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Everything’s On the Table? Really?

As you probably read, Nevada Assembly Democrats rolled out their latest economic recovery plan last week which was short on…well, everything – including new ideas and specifics. But during the announcement dog-and-pony show, Assembly Speaker-in-Waiting Marcus Conklin had the following to say:

“From a revenue standpoint, everything needs to be on the table.”

This simple statement reveals exactly why getting anything of substance done in Carson City to fix the budget problem is such a problem – at least as long as Democrat leaders like Conklin control the Assembly agenda, and individual Democrat legislators continue to vote in partisan lockstep fashion with those leaders.

Let’s start with the first part: “From a revenue standpoint…”

From a REVENUE standpoint.

You see, that’s all Democrat leaders think about. The revenue side of the equation. They don’t think about the spending side…except to increase it. That’s their frame of reference: Make a Christmas list of all the wonderful programs they want the government to provide, and THEN figure out whose taxes to raise to pay for them.

Republicans, on the other hand, tend to think the best way to budget is to first figure out how much money the government has to spend and THEN figure out what to spend it on and how; setting priorities in the process. You know, the way a family on a fixed budget does it.

As for Conklin’s statement that “everything needs to be on the table,” apparently not.

From the revenue side, is taxing and regulating marijuana on the table? Is legalizing and taxing gay marriage on the table? Is legalizing and taxing prositution in all 17 counties on the table? Is opening Yucca Mountain – a potential GOLD MINE of revenue for Nevada – on the table? Is repealing Nevada’s helmet law to boost revenue-generating tourism from motorcycle enthusiasts on the table?

No. So Assemblyman Conklin’s statement that everything’s on the table is false on its face. Pure poplitical pabulum.

On the other hand, ways to save the state a boatload of revenue by eliminating union welfare programs, such as prevailing wage and project labor agreements, aren’t on the table either. Nor is repeal of the law allowing public employee unions, which are bankrupting local municipalities and school districts.  Nor are money-saving school vouchers.

As long as Democrats refuse to actually place everything on the table, Republicans should continue to take “revenue enhancements” of any kind OFF the table – including any further extension of that $620 million worth of “temporary” business tax hikes.

It was true when Reagan was president, and it’s true in Nevada today. Our state (and country) doesn’t have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem. Unfortunately, addressing that issue doesn’t appear to be on Marcus Conklin’s table.