Nevada’s 2009 Legislative Session ends

Victor Joecks

And there was much rejoicing. Most of it came from citizens, grateful that legislators didn’t have more time to enact additional record-setting, job-killing, secret tax increases.

The loudest praise, though, came from the politicians themselves, who, I’m convinced, would congratulate themselves for anything they did.

“We maintained our faith in the future despite the odds stacked against us,” Horsford said. “When Governor Gibbons announced that his solution to our $2 billion budget deficit was to decimate both K-12 and higher education budgets, the Nevada Senate said no. It meant making sacrifices, but we protected teacher salaries, classroom funding, special education funding and scholarships for students to attend in-state universities. We did what the people of Nevada wanted us to do. We had the courage to make the right decisions, and we kept our faith in the future.”

Across the building in the Assembly, Majority Leader John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, a firefighter, put it in terms he acknowledged might seem overly dramatic.

“For the last 120 days, we’ve been dealing with an economic inferno,” he said. “And we had to put out that fire. It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t easy, but we did so to save lives.”

Yep, you read that right. That record billion dollar tax increase wasn’t necessary because lawmakers refused to set priorities, eliminate waste or live within their means. It was necessary to save lives. If Assemblyman Oceguera gets away with this kind of rhetorical garbage, the legislature pretty much has carte blanche to do anything it wants in the future. How can you oppose whatever the legislature has plans to do in its secret meetings? It saves lives!

Where’s an irate columnist denouncing apocalyptic pronouncements when you need one?