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Businessmen: Campaign Promises Ignore Budgetary Limits

By: Patrick Ellis | Real Acapulco News - 07 January, 2011

(Acapulco, JG 7 January) The candidates for governor make promises that cannot be kept within the confines of the public budget, declares Fernando Vargas Lozano, Acapulco’s chapter head of the Mexican National Employers’ Confederation (Coparmex). The group is poised to try to block any tax increases to fund politician’s promises, insisting that if the new governor wants to spend the public money differently from his predecessor, he needs to identify areas where cuts can be made. The state budget is limited, and a debt ceiling prevents more deficit spending. Taxes are already too high. According to the group, the only solution is to make tough choices amongst competing programs, or else be more responsible and honest with the voters.

In Guerrero, most voters are young, uneducated, poor and indifferent to politics and public affairs. Candidates must thus avoid concepts, philosophies or ideologies. Such abstractions just result in blank stares. Instead, they make specific promises, like having the government buy required school uniforms and supplies. The PRI, which wrote the book on populist government during the 20th century, still leads the way in Guerrero’s 2011 election for governor with lavish promises to the electorate that seem too good to be true. The PRD coalition also has followed suit, overlooking any distance that may exist between the parties on the right-left scale. Only the PAN, the right-wing presidential party, tries to make points with its philosophy of private enterprise and smaller government. Few voters are buying.

It is for that reason that the Employers’ Confederation issued its shot across the bow of the leading campaigns. If they plan to increase taxes to fund a bigger budget, they had better have solid control over the state legislature. The group warns that if a heavier tax burden is placed on small businesses, the result will be fewer jobs, not greater tax collections.

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