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Wednesday, 21 March, 2018

Pure Pork Budgets

Date: 01 February, 2011

By: Chief

Images basically everyone knows all too well our national economy lies somewhere between the toilet and the septic tank — break out a plunger. This same economic bowel movement holds absolutely true for my very own home state — New Mexico.

What is so completely ludicrous is the fact that everybody except our nefarious scurvy curs (politicians) know our economy has tanked and are, as usual, spending We the Peoples' money as if there is no tomorrow. What a bunch of maroons.

Now, with that said, allow me to put forth just two of the idiotic budget items our disingenuous state legislature has approved or is continuing to fund. I'm sure you will find that your state is basically in the same sinking (or stinking) boat. You better have a life preserver handy and a clothes pin.

By the way you can download the entire reference file courtesy of the Rio Grande Foundation here (.pdf).

Public transportation

It does sound like a wonderful idea. And to be sure if:

well, things should, one would hope, work out just fine and dandy. However, none of those three items apply to the New Mexico Rail Runner Express. A commuter drain ... er ... train. Also known as the Red Ink Express. Quoting the Rio Grande Foundation's 2011 Piglet Book:

"Since it began service in 2006, the New Mexico Rail Runner Express has been one of the biggest debacles in state history and largest burdens on New Mexico taxpayers. The commuter rail service serves the central New Mexico corridor, running from Belen to Santa Fe.

"Initially, supporters claimed that the commuter rail system would cost state taxpayers $122 million. The actual price of the Rail Runner, however, has exceeded $475 million to date."

Isn't that just lovely? Like a terminal case of hemorrhoids but[t] that is all. Quoting Stop the Rail Runner:

"[...] The train is regularly utilized by less than 2/10ths of 1% of the state's population and yet it is draining urgently needed millions away from other transportation needs. It's time to cut our losses by shutting this Rail Robber down."

It brings a whole new meaning to "robber barons." Here is another one (quoting the Rio Grande Foundation):

"In August 2010, the New Mexico Transportation Commission voted to pillage $2 million from the state road fund to restore hundreds of miles of railroad track for the Rail Runner - despite the fact that there are no plans to use that track, even after the renovations are complete."

What you really need to keep in mind is that New Mexico is a geographically large state (fifth largest in the country). Yet our population is relatively small —approximately 2 million souls. The Red Ink Express operates in a basic north south line from Belen in the south to Santa Fe in the north. The total route length is approximately 85 miles. All of these towns are in the central part of the state.

Now let us look at population along the route:

The total population of those towns is 534,852. Ever so slightly more than 25% of the total population of the state. And not nearly all of them use the Red Ink Express. Hence a whopping 74% of the population is being fucked with non-skid (it hurts more that way) in order to placate 25% of the population. This sucks donkey dicks, a peso a herd.

To give you an example of distance — I live in the southeast part of the state. So for me to catch the Red Ink Express in Belen, the most southern stop it makes, I would have to drive 225 miles — one way to catch the blasted train. A person living in Las Cruces (southwest) would have to drive 189 miles — one way to catch the blasted commuter train. Key-rist, it sure does us a lot of good. Oh hah. Those scurvy curs.

So what the is the point of this worthless commuter train? Vote buying. Which was exactly what former Governor Bill Richardson used it for. Scumbag.

One more tidbit about the "Red Ink Express" (quoting Albuquerque Conservative Examiner):

"In addition, its annual operating and maintenance deficit is exploding. The data received from the Rail Runner's management show that in 2006, the train's first year of operation the operating deficit was $7.8 million. Its operating deficit last year was $10.8 million. Its operating losses for its third year of operation to May 31, 2009, already exceeded $13.4 million. That is a total of $32 million in operating losses so far" [this story is from 2009 and yes the train still loses money].

My feeling is — if the folks in Belen through Santa Fe really want the Red Ink Express —fine, they can fully fund it.

The space port

No, I'm not joking either. But it is enough to make you cry.

Not to be outdone by the Red Ink Express former Governor Bill Richardson conned, cajoled and swindled the New Mexico Legislature (they are supposed to represent us), Congress and the residents of both Doña Ana and Sierra counties into bankrolling this boondoggle. Quoting the Rio Grande Foundation:

"The 2008 New Mexico Piglet stated, 'no project more clearly illustrates the perils of corporate welfare than New Mexico's 'Spaceport America.' When completed, the project is designed to serve as a takeoff and landing point for private flights to space. It will cost New Mexico taxpayers at least $225 million."

Well thus far there have been a total of 8 suborbital flights. The first flight took place in 2006 and the last in 2009. That is 2 flights per year. I have got to tell you this is a real barn burner of a money maker. Idiots.

There are precisely two tenants currently residing at the space port. They are:

You know two tenants does not sound all that impressive to me. Now if there were 20 tenants or more and space craft were being launched and recovered all day long then I would have to say 'yeah ... this is going to work.' Regrettably all that has occurred is sinking We the Peoples tax dollars down another dry hole.

Indeed Virgin Galactic has stated (quoting Wikipedia):

"Will Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic, has stated that the company would 'not put a definite timeline on when the commercial flights would begin' but that 'all was on track with its development plans' and that 'If all goes to plan,' the inaugural sub-orbital flight should happen 'within two years [of June 2009].'

"Refining the projected schedule in October 2009, Virgin Galactic has continued to decline to announce a firm schedule for commercial flights, but did reiterate that initial flights would take place from Spaceport America. Commercial availability will be based on a 'safety-driven schedule,' which they hope to achieve 'within two years.' "

Like the Red Ink Express, the Space port is a state government owned disaster.


Sigh. Those were just two of many, many examples of government attempting to be a business. It just does not work. It never has worked either. When it comes to business — let business take the risk and reap the rewards (if successful).

It is time to derail government attempts at business once and for all.

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