What’s missing from Speaker Oceguera’s talking point?

Victor Joecks

After Gov. Sandoval’s State of the State speech tonight, Assembly Speaker John Oceguera is going to give the Democratic response.

And while he probably won’t outline a particular tax increase he supports, he’ll probably try to build the case for tax increases using a talking point he’s grown fond of.

The state could make the largest cuts in history and the largest tax increase in Nevada history and still not close the gap, Oceguera said.

Let’s review. In the last biennium, Nevada spent $6.4 billion from the General Fund. In this biennium, Nevada will have about $5.33 billion to spend. State agencies want to spend about $8.3 billion (although Oceguera is using an $8.1 billion figure).

Do you see what Speaker Oceguera’s failing to mention in the quip above?

He’s assuming the largest spending increase in Nevada’s history – a 27 percent increase in General Fund spending, from $6.4 billion to $8.1 billion.

The largest tax hike and largest spending cut can’t solve the gap created by the largest (proposed) spending increase in Nevada’s history. Instead of being a shocking statistic, that makes sense. Wanting a 27 percent increase in state spending during an economic recession is going to give you a big hole to fill.

Let’s see if Oceguera tries to use this misleading line tonight, and if anyone mentions what he’s leaving out (besides NPRI, of course, via our live blogging).