Sunday, July 12, 2009

Can we afford to end the culture of corruption?

There are those who, upon Lt. Governor Denish's release
of her ethics reform package, are already whining about the
potential cost of an Ethics Commission.

They would argue that a state already strapped for cash,
cannot afford such a commission. "They" are full of crap.

NM State Auditor Hector Balderas said that between 3 and 5% of the $6+B state budget is wasted every year by corruption and incompetent administration of public resources.

My gut says that it's way more than 5%. Everyone I ask, people who should know more about the subject than I, think 3-5% is a low ball figure as well. But for the sake of this discussion, let's say 5%.

5% of $6B is $300M. Every year $300M is stuffed into someone's pocket or lost down some rat hole of incompetence. As but one example, the SHARE computer system which has cost taxpayers well over $20M dollars and counting, and still doesn't work.

Auditor Balderas said if his Office were given 1% of the budget every year, he could save the other 3-5%; net savings; 2-4%, or $120M to $240M every year.

From that savings; we could fund the New Mexico Attorney Generals Office, and the Secretary of State's Office, at levels which would allow them to do their jobs well, as well. And still have money left over; money that can be better used for other things, or given back to tax payers.

Not only would tax dollars be saved, but the effectiveness, and efficiency, and quality of service of every agency of government would improve as well.

The question is not
can we afford to end the culture of corruption? but rather,
can we afford not to end the culture of corruption and
incompetence in state government?

It really is a no-brainer; the answer is no.

photo Mark Bralley

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are overlooking a major selling point of this pproposal, should it be inacted: it would create new well-paying jobs for New Mexicans, and keep educated, trained New Mexicans in New Mexico...where most of them want to stay anyway.
And if you keep these educated professionals in New Mexico working (lawyers, analysts, secretaries, gophers, transcriptionists, CPAs, etc...), then there families will stay in New Mexico with them, and those fzmily memebers will buy things in New Mexico and stimulate the economy.
And their children will grow up in a better New Mexico, adding to the economy and work force, and perhaps, a new tradition of ethics.
So, Ms. Denish.... there is more than a 3-5% salvation of the budget here. Much more. Let's keep New Mexicans working in New Mexico instead of going off to other states!
And let's give our kids a chance to see ethics modeled, so they can continue the right "tradition" of ethical behavior that we put in front of them now.
Ched is exactly right...we can't afford NOT TO end the tradition of unethical New Mexican it the state, the City of Albuquerque, or APS.