WEEKLY EDITORIAL RECAP

WEDNESDAY

NO END IN SIGHT

Nevada taxable sales fell 20.5 percent in June, marking the eighth straight month of double-digit declines, the Department of Taxation reported Friday.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, sales dropped 12.7 percent from 2008. And 2008, recall, was not exactly boom times.

Gross revenue collections from sales and use taxes totaled roughly $250 million in June, a nearly 19 percent decline from the same month last year. For the fiscal year, collections dropped 13 percent compared with 2008.

This has now been going on for two years, with no end in sight.

Yet the politicians in Carson City think every state bureaucrat can still keep his or her job and pension — and keep getting raises?

The new fiscal year is only two months old, and revenue figures from July and August — revenues that will reflect a cocktail of tax increases approved over Gov. Gibbons’ veto — have yet to be totaled.

But a special session to further pare back the budget now looms all the more likely. Watch for a governor who stands so widely accused of “doing nothing” to put his staff diligently to work, coming up with the most sensible plan they can devise to maintain constitutionally mandated state services.

The state will muddle through. But legislative Democrats will soon need to get serious about budgeting and spending restraint.

THURSDAY

MORE EQUAL

Consumer prices are actually down from 2008 levels, giving Social Security recipients more purchasing power, even if their benefits stay the same. … But if the cost of living is actually down, why did President Obama announce this week that federal employees won’t get a 2.4 cost-of-living raise this year — they’ll have to “settle” for a 2 percent raise?

For the answer to that we may have to turn to George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” in which Squealer the Pig obligingly alters the seventh commandment: “All animals are equal … but some animals are more equal than others.”

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