(Mark Noonan) – Nevada is in quite an economic hole. Let’s face it, if we were a hospital patient, we’d be on life support and the family would be gathering ’round for the last goodbye.
We’re facing a State budget deficit which is called “crippling”. Who calls it that? Government people who are worried that if they can’t scare us in to accepting tax increases, it will cripple their ability to remain at the public trough.
Balancing a budget is not hard.
How much money do you expect to have in the next 12 months? Spend less than that amount. How to you estimate the amount you have? Take what you got the last three years, average it out and then cut it by 10% as we’re in a down economy and must expect revenues to drop. Whatever amount is arrived at, make the actions of government fit in to that.
How do we do that?
We make a list of everything the government does – put cops, firefighters, teachers and doctors/nurses at the bottom of the list. Then start going down the list from top to bottom completely eliminating employees and programs until the budget balances. Only after we’re reduced to cops, firefights, teachers and doctors/nurses should we consider tax increases to make up any budget short fall.
But, but, but…how will we get by without spending money to fight Yucca Mountain? Can we survive without the Local Government Employee-Management Relations Board? Who will pick up the pieces if we axed the Nevada Taxicab Authority? You can’t really be thinking of doing away with the Nevada Arts Council? And what sort of fool would want us to have only one Deputy Superintendent of Education instead of two?
Clearly, anyone who thinks of such things just doesn’t understand the complexity of modern government.
Clearly – but we all know that this is the case: that modern government has become a bloated monster, so filled with waste, fraud and abuse that its almost a mathematical certainty that if we got rid of pointless agencies and personnel, we could probably send the budget in to surplus, even in the current downturn.
The only thing required for balancing the budget is a bit of wisdom and a bit of guts. Right now, it does not appear we have the leadership in Carson City to really tackle this issue and make the cuts necessary to return government to financial sanity and proper, constitutional limitations. But we have a chance this November to change things – and we should take that chance and run with it.