Thursday, 07 February 2019 16:14

Raiding the Permanent Fund - Keep your hands out of the cookie jar

There have been lots of attempts to raid the State Land Grant Permanent Fund and that's nothing new.  You can read more about this ongoing issue here and here.

Here are a few important points to consider:

1) The fund was established with New Mexico's statehood to provide for education and a few other beneficiaries, like some hospitals, in perpetuity. That means FOREVER!   It doesn't mean this should be everyone's personal bank account for their every whim. Look at this creative way they'd like to raid the fund here

2) We have increased education spending over $900 million in the past 12 years and our results are still dismal. Is more money the answer? Absolutely not.
 
3) If the legislature were to pass a raid of the fund, here's what it would look like mechanically:
     a) It would take about two years to process and get results from a statewide vote;
     b) It would take an extra two years (at best) to get Congress's opinion back on a change to the beneficiaries (if providing for early childhood education, as an example).
Four years for an answer - and who knows if it would be affirmative. 
 
It is estimated by the year 2025, the state will be withdrawing $1 billion dollars annually from the fund at the current five percent (5%) withdrawal rate!  A billion dollars per year! And this can be accomplished without endangering the fund in about the same time it would take to get an answer on a move that will jeopardize the fund for future use. Leave it alone and let it grow, let it grow, let it grow!
 
Let's keep our hands out of the cookie jar.
 
NMBC will continue to speak boldly for the good of New Mexicans.  If you’re not a member, please join us! We’re here for YOU and supported by voluntary contributions ONLY – never by your tax dollars.
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