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Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury votes against House Resolution 11

Does New Mexico have a real Representative in Melanie Stansbury, or do we have someone that kowtows to and is under the thumb of the Democratic Leadership in Washington?

House Resolution 11, which creates a Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States of America and the Chinese Communist Party earned an emphatic "NAY" from Representative Stansbury when the Resolution came up for a vote. A resounding "NAY" was also heard from Representative Stansbury when H.R. 22, which would prohibit the release of petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the sale of those products to ANY entity owned or controlled by the People's Republic of China, was put on the floor for a vote.

With information that Representative Stansbury must have at her disposal, she should realize what a danger the Chinese Communist Regime poses to the security, and prosperity of the United States. She must realize that the oil we produce and strategically store is for emergency purposes for use in the defense of the United States of America or to supplement our own needs.

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A Decade In, LFC Medicaid Report Highlights Program Failures

By Paul J. Gessing

In December the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) published a report on New Mexico's Medicaid program. Whether by design or accident, the report happened to coincide with the 10th anniversary of New Mexico's Medicaid expansion. Then-Gov. Susana Martinez decided to accept the "ObamaCare" expansion dollars which, at the time, was 100% federally funded.

The LFC report is full of great information, but it doesn't attempt to assess whether Medicaid expansion was worthwhile. Unfortunately, when it comes to government programs (especially here in New Mexico) increased spending and good intentions are not often followed by thoughtful assessment of whether the spending has achieved stated goals. Even less common are analyses of whether the new program itself was cost-effective in achieving those goals.

The media covered the LFC's report which focused mostly on difficulties the Committee's "secret shoppers" had in making appointments with doctors for Medicaid patients. For example, the LFC found that only 15 percent were able to make an appointment with a primary care doctor. Other doctors were not accepting patients, failed to return phone calls, or were no longer at that phone number. These findings highlight an important problem with Medicaid: having "coverage" (especially from a government welfare program) doesn't mean you have access to medical care.

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Gila National Forest opens comment period on issue of lethal removal of estray cattle

By: Taylor Riggins, New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association

The Wilderness Ranger District of the Gila National Forest is seeking public input regarding their recent proposal to lethally or non-lethally remove estray cattle from the Gila Wilderness for protection of resources. Comments will be accepted through January 9, 2023.

In July 2022, the United States Forest Service (USFS), New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association (NMCGA) and others settled a lawsuit filed to prevent the USFS from shooting cattle from a helicopter in the Gila Wilderness. Under the terms of the settlement, USFS agreed it will give 75 days' notice before commencing any future helicopter sniper operations.

Following the settlement, NMCGA and stakeholders along with the regulatory agency for New Mexico health and livestock identification, the New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB), engaged in monthly conversations to come to a long term solution. All parties agree that estray cattle do not belong in the wilderness and need to be removed. During numerous discussions, groups looked at options that not only uphold the mission of the USFS but also recognize and uphold New Mexico's Livestock Code. Despite best efforts, the USFS has chosen to forgo stakeholder input refusing to construct critical infrastructure, improve upon existing fencing or employ individuals capable of humanely gathering and transporting livestock.

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"They" haven't a clue!

[Editor's Note: This is an article I wrote way back in 2010, and I believe that it is just as relevant, if not more so, today than it was then.]

I had an interesting conversation some years back with a government official. I made some comment about government getting too big, and I resented having to pay taxes for more governmental services.

He got all huffy, and said that he, too, pays taxes. I agreed with him, but asked him if he paid enough taxes to pay his salary. He retorted: “Of course not.”

Well, I asked: Who is paying your salary? He surmised that it might be part state funds and part federal funds. And Where do those funds come from? I asked.

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Deepening Faith and Explosive Growth: How Christian Schools are Faring Post-Pandemic

By Matthew H. Lee and Eric W. Price

The past several years have been riddled with challenges thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, political divisiveness, and other social and cultural forces. In the education sector, news stories and research articles have consistently reported record levels of teachers' stress and burnout throughout the pandemic, extending into the current school year. Through all the uncertainty and confusion, faith has helped Christian schools thrive—and they continue to see rising enrollments as they continue to grow post-pandemic.

Amidst the uncertainty of March 2020, 85 percent of Christian schools transitioned to a primarily virtual mode of instruction, according to a new report from the Association of Christian Schools International. ACSI is the largest evangelical Protestant school association in the world, with close to 25,000 Christian schools served worldwide. The report shows that by Fall 2020, over four-fifths of ACSI member schools in the U.S. had returned for primarily in-person instruction, with the vast majority of school leaders reporting they had done so "much sooner" than their local district public schools. The ACSI report also finds that Christian schools experienced about 35 percent enrollment growth since the start of the pandemic.

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Rebates and Deferred Spending Ineffective Uses of Windfall

By Paul J. Gessing

As the State's Permian oil production boom continues in New Mexico the budget surpluses available to legislators each session grow as well. The latest announced budget surplus is $3.6 billion which is a positively mind-blowing 43 percent higher. This surplus is on top of already dramatic spending growth of 30 percent during the first four years of the Lujan Grisham Administration.

More spending growth this year is to be expected, but the capacity for government to continue expanding after years of rapid growth is somewhat limited by the ability of government to manage existing resources available to it. This is not surprising since New Mexico's state and local government is already among the very largest in the nation.

But I'm not here to rail about the size of New Mexico government (at least not this time). Rather, I'm here to remind legislators of both parties that such massive surpluses present rare opportunities to lead our State to a better future.

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Stimulate Economy — Return More Earned Income to Taxpayers

By Senator Pete Campos

It seems as if New Mexicans cannot catch a break. We have gone from the financial
hardships of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to an almost inevitable recession. It is now more
important than ever to educate taxpayers on options available to them to maximize their annual
take-home pay.

Taxes are complicated. To begin simplifying them, policymakers should consider
simplifying the tax structure and minimizing pyramid taxation to support the success of small
businesses. In addition, policymakers should consider the issue of tax continuity, so taxpayers
can take a strategic approach and better plan their family and small business budgets.

Read more ...

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