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The Con Job

According to Reno Gazette-Journal reporter Anjeanette Damon yesterday, Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley said that she, Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio and Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert “have begun meeting to determine which of (Gov. Jim) Gibbons’ cuts they intend to restore in the budget. The budget subcommittees will then vote on that list starting on March 24.”

Uh-oh.

This is how Nevada’s taxpayers are being set up for yet another royal screwing. As Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie (D-Reno) told the Las Vegas Sun, “We know from experience if we have to raise taxes, we have to be able to sell the need for it.” Here’s how she and legislative leaders plan to con the public into accepting another massive tax hike…

The governor took a look at available tax revenue and submitted a budget which will cost Nevadans exactly what is coming in. Since revenues are down, government spending has been cut to meet the anticipated revenue. It’s what a family has to do if, say, their salary is reduced by 6 percent. You cut out trips to McDonalds, cancel the movie channels and start shopping at Wal-Mart instead of Macy’s.

What legislative leaders are doing is putting the governor’s spending cuts back into the budget without the revenue to pay for them. Then when the economic forecast comes out in May – which will inevitably say there isn’t enough money to pay for all the things which have been put back into the budget – legislators will say they HAVE to raise taxes to fund the budget.

This is like a family whose salary has been reduced by 6 percent going out and buying a new car – then telling the boss he HAS to give them a raise or they’ll be forced into the street eating dog food.

Conservatives in the Senate and the Assembly need to insist in floor debates and public statements that any spending cuts which are restored in the budget either are offset by commensurate spending cuts elsewhere in the budget or are funded AT THAT TIME with a proposed tax hike. Otherwise, the Buckley Gang will use the 120-day ticking legislative clock to force a massive new tax hike on the Legislature in June to fund restored spending cuts approved in April.

Don’t Republican legislative leaders “get this”?