Not to pith on your parade
Let’s tax the scrivener’s mind. This requires your columnist to come up with several topics to amuse or annoy RN&R readers.
We’ll start this pithy potpourri column with Nevada taxes and—hold your nose here—tax studies. Faithful readers know the drill: Should you object to my high-handed opinionizing, Grin & Barrette.
Pithy potpourri item (PPI) No. 1) The Nevada Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee is wading into the state’s eighth general tax study in 50 years, an exercise in blarney with a price tag of up to $500,000.
Kudos to “TAXTopics,” the Nevada Taxpayer’s Association newsletter, which points out that previous studies shared common threads, among them: “[T]he recommendations from these studies were not enacted in the session following the release of [each] study.” The newsletter noted aspects that were adopted took 20 years on average.
How come? Perhaps legislative action is and always has been as Pennsylvania’s Jack Seltzer explained it to me 35 years ago. Then the Pennsylvania House GOP Appropriations Committee Chairman, later the Speaker, Seltzer counseled:
“It’s tax money, so it’s everybody’s money, so it’s nobody’s money, so it’s my money because I have more votes than the Democrats.”
Flip the partisan majority and Democrats feel the same when they hold sway. Seltzer was talking about spending, but taxation is even more partisan.
Taxation issues are serious with Nevada behind the eight-ball called “pallid state tax receipts” so study No. 8 at least sports an appropriate number.
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PPI No. 2) The health-care “reform” debate is in full flower, so I have a suggestion.
Instead of taxing employment-provided Cadillac health care coverage plans and letting Chevy plans remain all pre-tax dollars, cut the pre-tax benefit for all by half and use the new revenue to give folks on individual plans a rebate.
At the same time, end health insurance oligopolies and create real competition … but I repeat myself (see last week’s column).
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PPI No. 3) Rejoice, Republicans, as Fastidious Harry Reid runs against his worst enemy—his own alter-ego long gone from Searchlight and in full flower as a $7 million man.
There is a reason the Senate Majority Leader had $7 million in his campaign war chest not long ago, and not because everybody back home loves him.
A recent Las Vegas newspaper poll shows him trailing Sue Lowden, former Republican state chair, and Danny Tarkanian, politico wannabe son of former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. They are in the five-person GOP race for the nomination to take on Reid.
Reid can build on his war chest while the GOP quintet spends resources to seek the chance to challenge him. That alone makes Reid tough and, despite his baggage, no sitting duck. Money quacks.
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PPI No. 4) But to heck with the man from Searchlight, undoubtedly still searching in D.C. for more campaign lucre. Let’s look closer at that GOP cluster-fluster for the chance to read Reid the riot act next year.
I can’t take a coach’s son seriously, nor do I cotton to the candidacies of Reno attorney Chuck Kozak or former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, also of Reno and last year’s loser in a GOP primary to state Sen. Bill Raggio.
So I see state Sen. Mark Amodei of Carson City as the alternative in the north to Sue Lowden from the south. She’s been a beauty queen, a news anchor, a state senator and a party leader. Amodei is a pro-business Republican, a solid speaker and an attorney/politician with a future.
May Fastidious Harry’s biggest nightmare win.
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Finally, PPI No. 5) Here’s hoping I didn’t pith anybody off too much.