OK, let's raise taxes, but first ...

They say government is the art of compromise, so herewith is my compromise proposal for raising taxes in Nevada. I'll agree to put tax hikes on the table if the other side will agree to the following:

• Whatever amount of revenue is increased must be matched by cuts in existing expenditures, which myself and a "star chamber" of four others of my choosing would determine unilaterally. Say good-bye, Civil Rights Commission and the Nevada Arts Council.

• Any future tax increases that appear on a ballot must be approved by a 2/3 super-majority vote of the people.

• Any future budget increases that exceed the combined rate of population growth plus inflation would have to be approved by a 2/3 super-majority vote of the Legislature.

• Any new spending programs must be offset by reductions or eliminations in "old" spending.

• Zero-based budgeting is hereby imposed. Department heads start with nothing each biennium rather than starting with the last biennium's budget and adding to it. Every dime must be justified every two years.

• The governor is granted line-item veto power.

• A public Web site showing each and every expenditure by the state government must be created and available by Labor Day.

• The minimum wage law is hereby repealed.

• The prevailing wage law is hereby repealed.

• All collective bargaining agreements for government workers that result in a net increase in the cost to taxpayers must be approved by a vote of the people.

• The government will no longer collect union dues via payroll deductions. Labor unions must collect dues from their members themselves, just like the Rotary Club and Boy Scouts.

• No union dues money may be used for political purposes without the worker's expressed, written consent.

• All public sector unions must publicly file an annual financial report showing where all its money came from and where it all went.

• All collective bargaining sessions involving public employee unions must be done in public.

• All collective bargaining contracts must be posted on a public Web site at the union's expense.

• Public employees are banned from serving in the Legislature.

• Teacher unions are banned permanently. True professional educator organizations with no hostility to school choice would still be allowed.

• All parents will be offered school vouchers to send their kids to the private school of their choice.

• The Nevada Board of Education moratorium on new charter schools is immediately lifted.

• The Board of Education is disbanded and all current members, along with Charter School "Consultant" Tom McCormack, are released into the Nevada wilderness with nothing more than a hunting knife, a pack of Chicklets and one canteen of water.

• The Department of Education will be transferred over to the executive branch of government and the superintendent will be appointed by the governor.

• Nevada immediately withdraws from participation in the No Child Left Behind program.

• Illegal aliens in our prisons are to be deported immediately, and subject to summary execution if they're caught returning illegally. (OK, I might be a little flexible on that last part).

• No taxpayer-funded welfare benefits for illegal aliens.

• English is designated as our official language, and no more bi-lingual ballots at government expense no matter what the feds say.

• An individual's property will not be reassessed for tax purposes until sold or ownership is otherwise transferred.

• A flat, one-time fee of $50 will be charged whenever you register a new car. No more annual renewals.

There. I might still come up with a few more negotiating points, but this is a pretty good start. If the other side is willing to agree to the above, then I'm open to raising taxes.

See, I can compromise.

• Chuck Muth, of Carson City, is president and CEO of Citizen Outreach and a political blogger. Read his views Fridays on the Appeal Opinion page or visit www.muthstruths.com. You can e-mail him at chuck@chuckmuth.com.


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