The Great Nevada Mine Robbery
April 26, 2013
Perhaps not since Benedict Arnold sold out the American patriot movement have we seen such a betrayal as that of Republican State Sen. Mike Roberson to all that's held dear by the Nevada conservative movement this legislative session.
If only I were embellishing.
The conservative Nevada Republican Party platform for the last 20+ years hasn't changed much. Low taxes. Check. Limited government. Check. More money won't fix education. Check. Class-size reduction hasn't worked. Check. English immersion. Check. Teachers union is the problem. Check.
I mean, you could look it up. The GOP has been quite clear on these issues.
And then along comes the Dirty Half-Dozen Gang…Sens. Roberson, Ben Kieckhefer, Greg Brower, Scott Hammond, Joe Hardy and Mark Hutchison…with their jaw-dropping proposal to rob $600 million from Nevada's mining industry, one of the few healthy employers left in Nevada and the biggest, most important for many rural counties.
Now bear in mind, this tax hike wasn't proposed to make Nevada's tax structure more "fair" or "stable." No, Roberson and his gang of Republican tax-and-spend pick-pockets want to expand government and, stealing a page from the liberal playbook, are trying to sell this stink-pickle as "for the children."
Cynically and laughably, they're calling their massive tax hike the "Education Priority Initiative" (gag!). Indeed, instead of championing school choice, vouchers and other true education reforms, the Dirty Half-Dozen Gang has conceded the left's incessant and false claim that we're not funding the government-run schools sufficiently.
So thus far we have a betrayal of the GOP's known position on tax hikes, spending increases and whether or not more money is the cure for our "failure factories" managed and operated by paper-pushing bureaucrats and greedy union bosses.
But it gets worse.
Roberson and company propose to use the $600 million to reduce class sizes…even though Nevada's dozen-plus year experiment in class-size reduction for grades 1-3 has done absolutely nothing to significantly boost education performance, while costing taxpayers some 10 times its original estimate.
In addition, the Dirty Half-Dozen Gang proposes to spend millions of dollars on feel-good English language learner programs that have not proved to help children more than simple English immersion.
"Successful schools have found students learn English faster when the native language is strictly limited," reports the Lexington Institute on the success of immersion in California. "They aim to get students using English from the get go."
Of course, the enemy of education reform here and elsewhere is the teachers union, which actively opposes and tries to defeat all but the most liberal (or unopposed) Republican candidates. Yet the Dirty Half-Dozen Gang's plan would result in hiring some 4,000 new anti-GOP dues-paying unionistas!
Heckuva a job, Robey. Even Judas stands in awe at your audacity.
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grassroots advocacy organization. He can be reached at email@example.com