Supercomputer is No Way to Spend Taxpayer Dollars

Recently it was announced that New Mexico had purchased an $11 million supercomputer to be housed at the Intel facility in Rio Rancho.

While partnerships have been established with Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, very little has been said publicly about how taxpayers will benefit from what will ultimately be a $42 million expenditure.

Sure, computers are great machines and most of us could not imagine our daily lives without them, but why does the state need one of the most powerful computers in the entire world? Sure, businesses and schools may use it for research, but will those uses generate anywhere near the $42 million taxpayers pay for the machine?

Clearly, purchasing massive computers — an obvious and unnecessary subsidy to business — is beyond the scope of what state government is supposed to do. In fact, this money could have been better used to fund the very roads and bridges that are now being neglected statewide.

Paul Gessing is President of the Rio Grande Foundation, a non-partisan, tax-exempt research and educational organization dedicated to promoting prosperity for New Mexico based on principles of limited government, economic freedom and individual responsibility.