Proposal would help offset hikes

Late-hour speeches by Republican Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.) and John McCain (Ariz.) on runaway military health costs led the Senate Tuesday to shelve a defense bill amendment that would have spared family members and retirees more burdensome co-pays on drug prescriptions filled off base. The timing of their opposition, in the last hours of consideration […]

No holiday break from worries

It is just a couple of weeks before Christmas and we are all grateful for the season. For this brief time we can shed our concerns, bask in the holiday spirit. It is the one time of year we can relax and forget our woes. As 2012 nears the end of her flight, much like […]

Regulations, taxes block progress

Fraser Institute released its Economic Freedom of North America 2012 report, and New Mexico came in 50th among the American states. That's bad news, but it's also an incredible and exciting opportunity, because it would be so simple to flip that ranking upside down. Economic freedom is natural; it requires a lot of effort to […]

Same-sex spouses still lack benefits

With repeal last year of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law, many military people, including senior leaders, assumed that married gay and lesbian couples had gained not only job security but also equality in allowances, benefits and access to family support programs. That assumption is wrong. Since the law took effect 14 months ago, the […]

Idle time for the shredder

I took a few days off last week, and to quote "Office Space" protagonist Peter Gibbons, "I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be." OK, so it was a little bit more, as I discovered that giving me idle time is a terrible idea. With no major renovation project to […]

Tax burden affects location choices

In a recently released report by the Rio Grande Foundation, the 10 most populated cities of New Mexico were ranked according to their relative tax burdens. The study focused primarily on the property tax and gross receipts tax rates for Albuquerque, Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Clovis, Farmington, Hobbs, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Roswell and Santa Fe. The […]

Pharmacy fees likely will be hiked

The House and Senate will decide in the next few weeks how military pharmacy fees will be raised in 2013, a step that arguably will be the most significant taken to date to slow growth in military health care budgets. Out-of-pocket costs for military families and retirees who have prescriptions filled in the TRICARE network […]

Time for Kevin’s Holiday Hints

The week has come upon me, and with no election, new TV shows or new sports seasons to be overly concerned about, I've come to a basic realization that I have nothing to write about. I know my loyal tens of readers are saying, "And when has that ever stopped you before?" Point taken. And […]

Their view: Time to put campaigns in past

New Mexico State Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, says it's time to end political bickering. Here's a snippet from a recent column he submitted to newspapers around the state: The 2012 election was one of the most divisive, partisan and personal New Mexico has faced. It will be hard and it will take time to […]

Election losers full of sour grapes

Taking a cue from fellow columnist and Texas Rangers fan Kevin Wilson, today I'm scattershooting about Facebook. For peace and safety, friends Avis Jones, Ron Barker, Robert Patrick and I declared a unilateral, pre-election ceasefire on political posts. We did reserve the right to comment on others' posts. One poster cited a study that the […]

General scandal wilder than fiction

Dear Book Publisher: Lucky day for you! I am giving you first crack at a work in progress, a story of total fiction involving national security, major military campaigns, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. OK, I know you book publishing guys. You are going to want a sex angle. Tough […]

Libertarian values bring peace

Being libertarian isn't all fun and games. We are not necessarily the "party crowd" we are sometimes made out to be. While some libertarians are undoubtedly that way, as are many non-libertarians, it certainly isn't a given. Libertarianism is not about taking liberties, but about respecting the liberty of others to do as they wish […]

Military pay cap budget option

The Congressional Budget Office has released a report on military compensation that puts a red laser dot on nearterm pay raises, beneficiary healthcare fees and retirement of future forces as potential cost-saving targets Congress might want to consider in any debt-reduction deal. Thanks in part to what CBO says were pay raises that exceeded private […]

Viewpoint: Budget fixes will not be without pain

The top executives of more than 80 U.S. corporations signed on to a letter calling for a bipartisan solution to the federal government's fiscal problems by looking at the revenue and the spending sides of the ledger. The letter says, "Policy makers should acknowledge that our growing debt is a serious threat to the economic […]

Their view: Higher taxes threatens cattle industry

Joe Parker Jr., a third-generation rancher from Clay County, Texas, is president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Here's a snippet from a recent column he wrote about taxes in 2013: If it's true the only two things certain in this earthly life are death and taxes, then we can be sure of […]

Law, at very foundation, irrelevant

How would you behave if there were no laws against murder or theft? How about your friends and relatives? Would any of you go on a rampage? If so, what's really stopping you now? I think people who obey such laws would not do those things in the absence of the laws. I also believe […]

Military Update – Remote network being eliminated

With the presidential election over, Department of Defense officials are expected to announce soon that military retirees and their dependents living more than 40 miles from a military treatment facility or base closure site will lose access to TRICARE Prime, the military's managed care option. These beneficiaries would be expected to shift to TRICARE Standard, […]

Feral pig describes recent election

What I would like to do today is shift focus. Instead of writing about current events, let's together pick a single animal that most reminds us of the election. I'm talking about the election held Tuesday. You may have already blocked that election from memory. It was kind of like going to a really bad […]

Election does not change abuse

The election has come and gone, and even though I am writing this before any actual results are in, I already know the outcome with absolute certainty: Once again a crooked politician has won the presidency and America — specifically the liberty that is the only thing that distinguishes America from any second-rate banana republic […]

Veterans represented county well

Recently, my daughter, her husband and son went to Italy. I told them to go by Monte Cassino. That is where the New Mexico 804 tank destroyer battalion spent four months in 1944 under constant fire from the German Gustav line. The cliffs were filled with their firearms. They took pictures of the new Montecassino […]