Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | 2:03 a.m.
Remember when political conservatism meant fiscal responsibility? That was before the right wing discovered it could win elections solely by promising lower taxes (mostly for the rich) without significant service cuts (except for the poor).
Well, conservatives got elected, enacted their simplistic fiscal policies and, lo and behold, the rich got richer, the middle class and poor got poorer — with many losing their homes — and our great nation, under staggering debt, has led the world into its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Is it any wonder that the first response of empty suits such as Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons to fixing our bankrupt state is to make enormous cuts in education? After all, it was an uninformed electorate that voted in the ethically challenged Gibbons.
An uneducated electorate is required to keep voting in politicians whose only qualification is the promise to refrain from raising taxes. And it’s only the uneducated who have forgotten that it was the eight years of the Bush administration — not the four months of the Obama administration — that turned a budget surplus into a massive deficit, doubled our national debt and nearly bankrupted our nation by removing regulations on the greedy financial sector, causing skyrocketing unemployment and home foreclosures.
And when the bill finally comes due, I hope Nevadans will remember what fiscal responsibility means. It’s no secret that Las Vegas has suffered greatly because of its reliance on the tourism/gaming industry.
With McCarran International Airport arrivals and gaming revenue hitting new lows every month — and with the imminent addition of thousands of hotel rooms — isn’t it time we stopped adding to tourists’ bills by raising room and car rental taxes so we don’t have to pay our own way?