Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary candidate Doug Turner protesting tax increases in front of state capitol
Former Governor Gary Johnson, a possible presidential candidate in 2012, blames New Mexico's current state budget deficit on both Gov. Bill Richardson and legislators, who voted for the last seven budgets.
"I'm just outraged over the fact that we're in a position that we're in today given the spending that's occurred over the last seven years," Johnson said.
Johnson says "spending has got to stop." In fact, he says it's continuing to increase around the country and in Washington.
He contends what's happened in New Mexico is "exactly what's happening on the national level."
"Spending is out of control. First and foremost spending needs to stop on the national level," Johnson said. "It's not that it's not stopping, its that it's increasing by the amount that it is . It's just crazy.... We're bankrupt."
He and GOP gubernatorial primary candidate Doug Turner hosted a tax protest rally outside of a snowy Roundhouse in Santa Fe on opening day of the 2010 New Mexico Legislature.
"This has just been ... drunken sailors spending every last nickle that they've had, and the notion that somehow we have to raise taxes to pay for the largess over the last seven years is unconscionable," Johnson said.
Johnson is hypercritical of the current administration adding over 4,500 new state employees to the payroll.
"Just tell me one area of state government that has improved as a result of 4,500 state employees," Johnson said. "Prudently I think always need to take in account a rainy day tomorrow and it just hasn't happened."
He is also adamantly opposed to an idea, being floated in Santa Fe to tap the state's permanent fund to help cover projected revenue shortfalls through 2011.
"We've tapped the state's permanent fund for the educational emergency that we had. The money didn't even actually go into that," Johnson said. ""Hey they got us here they can cut the spending to get us out of here."
The complete interview is available online here, or by tapping the play button on the bar below.
'Tax increases only reward reckless spending'
“Tax increases only reward reckless spending and make it tougher for small businesses to succeed and for families to make ends meet," said Turner. "New Mexico does not need another politician in the Governor’s office who doesn’t understand that higher taxes hurt both small business and struggling families,” continued Turner.
Turner said he believes that bureaucrats have not kept their promises to balance the state’s budget. “New Mexicans cannot afford more taxes to pay for the mistakes of career politicians. The answer to fixing broken government isn’t higher taxes. The answer is fixing broken government.” Turner stated.
Our interview with Turner is also online here, or by clicking the play button on the bar below.
Turner told us what he was hearing from people who walked or drove by the tax protest.