Week in Review
It had barely begun, and already the 27th Special Session of the Nevada Legislature was over. And just like the regular session that had unfolded over the previous 120 days, this week’s brief special session provided no reason to believe Nevada’s woes are going away anytime soon.
The most notable outcome of the special session was legislative authorization for a constitutionally dubious sales-tax increase in Clark County, which will take effect if and when the county commission passes it, with the additional revenues targeted for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s coffers.
I like entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs are, more than anything, what make our economy work. They build businesses, create jobs and can accumulate wealth for themselves by improving the lives of countless people they’ll never even meet.
But entrepreneurship requires more than just a businessman or woman investing in a company. True entrepreneurship only exists when businesses compete for customers. Consumers then have the power to choose the winners and losers in the market place. That system is what we call free-market capitalism.
Will spending more increase student achievement in Nevada?
That’s the working assumption of many Nevada legislators. For instance, after Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis dropped his attempt to raise Nevada’s job-killing payroll tax on Tuesday, Senate Democrats took to the floor to complain that Nevada doesn’t spend enough on education and hence legislators are “kicking the can down the road again.”
Questions surrounding the spate of scandals now enveloping the White House have largely focused on what they tell us about the nature of the Obama administration. That is, is the administration guilty of mere incompetence or out-and-out corruption?
It’s a fine and appropriate question to ask. But to focus on it and it alone runs the risk of missing the most important lesson from these episodes.
As I mentioned a few weeks back, I’ve been asked to participate in a new project for Channel 3 in Las Vegas, for which I’ll be providing a weekly commentary during evening newscasts. We’re about three weeks in, and I’ve enjoyed both the opportunity to work with the talented team at Channel 3 as well as the chance to share NPRI’s ideas with a new audience.
This week, I wanted to share with you my latest commentary, which aired on Monday. The topic was taxes, and in my commentary I explain how the current efforts of lawmakers to raise taxes are based on an entirely false premise — that Nevada doesn’t spend enough on its public education system.
Have you ever heard — or, worse, had your children sing to you — “The Song that Never Ends”?
For those who aren’t familiar with the lyrics, it goes:
This is the song that never ends.
It just goes on and on my friends.
Some people started singing it not knowing what it was,
And they'll continue singing it forever just because
It is the song that never ends...
And the song continues until you go crazy or bribe your kids to just stop singing it!
I was reminded of that song this week, when I was reading a Las Vegas Sun story about how the ACLU of Nevada is considering suing the state for not spending enough on education.
Do you remember Jim Marshall?
No, I’m not talking about the former congressman from Georgia. I’m talking about the other Jim Marshall, the former professional football player who was a defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings in the 1960s and ’70s. ...
I thought of Jim Marshall this week while reading the latest big news out of Carson City. A half-dozen Senate Republicans have announced what they’re calling the “Education Priority Initiative,” which would slap the mining industry with a $600 million tax hike over a two-year span and funnel the money into Nevada’s broken education system.
If you’ve been keeping up with NPRI’s E-Bulletins, you know that we’ve been very active during the current legislative session. In particular, Geoff Lawrence, the Institute’s deputy policy director, has been in Carson City full-time since February, sharing ideas with lawmakers, testifying on numerous bills and keeping an eye on legislative developments.
Geoff wrote a very informative piece that we published yesterday, titled “The good, the bad and the ugly: Part I.” (I haven’t confirmed this, but I’d like to think the title was inspired by my reference to Clint Eastwood in last Friday’s Week in Review).
In any event, Geoff’s commentary takes a look at some of the bills that failed to survive the deadline for receiving committee approval and have thus been relegated to the ash heap of history, unless resurrected by legislative leadership.
One of the most consistent complaints I hear from conservatives and libertarians is that nearly everything associated with popular culture comes with a leftist bent. Whether we’re listening to music, taking our kids to the movies or simply trying to enjoy a weeknight sitcom, it seems we’re constantly bombarded with liberal talking points and other assaults on our ideological sensibilities. Most annoyingly, this happens quite often even when the song/movie/show has nothing whatsoever to do with politics.
One of my favorite things about being the president of NPRI is that I’m often invited to speak to different organizations around the state and share the Institute’s perspective on the current debates over public policy.
My speeches cover various topics, depending on the host organization, but there’s one subject in particular that has become a staple of just about all of my presentations. That subject is the many myths about Nevada governance that have been allowed to persist for far too long — and the way those myths distort the policy discussion.