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Cuts and opportunity for state

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The recent announcement of job cuts at the Los Alamos labs generated some interesting reactions from New Mexico’s political leaders. By and large, Democrats – even those representing the Los Alamos area – were supportive or understanding, while Gov. Martinez ripped the Obama Administration, calling the cuts a “by-product of the dysfunction in Washington, D.C., and the inability to appropriately prioritize national defense and national security in federal spending decisions.”
I chalk up these reactions to politics. Democrats don’t want to be seen as bashing the Obama Administration while Gov. Martinez will take any chance she can to do so. But, neither side is really telling the full story.
The year-over-year cut to the Los Alamos labs’ budget is $300 million out of a $2.2 billion budget. That is a cut of nearly 14 percent and is significant to the Labs. However, in the grand scheme of the federal budget which was $1.3 trillion in the red in FY 2012, it is a drop in the bucket.


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