Swickard: Promise to spend wisely next time

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  There is currently deep despair in New Mexico because budget cuts cannot be avoided and the political football can’t be punted to next year. Things have to change now. Example: New Mexico State University has to cut twelve million dollars from their budget.
            The total budget for NMSU is around $620 million so $12 million is 1.9 percent. In an institution as large as NMSU, with all of their fund-raising programs and hold-back funds, it is a small sum. But it’s a cut and that’s the problem.
            In our current political climate many people think that every government program must be continued or something is seriously wrong. It is inconceivable in the media that budgets can be chopped, in fact, programs can be eliminated in hard times.
            Over the last two decades the state of New Mexico has gone from a very rosy financial status to the budget crisis of today. Who knew the oil and gas business was going to tank?
            The issue is: in the recent years when times were good, what did the people who guide our state do? They spent everything they could. Did they save anything for hard times? Not recent leaders.
            Former Governor Gary Johnson was a fiscal conservative. He constantly vetoed spending bills when he thought they were not wise. It was seven hundred times in eight years ending in 2002. Not all of his vetoes were spending, but many were and the money piled up.
            In January 2003 Bill Richardson took office. There were hundreds of millions of dollars in rainy day funds that he spent immediately on political issues. The eight years of savings were gone in days. Bill Richardson was running for President of the United States. So he spent and spent and spent.
            The last budget of Gary Johnson in 2002 was $3.9 Billion. That number went all the way to $6.8 Billion in Bill Richardson’s quest for the presidency. He was named the nation’s Education Governor for his spending on education, which had no effect on the outcomes for New Mexico students but looked good in the headlines.
            Fast forward to today since there are serious budget problems at $6.2 Billion. The problem is that there has been a large downturn in the oil and gas revenues. The budget is no longer viable and must be amended.
            When talking about reducing spending some people act like there has always been over six billion dollars in the budget. But New Mexico’s budget was under $4 Billion just a few years ago.
            The last time there was an oil and gas bust was 1981. At that time, I remember seeing bumper stickers that proclaimed, “Please God, give me one more oil boom… this time I promise not to piss it away.” Do we have anyone saying that prayer today?
            New Mexico was one of only five states who were not having budget problems in the late 1990s. Then in 2003 the spenders got their hands on our state. Some politicians want taxes to now rise as compensation for falling oil and gas revenues.
            That would be wrong because it gives the impression that government budgets cannot be seriously cut. Not one percent or two percent. Rather, ten percent. New Mexicans will be fine.
            The media will find those people who lose out. But for the two million citizens in New Mexico being fiscally responsible is essential for our future and the future of our children. NMSU is gravely wringing their hands over less than two percent. Seriously.
            Here’s a solution: NMSU and the University of New Mexico have many similar programs. Retrench to one or the other a couple of the programs currently at both universities. Know this: you should not touch the core of NMSU’s Land-Grant mission or the core of the University of New Mexico’s metropolitan university.
            It is time to bring sense back into the spending of the people’s money by government entities. No more spending so that people can be elected with promises. The oil and gas will come back; will we be careful with the money next time?
            Only if the voters elect those who are responsible and prepare for the next coming hard times.


The flags flying at half-staff presidency

© 2016 Jim Spence  You write a Sunday column and think you are done. Nope....more cops killed, this time in Baton Rouge.

Some observers see these acts of violence against law enforcement officers as simply signs of cultural pressures as a result of social-economic forces in the black community. They aren’t. When five Dallas police officers were murdered in cold blood by Black Lives Matter types I wrote a column that traced all of this violence to words high profile Democrats use to inflame the racial paranoia in the black community. Democrats realize that they run a risk inflaming racial paranoia. But they take those risks because they don't get hurt, police officers do. They know that not every black American who listens to them ascribe the most evil of all motives to Republicans, understands that race-baiting Democrats are the worst sorts of liars. Unfortunately for the police, some blacks believe the Democrat's lies, and they react accordingly. What inflammatory lies you ask? Remember what Joe Biden said in 2012 about Mitt Romney and the GOP. “They are going to put ya’ll back in chains!” You find it hard to believe Biden said this? See him say it by clicking right here.

Now I don’t know about you. But if I really believed that the GOP wanted to put me "back in chains," I think I might resort to violence. Is violence justified? Of course not. But the words of these jerks matter. It is understandable how Democrats incite violence when seemingly credible people, like the Vice President of the United States, suggest that America could return to slavery if Democrats don’t win elections. Mr. Obama has said as much too, and so have both of the Clintons. Remember Obama's anti-cop outburst after a Cambridge police officer got into a rift with a black college professor? Democrats are fomenting violence.

Think about what Hillary Clinton said just last week after the Dallas police killings.
She told CNN this: “I will call for white people, like myself, to put ourselves in the shoes of those African-American families who fear every time their children go somewhere, who have to have the talk about, you now, how to really protect themselves [inferring protect themselves from police], when they’re the ones who should be expecting protection from encounters with police.”
Later in the same interview she said this: “I’m going to be talking to white people, we’re the ones who have to start listening to the legitimate cries coming from our African-American fellow citizens.”

All of this paranoia stoking from the Democrat running for president. It comes within the context of blacks ambushing and killing police officers. I repeat, Democrats seeking election victories may lament these shootings, but they are truly inciting violence by blame shifting and encouraging paranoia.

As I head off to work tomorrow, no doubt I will see what I seem to see more often that any other time in my entire life. Flags will once again be flying at half-staff. All of these atrocities against law enforcement officers and Democrats keep kissing the backsides of terrorists (Black Lives Matter). In doing so they are pouring gas on the racial fires in our country like arsonists. All they know how to do is divide people. And what they have been doing is working. There are thousands if not millions of blacks in America who actually believe that they are going to be put back in chains.

Mr. Obama has created a legacy. He is now the flag flying at half-staff president.

White House "budget forecasters"

© 2016 Jim Spence  Now here is a job with zero downside. Why not work in the White House budget office? It does not matter how wrong you have been, or will be in the future. You can keep your job and make ridiculous forecasts every year. 

The annual ritual known as the White House “Mid-Session Review,” was conducted recently in Washington and the results were released Friday.
Once again the Obama budget people reduced both their economic and their fiscal projections substantially. These of course are the projections they made earlier this year in what has to be considered a laughable February budget presentation made to Congress.

It seems that economic growth in the U.S. won’t be as high as these Democrats said it would be. Back in February, it was all rosy scenarios. The Obama bureaucrats took the liberty to pretty much “assume” any economic number they wanted. Outrageously they chose 2.6% for GDP growth in 2016. Now the time has come for them to admit GDP growth will be 1.9%. What difference does it make? The White House now says tax receipts so far this year will be a whopping $59 billion below the February forecast.

Of course the U.S. media outlets (except for Fox) are propaganda production centers for the Democratic National Committee. Accordingly none of them ever questioned the absurd White House estimates even though these estimates allowed the White House to also "forecast" higher tax revenues and a lower budget deficit. Stalin's hacks did the same thing in the U.S.S.R. and Mao did so in China too.

Ooops! Now the federal government has as quietly as possible (this news was drowned out by the latest mass murders by Radical Muslims) started telling the few of us who pay attention that the budget deficit will be $600 billion this year. Didn't Obama once say budget deficits were immoral? Oh well.

It would have been even worse if the federal government wasn’t screwing every saver in the country by engineering Depression Era levels of interest rates. Sadly, screwing the few savers we have left with extraordinarily lower rates enables the federal government to borrow on the cheap. Of course anyone trying to make a decent rate of interest on their bank deposits is left out in the cold.

Amazingly, with this asinine review, the White House Budget Office still had the unmitigated gall to forecast 2.5% in GDP growth for 2017. No doubt Democrats will continue with this rosy scenario charade if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency and then quietly revise it downward next July. 

This is how things are done by Democrats when they hold power. It explains why Detroit filed for bankruptcy protection and why most other urban areas where Democrats have held power are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.