Raising taxes is not the way to address Nevada’s budget shortfall.
June 18, 2020
ITEM #1: A special session of the Nevada Legislature will soon be upon us, for the purposes of addressing the massive budget hole — estimated at $812 million — created by the government-imposed shutdown in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
With Democrats controlling the Governor’s office and both houses of the legislature, tax increases are always on the menu, regardless of the budget situation. In fact, Democrats raised our taxes just last year (and in a constitutionally dubious way to boot, bypassing the provision requiring two-thirds of both houses to approve any tax hike).
So even as our state economy struggles to get back on its feet today, it’s hardly shocking that Nevada’s politicians, led by Governor Steve Sisolak, seem poised to respond to the shortfall by soaking taxpayers once again.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:
"Sisolak said he could not rule out raising taxes to meet the shortfall and said decisions would also depend on possible additional aid from the federal government.
“'We are clearly in an extremely difficult position,' Sisolak said. 'I don’t know what appetite there is there (in the Legislature). It’s difficult for me to even think about raising taxes when I’ve got families that are still unemployed, they’re still waiting to get back to work, and don’t want to impact those at all. But it’s going to depend what the Legislature comes up with.'”
Notice how the Governor is setting the table for a classic example of passing the buck. He’s signaling that he doesn’t want to see taxes raised, but is also communicating a willingness to defer to lawmakers — who, being mostly Democrats, are of course going to want to raise our taxes. In other words, it’s clear the Governor wants to have it both ways — get the new revenue that tax hikes would generate, but be able to claim he never really supported a tax hike himself.
Of course, as the Governor, he could come out strongly, right now, against any new taxes, and stop any such effort in its tracks. But of course, that would take leadership. It’s so much easier to throw up your hands and play the role of helpless bystander through a crisis than it is to lead us out of one.
And let’s not forget that while running as a candidate for Governor, Sisolak pledged not to raise taxes. Yet he and legislative Democrats went on to do exactly that.
As for the coming debate over taxes itself … let’s just say that as our economy continues to suffer under the worst unemployment rate in the country (thanks to the Governor’s unnecessarily heavy-handed approach to shutting down economic activity), saddling Nevada’s families and job creators with a higher tax burden would be the absolute worst thing we could do.
Now more than ever, we need to be looking at ways to remove government barriers to economic recovery — not putting up new ones. And that means the best way to address our shortfall is for government to reduce spending, become more efficient, and make the same kinds of sacrifices everyday Nevadans are already making.
In other words, do the exact opposite of everything the Democrats who are in charge believe in. Stay tuned.
ITEM #2: Will Joe Biden be held accountable for his role in the Obama administration’s spying on Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former National Security Advisor?
Lee Smith, writing for the New York Post, reports that:
“A list declassified Tuesday by Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grennel shows that Biden and others asked to have Flynn’s name ‘unmasked’ in transcripts of US intelligence intercepts of foreign officials. The names of US persons or entities incidentally collected by such intercepts are minimized to protect the privacy rights of Americans. Unmasking identities is not in itself illegal, nor even necessarily improper. Occasionally US policymakers will ask to unmask a US person to better understand the nature of the intelligence before them. Obama officials, however, gorged themselves like children at a candy store.”
Smith adds that senior U.S. officials made 49 requests to unmask Flynn over a nearly two-month period beginning the day Donald Trump was elected.
“The sheer number of requests to unmask his identity is evidence of a widespread surveillance campaign targeting the man who was, outside of Trump’s family, his most trusted adviser. Knowing what Flynn was telling foreign officials would give them insight into Trump’s thinking — which is to say, President Barack Obama’s team was spying on his successor in order to preserve his foreign policy initiatives.”
The entire piece is well worth reading, which you can do here.
But the bottom line?
“[T]his was about Obama’s massive surveillance of his political opponents. The list published Tuesday is evidence that the heir to that legacy is Joe Biden.”
Which means you can bet the national “news” press will remain far too distracted by other priorities to give this development any attention.
ITEM #3: What’s the “right kind of black person”?
Most likely, you reject the very premise of that question as offensive and racist.
But apparently it’s a perfectly fine thing to ponder at CNN.
The Washington Examiner’s Dominick Mastrangelo shares the following story that would be simply unbelievable, if it didn’t involve CNN:
"A former anchor for CNN is alleging a senior female executive at the network advised her to book only a certain type of black guest to appear on her show.
"'This is an interesting read. Reminds me of the CNN exec who told me: 'Roland Martin isn’t the 'right kind of' Black person.' She didn't want me to book him on my show,' Soledad O'Brien tweeted over the weekend. 'Charles Blow, she told me, (also a frequent guest) was ‘the right kind of Black.''
"O'Brien, who was a host on CNN for a decade, was reacting to a bombshell piece in the Huffington Post by journalist Yashar Ali, which laid out accusations of racism and discrimination against black people by Barbara Fedida, head of ABC News talent."
In the past, Roland Martin has spoken out in defense of black Republicans who’ve been targeted with racist slurs because of their ideology, including charges that they’re “Uncle Toms.” Charles Blow, of course, is a reliably left-wing op-ed writer for the New York Times.
So it’s perfectly clear what CNN means by the “right kind of black person.”
The left loves diversity … as long as you think exactly like they do.
ITEM #4: Gallup reports that:
“American pride has continued its downward trajectory reaching the lowest point in the two decades of Gallup measurement. The new low comes at a time when the U.S. faces public health and economic crises brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest following the death of George Floyd in police custody.
“Although a majority of adults in the U.S. still say they are ‘extremely proud’ (42%) or ‘very proud’ (21%) to be American, both readings are the lowest they have been since Gallup's initial measurement in 2001.”
For comparison, as Gallup reports, “Just over half, 55%, felt extreme pride in the initial January 2001 reading, prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the three subsequent years, between 65% and 70% were extremely proud …”
Drilling down further into the numbers reveals that:
“Since 2016, extreme pride is down among all major subgroups. And this measure of national pride is at its lowest among several demographic subgroups that have been consistently less likely to express extreme pride over the years. These groups, which are typically Democratic-leaning, include young adults aged 18-29, women, college graduates and nonwhites.”
Only 24 percent of Democrats said they are “extremely proud” to be an American.
It's sad that in the greatest country in the history of the world, national pride could fall like this. But then again, given the constant America-bashing and obsession over bad news from the national “news” media and the rest of the political left, it’s hardly surprising that many of our fellow citizens’ moods have soured.
ITEM #5: Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida hasn’t been shy about weighing in on some of our nation’s biggest controversies or calling the left out on its anti-American behavior.
Recently, Gaetz took the U.S. Soccer Federation, which oversees the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams, to task for announcing that it would allow its players to refuse to stand for the national anthem.
"I’d rather the US not have a soccer team than have a soccer team that won’t stand for the National Anthem. You shouldn’t get to play under our flag as our national team if you won’t stand when it is raised."
That last sentence hits the nail right on the head. You want to disrespect our country? That’s bad enough. But it’s disgusting to do it while wearing our country’s uniform and representing us on the field.
By the way, we want to remind you that Congressman Gaetz will be part of our outstanding speaker lineup for this year’s 6th Annual Basque Fry on August 8 in Gardnerville. We’re sure he’ll have plenty of additional thoughts to share!
If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to get your tickets today — they’re going fast!
ITEM #6: Charlie Kirk tweets:
“Last time a Republican was Mayor in the following cities:
Yet somehow, President Trump and Republicans consistently get blamed for the problems plaguing these Democrat-dominated places.
ITEM #7: Let’s talk about CHAZ.
CHAZ, which stands for “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” is a self-declared autonomous area of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. It was created earlier this month by protestors in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, with the idea being to create a new political system based on the principles of “social justice.”
Naturally, one of its many stated goals is to create a neighborhood free of police.
So how’s that working out?
City Journal’s Christopher F. Rufo reports that:
“Though activists have largely succeeded in creating a multiracial coalition, the CHAZ leaders have sometimes adopted policies of explicit segregation, with some spaces reserved for BIPOC — ‘Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.’”
Segregation? Doesn’t exactly sound like “progress” to us. But there’s more:
"On June 10, with the goal of building consensus and designating leadership for the movement, protesters organized the first CHAZ People’s Assembly. After setting up a stage and PA system, one of the initial speakers raised the question of legitimate authority, asking the audience: 'What’s the structure, how are we going to achieve some sort of communal hierarchy that we all feel comfortable with?' The audience booed and insisted that the movement should remain 'horizontal' and leaderless. …
"With this vacuum of legitimate authority, the CHAZ has failed to address the critical question of violence — and the most heavily armed and aggressive factions have become the de facto police power. Though the rhetoric of the autonomous zone emphasizes openness and freedom, the enforcers within the CHAZ have sometimes brutally opposed dissenting voices. A revolving group of vigilantes, including the 'warlord' Raz Simone, has forcibly removed conservative journalists and activists; in another case, masked Antifa partisans confronted a Christian street preacher and provocateur, choking him unconscious and dragging him through the streets. ...
"Sunday night, the CHAZ nearly erupted into a wider conflict. A man dressed in black broke into the Car Tender, a local business, allegedly stealing some items and setting the building on fire. The shop’s owner and a heavily armed companion put out the fire and detained the alleged thief, prompting a mob of protesters to swarm the area, break down the fence, and confront the shop owners, believing a rumor that the thief was being held at gunpoint. After a tense exchange, Raz Simone and the mob eventually chased down the alleged thief and forcibly detained him. Despite multiple calls for service, the police refused to intervene."
Ordinarily we’d add some kind of comment at the end here. But really … what more is there to say?
"Lord of the Flies in downtown Seattle. What could go wrong?" ― U.S. Senator (and 2020 Basque Fry speaker) Ted Cruz
“No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity.” ― Rush Limbaugh