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Today's Opinions

  • When budget cuts won't reach and taxes won't go

    SANTA FE — This is a highly unusual special session. It might be over by the time you read this. But if it is, it will be because lawmakers gave up on solving the total problem.

    The state is faced with its biggest deficit ever. Gov. Bill Richardson has complicated matters greatly by putting tax increases and public school classroom cuts off limits.

    What’s left are cuts of over 10 percent to the rest of the budget. Since people are by far the largest part of governmental budgets, it is almost impossible to make 10 percent cuts without cutting people.

  • Deficit going up? Where does the money go?

    SANTA FE ­— We’re not out of the woods yet. Have you noticed that our state budget deficit grows about $100 million a month beyond projections?

    Last March, the 2009 Legislature plugged a $500 million hole. The budget reduction was projected to get us through until July 2010. But by August 2009 we were already over $400 million further in the hole.

    In September, that deficit rose to $550 million and in October, it was $660 million. At this rate, by January, when the 2010 Legislature convenes, we’ll be another $300 million deeper in the hole.

  • The corrupt are in jail, more regulation needed?

    “Money is good,” my daughter says.

    In politics, money means communication – that is, speech. Lobbyists have a job. It is communication.

    A new report from Think New Mexico, a non-partisan but liberal think tank in Santa Fe, treads the well-trodden path that money in politics is evil, especially money from people contributing to candidates.

    The title is, “Restoring Trust.” The subtitle is, “Banning Political Contributions from Contractors and Lobbyists.” Find it at www.thinknewmexico.org.

  • Budget battle rolls toward January

    SANTA FE – The closing gavel of this year’s special legislative session also served as the opening gavel for next January’s 2010 Legislature.

    The first round has been completed. And as in any heavyweight fight, the budget cutters and tax increasers spent their time feeling each other out.

    Now that the combatants know each other’s tendencies, both can proceed to defend their territory and attempt to maximize their advantages.

  • Governor and legislators exchange fire

    SANTA FE — As predicted here, it’s as though the special legislative session never ended. Verbal assaults are still flying between Gov. Bill Richardson and legislative leaders.

    Progressive Democrats are still upset the governor and their leaders prevented any consideration of tax increases. Moderate Democrats and Republicans continue to insist that deep cuts in all budgets are the only answer.

  • Lamenting the loss of the old Los Alamos

    Consider the last 9 years – the fire and how many of the original houses of Los Alamos were lost.  The theater and the sense that the community center will never be the social agora it once was. The demolition of the Municipal Building.  The planned demolition of the LA Apartments and the buildings on Trinity site.  The three houses, again from the original stock, for the sake of street widening. Proposed demolition of Aspen Elementary and the bulk of the high school classrooms.

  • Honor to all who served

    SANTA FE  — On Veterans Day let us pause to remember those who have served our country. Many of the thoughts and words that follow come from Dave Clary of Roswell, a loyal reader and an abundant source of information, inspiration and ideas.

    All those who heeded their call to duty deserve to be honored but today let us pay tribute to some of those who were our heroes.

  • More work to do on change

    Although the world-wide International Day of Climate Action – urging  legislators around the world to bring the carbon level back to 350 parts per million – is over, some of us who participated in the Los Alamos gathering thought the community might enjoy looking at the creative ways that groups turned themselves into the numbers “350.”  Take a look at 350.org  to see 181 countries from Mongolia to Antarctica, icons from the pyramids to the Great Barrier Reef, activities from kayaking to sky-diving, people from U. S.