A Solution for All Nevada’s Problems

Nevada is constantly entrenched in a political battle over state revenue and funding of public programs.  Despite Democratic majorities in both houses of the legislature, Nevada’s Republican governor and a 2/3 majority requirement to raise taxes has kept revenue and funding debates in the realm of hypotheticals and long shots.  The forecast is status quo, with a chance of token discussion and inconsequential reforms.

Improved funding for education, mental health care, battered women, or ELL?  These are pipedreams.  Republicans will make sure of that, and Democrats aren’t empowered to do anything about it.

We know that Republicans pride themselves in believing and preaching that “government is the problem,” and  “throwing more money at the problem isn’t going to fix anything.”

We also know that NSHE is proposing funding formula changes to more equitably fund the schools in Southern Nevada,which will result in shifting money from the rural and northern schools to the south.  All of a sudden government isn’t the problem for rural and northern Republicans.  They are up in arms about the situation.  Apparently, they feel more money WILL fix things in their district.  Funny how that works.

It occurred to me when pondering this… perhaps here is the solution to ALL of Nevada’s dysfunctional institutional problems.  Let’s change the rules of the game.  If you are a small government Republican, let’s see you put your district’s money where your ideological mouth is… literally.  Let’s balance our budgets by making cuts in your districts.

Just imagine, what would the constituents of rural and northern Nevada’s Republican districts do if Southern Nevada stopped supplementing their schools, colleges, and other public programs?  What they called socialism one day might well become their rights the next!

Republicans love to talk about makers and takers… well we all know who the takers in Nevada are.  That’s right, Republican districts in Nevada TAKE and urban Democratic districts give.  The irony is off the scale.

Come on “principled conservatives,” if you are against revenue, stop taking it!  Needless to say, I won’t be holding my breath!

Hmmm, maybe we have just built up a culture of dependency in this state among these rural and northern Republican districts.  Perhaps it’s time to end their welfare.

I wonder how long it would take for these districts to change their tune about revenue reform in Nevada were this the case.  I’m all about funding their programs, but we need some cooperation to bring in the revenue necessary.  If not, maybe they should be the ones suffering the consequences until they start to change their votes.  Food for thought.

Justin McAffee

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  • Robert Clifford
    February 18, 2013, 10:59 pm

    The funding formula changes do not treat rural higher education equitably. There was no rural representation on the Legislative Committee to Study the Funding of Higher Education. That committee ignored its own consultant SRI International that said “Because of its extremely large service area, it is impossible for Great Basin College to deliver its services as cost-effectively as other institutions” and recommended a baseline level of funding for rural higher education. The hold harmless proposed by Sen. Pete Goicoechea is only to give northern Community Colleges some time to restructure and figure out how to deal with the formula changes. It is essential because after years of cuts, any further cuts will render the smallest of these schools not viable as they are currently structured. Most of the formula changes are positive, but it is simply not equitable to factor in higher costs for delivery of higher division classes but not factor in higher costs for delivery in rural areas. If you don’t like providing additional funding to facilitate an orderly implementation of the formula, then fix the formula – make it equitable. And remember, due to mining, about twice as much revenue per capita now comes from rural counties as from Clark County.

    Robert Clifford, Chairman, Restore Our College Campus Committee, Fallon

    • Justin McAffee@Robert Clifford
      March 2, 2013, 1:48 pm

      I’m sorry Robert… “due to mining, about twice as much revenue per capita now comes from rural counties” Really? Really? Revenue ‘PER CAPITA’ is an absurd way to measure (if that’s even true – source please?). Tell you what then Robert… how about you fund your own schools than. We won’t give you any more of our southern nevada money… and let’s see how well you do. Would you agree to that?

  • katy brown
    March 6, 2013, 12:00 pm

    The new republicans of today want it both ways: they want money when they need it, but they don’t want to give money to other people when other people need it. I believe that is what is known as HOARDING and HYPOCRISY. I say “new republican” because the party of today, in no way resembles the party of Nixon, when actual fiscal responsibility was a part of the ideology. The new party of today is so extremely far from fiscal responsibility that the new party just needs to take that out of their party platform.

    ALL of the major Democratic districts pay their taxes, which supports the new republican districts. All of the major Democratic districts believe in taxes funding education, which is why they pull in all of the money. Case in point, the State of California stands as being one of the largest economies in the world. A good portion of the state taxes funds three of the greatest educational systems in the nation: community colleges, California State Universities and University of California system. Those three systems remain to be of great educational value at a reasonable cost compared to any other state.

    Education invites the students to think, to be creative, to realizing there is more than one solution to a problem, to being open to working with others. Education makes most people take note that not just one person has the answers to everything. Education is the key to solving our problems. For this reason, the major economic centers of the United States are located in the Blue states.

    The Red states receive tax money that has been generated by the Blue states. If the Red states were actually treated in accordance to the mantra they now tout proudly, “government is the cause of the problems, taxes are evil, etc”, the Red states would be devastatingly impoverished.

    The problem with Nevada is the mines are not forced to pay equitable taxes on the money they pull out of the PUBLIC grounds that are leased. All those minerals rightfully belong to the people of Nevada and the people have a right to benefit from what belongs to them. The new republicans treat the residents of Nevada as nothing more than cheap labour. If the new republicans actually respected their constituency, they would have established a decent minimum wage a long time ago, including for tipping positions, they would stop cutting the educational budget, Mr. Sandoval, and they would stop looking at casinos as being the major source of jobs for the state. Casinos, for the time being, are provided with cheap labour. Because people like Mr. Sandoval, focus their efforts on pleasing the casinos, there is no concern with improving the educational system here in Nevada, for the new republican.

  • […] Mean It” from a February edition of the Nevada Public Employees Focus, and a bit more from The Nevada View.  For more information see: “Nevada Funds Mining’s Big Mistakes,” in CityLife.  […]


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