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Setting the Stage for a Royal Screwing

Legislators in Carson City are clandestinely preparing to nail Nevada citizens with a huge tax hike right smack dab in the middle of this recession – and the way they’re going about it is an outrage. Problem is, Republicans are complicit, if not active partners, in the Royal Screwing we’re all about to get. Here’s the dirty deal.

Gov. Jim Gibbons submitted a budget proposal in January which was, for all intents and purposes, balanced. It included cuts to various government services, programs and departments which the big government crowd didn’t like. So what they’re doing this very minute is adding stuff back into the budget which Gibbons took out.

For example, on Tuesday the Senate-Assembly budget committee added back into the budget nine of the eleven rural mental health clinics (not physical health; mental) which Gibbons had cut. Adding these nine clinics back into the budget increases the cost of the budget by about a million dollars.

Now here’s the problem: These legislators didn’t cut a million dollars somewhere else to cover the million dollars they just added to the budget. So the revised budget is no longer balanced. It’s now a million dollars higher than projected revenue.

And legislators are doing this left and right on one program after another. Many such restorations, however, are reportedly being done behind closed doors and in secret. Only legislative leaders know exactly what they plan to add back in. So what we’re going to end up having next month is a budget total which will be well over the budget total originally proposed by the governor. And that’s when the Royal Screwing will take place.

Legislators will declare the new and higher budget the bare minimum necessary to fund “essential services.” They will proclaim that their new proposal is a fat-free bare-bones budget and that nothing can be cut from it. Therefore, the “only” option left will be a massive new tax hike of some kind to pay for the Gibbons-Plus budget which they are currently beefing up.

The only question is which Nevada citizens and/or businesses will get the Royal Screwing and how.

There ought to be a law against this sort of chicanery.