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I appreciate gubernatorial candidate Alan Webber’s willingness to engage in a much-needed discussion over New Mexico’s flailing economy. However, I do want to clarify that economic leadership cannot be limited to the governor’s office. In fact, it is the Legislature that sets economic policy. The PRC and courts also have a great deal to do with policies that help or harm New Mexico’s economy.
Speaking directly to Webber’s points, he either makes inaccurate statements or fails to specify what he’d do to improve our economy. For starters, Webber claims that our state is offering “hundreds of millions of dollars in tax cuts trying to lure big-box stores to New Mexico.” He offers no details as to the specifics of the policy or its harms, nor does he offer viable alternatives for developing our economy.
Webber also writes about education reform, citing the need to “leave politics at the door.” He offers no other specific education reforms while failing to explain how politics can be eliminated from an education system that is funded by taxes and operated by a combination of elected officials and government bureaucrats.
New Mexico has followed left-liberal economic policies for most of its existence. Our economy has also underperformed the economies of our neighbors, most especially Texas, which has followed a more free market approach. New Mexico’s elected and aspiring to be elected officials should carefully study what Texas has done and figure out what New Mexico can do to compete with them.
Paul J. Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation