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Cut back the 30 cabinet-level departments

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE – What   will the next 20 days bring? Republican leaders say all $650 million of the deficit should be covered by cuts in government.

Gov. Bill Richardson has ruled out increasing any of the taxes he has cut during the first seven years of his administration.

Some Democrats say all of the deficit must be covered by additional taxes. Their reasoning is that since taxes were cut by a billion dollars during the good years of the Richardson administration, they should be reinstated now that the economy has turned bad.

And some conservative Democrats say it should be a mix of governmental cuts and tax increases. But first, they contend, there has to be some agreement that everything is on the table for budget cuts and for tax increases.

As this is being written, no agreements on anything have been reached. As the stalemate increases, one bright spot on the horizon may be the report of a committee on governmental efficiency Gov. Richardson appointed in December.

The committee, chaired by former Republican Gov. Garrey Carruthers, was asked to take a quick look at the structure of state government and make recommendations about streamlining state government and saving taxpayers some money.


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