(Page 6 of 6)
Johnson: No question. Being governor of a state gives you enormous ability to do just that. I think we have moved the needle in the right direction. I’ll be honest with you about where I think we have moved the needle the least. It’s probably in the welfare reform areas, in getting a handle on child support. I don’t think I have done anything to move the needle on education in New Mexico other than funding by about $500 million more.
Reason: How about tax cuts? Did you get the tax cuts you wanted to see?
Johnson: No. I cut taxes to the tune of about $123 million on an annual basis. [New Mexico’s budget will be $3.5 billion in fiscal year 2001.] But any citizen in the state would be hard pressed to tell you what any of those were. Every single year, I have advocated significant income tax reduction, and I will continue to do so. It’s significant that we’ve had no tax increases in New Mexico since I’ve been governor. It has never happened before. But we haven’t had the cuts I’ve wanted either.
Reason: Your term’s up January 1, 2003. What’s next for you? More politics?
Johnson: No politics in my future. I have effectively pulled the pin on my political career with my stance on drugs, and I recognize that up front.