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August 29, 2014

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The Legislature:

Is Brian Sandoval’s ‘shared-sacrifice’ budget the solution to state’s economic woes?

Image

Cathleen Allison / AP

Gov. Brian Sandoval, shown here Jan. 3 at his inauguration, has unveiled a plan that will call for “shared sacrifice” to balance the state’s budget.

State of the State

Christina Sablan wears a crown to celebrate her 29th birthday at her apartment with family January 18, 2011. With the help of a state program called Residential Support Services, Christina, who lost the ability to speak after a neurological infection as a baby, lives in her own apartment with supervision. Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

On Monday, Gov. Brian Sandoval will deliver his first State of the State address.

It promises to be equal parts optimistic vision statement — the new governor has promised Nevada will return to its former glory within three years — and tacit telling of hard truths — he will simultaneously present a budget that he intends to balance without new taxes and despite a $2.2 billion deficit to maintain current services. This, he says, will be accomplished through “shared sacrifice.”

Whether Sandoval acknowledges it or not Monday night, the path from the hard present to the hopeful future is unclear. What is evident though is that moving Nevada forward will be more difficult than it would have been even two years ago, when the Legislature last convened in regular session to confront a daunting deficit.

In the two years that have passed, unemployment has risen from 10 percent to 14.5 percent. And growth, a well-worn crutch leaned upon for funding, is gone as our population is shrinking. Add to that other indicators — declining wealth, increasing poverty, fewer teachers per student — and it’s clear that Sandoval has fewer resources to draw upon to fulfill his promise that by 2014 “Nevada will be Nevada again.”

Of course, even during the best of times Nevada struggled with social problems and substandard educational outcomes, partly the result of its image as a destination of last resort and partly a failure of leadership. Growth was so rapid and unrelenting that institutions — government entities and private nonprofit groups alike — struggled to keep pace and develop into mature and effective organizations.

Until as recently as 2007, that didn’t matter, or it didn’t matter as much.

During the boom, Nevadans, from the executive suites of the Strip to the suburbs with their inflated home prices, were building tremendous wealth. There were fights about what to fund and who should pay, but as long as Reno and Las Vegas kept stretching into the desert, there were resources.

Now, the state is left with largely the same problems — in some cases they’re a little worse, in some cases a little better (see accompanying chart). Employment, hours worked, wages and wealth have all plummeted. This has created surging demand for services such as Medicaid and food stamps, as government’s ability to deal with the same old problems, let alone the new ones, is diminished.

•••

Sandoval has declined to preview his plan for solving the deficit. But some of the contours of his budget have emerged in the past few weeks:

• He will not, at any cost, raise taxes or fees.

This is more than a campaign slogan to curry favor with the conservative base but rather, he says, a philosophy for keeping the economy on life support as he works to bring new industry to the state.

• Local governments, state employees and college students will likely bear the brunt of spending cuts.

State worker furloughs implemented last session will be replaced by an across-the-board 5 percent salary cut. And universities and community colleges could be given the power to increase tuition, and keep the additional revenue, to offset cuts in state funding.

• He is expected to shift revenue from city and county coffers to the state general fund to offset potentially painful funding reductions.

His advisers are selling this as a more unified approach to government spending, arguing the divisions between state, county and local government are largely meaningless to the average taxpayer.

• Sandoval also will be picking and choosing from proposed 10 percent cuts submitted by state agencies under the administration of Gov. Jim Gibbons.

Sandoval’s message of “shared sacrifice” can be summed up this way: State agencies, and by extension those who rely on state services, must sacrifice so that businesses don’t endure tax increases. This, he argues, will make the state appealing to businesses looking to move.

But some evidence suggests cutting government spending could be a bigger drag on the economy than raising taxes on business.

Elliott Parker, an economist at UNR, said both spending cuts and tax increases have a negative effect on a state’s gross domestic product during times of recession. But, in particular, a cut in existing government spending is the worse alternative.

“There’s a big difference between doing something in a recession and doing something in a boom,” he said. “When the economy is going great guns, you can cut the government sector and pretty easily make up the difference in the overall sector.”

Not so during a recession, he said.

Again, timing is everything. A misplaced tax increase could chase off private investment needed for recovery. But Nevada’s economy isn’t yet poised for recovery.

“We’re nowhere near recovery,” Parker said. “To the extent we’re stabilizing, we’re losing people as fast as we’re losing jobs. And the overall amount of spending in the economy is not recovering.”

That raises questions about Sandoval’s approach and the likelihood that it will lead the state to recovery as soon as promised.

Other economists, however, argue some government spending can be reduced in areas that don’t have as strong an effect on productivity — a fact Parker also acknowledges. For example, cutting spending on education, infrastructure and other areas in which the government or the economy receives something in return would hurt more than cutting spending on public employee retirement benefits.

“And on the tax side, it makes a big difference what taxes you raise,” said Tom Cargill, an economist at UNR. “So, it really depends on the composition of the expenditures and the composition of the taxes.”

Cutting spending on teacher salaries, for example, takes money out of the economy because teachers are likely to spend their earnings on goods and services here. By contrast, money that businesses save on lower taxes could land in their out-of-state headquarters.

Experts note that in addition to having a narrow economy — tourism and development — Nevada also has one of the narrowest tax structures.

The state has no personal or corporate income tax, no tax on services, and property taxes based on infrastructure replacement costs rather than market value. Nevada reaps no benefit from the value of a company’s intellectual property or the total capital stream of businesses with multiple-state holdings, such as hotels, casino and mining companies. Instead, the state taxes only on the value of buildings and equipment.

That’s problematic in the new world economy, experts warn.

“Even if Nevada is successful in diversifying its economy, under the current tax system, our tax base would remain narrower than our economic base because we would not be able to tax intangible property value, which is the largest component of value for many firms,” a recent study by UNR Center for Regional Studies found. “Our 21st century economy would continue to be assessed by 19th century measures.”

•••

Although there are sharp lines of disagreement over who should pay to fund government and how much, there’s less discord over things the state needs to improve its fortunes.

State leaders have for years agreed it should begin with a better education system.

Click to enlarge photo

Robert Lang

They also agree that giving more control to schools, principals and teachers will raise student achievement and create a laboratory for education innovation. Sandoval, teachers union leaders and legislators of both parties have called for such changes to Nevada’s schools, which nationally have student-teacher ratios that rank 48th and among the lowest graduation rates and results on standardized test scores.

But the issue reveals where rhetoric and reality have parted ways in recent years.

The state set aside $100 million — money that flowed into state coffers in 2005 — to create pilot programs driven by front-line educators. Initially, it paid for things such as tutoring, discipline specialists and English-language instructors. If successful, they could be replicated elsewhere.

“I feel like we made steady gains in student achievement” under the program, said Keith Rheault, Nevada superintendent of schools. “Teachers and principals took ownership of the programs. It was some of the best money we ever spent.”

Then came the Great Recession. When Gibbons and lawmakers set about slashing the budget, the money to spur innovation in schools was among the first cuts.

Higher education, which experts say is a key driver to economic diversification here, was also hit, losing 700 employees, a drop of 5.5 percent from 2008. About 35 programs, degrees and academic centers have been eliminated or are likely to be.

Among the programs that have been eliminated: educational leadership.

The experience of the past two years underscores why talk of bright futures must turn to how the state improves fundamental services such as education.

It’s hard to sell CEOs on a state when you can’t assure them that their children and their employees’ children will receive a good education.

“If we do not close educational attainment gaps, nothing else will attract business,” said Robert Lang, director of Brookings Mountain West, a public policy think tank at UNLV.

“At some point we are just going to have to invest in our own future and say it’s in all our best interests to spend the money,” said Jeremy Aguero, principal of the consulting firm Applied Analysis.

Sandoval has said the state can improve its education system without additional money.

In response to Friday’s news that the state’s unemployment rate had inched higher, Sandoval cited it as a reason “why I’ve said we cannot burden struggling businesses with tax increases ... We must allow sunsetting taxes to expire at the end of June and provide businesses the environment in which to begin hiring again.”

Under Sandoval’s budget, Nevada’s largest businesses will see their payroll taxes drop to pre-2009 levels. The sales tax the average Nevadan pays on goods will also go down.

•••

It would be easy to point to the crisis and say the governor and Legislature are finally going to get serious about solving the state’s long-term social and educational problems and address a system of taxation that will lead to structural budget deficits for as far as the eye can see.

Lawmakers in charge of the budget two years ago acknowledge that they relied on short-term fixes, but deny it was political expediency. Rather, a stubborn and disengaged governor and the need to override threatened vetoes derailed their ability to make lasting changes.

“While temporary fixes are difficult, permanent fixes are near impossible without a great deal of work and consensus,” former Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said.

Barbara Buckley

Barbara Buckley

Still, some economists say that in a crisis short-term fixes are about all a state can do, especially in a state such as Nevada that is dependent on consumer spending and the national economy to fund its government.

Some economists, those who adhere to the Keynesian school of thought, think government spending should be maintained as governments are the only entities capable of spending in a recession.

But that line of economic thinking often gets caught up in politics. “Instead of people staying rational, they say ‘that’s government spending and that’s wrong by definition,’ ” says John Restrepo, an economist and principal of Restrepo Consulting Group. “That’s how politicized things are.”

Although the governor and lawmakers may be capable of only short-term fixes in a crisis, they should also be laying the groundwork for a recovery, experts say.

However, seasoned observers, having watched the Nevada Legislature kick the can down the proverbial road session after session, believe the governor and lawmakers will likely take the path of least resistance.

This in turn creates space, however, for elected officials to step up to the lonely, quiet stage, and go big.

Sun reporters David McGrath Schwartz, J. Patrick Coolican and Delen Goldberg contributed to this story.

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  1. If Nevada becomes Nevada again...

    ...doesn't that take us back to the place that led to...

    ...here?

    Just a thought.

  2. I stopped in at Team Ford on Drexel Road in NLV yesterday. There was a bright orange and red Raptor close by with a price tag close to $51,500, not including taxes, & documentation fees etc.

    11 mpg City mileage, 16 road. The salesman said those trucks go out as fast as they come in, just can't keep them on the lot. He says Team Ford is the Raptor sales leader in the Western States and that is good.

    It was also a relief to discover that the rest rooms were not coin operated, as I had left all of my spare change at home.

    On the way out of the Cul de Sac, I stopped in at Terrible's for a Senior coffee at their McDonalds, found a free Review Journal on one of the tables to read and began looking for instructions on the civilized methods of sacrifice in Nevada, since I'm not very good at killing goats.

  3. I thought Obama made those trucks illegal!

  4. "It would be easy to point to the crisis and say the governor and Legislature are finally going to get serious about solving the state's long-term social and educational problems and address a system of taxation that will lead to structural budget deficits for as far as the eye can see."

    Seriously? So if only the structure of our taxes were changed we could avoid deficits? Wow!

    If that were actually true then wouldn't it also be true that 'progressive states' with 'better tax structures' like say California or New Jersey would be in great fiscal shape?

    Oh wait a minute they are not. Why? Oh that's right because they still overspend. Until we change how we budget and how much we spend we will never be able to tax ourselves enough.

  5. Ultimately, the question is, are their enough people outside the sphere of special interests to do the right thing to move Nevada out of the Dark Ages?
    Because if there are not, Las Vegas, the engine that drives the state, will implode like so many old Casino/Hotels.
    Our slow, painful death will continue unabated until the last vestiges of civilized humans are driven from here as if to escape the Black Plague.
    Everyone understands sacrifices and cuts are part of the solution. But there are associated costs at every increment of cuts. There comes a point where you are cutting off your nose to spite your face.
    At a point, the cutting starts costing more than it's realized savings. Cause & effect.

    The Anti-Tax Brigade, with their mouthpiece about to deliver their propaganda via the State of the State Address, (PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!) will NOT be proposing anything resembling "shared sacrifice".
    What they are proposing is what we ALWAYS hear when the plate is passed around;
    "Give till it hurts, and then give some more! Go on, it'll make you feel GOOD!"
    It reminds me of a Church, under the auspices of "giving to God", asking you to live frugally as God Himself would want, and "give your worldly possessions unto them", whilst the Church gets a golden gilding and it's keepers live high off the hog...
    Like your Jim & Tammy Faye Bakers, THEY ARE ALL FAKERS!!!

  6. So many people wanting other peoples hard work. My problem is that i remember when the high-schools produced people with the skill to make a living, now the kids need 5 more years to get to the level of an 8th grader in 1960. I am not willing to pay more for a failed system until they can prove to me that they teach how to become a usefull citizen.

  7. Our Governor is bought and paid for by big business and the only shared sacrifice will be coming out of the working peoples pockets in one form or the other. If it cost more to license your car, fill up you car, or your license dog it is an increase in money out of your pocket(taxes). The Republicant ploy is to call it anything but a tax. Republicants will tax the the working class until they cannot pay anymore and then tax us again. I say that increases should be shared by all, not excluding anybody, especially big business. Mining and and Gaming are the two major winners in this state and they have been let off the tax hook for too long. They have the money to pay, greed just motivates them not to pay. You have to realize that this administration is bought and paid for by big business. Monday evening will find out what they have been up to.

  8. "Sandoval's message of "shared sacrifice" can be summed up this way: State agencies, and by extension those who rely on state services, must sacrifice so that businesses don't endure tax increases. This, he argues, will make the state appealing to businesses looking to move."

    Did the Las Vegas Sun writers miss the part about the 15 percent unemployment, the wholesale destruction of the private sector and how the public sector has come out relatively unscathed so far?

    To date, government agencies have dramatically overstated budget cuts by obfuscating the numbers - a lot of the public, and the press, have bought into these bogus numbers.

    CCSD's operating fund per pupil, for example, is down 1.1 percent since the 2007-08 school year (about when the recession started)

    UNLV is only down 9 percent since the recession started.

    That is not end of the world revenue loss - not even close to what the private sector, especially in Las Vegas, has seen.

    In other words,the private sector has been sacrificed to keep the public sector party going.

  9. Class size reduction is expensive and ineffective according to a Brookings Institution white paper http://edpro.stanford.edu/hanushek/admin...

  10. ...for example Gaming wins for Oct/Nov/Dec of 2010 are down 20 percent (NOT INFLATION ADJUSTED) from 2007 (meaning the inflation adjusted loss is a lot more).

    The public sector has not seen losses like the private sector - not in jobs, not in revenue - not by a long shot.

  11. Yes, every time I see the Gov., I think of Alfred E. Newman. "What, me worry?"

    No mention of taxes on the mining companies (many of them foreign owned) who take billions out of the state and pay a pittance in taxes. We, in essence, are like Appalachia, a "colonial" region where outside capital extracts the wealth and leaves nothing but misery and poverty.

    Casinos? Nevada ranks last in all the states that have casinos when it comes to taxes.

    Both parties are at fault for this mess, don't get me wrong.

    But instead of attacking state workers, students, the poor, the sick, we need to have a clear-headed, fact-based discussion about "shared sacrifice."

  12. By the way, successful business leaders look at issues like quality of life, education, crime, etc. as much as tax rates when it comes to establishing or moving businesses.

    Massive cuts to education, law and fire protection, the environment, etc. are not conducive to attracting business.

    One for instance for you. I have a friend who has reversed his decision on moving his company to Arizona. Many of his employees have expressed concerns about moving there, and the recent cuts to Arizona's state budget have convinced him to stay in California. While California has its problems, he believes a much more enlightened leadership is there to deal with them.

  13. Patrick, STOP WITH THE PROPAGANDA!!!

    Do you fool YOURSELF, Pat???

    I thought if you got some fresh air, after they kicked you out of the "stink tank", you might see the light...
    But yet, you see only darkness.
    Are you blind?

  14. Recall the governor and elect Rory!

  15. NPR"lie" and their fellow travelers know nothing about budgeting. What business would cut every division, and see who does the best, and give more funding to that entity? It is crazy. Like no one ever heard of forward planning?

    Take INTEL. They would cut funding to all chip projects and see which one does the best, then give them more funding? No! They would analyze trends and conclude "it looks like mobile computing and mobile devices (i.e. pads, smart phones) are a growing market, as well as wireless networks, let's put MORE funding there and maybe cut resources to home desktop microprocessor research."

    So Sandoval, will say cut schools, prisons, agriculture, infrastructure, and so on, then see who does the best with what they were given, and give them more resources if they "do well?" Voodoo economics and budgeting. Its nuts.

    Not to mention, the state will get sued and pay out expensive settlements.

    Did you see where the state had to pay $400,000 to the family of a prisoner who died because of poor prison medical care?

    ...and don't think there won't be other suits, regarding schools, the environment, and so on.

  16. Nevada has to stop acting like a territory and actually become a State; time to grow up Nevada.

  17. roseanrose: the term is "CRIMINAL INVADER" , please

  18. Gmag,

    Can you at least acquire enough intellectual integrity to debate the issues? Maybe one day you can supply factual counterpoints?

    Factual counterpoints, not meaningless hyperbole, would be appreciated from you too mred.

  19. Mr. Lide
    Why do you think taxing Casinos more would work? Nevada is the only state in the union with a competitive casino market. The only one. Other states grant monopoly powers to the very, very few casinos that operate within their borders. That monopoly power allows them to make massive amounts of profits that the state can suckle from. You can't do that here because we have over 300 gaming companies.

    A higher tax on mining is also pointless. Mining only makes huge amounts of profits when the rest of the economy tanks. Most people who talk about taxing mining also don't understand the operation. They think the final price of gold is controlled by the mining companies or that the mining companies are actually making that much.

    Think of it this way, Company X makes shirts for $1 and sells it to Wall Mart for $2. Wall Mart sells the shirt to consumers for $4. People advocating more taxes on mining are essentially saying "its not fair the product is sold for $4 when we're only getting to tax the $1 in profit made by company x" people advocating higher taxes on mining are misleading the public about the issue.

  20. Shannon K,

    Gerald Bracey was a union funded public education failure apologist. His job is to attack academic research that doesn't square with the union line. Often, he obfuscates reality or doesn't even take the researcher head on (which is why most ignore him).

    The fact is this: class size reduction is an expensive failure. 85 percent of the studies on class size reduction show that either nothing happens or students are harmed by it.

    That report I cited by the way, was prepared for the Brookings Institution - a left-of-center think tank which Brian Greenspun is a board member.

  21. http://www.hks.harvard.edu/pepg/PDF/Pape...

    2010 paper from Harvard - districts subjected to the state's class size reduction mandate did not perform districts which were allowed to use funds for alternative purposes.

    In other words, class size reduction did not make districts better in Florida.

  22. Patrick:

    I really don't think you are in a position to attack Gmag's intellectual integrity.

    Really, Patrick, your stuff is not research since the only answers your group comes up with happens to be your party's line. Anything that does not comport with your party's line never finds its way into your reports. Mostly, the stuff I have seen relies on someone else's work massaged to deliver the NPRI. The Goldwater thing you cite elsewhere today points to all kind of growth in the student/nonstudent ratios, however, never explains why or what. You simply conclude waste and inefficiency.

    The same is true for the Clark County school analogy. Comparing student/nonstudent ratios from 50 years ago to today is certainly a piece of information, but in no way shape or form explains the phenomenon. You just simply conclude waste and inefficiency.

    I conclude non-rigorous and superficial research.

  23. Shannon K,

    Bracey's argument is essentially this:

    A: Hanushek compares teacher-pupil ratios to student achievement.
    B: Teacher-pupil ratios are not class-size
    C: Teacher-pupil ratios have fallen, but class size has not (no real evidence to back this up though)
    D: Therefore class size reduction cannot be blamed for the failure to increase student achievement.

    Here is how Bracey is wrong and has tricked you.

    1) Hanushek acknowledges the difference between ratio and actual class size but notes that there is very little good long-term class size data. Think about it - all the different classes, at different schools, in different districts, in different states. Gym glass vs English class - it would be very difficult to put this data together. Furthermore, no one uses class size data - everyone, from teacher union apologists to right wing nuts look at teacher-pupil ratios. That data is used to applaud or attack a school, district or state.

    In other words, everyone accepts the validity of teacher-pupil ratios for this purpose (Except Bracey and is ilk in this instance because the data is used to bash something he liked).

    2) If dramatically increasing the number of teachers (thus reducing teacher-pupil ratio) does not reduce class size WHY ARE WE HIRING ALL THESE TEACHERS IN THE FIRST PLACE?

    In other words, Bracey is admitting (and hoping he's got you fooled) that we've got all these teachers but we're paying them to do less work - ie the teachers get free time instead of a small class of students.

  24. Turialba,

    1. Gmag hasn't bothered to provide a factual counterpoint. So yes, I can question him all I want.

    2. I have never belonged to a political party. Ever.

    3. Education isn't about party - it is about helping children have a chance at a better life. Some people, perhaps like yourself, would rather party cheerlead than work with and talk about the facts and the science.

    4. About the Goldwater study your point makes no sense. It shows that both instructors and administrators per pupil have increased as have the funding per pupil and tuition yet no one seems to think quality has increased. Are you struggling to draw a conclusion from this?

    I'm not sure you're in a position to conclude anything on research. What are your qualifications again?

  25. Under this "shared sacrifice" rhetoric what are the wealthy being asked to sacrifice?

  26. WalMart pays a corporate income tax to every single state that borders Nevada; however they pay NO corporate tax in Nevada. Where is the shared sacrifice in that, Sandogibbons?

    The mining industry has been enjoying RECORD profits for the least few YEARS because the price of gold (pieces of our state that are permanently pulled out of the ground and sold by FOREIGN COMPANIES) has skyrocketed. Yet they pay next to nothing in taxes. Where is the shared sacrifice in that, Sandogibbons?

    According to you and the other rich people you pal around with from the Jones Vargas law firm, its the working people, children, and elderly of this state that must sacrifice EVEN MORE than they have in the last few years so that you and your rich friends and foreign countries can reap more profit and pay nothing in return.

    Are you the governor of the people or of out of state and foreign corporations? Tomorrow we shall see.

  27. No new taxes or increased taxes=no income to replace that lost in the recession=no money to pay the bills. It's impossible to balance the budget by cuts alone.

    Beware if it's too good to be true it isn't! Fellow citizens a fast shuffle or funny arithmetic schemes won't work. The state needs INCOME not budget games.

    By the way the comment by johnmanrules below is on the mark except for the number of state employees that have already or are going to lose their jobs!

    I will just go out there and say that I am a state employee. Let me tell you about some of those lavish benefits that I have. Oh sure, I get 11 holidays per year and 3 weeks vacation. But it is funny that many of my "civilian" counterparts also receive nearly the same amount of time off. Oh wait, you must be talking about my wonderful health, dental and vision insurance. Although the premium has doubled in the past 3 years, the benefits are so great that it doesn't matter. I know that I will lose all but cleanings and xrays on my dental, but that is ok. I know my vision will go from them providing $100 towards my frames and lenses to nothing but that is ok. I know my medical will be gutted to where it doesn't even matter if I have it, but I am a government employee, living high on the hog with my huge salary right? I know I could get a job at station casino's and get my health, dental and vision for 35 dollars per month for my whole family and that those benefits are much better than mine, but I am living the high life. Oh I know, you talking about my wonderful pension. The one that has went from a 15% contribution by me to now being almost a 22% contribution by me. Yep, another 2 percent this year. That is in addition to the 1.5 percent increase two years ago. But I make so much money that this doesn't matter. It's only another 3.5 percent on top of my furlough, no-step increases and decrease in benefits with an increase in the cost of them. Yep, living high on the hog is wonderful. Don't mind that I have lost 15% in lost raises, 4.6% in furloughs, 3.5% percent in pension contributions, 2.5% in medical contributions all with an increase in work for those that have left and they won't fill the open spots. Guess I need to sacrifice a little more than the 25% that I already have. That's what these clowns on here want!

  28. Nevada just elected a Republican. California just elected a Democrat (Brown). Now that they're in office, both are saying pretty much the same thing.
    Since both states are broke and in serious debt, There are 2 choices. Cuts or taxes (or both). Brown has called for a special election to raise taxes and fees (likely to go down in defeat...then what?). This way Brown is able to pass the "blame" onto voters and noy himself if it somehow passes and taxes are raised.
    In the end cuts will have to be made, and taxes and fees are likely to raise. In CA, vehicle license fees have doubled, and other new "pollution district fees" have been added as well. I just sold my newest car (and didn't replace it), so they will get less from me! The older car will serve me just fine for a few more years.
    I have made many serious cuts in my own spending due to substantially reduced income due to the job situation, so I have no problem at all with cuts of 10-20 percent for ALL government workers (teachers are included in that). They'll still be doing a lot better than most of us out here. Also eliminate a lot of the "executives" making hundreds of thousands at government agencies. The CEO of the County health systems here (oversees the state run medicad called Medi-CAL here) just got a raise from $283k to $325k. That's obscene and inexcusable. People are up in arms about it, It's the subject of most local talk radio lately. And that's for one county. There are 58 Counties here, many probably have similar positions.
    Hunker down folks, it's going to get ugly out there, I'd hold off on buying the Raptor for awhile. (but that IS a very cool truck). My 6 year old Malibu will get me there just as well (and with a lot less gas!).

  29. Turrialba,
    Thanks for the support.
    You and I can disagree, and DO, but we can do so civilly, and even though we have diametrically opposite politics, we are friendly.
    You can't argue, or have an "intellectual" discussion with Pat.
    I have provided realistic and verifiable arguments to Pat's nonsense time after time after TIME, but refuse to participate any further.
    Why?
    Because it won't make ONE IOTA OF DIFFERENCE in Pat's rhetoric. NONE. He is as narrow-minded an individual as I've come across. He posts lies, damn lies, and skewed statistics ad-nauseum, over and over and OVER. Perhaps he thinks if he repeats the lies often enough, folks will believe them. Sound familiar???
    The same monkeyshine & mistruths, like a broken record. Maybe he actually believes his own claptrap... is it possible? Or is it for the benefit of his evil employer? (is it FORMER employer now?)
    He wants to CHANGE YOUR MIND, and if you DON'T, you are "not participating in an intellectual discussion" in the method & manner deemed acceptable by the woebegon ThinkTanker.
    I feel sorry for Pat.
    He thinks he's SO SMART! But all the intellegent, intellectual thinkers I know do one thing really well...
    THEY LISTEN!
    And, they RARELY dismiss you "out of hand" as Pat does.
    Patrick R. Gibbons has wooden ears.

  30. Hey James F. Nance Junior,
    You are another great thinker, eh?
    Ha ha ha!!!
    How's your brother Greg doing?
    ha ha ha!!!
    You are beloved here at The Sun, James Nance.
    ha ha ha!!!

  31. Gmag,

    "You and I can disagree, and DO, but we can do so civilly, and even though we have diametrically opposite politics, we are friendly.
    You can't argue, or have an "intellectual" discussion with Pat."

    I have never seen you in an intellectual discussion, nor have I seen you behave civilly. All you've shown is a penchant for name calling and flippant remarks when someone brings in facts (with sources) that disagree with your unflappable, unwavering, dogmatic position.

    Try again.

  32. Who are you anyway?

  33. I got under the skin of Pat & Rock.
    I must be doin' something right.
    LOL!!!
    Have a WONDERFUL WEEK!!!

  34. Here is one Turrialba questioned my math and Gmag made a personal attack on claiming I lied and cheated the statistics (IE pulling a President Longhorn by quoting Mark Twain when he doesn't have a counterpoint).

    The nominal operating budget per pupil comes from CCSD budget publications (you can find it online). The Index is the CPI inflation index and that was used to calculate the inflation adjusted per pupil spending from CCSD's operating budget (which is only a portion of the total budget).

    As you can see CCSD's operating budget per pupil has declined 0.96 percent since the high-watermark of 2007-08 which also happened to be the school year in which the recession officially began.

    year nominal index inflation adjusted
    1991-92 $3,968 136.2 $6,351
    1992-93 4,066 140.5 $6,309
    1993-94 3,987 144.4 $6,019
    1994-95 4,017 148.4 $5,901
    1995-96 4,229 152.5 $6,046
    1996-97 4,321 157 $6,000
    1997-98 4,450 160.5 $6,045
    1998-99 4,570 163.2 $6,105
    1999-00 4,742 166.7 $6,202
    2000-01 4,641 172.8 $5,855
    2001-02 4,755 177.5 $5,840
    2002-03 4,894 180.1 $5,924
    2003-04 5,033 183.9 $5,967
    2004-05 5,264 189.4 $6,059
    2005-06 5,711 195.4 $6,372
    2006-07 5,987 203.5 $6,414
    2007-08 6,429 208.299 $6,729
    2008-09 6,534 219.964 $6,476
    2009-10 6,604 215.351 $6,686
    2010-11 6,664 218.011 $6,664

    Inflation adjusted decrease will not change much at all no matter what CPI index numbers you use. The fact is, CCSD's budget has been relatively well insulated from the major shock and awe of the bubble burst that struck Nevada's economy.

    -0.96 percent decline NOT the end of the world
    -0.96 percent decline NOT cutting to the bone
    -0.96 percent decline NOT devastating budget cuts