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Today's Opinions

  • The three deficit conundrum

    This country is currently facing a huge triple threat to its future in the form of deficits: the first is a deficit of trust; the second is a deficit of jobs; and the third is a deficit of dollars.

    The current administration and Congress, apparently unable to break free from the bonds of ideological thinking, continue flailing away but repeatedly come back to the table with the same untenable solution and that’s to spend more money.

    That’s not the answer. It never has been and it never will be. Government cannot spend its way to economic prosperity. While the deficit of dollars that began in the Bush years was the equivalent of a hand grenade going off in the economy, the onset of the Great Recession and subsequent stimulus spending has resulted in something like the detonation of a nuclear bomb with a mushroom cloud that portends to obliterate any chance at financial prosperity for generations to come.

    As long as the specter of a lame economy looms large on the horizon, there’s little likelihood that the deficits of trust or jobs can be reduced either. Government can only gain the trust of the American people when it makes sound policy decisions. Likewise, as long as private sector employers are uncertain of the economy, hiring will be slow to rebound – such as what we’re experiencing right now.

  • Budget needs more than a fix

    SANTA FE — They just don’t get it. New Mexico is in a Great Recession that won’t be solved by quick fixes or nickel-and-dime fixes. And yet Santa Fe seems to be in denial.

    Even if a budget bill had passed, we are still at the beginning of a long road. We’ll have many more special sessions and regular sessions before we’re out of this hole.

    Sooner or later our governor and lawmakers will have to face the fact that minor surgery is not going to cure our budget problems.

  • Economics 101

    One frequently hears the complaint that Los Alamos has too little retail choice – too few stores, too limited an inventory in the few stores we have and too high prices. The unspoken assumption behind these complaints is that this is the fault of the retailers themselves, or perhaps of the county government.  In fact, it is no one’s fault but our own.

  • The thrill of victory, the agony of boredom

    It was a dark and stormy night.  The midnight air hung like a wet dishrag scented with the musty reality of stale promises, neither pride nor prejudice able to taint the flaking veneer of lost hope.

    The young college student gazed out his apartment’s broken window and wondered if it had been a mistake to major in paleontological reproductive systems.  Perhaps his parents were right and he should have considered meercat podiatry.

  • New Municipal Building costs money

    The county’s presentation, “New Municipal Building Space Program Update” at the Feb. 2 county council meeting did not generate the kinds of questions from the council that showed it was concerned about cost issues. There were questions on the size of the council chambers and conference rooms. However, there were no questions about why the space requirements were based upon the GSA figure of 300 square feet per person rather than 200 or 250. The cost of the building is a function of the size of the building, currently estimated at 50,425 square feet.

  • A preference for traffic lights

    Thomas and Rebecca Shankland’s letter “Roundabouts are the way to go,” underscores a continuing problem in the Los Alamos community, including White Rock revitalization.

    The Shanklands consider roundabouts the safe and effective way to deal with traffic (presumably on NM 4) and they consider traffic lights ugly. (Who determined traffic lights are ugly?)

    Their opinion is put forward as fact.

    My wife and I think traffic lights are really safer and roundabouts a way to annoy our neighbors, at least those we’ve talked to.

  • Life, decisions and happiness

    Decisions, decisions, decisions. As a cancer survivor I hate making them. As a survivor of cancer as a chronic disease, I hate them even more. Think about it. If you have one of those horrible cancers that are likely to recur, and very difficult to treat, odds are you know the statistics. For example, I know that the average life expectancy for ovarian cancer patients is around eight years. For other cancers it’s worse. Of course, statistics are just that, data that physicians use to make clinical decisions.

  • Legislature unlikely to plug budget gap

    SANTA FE — As we predicted, last week’s train wreck looks less imminent as the session’s end approaches. Last weekend state senators crafted themselves a budget bill and declared themselves ready to talk to the House.

    The talks aren’t going smoothly. Public posturing is still the name of the game and likely still will be by the time you read this. But there’s still time.

    Lawmakers don’t want to spend any more time up here than necessary. They aren’t getting paid. They want to get home and back to earning a living.