Cowards in charge

We’re getting a little tired of hearing how broke Nevada is, because it’s hypocrisy, cowardice and lies on the part of legislators that make us broke. The money is here, in this state. The potential for solving all the state’s financial issues is out there, but our elected officials are so concerned about their future elections to higher office that they will not act in the best interests for citizens of this state. These ideologues are going to destroy this state with their illogical fears and can’t-do attitudes.

The situation is very similar to when Nevada thumbed its nose at this country’s cultural mores and legalized gambling. It’s time to be bold. Yes, let’s get some green energy going, but more immediately, legislators must act with conviction to save the quality of life in this state.

Here are a few ideas that have been bandied about, but legislators are too afraid to move on. We’ve written about them in the past, but let’s put them in a list so when your legislator cries poverty and wants to lay off teachers, police and firefighters, you’ll know what to say.

Legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. The largest cash crop in California could be the answer to the majority of our problems. Problem is, if another state legalizes before we do, we will likely lose our competitive edge. Act now.

Legalize gay marriage. It’s the tourism industry’s failure as much as the housing market’s crash that has put Nevada on the road to the poor house. We’re already late to this party. Legislators should have the Nevada Supreme Court look at the Defense of Marriage language in our Constitution and consider its equal protection exclusions because it’s plainly discriminatory.

Tax the prostitution industry. Look, it’s legal; they’ve offered to be taxed for years. But legislators want to pretend since they don’t take money, they aren’t complicit in the game. Politicians pretending to be better than sex workers—that’s a good one. And while we’re talking about it, legalize, regulate and tax prostitution in the urban areas. Illegal prostitutes are not tested for sexual diseases; legal prostitutes are. And Sen. Harry Reid, who called for prostitution to be outlawed, we thought you were addressing legislators to bring Nevadans jobs.

Increase taxes on the mining industry. It’s as a protester showed on a sign on President’s Day on the steps of the Legislature: “Clark County teacher salary, $44,000. Barrick Mining CEO salary, $24,200,000. Let mining share in the sacrifice.” Eliminate deductions and tax at the constitutionally mandated 5 percent tax rate.

Create a fair business tax. Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada proposed a plan two years ago that included a “5 percent net profits tax applied to businesses (including mining, gaming, retail and construction) with profits from $50,000 to $100,000 and a 7 percent net profits tax for those with profits of $100,000 or more would raise an estimated $194 million for Nevada’s general fund.” Seems as good as any plan that’s been offered.

Extend the sales tax on goods (regressive) to services (progressive).

Tax casinos and gaming at the average level they are being taxed in other states. … Oh, who are we kidding?