Where does the buck stop in Nevada?
If, on Friday, Gov. Gibbons seemed to be softening his stance on tax increases by saying “nothing is off the table,” he tried to set the record straight on Monday. At least it sounded that way.
His stance as we currently understand it is that he doesn’t like tax increases and in no way wants his fingerprints on them. But if the Legislature thinks that’s the way to go, he said, they’ve got all the votes they need to override his veto.
It’s a seemingly perfect solution for a politician considering running for re-election. He would get to point his fingers at the legislators and boast about keeping his promise not to raise taxes.
Unfortunately, that sounds like a “pass the buck” leadership philosophy of governing at a time when Harry Truman’s “buck stops here” attitude is what we need from the governor.
If he truly believes raising taxes would be detrimental to the state, that’s exactly what he should tell the Legislature, in a strong and decisive voice.
But if underneath his words he believes the state’s economic situation is so dire that tax increases must be made, then that is what he should say and take responsibility for, no matter how unpopular it may be.
Political gamesmanship has its time and place, but it is not now, when ” in the words of the governor ” “we’re in a very dire time.”
Other politicians, including Sen. Bill Raggio, have realized that a budget cut of up to 33 percent would preclude the state from providing essential services and are willing to talk about, and take responsibility for, all potential solutions. “I’m at the point in my life that I’m going to do what’s right for the state of Nevada,” he said.
Those are the kind of words any Nevadan can respect, no matter how you feel about taxes.