring states, we can create a better environment for economic growth. We must encourage businesses to invest here by implementing policies that make financial sense for job creators. This legislation is an important step toward putting our economy back on track and making New Mexico a friendlier place to do business. I’m grateful to Sen. Nava and Rep. Powdrell-Culbert for their bi-partisan leadership on this legislation and I look forward to welcoming the new jobs it will help to create.”


Keller Another CD-1 Possible?

Tim Keller
Capitol Report New Mexico -  You can add State Sen. Tim Keller (D-Albuquerque) to the growing list of Democratic candidates seeking to take Martin Heinrich’s seat in the US House of Representatives. The two-term Senator who has quickly made a reputation at the Roundhouse as a Democrat with a sharp eye on fiscal issues told Capitol Report New Mexico Tuesday afternoon that he’s seriously considering throwing his hat into the ring now that Heinrich has decided to run for the US Senate seat that Jeff Bingaman is stepping down from at the end of 2012. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Shoot the Messenger

Thomas Sowell
Townhall -  When someone gives you a check and the bank informs you that there are insufficient funds, who do you get mad at? In your own life, you get mad at the guy who gave you a check that bounced, not at the bank. But, in politics, you get mad at whoever tells you that there is no money. One of the secrets of the growth of the welfare state is that politicians get a lot of mileage out of making promises, without setting aside enough money to fulfill those promises. When Congress votes for all sorts of benefits, without voting for enough taxes to pay for them, they get the support of those who have been promised the benefits, without getting grief from the taxpayers. It's strictly win-win as far as the welfare-state politicians are concerned. But it is strictly lose-lose, big-time, for the country, as deficits skyrocket.
Anyone who says that we don't have the money to pay what was promised is accused of trying to destroy Social Security, Medicare or Obamacare-- or whatever other unfunded promises have been made. It is like blaming the bank for saying that the check bounced.
It is the same story at the state level as in Washington. The lavish pensions promised to members of public sector unions cannot continue to be paid because the money is just not there. But who are the unions mad at? Those who say that the money is not there. Read full column here: News New Mexico

“Interest Rate Time Machine”

Jim Spence
Investing in bonds over the last thirty years could be described as a case study in dramatic change. In the early 1980’s interest rates reached historic peaks. However, nobody sent out postcards telling investors to put all of their income investments in high grade, long term, non-callable bonds. The ultimate would have been to lock in those historic interest rates. At that time, most savers were pretty satisfied staying short-term with their money market accounts. In those days, thanks to gross imbalances in the economy, money market accounts were providing double digit interest rates and savers were reluctant to tie up their money in longer term bonds for only slightly higher rates of return. With the benefit of hindsight, we know that buying long term non-callable bonds would have been the best course of action for the income investor.
For thirty years since, with but a few interruptions, interest rates have been on a steady decline. And today, for the better part of three years, money market account returns have been near zero. As the first quarter of 2011 ended, the yield on a non-callable ten year U.S. Treasury note was 3.45%. The meager current interest rate environment poses a number of questions. Why are rates so low? Will rates change anytime soon? What will inflation do to purchasing power? What is a safety-oriented income investor to do?
We can recall no time when income investing was so perilous. Looking back nostalgically at the early 1980’s might be an interesting walk down memory lane but it won’t increase our income. And the reasons why rates were so HIGH back then may or may not provide much relevance to the discussions today. The early 1980’s was a period when poorly managed government policy created tremendous imbalances in the financial system. Reckless Federal Reserve policies during the 1960’s and 70’s led to runaway inflation rates. And by the end of the 1970’s the financial markets reflected those imbalances. Bond investors were tired of being burned by free falls in their purchasing power.
They eschewed U.S. treasury bonds to the point that their yields rose into the mid-teens. And during that time frame, places like the U.S.S.R, Eastern Europe, China, and India were still floundering with hapless state-managed economies that produced no excess savings to absorb U.S. debt issuances.
In some ways things are different these days, but unfortunately not in the recklessness of our Federal Reserve Board. We now have a global bond market, and it has yet to wake up to the reckless Federal Reserve policies even though the policies mirror the mistakes of the 1960’s and 1970’s. As of yet, the global debt markets are not demanding significantly more yield from U.S. Treasury bonds. In recent years, China has been financing the U.S. borrowing binge. China has taken advantage of its labor pool and created an economic growth machine that is now a receiving tank for a sizeable portion of U.S. wealth and U.S. treasury securities. Other nations buy our debt too, but for the last year or so, the Fed has been using reserves it does not have to absorb our debt offerings.
Why haven’t interest rates gone up? Mainly because the U.S. government, through actions by our elected officials in the White House and Congress, are doing everything they can (through Federal Reserve and Treasury Department) to artificially hold down America’s borrowing costs. In effect through our government’s actions, all savers around the globe are being forced to subsidize the American policymaker’s almost insatiable need to continue to issue low interest rate debt. How long will this continue? Nobody really knows. Knowing some of the reasons why rates are low is fine, but the big question is: What should an investor do with this knowledge?
First, we think it is always foolish to reach for higher yielding income securities in the hopes of receiving more income. Our fundamental view is there is NO FREE LUNCH in investing for income. Higher yields involve serious risk taking. We also think it is a bad idea to buy long term bonds with rates at historical lows. Unfortunately, we also think it might be very costly to sit in money market accounts at zero rates of return while hoping for higher rates. It is possible that the current low interest rate environment might persist for years. Now that we have told you all the things we DON’T want to do, let us tell you, given all the facts as we see them, what we are willing to do in managing accounts for income.
Our preference is to buy callable intermediate term bonds with interest rate STEP provisions. This means we want to find bonds where the provisions require the issuers to INCREASE the interest rate paid to us if the bonds are not called. In effect, this strategy involves some protection against rising rates as well as providing a greater rate than we could earn in a money market account. Since there is no free lunch, it is not a perfect strategy- rates could definitely rise faster than the interest rates on the bonds step up or rates could remain at historic lows and the bonds could be called. However, it is a strategy we are comfortable with given the fact that interest rates have declined dramatically over the last thirty years, the income needs of our clients continue on, and we do not possess an interest rate time machine.


What is Agenda 21?

Pulaski note: A public meeting regarding Agenda 21 will be held in Las Cruces on Thursday April 7th 6:30pm at the Mountain View Christian Church, 241 3 Crosses Ave. The Las Cruces City Council and Mayor were invited to attend. The current list of cities in NM that support Agenda 21 are Silver City, Taos, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Cimarron, Los Alamos and Albuquerque. From roncamunez.com - Many readers have asked "What is "AGENDA 21" as they have read news articles and seen Mr. Jim Harbison a local community leader question the Las Cruces City Council regarding their paying dues to an organization which promotes the United Nations Sustainability Program called "AGENDA 21." Here is a statement by the watch group called "Wise Up Journal" that provides creditable resources to refute the "Green Agenda" and the falacies associated with issues like "Global Warming." Effective execution of Agenda 21 will require a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced a major shift in the priorities of both governments and individuals and an unprecedented redeployment of human and financial resources. This shift will demand that a concern for the environmental consequences of every human action be integrated into individual and collective decision-making at every level.” More News New Mexico

NM State Senator Griego Exploring Congressional Run

Eric Griego
From newmexicoindependent.com -State Sen. Eric Griego, D-Albuquerque, announced he’s forming an exploratory committee for the 1st Congressional District seat currently held by Martin Heinrich. Griego cited media reports that Heinrich will likely announce his intention to run for U.S. Senate tomorrow. Griego had previously said he would wait to announce his candidacy until Heinrich made a decision. “I am seriously considering entering the Congressional race, but need to discuss my final decision with my family, my employer, and of course my supporters,” Griego said in a statement sent to the media. “This is an important decision not just for me and my family, but for our whole community and it warrants serious soul searching and a sober review of what kind of Democrat we want fighting for us in Washington.”  More News New Mexico

Wilderness Forum Today

From publicnewsservice.org -Public discussion Tuesday in Albuquerque is to cover a proposed update of the National Forest Management Act (NFMA). The governing rule for how a Forest Service ranger district manages its land has gathered some serious dust: it's been in place for well over a generation. The Obama Administration has proposed an update to the NFMA, and conservation groups say that's a good idea, but they don't think the proposal will go far enough to protect forest land over the next 30 years.  Public comments can be made in writing at www.govcomments.com through May 16. The Forest Service says it will use the comments to develop and publish a final rule later this year.  Planning Rule Public Forums are Tuesday, April 5 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., at the Marriott, 2101 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Albuquerque.  More News New Mexico

NM Auto Insurance Costs More Than US Average

From New Mexico Business Weekly - Not such great news for New Mexico drivers: Car insurance rates in the state are above the national average, according to data from Insure.com.  New Mexico’s average annual premium rate is $1,837, $276 more than the national average of $1,561. The premium's make New Mexico's rates the eighth-highest in the U.S.  More News New Mexico

Ryan: American People Are Way Ahead of Us

Paul Ryan
Politico - Ahead of the release of his full proposal later Tuesday, House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan is touting his 2012 budget and an estimated $6.2 trillion in cuts over the next decade as a “path to prosperity” for a country he says is in danger of decline. With a government shutdown looming as a distinct possibility by the end of the week, Ryan’s sights are set on the longer term, warning in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Monday night that fiscal catastrophe will result without real action. Ryan also released a three-minute video “visualization” of his proposal, with graphics illustrating the abstract proposals he’s talking about. “America is facing a defining moment,” he writes. “The threat posed by our monumental debt will damage our country in profound ways, unless we act.” Discretionary spending cuts, entitlement reform, tax reform and caps on spending are all part of the equation that Ryan is releasing on behalf of House Republicans.
Spending for domestic government agencies would be cut back to 2008 levels, Ryan writes, and frozen at that level for five years. Ryan does not propose sweeping defense cuts, but his proposal does include “accepting Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s plan to target inefficiencies at the Pentagon,” he writes. A Government Accountability Office audit found $70 billion in waste at the Pentagon in the last two years. Ryan’s budget also “forces” reforms to Social Security and Medicare. “The open-ended, blank-check nature of the Medicare subsidy threatens the solvency of this critical program and creates inexcusable levels of waste. This budget takes action where others have ducked,” he writes, proposing that beginning in 2022, beneficiaries will get the same kind of health care coverage that members of Congress receive. Read full sty here: News New Mexico