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… [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?… [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, automobiles, a… [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 —… [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… [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… [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… [More...]

Hold On to Your Wallet: Legislature Once Again Has Taxpayers Bracing for Another Hit

Hold On to Your Wallet: Legislature Once Again Has Taxpayers Bracing for Another Hit

No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session,” Mark Twain famously said while covering the biennial mess in Carson City. Despite Twain’s warnings, Nevada lawmakers are meeting once again, for the 77th regular legislative session, and Nevada taxpayers are realizing, once again, that their property is not safe. That’s… [More...]

Following Florida: Why School Choice Should Top Lawmakers’ Education Agenda

Improving Nevada Education Through School Choice

School choice, not Pre-K, has raised Florida’s test scores In 1998, Florida and Nevada had the exact same score on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test for fourth grade reading. In 1999, however, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush instituted a series of reforms, including corporate tuition scholarships, vouchers, grading schools from A-F, ending social… [More...]

Why It’s Morally Wrong to Expand Medicaid: Government should protect property, not redistribute it

Why is stealing wrong? Is it wrong because it’s illegal? Or is stealing wrong because individuals have a God-given or natural right to their own property? To some people, that’s like asking, “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?” — in other words, they think the answer is unknowable. But there’s an essential difference… [More...]

Let’s Quit Killing Jobs in the Silver State: Legislators Should Remove Obstacles to Job Creation

Nevada’s unemployment rate has lingered at unacceptably high, double-digit rates for nearly four years. That uncomfortable statistic — reflecting deep human costs inflicted on many Nevada families — has led the state’s political class to make much ado about promoting “economic development.” During the 2011 legislative session, for example, lawmakers created a new “state framework”… [More...]

Taxpayers Don’t Prevail: Nevada’s prevailing wage law benefits narrow groups at public expense

Imagine you’re a plumber living in Mesquite. For most jobs, you’d probably earn as much as a plumber living in nearby St. George, Utah — $19.67 per hour, on average, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor. If you can get work on a public works project financed by Clark County or the… [More...]

$1.3 billion for 288 jobs: The failure of government-subsidized renewable energy

Another reason why government shouldn’t pick winners and losers in the economy  In August, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hosted his fifth annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas. Delivering the keynote address, former president Bill Clinton claimed that if every state had a renewable-energy standard it would “put a lot of people… [More...]

Back to Schools You Wouldn’t Choose: Nevada parents have been left behind in the school-choice movement

As Nevada’s children return to school this fall, many parents will again be frustrated, recognizing that their children will be relegated to sub-standard education. Parents who can’t afford to live in the wealthy neighborhoods that host the best public schools, and who can’t afford private-school tuition, will discover that the educational opportunities available to their… [More...]

What the Obamacare Decision Means for State Policymakers: Court gives states the option of financing congressional scheme

Few decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court have captured the public interest as did its June opinion in NFIB v. Sebelius. This long-anticipated ruling was widely perceived as the final judicial test for one of the most controversial acts of Congress in decades: the Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly known as Obamacare. The challenge centered… [More...]

Margins Tax Mayhem: Unions’ Tax Initiative Would Devastate Small, Struggling Businesses

Dollars

In a long-anticipated move, the hard-left union bosses of the Nevada AFL-CIO and the state teachers union marked D-Day this year by launching another assault against Silver State businesses. A ballot initiative filed by the unions would ask lawmakers to hammer businesses with a new margins tax and then earmark the money to directly benefit… [More...]

The West Fires Back: Utah takes land-rights issue to next level … Will Nevada be next?

The West Fires Back: Utah takes land-rights issue to next level … Will Nevada be next?

Some will call it an ultimatum. It is. But an ultimatum is often necessary when one party refuses to recognize the constitutional rights of another. And that’s why Utah Gov. Gary Herbert recently signed into law legislation challenging the federal government’s authority to occupy state lands. Utah’s HB 148, the Transfer of Public Lands Act,… [More...]

Inflated Salaries Revealed: More than 1,000 government employees made over $200,000 in total compensation in 2011

Nevada Free Market Watch

Pop quiz time. Who made more in base pay in 2011: Gov. Brian Sandoval — at $143,426.25 — or the parks director for the City of Reno? Who made more in base pay in 2011: Any of Clark County’s 15 top-paid senior attorneys or Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who earned $140,389.37? Finally, who made more… [More...]

Texas Margin Tax: Always a Bad Idea: Margin Tax is More Destructive than Alternatives

Leaders in the Democratic majority during the 2011 state legislative session proposed a dramatic change to Nevada’s tax system: Phase out the Modified Business Tax — a tax on private-sector payroll — and replace it with a new, larger levy modeled after Texas’ business margin tax. The effort gained so little traction in Carson City… [More...]

Examining the Tax Plans of Top GOP Candidates: Proposals range from gournd-breaking flat taxes to tweaking the status quo

In 2010, Americans spent 6 billion hours, which is approximately 8,800 lifetimes, and $480 billion doing their taxes. This represents a huge deadweight loss — time and money wasted jumping through government-mandated hoops — for individuals and America’s economy. It’s also why, regardless of how much how you think the federal government needs to collect… [More...]

Hiding Behind Opaque Numbers: Nevada PERS Accounting Practices are Concealing Taxpayers’ Real Liabilities

Nothing pleases a politician more than the ability to promise lavish benefits to important constituencies without having to pay for them. Nevada lawmakers long ago found a vote-buying cash cow of this nature in the state’s Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). PERS manages a defined-benefits pension system that operates much differently from the retirement funds… [More...]

Increasing Student Achievement: Sandoval and Bush Work to Bring Florida-Style Education Reforms to Nevada

It’s easy to be cynical about education and education-reform efforts in Nevada.  For decades, we’ve known that Nevada’s education system needs dramatic improvement. And for decades, unions, led by the Nevada State Education Association, have told Nevadans that spending more money would improve our schools. Thus, spend we have. Over the last 50 years, Nevada… [More...]