Evidence of this has been trickling out slowly over the last four years. Most recently this reality is evidenced by the ongoing debacle of University Medical Center and the El Paso Children’s Hospital. However it is not just the county but the city has had to revisit the whole 2012 Quality of Life bonds because, not surprisingly, there is not enough money to pay for everything that was promised to you. Some of you have noticed that El Paso’s foreclosure rates have been increasing.
The Milken Institute is an independent economic think tank that researches and ranks cities according to their economies. I realize some of you are going to argue that Milken has some type of bias against El Paso and therefore shouldn’t be taking seriously. However before you make that argument visit the city’s website; specifically the “Start / Grow Your Business” section under the Planning and Inspections department page and notice how the city cites Milken. As of Sunday, January 2015, the city’s website states that according to Milken Institute’s 2011 Best-Performing Cities’ index, “El Paso is the 2nd best performing economy.”
Typically, El Paso politicians cite the research that sustains the lies they are spreading and ignore them when they don’t support the lies they need to tell the taxpayers. Milken’s 2014 Best-Performing Cities ranking published in January 2015 supports what I have been arguing about El Paso’s economy since the ballpark was shoved down the collective throats of the El Paso taxpayers.
El Paso dropped in rank from 35 in 2013 to 53 in 2014. Milken shows that the job growth in El Paso from 2008 through 2013 ranked it as 32nd place. From 2012 through 2013, El Paso’s rank dropped to 127th place. Wage growth went from 2nd in 2007 through 2012, to 51st in the 2011 through 2012 cycle. This is from a list of 200 cities.
Let me put this together for you. In late 2006, an all out war was launched against the drug cartels by the Mexican government. By 2008, violence was an on all-time high in Cd. Juárez leading to an artificial and temporary influx of Mexican cash into the city. While this was going on, two major federal projects were underway in El Paso; the Ft. Bliss expansion and the building of the federal courthouse. Finally, El Paso was temporarily spared the housing bubble because El Pasoans weren’t too leveraged in their mortgages because very simply they didn’t have the wages to play around with their mortgages. Many were just happy to have a mortgage at all.
All of these things created a temporary and artificial economic bubble for El Paso. It is this bubble that made all of the politicians giddy that salvation was just around the corner. It also gave them the tools to con you into voting for things you can’t afford to build.
Now that the artificial economic drivers are gone the reality of El Paso’s economy is back. If you still don’t believe me then look at what the city is doing with the Quality of Life projects. They are moving monies around and changing projects so that they can continue the con. If the price of a toilet is too much for San Jacinto then what makes you think that an Olympic-sized pool is something you can afford?
The most important thing you need to notice about the rankings is that they are job related. It is individuals with jobs that pay the taxes. It is taxes that pay for the utopia that is being shoved down your throats. Without an increasing tax base only two outcomes are possible. Either those who still have jobs pay more in taxes, or the government cuts back on expenses.
By now I am sure you already know what will happen.
Typically the El Paso Times played lip-service to the report so that they could argue that they reported the news. However, the news didn’t fit the message they’ve been directed to espouse so instead of the full-page “how wonderful everything is” they reported that the list had come out and El Paso moved down a few notches. Contrast this with the coverage by the newspaper when the news is about how wonderful the politicians’ foresight is and you understand who butters the newspaper’s bottom line.
There is no other way around it and the politicians already know this – they will be raising your taxes. That is why all of the intrigue about UMC and the Children’s Hospital on the county’s side and the rush to get the Quality of Life projects completed on the city’s side.
El Paso taxpayers, I hope you are ready for your taxes to explode as the politicians try to salvage what they can at your expense. It’s all good El Paso will be the rallying cry as they impose new taxes on you.