Udall Bill Targets Ultralight Drug Smuggling

From ktar.com -New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall is co-sponsoring a bill to crack down on smugglers who are increasingly using ultralight aircraft to bring drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border.  The legislation would close a loophole in current law that gives smugglers who use ultralights lesser penalties than those who use airplanes or cars.  More News New Mexico

Gun Industry Sues Over New ATF Gun Rules

Pulaski note: NRA has decided to back the suits . From the washingtonpost.com - U.S. gunmakers filed suit Wednesday to block requirements that weapons dealers along the border with Mexico report multiple sales of semiautomatic rifles, escalating a fight with the Obama administration.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives last month ordered more than 8,000 gun dealers in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California to report such sales to try to stem the “iron river” of firearms flowing to violent Mexican drug cartels. More News New Mexico

5-year train track project near Belen wraps up

From KOB-TV - By: Danielle Flores, KOB.com - KOB Eyewitness News 4 took a ride along the newest railroad tracks in New Mexico that runs through Abo Canyon. A project that added the five miles of track near Belen took five years of construction and required more than 500 rock blasts to clear the route through the Canyon. Railroad officials said the second track means trains will not have to wait up to three hours to pass through, which is good for the economy. "Belen is the railroad hub for the state of New Mexico and the southwest. A lot of our history is founded on the railroad," said Rhona Espinoza of the Chamber of Commerce. The $85 million project brought between 250 and 300 construction jobs over the last five years. Read more

Federal Budget 101

By: DAVID THOMAS Chief Executive Officer Equitas Capital Advisors LLC The U.S. Congress sets a federal budget every year in the trillions of dollars. Few people know how much money that is so we created a breakdown of federal spending in simple terms. Let's put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:
U.S. income: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)

It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to. Let's remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family.
Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700
Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200
Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Amount cut from the budget: $385
So in effect last month Congress, or in this example the Jones family, sat down at the kitchen table and agreed to cut $385 from its annual budget. What family would cut $385 of spending in order to solve $16,500 in deficit spending? It is a start, although hardly a solution. Now after years of this, the Jones family has $142,710 of debt on its credit card (which is the equivalent of the national debt). You would think the Jones family would recognize and address this situation, but it does not. Neither does Congress.

The root of the debt problem is that the voters typically do not send people to Congress to save money. They are sent there to bring home the bacon to their own home state. To effect budget change, we need to change the job description and give Congress new marching orders. It is awfully hard (but not impossible) to reverse course and tell the government to stop borrowing money from our children and spending it now. In effect, what we have is a reverse mortgage on the country. The problem is that the voters have become addicted to the money. Moreover, the American voters are still in the denial stage, and do not want to face the possibility of going into rehab.