We’re Winning the Race to the Bottom
From the Las Vegas Review Journal:
Nevada’s budget outlook is so bleak that lawmakers doubt whether state government can remain afloat without drastic cuts to everything from prisons to schools to state parks and services for the poor and elderly.
Legislators met Tuesday with Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons to discuss how they will cope with a short-term deficit of about $900 million during an upcoming special session of the Legislature. Some Democratic lawmakers acknowledge options to bridge the gap probably won’t include tax increases.
Assemblyman John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, said pay cuts and layoffs for state employees are probably inevitable.
“These are drastic, drastic cuts. I would be surprised if some folks didn’t lose their jobs,” Oceguera said.
Taylor said such a cut would hit lower-wage employees extremely hard, especially because some lower-paying jobs are held by single parents raising children. There had been talks that salary cuts would be made only to employees earning more than $40,000 a year.
Oceguera was uncertain whether it would be considered “a socialist type thing” to tailor pay cuts according to earnings.
A Chamber of Commerce study released earlier this month found state and local government employees in 2008 earned an average pay of $55,657 in 2008, sixth highest among states and $6,800 higher than the national average. For state employees alone, the average pay was $55,266.
Teacher pay in Nevada averaged $48,257 a year in 2008, below the $50,852 national average, according to the chamber study. University and community college faculty members in Nevada earn $69,282 on average, compared with the national average of $72,959.
The study also found that Nevada has the fewest number of public employees on a per capita basis in the country, at 43.7 per 1,000 residents.
But Gibbons, who sets the agenda for the session, has long said he would veto any tax increases.
“Our only real option,” Horsford said, “is to eliminate or reduce spending.”
This is absolutely shocking. Gibbons is leading us in a race to the bottom.
Nevada state and local government employees get paid more than the average. That means the local employees get paid more than the average and the state employees get paid considerably less than average. But, that’s not what the Chamber of Commerce says since they might have a little difficulty being objective in this matter. What on earth are they even involved for? They’re the enemy and part of what made our current mess.
This seems so terribly obvious to any casual observer to be a race to the bottom. Nevada has been groveling at the bottom of everything important for so long, we just don’t know what to do if we’re not dead last. We seem to be winning the race to be the first state to resemble Haiti. Let’s all compete to see how low we can pay our state employees. Soon we’ll all be greeted by illegal aliens at the state agencies because they’ll work for less than Americans will. Is that what we want in America?
They’re afraid to affect the rich more than the poor because they’re afraid it’ll sound Socialist? This has to be about the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in a while. When was it considered Socialist to expect those who benefit the most from society to pay the most? Socialist? If this is Socialism, then America’s founding fathers were all Socialists. They expected everyone to pay their fair share. Shame on you for disparaging the names of our forefathers!
And, if you were paying attention, Nevada is paying our educators well below the average. Obviously we’re dead last in education. We only get back what we’re willing to invest. We should be having a race to see how much more money we can put back in the hands of the middle and lower class and we should be expecting the wealthy to start paying their fair share.
Gibbon, oh what a fine example of Republican principles. No new taxes. We wouldn’t want the billionaires to pay their fair share, now would we? No, let’s just take it out of the pockets of those who need it the most.
When will America start to realize that this Republican approach is destroying our country?