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 is the publisher The Nevada View, which has earned the recognition in the Washington Post’s “Best State-Based Political Blogs,” as well as being awarded the “Most Valuable Blogger Award” by the local CBS affiliate in 2011. Justin is also an associate at the Ramirez Group in Las Vegas. Follow him on Twitter @McAffee