Wednesday, February 18, 2015


The Bernalillo County Commission, thanks to Art de la Cruz, has blinked in its full steam ahead effort to raise the regressive gross receipts tax.  This is a good thing.  Of course, everyone wants some effective means of funding mental health services, but  the efforts being made did not seem planned out on how the money should be spent.  There was a lot of mixing up of addiction and mental illness. Many times they go hand in hand for sure.

An obvious way to me to fund all of this is to just legalize drugs and then use all the money that is currently being pounded down rat holes for the so called 'War on Drugs' on mental health care.  But  that is a pipe dream as long as the Justice system and the law enforcement industrial complex fights it.  Survival of the fittest!

Meanwhile, lets hope the County Commissioners can pare down these tax hikes after some exhaustive needs assessments.


Anonymous said...

The Journal's Editorial this morning on the gutting of the Bosque was a little nastier than usual. It is really pathetic that the Journal felt it was necessary to put a photo of the opposition in the Editorial to make a point which I cannot recall them ever doing in the past.

Late August, 2013, the Mayor's identical plan for what he is doing now hit such a public out cry of protest that Berry cancelled a second public forum at the Albuquerque Museum for things to die down before the October election. Sources back then said Berry actually thought cancelling the meeting would help get Berry the Sierra Club endorsement. Dr. Matt Shmader who administers the City's open space plan, as well as Barbara Baca who has retired, have done a good job over the years as it relates to the Bosque, but no doubt Berry is hell bent on ruining the Bosque to fit his ill advised agenda contrary to public opinion.

Notice how Berry has come out opposed to the County tax proposal which is now being suggested to help with the shortfall in revenue from the repeal of the State's hold harmless provision which Berry supported? Just waite another year when the City is going to be in the same boat and have a huge revenue shortfall thanks to the repeal of the hold harmless provision. Berry will oppose any increase in taxes so he can run for Governor and will just cut services and city employees.

Do not be suprised that Maggie Hart Stebbins is backing down on the tax increase in part because she is running for Mayor in 2017. Stebbins has already quietly formed an explorarory committee to run for Mayor and you can bet they are telling her to back off on any tax increase knowing that Commissioner Wayne Johnson is also looking at the Mayors race. These people are so predictable it makes me sick!

Bubba Muntzer said...

That was a nasty editorial alright. Odd in a couple ways. The picture, the tone. I thought for a minute I was reading my high school newspaper after cheerleader tryouts. That was the biggest day of the year at my school. The girls did their cheers, alone, before a whole school assembly. Hopes and dreams rested on the outcome. Afterward there were recriminations, shunnings, gallant defenses of the losers' honor. The Journal's editorial was directed at Mayor Marian Berry. 'Don't listen to those meanies, Mr Mayor.' The fact that it took three days to come up with an argument testifies to the lack of one. The mayor was having a bad week, is all. They had lunch and the mayor seemed glum. Editorial time.

But remember the mayor still has plans to turn the Bosque over to developers. He'd like to bulldoze the whole thing down and erect fast food restaurants, car washes and a drive-in movie theater. He can do it, too. Just walk over to the street department, order the head of it to get some earth movers and dump trucks down there and start clearing. To save the bosque from itself. I think the bulldozed trails are to get people used to the idea of a changed landscape. Baby steps right now. He sees himself as king of the town, and he is. Don Pedro del Bosque.

Anonymous said...

5 - 3 vote last night to support Councilor Benton's bill to stop. Journal this morning wrote the report fairly well but with a subtext of encouragement to Berry to veto. Ill-informed remarks from Republicans, the worst from Jones. Winter continued his spoiled child act (which we've watched from the first day he sat on the Council), disrespectfully looking down, turning away, contributing nothing to the discussion, and then voting party line. Harris tried to paint himself as a moderate, then went party line. Lewis was MIA. Kudos to Garduno and Sanchez, who spoke forcefully and to the point of the issue of violation of the of public trust by the Administration and Benton, as usual, was organized, rational, and skilled in moving the discussion forward. I guess we'll see how hard Berry wants to push back and, if he does, whether the 5 can sway Harris or Lewis to gain a 6th vote. Hard to say what the fallout would be if there's a veto and no override. but at least this does force the Mayor to either back down or come out of his bunker and own the decision. One of the high points of the evening was a letter from the AbqMillennials, a group committed to revitalizing the downtown area.
Their letter spoke plainly and forcefully to City government that they highly value communication and honesty, which they are not seeing from this Administration. It's interesting that people in this group learned about the construction in the bosque on social media; they don't get their news from the Journal.

Donald F Schiff said...

I'm not against raising taxes to fund real needs. I am against raising GROSS RECEIPTS taxes, because they are the most regressive way for government to raise money.

Need to fund mental health? Great. Raise property taxes or float a bond to build infrastructure. DO NOT take it directly out of my income, though.

Bubba Muntzer said...

I'd like to thank Anonymous for that account of the city council meeting and ask that you take it upon yourself to keep us informed about the city council. That's good writing and good journalism. Maybe you'd consider leaving regular comments here if Jim doesn't mind or consider having a blog about it.

There's ongoing debate and confusion about what constitutes good journalism and I encourage readers to read the above account and compare it to what's usually thought of as "objective" reporting, or what is often called a "he said, she said" story, which gives a representation of both sides and pretends to not take sides. But it does take sides and dishonestly so, often in the representation but always by the fact of giving the side that's wrong equal credence to the side that's right. It's the job of a journalist to find out what happened and to explain what happened and why and provide context that makes things meaningful, which Anonymous did in a few concise lines. And by characterizing the meeting as Anonymous did we have a better sense of what happened than had we been there ourselves but not had Anonymous' knowledge and insights.

It's said "objective" reporting is unbiased, but if, for example, you wrote -- "The leader of the world's biggest Jewish organization said six million Jews were killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust. Hitler denied the charge and said his party had improved the lives of Jews." -- and left it at that, you'd have demonstrated a bias toward Hitler.

There's bias in every thought that comes out of our head. It's our thought, formed by our experience, our knowledge, our values, our unconscious rumblings, and it's best not to try to conceal that fact but be honest about the truths you're advocating for.