Last week, after a meeting with Gov. Jim Gibbons, the Las Vegas Review-Journal “Flash” headline read: “Democratic legislators say state budget can’t be cut further.”
Wow, talk about the boy who cried wolf.
Democratic legislators, along with a number of “Raggio Republicans,” have been saying there’s nothing more to cut since….well, forever. And yet….somehow they keep finding things to cut. Yet, frankly, the public hasn’t noticed. The schools are open. Teachers are in the classrooms. Cops are arresting bad guys. Firefighters are fighting fires.
Go figure, huh?
At this point, I’d have to say the level of credibility the “sky-is-falling” crowd has on this budget issue now is now pretty close to….zero.
The fact is the private sector is beginning to come out of the recession. Why? Because a long time ago private businesses and corporations began slashing expenses, cutting prices, shedding unprofitable goods, services and programs, and laying off non-essential employees. And because of those tough decisions made many, many months ago, these companies are now leaner and becoming profitable once again.
On the other hand, the Nevada Legislature increased spending this year by almost a billion dollars, raised prices (taxes) on working families, small businesses and tourists, and went out of its way to not lay off any non-essential employees or shut down any non-essential programs, departments or services.
Is it any surprise that while private sector businesses are beginning to rebound, the Nevada government is in worse shape than it’s ever been and the Legislature is facing yet another “emergency” special session to apply more band-aids?
As Ronald Reagan so rightly and famously put it, “A government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth.” Which is why the only way to force the government to shrink itself is to take tax hikes off the table.
Long live the Taxpayer Protection Pledge!