Budget cutting is a national trend

Victor Joecks

It isn't just Gov. Brian Sandoval. It's not just tea partiers. It's not just us liberty-lovers at the Nevada Policy Research Institute.

Democrat or Republican, budget cutting is a national trend.


The dismal fiscal situation in many states is forcing governors, despite their party affiliation, toward a consensus on what medicine is needed going forward.

The prescription? Slash spending. Avoid tax increases. Tear up regulations that might drive away business and jobs. Shrink government, even if that means tackling the thorny issues of public employees and their pensions.

And why is cutting government budgets a national trend? Because as NPRI pointed out months ago, the unsustainable spending in which most states have indulged is unsustainable.



On the other side of the country, and in the other major political party, [Democrat] John Kitzhaber, the new governor of Oregon, elaborately described the state, which needs to bridge a projected budget deficit of $3.5 billion, as an old house in need of an overhaul.

"There are too many rooms, and they aren't the right size," Mr. Kitzhaber said. "There's no insulation, and the windows are drafty. And the cost of keeping this house is more than the family can afford. The roof needs to be replaced, and the siding is falling off."

In 2005, Nevada increased inflation-adjusted, per-capita spending by 30 percent [pgs. 5-6] (a 50 percent in unadjusted dollars). In 2009, the Legislature chose to avoid the inevitable spending correction and propped up the budget using one-time monies. Now Nevada must face fiscal reality, not make things worse by kicking the can down the road.

The good news is that Gov. Sandoval appears ready to join with numerous other governors in cutting state spending and has stated, "We're only going to spend the money we have."