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Mini-Muth’s Truths: May 17, 2010

• “Chris Christie, the new governor of New Jersey, continues to make big cuts to balance the state’s red ink-drenched budget,” reports Stephen Moore in Political Diary today. “Last Monday, Mr. Christie proposed a permanent 2.5% limit on annual raises for public workers. That salary cap would apply to police officers, firefighters and teachers, and overturns civil service rules that make it difficult for cities and towns in the Garden State to trim their payrolls.”

• In addition, Gov. Christie “wants to reform the ‘bumping’ system that protects from layoffs the workers with the most tenure, not the employees who do the best job,” as well as “do away with a system that pays public employees up to $15,000 for unused sick leave.”

• Sounds like a platform Republican candidates in Nevada ought to be running on, no?

• RalstonFlash reports this morning that the city of Las Vegas is proposing “Rolling ‘brown outs’ in the fire department, where at least three units taken out of service each day to save money.” However, “Initial response times won’t be impacted.”

• Isn’t that another way of saying Las Vegas has three unnecessary units which ought to be taken out of service completely and permanently?

• Also, RalstonFlash reports that the Las Vegas firefighters’ union boss is whining today about the city council rejecting the reported deal the union had reportedly worked out with the city manager. “I don’t know how to negotiate when there is no recognition of an agreement by the city council,” union boss Dean Fletcher bleated.

• Answer: The same way as when union members have rejected deals negotiated by the negotiators in years gone by. I’ll tell you, if we ever do move back to a bartering society, we should pay these government employee union bosses with pacifiers.

• Remember the following story when the Nevada Legislature reconvenes in 2010 and addresses the “temporary” tax hikes approved in 2009 which are scheduled to “sunset” next year:

• In 2002, Clark County voters approved a temporary 0.5 percent sales tax for road projects. That tax hike was sold to voters with the understanding that it would sunset at a time certain and drop down to .375 percent. Without the “sunset,” there’s a good chance the tax wouldn’t have been approved.

• However, at the last minute during February’s special session, the Senate and Assembly voted – and Gov. Gibbons approved – a rushed bill to make that tax hike permanent without voter approval. This last minute bill was sold to legislators as sort of Nevada’s version of Harry Reid’s “stimulus” bill. “Our goal was to create jobs without raising taxes,” Lynn Hettrick, Gibbons’ deputy chief-of-staff, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “This was a way to create jobs without increasing taxes.”

• Except….they DID increase taxes.

• The tax rate was supposed to be .375 percent on a date certain. The Legislature passed, and the governor signed, a bill raising it to 0.5 percent on that date. It’s a tax hike. It’s a tax hike. IT’S A TAX HIKE! And you can bet the Legislature will try the same bait-and-switch fraud on those temporary, sunsetted tax hikes it passed last year when the time comes next year.

• The Dullard Mush blog notes this morning that there’s been increased Google search activity on Sharron Angle/Scientology. Angle’s support for a controversial prison program with ties to the controversial “religion” was raised during her 2006 congressional primary race.

• Dullard Mush predicted that the issue was going to become an issue again in her U.S. Senate race this year. And lo and behold, someone this morning posted on Nevada News & Views this link to a minute-and-a-half YouTube video which explains the controversy in more detail.
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nFp1O9XvBo

• And finally, the RJ reports this morning that Miss Oklahoma, Morgan Elizabeth Woolard, was asked an interesting question in Sunday’s Miss USA pageant. Judge Oscar Nunez asked Woolard if she thought Arizona’s new anti-illegal immigration law treads on federal turf. Miss Oklahoma responded that she’s “a huge believer in states’ rights” who opposes illegal immigration as well as racial profiling.

• Something tells me this young lady has a future in politics!