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Audio Tipping Point

128 Bernalillo County Lawsuit and Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

On this week’s discussion episode, Paul and Wally discuss the Foundation’s lawsuit against Bernalillo County over public records relating to the recently-passed paid time off ordinance.

In an opinion piece published in the Albuquerque Journal, the Foundation also argued against a newly-imposed fire tax in Albuquerque that was passed under the radar. Also, the Journal editorialized in a more critical manner than they ever have before on New Mexico’s generous film subsidies. They take issue with the program’s lack of transparency, but this is good news as the media has largely bought whatever Hollywood has been selling on film subsidies.

A new Americans for Tax Reform report finds New Mexico State government is 2nd-largest in the nation and that it actually grew by the 2nd most among US states even during the relatively fiscally-restrained Martinez Administration years of 2012 to 2017. Paul and Wally discuss.

No amount of money is enough for New Mexico’s grasping government. Despite record revenues and growth in government, the State’s top income tax rate looks like it will be heading from 4.9% to 5.9% in a little over one year. Paul and Wally discuss how this impacts small businesses in New Mexico.
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Tipping Point New Mexico 127: NM’s Permanent Funds – A Deep Dive and should we have another one?

With New Mexico swimming in an oil and gas generated surplus, discussions are underway as to what to do with all the money. The idea of a new “permanent fund” to be put aside for early childhood programs is being raised. With powerful Sen. Finance Committee Chairman John Arthur-Smith endorsing such a scheme it definitely has a chance to become law.

Paul and Wally do a “deep-dive” into “sovereign wealth funds” like NM’s permanent funds. What are they? Are they exclusively good things or do they have serious problems? Could NM be doing more with its oil and gas wealth both past and present?

New Mexico has a unique opportunity to make game-changing improvements to its economy thanks to the oil boom. What is done with the surplus will determine whether we improve our State or let the opportunity slip away.
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126 Oil Revenue, Railyard, ETA and more

New Mexico revenues confirmed to be at all-time high thanks to oil/gas boom with $907 million of “new” money available for the Legislature to spend in 2020. A new permanent fund has been proposed as a destination for those dollars. Is that a good idea? Paul and Wally briefly discuss here, but elaborate on this week’s interview podcast in a “deep dive” on sovereign wealth funds. Finally, with all this money flowing into the State’s coffers, who pays for the roads that have enabled the oil boom who should pay for the roads and infrastructure in the Permian Basin?

Federal legislation called the PRO Act is expected to receive a House vote in September would ban right to work. While this bill is not likely to pass the Senate or be signed by Trump, it is an indicator of just how left-wing the House now is and it is likely something the current crop of Democrat presidential hopefuls would sign.

$50-$80 million would be required just to get the railyards site prepared for some future project. Where is this going to come from? What could be done with this site? Is it really worth the cost?

Enviros join PNM, and labor union to take case before NM Supreme Court to force PRC to adhere to ETA, not prior law.

New Mexico’s unsustainable college sports programs illustrated as NMSU athletics balances its budget with infusions of cash from the university, taxpayers, and student fees.
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Audio Tipping Point

125: An insider’s view of New Mexico’s Film Industry and Subsidies

On this week’s podcast Paul talks to Danny Seymour, a UNM MBA who has been working with the Rio Grande Foundation as a high level intern. Danny happens to have worked extensively in the New Mexico film industry but is critical of the subsidies. Danny and Paul talk a good deal about the inner-workings of the industry and the exceedingly generous government benefits given to this one industry. Seymour put his film-making talents to work by making a short Youtube video on film subsidies.

In addition to Danny’s film you can access the Tipping Point New Mexico podcast at the Foundation’s Youtube channel.

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Audio Tipping Point

124 Awkward Situations

Mandatory paid leave passes the Bernalillo County Commission with some small changes. What did the Commission do and did they improve the final ordinance or is it still full of problems? Also, the City of Albuquerque is already considering adopting its own paid leave proposal. Paul and Wally discuss the prospects for that and what it could mean for action by the Legislature.

Paul and Wally discuss the fact that Gov. Lujan-Grisham’s new Education Secretary sends 9-year-old son to a fancy private school in Philadelphia. Will he push MLG for school choice for those of us who can’t afford expensive private schools?

Former UNM AD Krebs indicted. Paul comments for KOAT Channel 7. Paul and Wally discuss the awkward marriage between taxpayer-funded institutes of higher learning and major college sports. While it appears Krebs may have broken the law, the marriage is problematic.
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Audio Tipping Point

123 Philip Ord – Americans for Nuclear Energy

On this podcast, Paul interviews Philip Ord, President of Americans for Nuclear Energy. The group advocates and educates on behalf of nuclear power in the United States. New Mexico is a “nuclear” state as the home of the A-bomb and two national nuclear labs. Storage is also part of New Mexico’s nuclear story.

Mostly Paul and Phil discuss nuclear’s potential for energy production and why it is better than either coal or so-called “renewables.” Phil believes that climate change is a clear and present danger to humanity but he’s also a supporter of free markets. The two of them discuss what policies need to be in place in order to bring about a nuclear renaissance. Finally, we talk about France and how it became such a pro-nuclear nation in the area of electricity generation.
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Audio Tipping Point

122 Media Complicity in Spreading Disinformation

Most studies say vaping is far healthier than cigarette smoking, but a local filmmaker working with high school students called it “more detrimental than being addicted to cigarettes.” This story highlights both factual ignorance and the media’s complicity in spreading disinformation.

Activity continues to build at Spaceport America, but when will those manned tourism flights begin? No one knows at this point.

Oil is booming in New Mexico. New information shows just how big this boom is in terms of New Mexico’s budget. Other economic data shows that New Mexico’s major metro areas still lag in terms of jobs, but still more data shows that certain sectors within New Mexico (including, but not limited to the oil and gas sector) are doing very well.

The philosophically-friendly and high-performing Estancia Valley Classical Academy based in Moriarty has student spots available.
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Audio Tipping Point

121 Len Gilroy – Public Pension Reform in New Mexico

On this week’s interview, Paul Gessing interviews Len Gilroy of the Reason Foundation. Len is an expert on public employee pension issues and New Mexico has plenty of them. You can read more about Reason’s analysis of New Mexico’s pension issues here and here. Also, Gov. Lujan-Grisham has proposed some pension reforms.

Len offers his take on those reforms and whether they will put New Mexico’s underfunded pension system on a sound footing.

Pensions may seem like a boring subject, but their impact on the New Mexico budget and taxpayers (not to mention the State’s credit rating) cannot be overstated.
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Audio Tipping Point

120 Public Safety Audit, Sick Leave, Pension Changes

On this week’s conversation, Paul recently sat down with KOAT to discuss an audit of the 2004 public safety tax that the City of Albuquerque has had in place for 15 years. Citizens were supposed to serve a real oversight role, but is one of several ways in which the law has not been followed.

Mandatory sick leave could be voted on as soon as August 20 by Bernalillo County Commission. The Foundation has sued the County over an open records request. The Foundation has also been in editorial board meetings with the Albuquerque Journal and led the charge on an “open letter” that pointed out numerous flaws in the current proposal.

MLG names Ryan Stewart as PED secretary. APS can’t/won’t cool their buildings despite the fact that students were in school as early as late-July.

State employee pensions have been proposed by the Governor as well. What are the merits?

Finally, big changes may be coming to New Mexico’s PRC. Are they good, bad, or indifferent?
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Audio Tipping Point

119 Larry Behrens of Power The Future: The “Green New Deal” in New Mexico and Nationwide

On this show, Paul interviews Larry Behrens. Larry is Western States Director with the group Power The Future. The group is fighting against both the national and New Mexico versions of the “Green New Deal” and recently co-produced a study with the Competitive Enterprise Institute which found that the national plan would cost every New Mexico household more than $70,000 in its first year of implementation.

Paul and Larry further discuss New Mexico’s “Energy Transition Act” and the many well-funded forces arrayed against energy freedom and economic prosperity.

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Larry Behrens