RJ asks: Where are the budget cuts?

Victor Joecks

The Las Vegas Review-Journal published a great editorial over the weekend that puts Nevada’s budget situation in perspective.

Note the use of the term “situation” instead of “crisis” or “emergency.” If you say Nevada’s facing a budget “crisis,” any debate about the budget is over, because the immediate question becomes, “How is the legislature going to fix the crisis?”

“Do something!” and “Save us!” are cries often heard from those on the state’s political Left, who believe sincerely that there is a huge crisis but are often ignorant about the true budget situation.

From the RJ’s piece:

The bottom line, as the accountants have taught us to say, is that — despite the fact both population growth and school enrollments have leveled off — even the “maintain services at current levels” spending Carson City Democrats apparently consider “as low as they’ll go” represents 17 percent more spending than the budget enacted by the Legislature two years ago — 26 percent more than actual spending of about $6.3 billion.

For months, the bureaucrats and Democratic legislators have been making a show of tearing their hair, weeping and moaning about “cuts,” lambasting Gov. Gibbons for submitting a budget that will supposedly leave schools and hospitals no choice but to close their doors, leave children and old people to starve in the streets, etc.

What cuts? Where are the cuts? Most Nevada taxpayers are figuring out how to tighten their belts and live on less. But a 17 percent spending increase — a revenue increase of 37 percent over what’s now flowing in to state coffers, new or increased taxes to generate an extra $2.16 billion, to a new record income level of $7.96 billion — is the minimum lawmakers will consider?

They plan to enact spending measures to raise and allocate at least that much extra loot, yet they still won’t say what taxes they plan to raise in order to increase state revenues by 37 percent?

That’s right: Nevada’s politicians have convinced many people that a doomsday is approaching, because legislators refuse to live within their means and want a record amount of spending.

Families and businesses all over Nevada are having to prioritize spending and cut back on their expenses. Our elected officials in Carson City should do the same.