So does it surprise you that the richest county with the lowest unemployment rate in NM gets the most stimulus money? Under the watch of the president Fox News accuses of being "socialist?" In a country where the richest one percent of wage earners gobbled up 23.5% of all the money doled out in 2007 as income?
Let's take a peek at the numbers. Click here and you can see them all on a web site called Propublica. So far Santa Fe County, one of the richest counties in NM, got almost one third of the total, nearly one billion dollars out of $3.2 billion given to New Mexico. This works out to $6493 per resident of Santa Fe county; it was almost $17,000 per resident in Los Alamos. In contrast, Dona Ana county got less than one sixth that amount, $981 per capita. Luna county, with the highest unemployment rate in the state, 16.5% (one out of six workers cannot find a job), got a whopping $418 per capita. Mora county, the poorest county in the state, with the second highest unemployment rate, got $531 per capita. Torrance county got only $299 per capita.
Santa Fe doesn't really count since, as the state capital, many state jobs are there and part of the stimulus funds are designed to make up some of the shortfall to states. But should Guadalupe county, with a population of 4200 get $10 million more than adjoining San Miguel County, with a population of 28,000?
Well, maybe the money evens out in the different regions of the state. So let's take a look.
Greater ABQ: (Bern., Sandoval, Los Alamos, Valencia counties): $1240 per capita
Hispanic North: (Taos, Guad., Rio Arriba, Mora, S. Miguel--NOT Sta Fe): $1464
Little Texas: (Lea, Eddy, Otero, Chaves, Lincoln, Roosevelt, De Baca, Curry, Quay, Union, Harding Colfax): $1269 per capita
Northwest: (San Juan, McKinley, Cibola): $1098 per capita
Southwest: (Catron, Socorro, Torrance, Sierra, Grant, Hidalgo, Luna, Dona Ana): $811
Santa Fe: $6493
Do you sense a little geographic bias here? Southern New Mexico by far has gotten the least amount of money, in spite of having some of the poorer counties in the state. Chaves county: $381; Lea: $612; Grant: $480; Luna: $418.
Tim, Mary Kay, John Arthur, Howie: you guys got any clout over this process? There is still some stimulus money left. Can we dole some out to the South?