California’s budget plan: Tax Nevadans?!

Geoffrey Lawrence

The headline from this LA Times column says it all:

Eureka! Why don’t we take over Nevada?

The article is at least half-way joking (I think), but it does highlight some good budget lessons that Silver State policymakers could learn from. No, let me correct myself. It is the lack of fiscal knowledge demonstrated by this article that is so instructive. The author takes California’s deficit as a given and at no point questions why the state spends so much money and whether all that spending is merited.

Instead, he’s just looking for new people to loot. Think I’m exaggerating? These are his words: “Schwarzenegger could immediately seize the brothels and casinos, sending their profits to Sacramento.”

It’s funny how even high-tax predators recognize that sane people wouldn’t stick around to bear the governmental burden, though. The author also notes, “Once those former Nevadans get a whiff of California’s higher taxes, they’ll flee the land — leaving more room for the rest of us.”

Great, so California is going to run Nevadans out of their homes so Sacramento can collect tax revenue from Nevada’s mining and brothel industries? Here’s an idea: Eureka! Spending reform!

If you don’t know what that means for California, you can always get an idea from our friends at the Reason Foundation.

Geoffrey Lawrence

Geoffrey Lawrence

Director of Research

Geoffrey Lawrence is director of research at Nevada Policy.

Lawrence has broad experience as a financial executive in the public and private sectors and as a think tank analyst. Lawrence has been Chief Financial Officer of several growth-stage and publicly traded manufacturing companies and managed all financial reporting, internal control, and external compliance efforts with regulatory agencies including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Lawrence has also served as the senior appointee to the Nevada State Controller’s Office, where he oversaw the state’s external financial reporting, covering nearly $10 billion in annual transactions. During each year of Lawrence’s tenure, the state received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award from the Government Finance Officers’ Association.

From 2008 to 2014, Lawrence was director of research and legislative affairs at Nevada Policy and helped the institute develop its platform of ideas to advance and defend a free society.  Lawrence has also written for the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, with particular expertise in state budgets and labor economics.  He was delighted at the opportunity to return to Nevada Policy in 2022 while concurrently serving as research director at the Reason Foundation.

Lawrence holds an M.A. in international economics from American University in Washington, D.C., an M.S. and a B.S. in accounting from Western Governors University, and a B.A. in international relations from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  He lives in Las Vegas with his beautiful wife, Jenna, and their two kids, Carson Hayek and Sage Aynne.