[Re: Ortiz y Pino, “Talk Dirty,” Feb. 26-March 4] Yes, the locusts have arrived, and they're sitting in the Roundhouse. I find Mr. Ortiz Y Pino’s forgone conclusion that raising taxes is the solution for all of New Mexico’s woes sadly lacking in fiscal sanity. This is highlighted by his conclusion that we won’t be able “to sustain the level of government services that is necessary.” The state budget has increased 50 percent since 2002. Were all of those increases “necessary”? Gov. Richardson’s private army of highly paid exempt employees increased more than 100 percent in the same time. Are they all “necessary”? Given that our state survived for 90 years without them leads me to believe they aren’t as “necessary” as Mr. Ortiz y Pino would like to believe.
In the good times, the Roundhouse gladly spent everything they had coming in, a real spend first, think later way of doing things. Now that things are sour, they’re screaming to raise taxes to keep their “necessary” programs. If any business was run that way, they’d be bankrupt. Come to think of it, our illustrious federal government is run that way, and they are bankrupt. Mr. Ortiz Y Pino and the rest of the Roundhouse robbers just need to wake up to the fact that our government will end up doing less with less. Reality sucks—get over it.
New Mexico is a nice place to live. Don’t screw it up with your “tax first, think later” paradigm.
Steve Davis Albuquerque
Death to Taxes 2
[Re: Ortiz y Pino, “Talk Dirty,” Feb. 26-March 4] Not surprisingly, Jerry Ortiz y Pino—despite his aversion to actually stating it—is pushing for higher taxes now that tax revenues have turned south. While correct in pointing out that Gov. Richardson and the Legislature have reduced the tax burden on New Mexicans, Ortiz y Pino seems oblivious to the massive spending growth we’ve seen at the state level in recent years.
During the six years from FY 2003 to FY 2008, general fund spending rose from $3.9 billion to $6 billion, an increase of approximately 54 percent. Nearly all of this new spending has nothing to do with “caring for the elderly and infirm” or “attracting new business enterprise.” In fact, we could have avoided the problem entirely by not spending money on baubles like the Rail Runner and Spaceport.
There is plenty of additional spending that should be cut before raising taxes. For example, the rest of the $22.3 million that was allocated for the governor’s equestrian center could be eliminated, thus saving approximately $12 million. The Legislature has also been debating whether to strip $1.5 million in funding for a new recital hall for the Santa Fe Opera.
Tough times have forced average New Mexicans to cut back on their spending. Shouldn’t we expect the same from our elected officials rather than trying to squeeze more money out of financially distressed taxpayers?
Paul J. Gessing President, Rio Grande Foundation Albuquerque
Velocity = Brummett ÷ Gary
I do not understand why you failed to even list in your Arts Calendar one of the most notable events of the 2009 theater season. I am talking about the opening on Friday, Feb. 27, of Tricklock Company's production of James Still's The Velocity of Gary (Not His Real Name) at The Box Performance Space.
To be sure, Still's script shows its early '90s vintage in its portrayal of gay hustlers and intravenous drug users dropping like flies from a still uncontrollable AIDS epidemic. But Chad Brummett, under the able direction of Dodie Montgomery, wrings the last bit of theatrical excitement from this one-man tour de force. Brummett, whose phenomenal talent is by now well-known to Albuquerque theatergoers, outdoes himself. He even manages to short-circuit the underlying sentimentality about oddball street people and gays inherent in Still's otherwise tight script. How many actors have any of us seen who could seamlessly modulate from narrator to principal to voices for all the other characters who inhabit Gary's drugged-out, hallucinatory world?
This production runs through March 22, and anyone seriously interested in theater should make haste to see it. Did I mention that it's also a very entertaining show?
Henry Seale Albuquerque
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