Death and Taxes: With Some Revision, Sandoval’s Tax Hikes Not Necessary

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” — Benjamin Franklin Had Benjamin Franklin been living in 21st century Nevada, his famous quote might have read something like this: In Nevada, nothing seems certain, except death and tax increases. It appears that — regardless of who is elected, which party holds the majority, or how hard those in … [Read more...]

Green Schools Not Right for Nevada

As districts begin to build new schools, they should focus on kids, not environmental activists New school buildings are coming to Nevada, and if recent years are any indication, the push to build those schools to “green” standards will be as strong as the push that led lawmakers to authorize 10 additional years of bonding without voter approval to fund the construction of … [Read more...]

Retiring in the Lap of Taxpayer-Funded Luxury

How pensions in Nevada are often better than paychecks Know a public employee in Nevada who is looking for a pay raise? Tell him to retire. According to a new analysis made possible by the court-ordered release of Nevada’s Public Employee Retirement System payment records, once-public employees in the Silver State are making golden pensions — so generous that their … [Read more...]

What to Expect from Carson City in 2015:Republican Sweep Creates New Opportunities for Policy Reforms

The November wave that swept Republicans to victory not only solidified their control of the governor’s mansion but also saw them capture both chambers of the Nevada Legislature for the first time in 85 years. So now what? In the lifetime since Republicans last controlled the legislative process, liberal policies, decade after decade, have generated many problems for the … [Read more...]

Medicaid Expansion Pressures Nevada’s Poor, Doctors, State Budget

Addition of 281,000 to state dole creating long waits for doctor openings Last year, almost 25,000 Nevadans found their health plans canceled, thanks to the so-called Affordable Care Act. The ACA also caused a dramatic increase in the price of individual insurance plans — with Nevada having the largest premium increases in the entire country, according to a national study … [Read more...]

What Should “Revenue Reform” Look Like?

State Tax system could be Stabilized and Improved with Broader Consumption Tax Calls for “revenue reform” have long emanated from Carson City, where state lawmakers have complained that Nevada’s current tax code is outdated and no longer capable of supporting critical public services. Most often, these calls for “revenue reform” have served as little more than a euphemism for … [Read more...]

Minimum-Wage Hikes: The Path to Poverty for Poor People

Presumably, State Senator Tick Segerblom thinks his proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15-per-hour in Nevada would be beneficial. After all, it sounds appealing to double the pay of fast-food workers and other entry-level workers with one wave of the government’s mandate wand. As businessmen and women know firsthand, however, there’s a big difference between good … [Read more...]

An Educated Workforce Begins with Empowered Parents

Study Offers 33 Ways to Boost Nevada Students’ Achievement with No Net Increase in Spending One of the most dangerous phrases in the English language is, “Because we’ve always done it this way.” It’s a phrase that could cost a company millions of dollars in missed opportunities. But what if someone said it about a child: “She’s not doing well in school, but nothing will … [Read more...]

Margin Tax Would Cause Destruction of 3,600+ Private-Sector Jobs

New Dynamic, General-Equilibrium Analysis Simulates Impact of Tax Proposal Although much has been said about the proposed margin tax on businesses that will appear as Question 3 on November’s ballot, there is a shocking lack of clarity about the actual impact of the tax on Nevada’s economy. There isn’t even agreement on an approximate amount of new tax dollars the tax would … [Read more...]

‘Reading Rainbow’ Not Just About Books: One-Time Children’s Show Teaches About Free Markets

Ask people in today’s workforce about “Reading Rainbow” and they’re likely to have either been viewers themselves or raised children who reaped its educative benefits. For over a quarter century, the publicly funded television show worked to instill a love of reading within countless children, but in 2009, the show was abruptly canceled by PBS. While big-government … [Read more...]

A Key Definition in the Margin-Tax Scheme Would Have Catastrophic Impact

Much ado has been made, and will continue to be made, about what is the most important question on Nevada’s 2014 ballot. But one critical aspect of the state teacher union’s proposal to enact a business margin tax has gone virtually unnoticed: the definition of an “affiliated group.” For the non-accountant, this might sound like a tedious and technical detail, but it could … [Read more...]

Why Teachers are Leaving the Teachers Union

It’s easy to lump individuals together in a group based on one specific characteristic. How many people have been cut off in traffic by someone with a California license plate, and then blasted those “California drivers”? Generalizations are especially prevalent in politics. Who’s heard that rural Nevada is conservative, but Las Vegas is liberal? Or that rednecks vote … [Read more...]

Celebrating the Constitution: The Long-Term Benefits of its Short-Term Inefficiencies

In all of life, actions have both short-term and long-term consequences — and often those outcomes stand in stark contrast to each other. If your three-year-old child is screaming for you to buy him a toy at the store, the quickest way to quiet him is to get the toy. But your actions will have told him that throwing a fit is a great way to get stuff he wants, and so each … [Read more...]

Why Government Shouldn’t Pick Winners and Losers: City Council Considering Plan to Subsidize Private Arena Developer

Imagine watching an NBA game. With the Los Angeles Lakers leading the Boston Celtics 95 to 82 in the fourth quarter, the referees stop the game and award the Celtics 15 of the Lakers’ points and make the score 97 to 80 with the Celtics now leading. That would be outrageous and unjust, wouldn’t it? The Lakers earned their points, and it would be wrong for the … [Read more...]

The Left’s New Agenda: Minimum Wage Hikes and Unemployment Benefits Aren’t the Key to Prosperity

Capitalism did not create poverty—it inherited it,” observed individualist philosopher Ayn Rand. Over the past centuries, capitalism has eradicated the previous conditions of widespread famine and starvation and has elevated the living standards of the poor to a level previously unheard of, even for kings. Today, even low-income Americans commonly enjoy cell phones, … [Read more...]

Odds for success of PERS plan – Roughly 1 in 12 Quintillion: Nevada Retirees Risk Seeing Their Benefits Reduced as Money Runs Short

Aside from death and taxes, there are no sure things in life. Everything we do involves an element of risk. The question then becomes: How much risk is reasonable, given the stakes? In the private sector, most entrepreneurs have risked tens of thousands of dollars — or sometimes even tens of millions of dollars — pursuing opportunities to grow their businesses. They … [Read more...]

Taxpayers Lose Big: Lawmakers Impose New Burdens

Nevada Gov. Sandoval and legislators passed numerous tax increases while pretending that they didn’t raise taxes.

Three years ago, both Brian Sandoval and Rory Reid ran for governor on a “no new taxes” platform. Last year, voters in five Nevada counties rejected six efforts to raise taxes — even though Barack Obama was at the top of the ticket, driving liberal voter turnout. Given the clear will of the voters throughout the state, you’d expect that the governor and legislators would … [Read more...]

31 Percent of Nevada Workers Want to Leave Their Unions

Union Restrictions Make it Difficult for Members to Opt Out Have you ever been trapped? Maybe you were stuck in traffic without A/C on a blistering summer day. Maybe an elevator door took three beats too long to open. Maybe you squeezed into clothes that were just a bit too tight and constricted your movements. Being trapped is a terrible feeling. You feel stuck, isolated … [Read more...]

Transparent Nevada: Nevada’s Collective Bargaining Laws Enable Government Employees to Live High at Taxpayers’ Expense

Last year, Governor Brian Sandoval made $181,586.49 in total compensation. How many government employees in Nevada made more than the governor? One hundred, five hundred … maybe a thousand? No, nope and not even close. Over 2,000 government employees in Nevada made more in total compensation than the governor in 2012. Those employees include, a community services … [Read more...]