During her recent state of the state speech, Governor Susanna Martinez gave a charge to New Mexico and it’s legislative body, “I ask that, in every decision, we choose courage over comfort, change over stagnation, reform over the status quo,”
Martinez urged New Mexico lawmakers to approve measures aimed at creating jobs and improving the state’s public school system during a 60-day legislative session that began Tuesday.
Her speech continued the focus of her re-election campaign, education and economic growth.
Her answer to economic growth, lower taxes, spend money on infrastructure such as highways and move New Mexico toward becoming a right to work state.
Such ideas are a blending of progressive economics and the conservative clarion call that Bill Clinton ultimately embraced, but is it what New Mexico needs?
Martinez is advocating for new and expanded tax breaks to aid small-business owners, an increase in the amount of money appropriated for a state “closing fund” used to defray the costs of business expansion and relocation to New Mexico and $180 million of state funding for highway projects around the state in the next three years.
Her solution to New Mexico’s failing education system? The tired ideas that also mix the progressive agenda with popular myth. She is touting a proposal to increase minimum pay for new teachers, create a new teacher mentorship program and enact the third-grade retention legislation to end what is commonly known as social promotion.
So is this choosing courage over comfort? I think not.
While her suggested measure seem over the top conservative by New Mexico standards, they will not address the issues we need addressed, the governor’s proposals are anything but courageous.
If New Mexico really and truly desires to move from dead last in economics and education then we must address the foundation, the DNA of what it means to be New Mexico.
Real courage requires conviction. The conviction to stand up to evil in its various forms.
A few tax cuts here or pay raises there will have a small but tepid effect on the overall economy or the eduction system. If the governor were to embrace the conservatism she claims as a core value she would dig deeper and so would the new speaker Don Tripp.
Believe it or not, the starting point is life. I know that we talk about abortion often on this site, but it is true. New Mexico has the least restrictions on abortions in the United States and I believe that is why we are near or at the bottom of all the good lists. We need to start with the truth that all life matters.
Why? Our attitudes about life effect our choices in education our children, how we look at and treat others. When we, as a state, kill people it changes us and not for the better.
The greatest courage would involve limiting our state’s dependence on the government. I doubt any reasonable politician would tackle this issue with any real seriousness, but this issue goes to both economics and education. If New Mexico were to raise the standards of who gets what aid and limit the time for them to be eligible the discomfort it would cause would be truly life changing.
It may sound counter intuitive, but it is similar to the transition we make from infant to toddler. If the child did not struggle to lift its head or push up his body and do that cute rocking motion, he may never crawl or walk, they must struggle to be free.
The same is true of our welfare system. I may sound cruel to limit assistance to a poor and struggling mother and her children. But when we understand that the government will not provide food for children birthed out of wedlock for long, it will truly amaze us how quickly behaviors change.
That same struggle causes moms and now dads to demand that their children to work harder in school because only learning tempered with hard work will bring the freedom they long to have. Government dependence brings enslavement and ignorance, it destroys the citizenry
Among the courageous choices our state could make would be to actually cut school spending. Now we are picking people up from the floor as the fall over from shock. But here’s the thing, American schools spend more than any other country. The problem isn’t salary we pay teachers, we can never pay them enough. The problem is spending on administrators and really spending in general.
We need to work smarter not harder. Testing can point to certain areas that are lacking but the real problem is that we have asked our teachers to teach every bit of the liberal garbage that removes common sense instead of teaching fundamentals and demanding excellence. It goes much deeper than that and this article is already longer than I would like.
Finally, real courage would be needed to disengage from the nanny state and the glut of stupid regulations. Most conservatives do not have the belly to unravel the bailiwick of moronic and intrusive legislation. This is mostly because legislators only know how to add to the law not reduce it to something reasonable.
Oh, taxes? Just go to a flat tax. Get rid of gross receipts tax, they already punish us more than once for working.