(Mark Noonan) – Its, once again, budget crunch time here in Nevada. As expected by everyone who isn’t either a tax-and-spend liberal or Republican In Name Only (RINO), the revenue projections when the budget was written have proven to be entirely bogus.
The word is that Governor Gibbons might call a special session of the legislature in order to deal with the shortfall. We’d be going in to it with this attitude:
“Spokesman Dan Burns said Gibbons has advised senior staff he will wait until he has a better handle on what agencies have spent before deciding if and when to call a special legislative session. Hettrick said that will also give time to look at the impact of further cuts. ‘There are going to be some things we just can’t cut,’ he said.”
Oh, really? That is what we always hear from government when they’ve screwed up the budget, spent far more than was available, and now want we, the taxpayers, to get them out of their jam. Nothing doing. Government: you’ll cut and cut and cut and don’t dare increase taxes – we’re overburdened as it is and piling more on will kill what’s left of the economy. There is plenty to cut.
I did a little looking around the State government directory. Did you know that there are four entities which deal with housing? Real Estate Division, Housing Division, Manufactured Housing Division and Mortgage Lending Division. These four groups occupy no less than nine offices between Las Vegas, Carson City and Elko.
Even if we wish to suppose that we’d all die if we didn’t have government taking care of these four things, do we really need nine offices? Just by consolidating these offices in to one or two with an effective website for conducting day to day operations would save a bundle of taxpayer dollars.
At a time of massive unemployment and businesses closing all the time, do we need a Taxicab Authority? Why do we have both a State Environmental Commission and Division of Environmental Protection? Why a Division of Lands and a Division of Parks? Is the Department of Cultural Affairs vital to the liberty, prosperity and safety of Nevadans? We have a Council to Establish Academic Standards as well as a Commission on Educational Excellence. Why?
The waste, fraud and duplication in government is notorious and the few examples here are just the tip of the iceberg. If went through the budget and asked the four following questions of each expenditure:
1. Does it directly protect lives and property?
2. Does it directly educate children?
3. Does it directly provide health care?
4. Does it directly improve transportation?
And got rid of any expenditure which answered “no” to all four questions, we’d be able to balance our budget. Probably we’d be able to provide a surplus and thus allow for some much-needed tax cuts.
The time for living in a fantasy world of tax-and-spend liberalism where money grows on taxpayer-financed trees is over. We’re broke – the government has spent too much, taxed too much and regulated too much and no we, the people, are mired in the worst economic crisis since the 1930’s and in spite of assurances from banks and government (ie, those who made the mess) that everything’s getting all better, we know its going to get a lot worse. We need a bit of courage in government – and a government which serves the people, not itself.
Don’t believe any government flunky or special interest huckster that there isn’t anything to cut – there are whole agencies we can get rid of, and even in the really vital agencies there is probably a lot of fat which can be safely cut away. Everyone had to hunker down and be careful in order to get through this recession – government included.
(Mr. Noonan is co-publisher for Blogs for Victory)