Nevada faces dire budget problems

Amanda Williams is president of the UNR College Republicans.

The holidays are fast approaching, and Nevada is facing dire problems this Christmas season. With the country in a huge economic slump, Nevada has definitely seen and will continue to see hard times. It seems Nevada’s state budget is a problem constantly up for discussion. So what do we do now?

The newly elected leaders of this state have their work cut out for them. It will be their job to fix this economic crisis and balance the budget, all the while attempting to make the public happy so they can get re-elected. The options for how to fix this crisis are finite.

Gov. Jim Gibbons recently has suggested that people working for the state take salary decreases instead of being laid off, and he is including himself in these salary decreases. There is also the suggestion of higher taxes to help balance the budget. Either way, people are going to be angry.

Sen. William Raggio, the Republican floor leader in the Nevada Senate, has stated that he wants no part of partisan wrangling over any budget solutions. He has also said, “I’m at that point in my life that I’m going to do what’s right for the state of Nevada.” And he is right.

It shouldn’t matter where one is in the walk of life, we should all want to do what is best for this state. This is our home, and we need to take a little pride in fixing it because regardless of what anyone says, it is broken. But still we wonder how exactly to do this.

I am not an economist. I don’t like math, and I would rather let the computer balance my checkbook. But logic suggests that one of two things needs to happen: The state of Nevada either stops spending money or it gets more money to spend.

Sen. Raggio has hit the nail on the head when he wants to just do what is best for Nevada. This is what everyone should want. We all know that changes are coming. The pessimist in me believes more money is going to come out of taxpayers’ pockets. And unless we want those tax increases to be unnecessarily burdensome, we should also expect services to be cut, too.

Now we can be angry and throw a fit, or we can look at the state of government and understand that this is what we need in order to balance the budget. And this goes for the kids I attend school with at the University of Nevada, Reno. The university is suffering budget cuts for a reason: There is no money to give. Econ 101 would explain this: One needs to have money to spend money. And let me say it again, Nevada does not have this money.

Here’s an idea: Stop whining. It is going to be rough. There will be budget cuts and probably tax increases, but we have to deal with it. I am a Republican who’s against higher taxes. But in this case, it seems that something must be done. We are all going to have to make sacrifices.

I trust that our elected officials in the Nevada Legislature will do everything they can because they care about this state. They care about it more than most other people in the state. Their being part of a non-professional legislature should be enough to prove that.

Stop your protests. And buckle up because the next few months are going to be bumpy.