Wisdom needed from all fronts for tax plan
December 25, 2002
The governor’s advisor has said the consequences of not raising $800 million in new taxes may be dire.
Specifically, he’s listed all of the programs that tear at the heart strings and just in time for Christmas too.
The Governor’s adviser Pete Ernaut said Monday that without the $800 million, legislators “will have to make Draconian cuts to balance the budget.”
“It means (kindergarten through 12th grade) with no sports, no music, no extracurricular activities,” he said. “It means capped university enrollment, closing whole programs and buildings at the university, and raising eligibility levels for Medicaid, leaving senior citizens without health care.”
Last month, Guinn said, “I will tell you one thing, I’m not building a budget on a lack of funds. My budget will be predicated on what I think the essential needs are.”
If a well-rounded education including sports, music and extracurricular activities isn’t essential what is? Certainly insured seniors? If their medical needs are not cared for through Medicaid, they will be cared for in an increasing number of cases through the county’s indigent care funds. These funds in at least a few cases are already struggling or are being augmented by the state because they are broke.
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It’s increasingly apparent that our form of government is a bit like a dog chasing its tail. A dog can entertain itself for hours, maybe even 120 days, yet when it catches its tail it’s bound to let out a yelp of pain.
But the question remains. What do you do with the dog chasing its tail? Wouldn’t it be better if the dog chased a ball, or at least chased away the neighbor’s cat?
As Nevada continues to grow our tax needs will grow also. If the economy continues its downward slide the coffers will need filling even more.
It seems no matter which way the governor and lawmakers turn they will bear some responsibility for us all — for our children in their classrooms and for the ailing elderly.
Let us hope that as Santa Claus made his rounds last night he delivered a hefty parcel of wisdom down the chimney at the Governor’s Mansion and that the governor will find time and enough generous spirit in the New Year to share it with lawmakers as they take on the task of catching the dog’s tail.