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Eliminate redudancy but do the math

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By Terry Goldman

Marita K. Noon either made a serious writing error in her recent Guest Column, “Eliminate redundancy to fix the budget,” or else she needs a substantive remedial course in elementary mathematics.

  She quotes Oil Conservation Director Fesmire as “sputtering,” that “... the OCD annual budget was only about 4 percent of the state’s budget PROBLEMS” (emphasis added).

Earlier in the column, however, she elevated this amount to 4 percent of the state’s entire budget, claiming that eliminating the duplication represented by the OCD would reduce the need to cut the state budget by 10 percent to a cut of only 6 percent. If the quote of Fesmire is accurate, the savings amounts to 4 percent of 10 percent, which is more accurately calculated as 0.4 percent of the total state budget.

  While this is not to be ignored, and while we are all undoubtedly sympathetic to eliminating duplication in government (although I don’t favor dumping state costs on counties) and while it is clear that her organization (Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy) has much to gain by eliminating state oversight of oil and gas regulation in favor of more easily manipulated local governments, Noon does neither her organization nor her argument any good with what is either a blatant misrepresentation of the facts or an astounding display of mathematical ignorance.

  On the contrary, she leaves the impression that none of her or CARE’s arguments should be considered accurate or trustworthy, let alone viewed as having been considered carefully and without bias.

Terry Goldman

Los Alamos