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Fiscal and taxes

The once-skyrocketing sales of electric vehicles in Denmark have come crashing to a standstill, now that the country is phasing out the industry’s subsidies and special tax exemptions. Clearly, one of the lessons to be learned is that the industry depends too heavily on political favoritism for its survival. Equally as important is the fact that Denmark’s non-subsidized sectors face punitively high taxes and regulation. A case in point would be the country’s jaw-dropping 180 percent import tax — a tax that, until recently, was waived for the politically connected “green” auto industry. (Read more)

Government spending

The Reno City Council is set to receive another automatic pay raise this summer. The 2.5 percent increase will mean a salary of almost $80,000 for the mayor, and just over $73,000 for council members — a 33 percent increase since the automatic annual increases were approved in 2004. Of course, these figures do not take into account the other pay and benefits. Last year, for example, total compensation for the mayor was more than $121,000, according to TransparentNevada.com. Some of the benefits enjoyed by the Mayor and council members are cash perks, such as a $9,000 annual car allowance and a $1,800 annual cell phone allowance. (Read more)

Education

Once again, Nevada has been ranked as one of the worst states for education — ranking 49th in the “Kids Count Data Book.” The report comes after teacher unions and the public-school establishment effectively killed the state’s groundbreaking attempt to empower parents with Education Savings Accounts. Instead, thanks to these special interests, more tax money has been funneled into the same system that has repeatedly, and consistently, failed our younger generations. (Read more)

Cronyism

For more than a decade, Dr. Lee Birchansky has been fighting to open an outpatient surgical center attached to his doctor’s office, but has been unable to acquire the necessary “Certificate of Need” license from the state. Interestingly, while necessary for Birchansky’s surgical center, the license is not required for competing surgical centers located at and operated by hospitals. That probably explains why local area hospitals have relentlessly petitioned (successfully) for the state to reject his multiple requests for licensure. (Read more)

Healthcare

Free-market advocates continue to be skeptical of the Affordable Care Act “repeal” effort. In large part, that’s because the so-called “repeals,” so far, retain much of the law’s regulatory structure and instead merely issue limited waivers for certain specific provisions. The Texas Public Policy Foundation penned an opinion piece in the National Review that suggests a different approach worth considering: Change the “repeal” effort from a waiver-granted partial opt-out of Obamacare, to one in which states may voluntarily choose to opt in to Obamacare’s regulatory structure. Doing so, according to the column, would leave “other states fully free from Obamacare’s regulatory nightmare.” (Read more)


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