Governor’s vision of a ‘New Nevada’ fails to go nearly far enough

Gov. Brian Sandoval outlines his vision for a “New Nevada” in his State of the State speech in the Assembly chambers in Carson City. (R-J photo)

In his State of the State speech Gov. Brian Sandoval called for the creation of a “New Nevada.” He used the term eight times in the speech so he must have meant it.

“Because of our collective effort,” he said, “I believe we now stand at the threshold of a New Nevada — a Nevada prepared to take its place among the most innovative, visionary and well-educated states in the nation.”

His budget calls for increasing taxes by $1.3 billion and sweeping another half a billion from other funds into the general fund to pay for all-day kindergarten, early learning programs, free breakfasts at school, English language learner programs, dropout prevention, digital devices for students, social workers to combat bullying, “Read by Three” and more.

He bragged about how expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare had cut the number of uninsured adults from 23 percent to 11 percent and Nevada Check-Up had cut the number of uninsured children from 15 percent to 2 percent.

“We have to own the fact that our K-12 system doesn’t need to improve, it must improve,” the governor insisted, later adding, “Our most troubling education statistic is Nevada’s worst-in-the-nation high school graduation rate.”

With his voice rising to the rafters of the Assembly chambers and nearly thumping the dais with his fists, Sandoval admonished:

“I submit to you this evening that an education system for this century requires bold new ideas to meet the reality of our time. I am asking the Legislature to join me in beginning the work of comprehensive modernization of our education system to meet the needs of today’s students and the New Nevada. This work begins with our youngest learners. Nevada has the lowest preschool attendance of any state in the nation. Thanks to a recent federal grant, and matching funds provided in my budget, we will improve this worst-in-the-country statistic.”

Yet, the vast majority of the things he proposes spending money on have failed elsewhere to improve student test scores or increase graduation rates.

Therefore, the governor should not have called for creating a New Nevada. He should have been truly bold, innovative and visionary and called for creation of a “Brave New Nevada.”

If parents can’t afford to feed their children breakfast or cannot teach them to speak English or cannot provide health care, then it is the responsibility of that state, of course.

Half measures such as those outlined by Gov. Sandoval will always fall short of his ambitious objectives. Therefore, the state should make all children wards of the state at birth and place them in round-the-clock public nurseries run by efficient and highly qualified public employee union members who can retire at the age of 45 with 85 percent of their highest salary for life. That also solves the unemployment problem right there. 

Once the children are able to walk they’ll move up to public boarding schools.

Some of them will be afflicted with attention deficit problems or other behavioral woes, but their free health care will provide nice, calming drugs to make them all sufficiently pliable little drones so as to not unduly burden our highly qualified and efficient public employee union members.

Instead of learning to read by the third grade, some could be learning to read by the age of 3.

As for the graduation rate, simply raise the mandatory school attendance age to 22. Those who are too frequently truant would be placed in maximum security public schools. Dropout rate fixed.

Instead of free contraceptives under ObamaCare, Brave New NevadaCare would provide mandatory contraceptives. That would solve the public education funding problem in a matter of years. By then those public employee unions would have negotiated a no-layoff provision in their contracts.

To pay for all this, raise the tax on cigarettes by $4 a pack instead of the measly 40 cents proposed by the governor. Surely no one would quit smoking. That would be unpatriotic. Triple the alcohol tax, too.

Raise the sales tax to 30 percent. Without all those kids to feed, clothe, medicate and provide shelter, that’s affordable. Raise the Modified Business Tax on business payrolls from less than 2 percent to 50 percent. It’s not an income tax, which is prohibited by the state Constitution, because it is never income to begin with.

Of course, cut the gaming tax to zero to attract more tourists to Brave New Nevada, but they’ll have to leave the kids at home.

All it takes is more money and state control to create this Brave New Nevada.














10 comments on “Governor’s vision of a ‘New Nevada’ fails to go nearly far enough

  1. agent provocateur says:

    Reblogged this on Nevada State Personnel Watch.

  2. iShrug says:

    The majority of children will be “diagnosed” with some type of disorder. They are very careful to use this term, rather than to state the children actually have a disorder. I guess it depends who is making the diagnosis. Recent PSAs put out by the AD Council, and claim the “odds of a child being diagnosed with Autism…” are 1in 68. Really? Here are the disorders categorized as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). They are very subjective, vague, and could apply to almost everyone. I know that Autism is a very real problem and a tragedy for children and families. But 1in 68?

    So, we must throw plenty of money at the schools. That will fix it.

  3. Winston Smith says:

    Tom, always be careful when joking like this, or some fascists will show up at your door and make you the administrator.

  4. Steve says:

    Hey! That sounds pretty good!

    How soon do you think we can implement all those ideas?

  5. Satire is dead when anything can happen.

  6. Rincon says:

    “To pay for all this, raise the tax on cigarettes by $4 a pack instead of the measly 40 cents proposed by the governor.” Wikipedia claims that the percentage of the price of a pack of cigarettes consisting of tax today is HALF of what it was in 1965. If you object to this rate, then the implication is that there should be no special tax on alcohol or cigarettes, yes? Should there be a cigarette tax at all? Wikipedia also says the effect of higher tobacco taxes in reducing teenage smoking rates is well established.

    Assuming that this is correct, then should the philosophy of individual rights trump that of pragmatism? If so, then shouldn’t we allow children and teenagers legal access to alcohol and tobacco and let the parents worry about bringing up their kids right? What about individual rights of the young? After all, what’s more important, dead bodies or maintaining our philosophic ideals to the exclusion of reality?

  7. Rincon says:

    I just read an article in the Economist (1/31/15) that expands these thoughts. England switched acetaminophen (Tylenol) to blister packs as opposed to being sold in bottles. In the next 11 years, overdose deaths from acetaminophen dropped 44%. Coincidence? Was England tramping on individual rights by requiring the blister packs? The number of prevented deaths from suicide was not given.

    Expanding to guns, they published a graph showing an extremely strong correlation between gun ownership and suicide rates in the 50 states, from 11% gun ownership and 8 per 100,000 suicides in NJ, HI, and 2 others, to Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming with 60% gun ownership and 22 per 100,000 suicides. This is a huge swing and a strong correlation.

    Is it possible that convenience of a means actually increases suicides? Maybe not. If I had to live in a state with that many gun toting Conservative crazies, suicide might suddenly become attractive 🙂

  8. Steve says:

    Suicide is not illegal.
    ATTEMPTED suicide is and this is as it should be.

    If one is to attempt suicide, one should be fully successful! This alone, would solve many of the problems of the worlds societies.
    Having the tools at the ready is not a bad thing.

    Now, which of these signs has the best chance at preventing a tragedy?

  9. Steve says:

    School bond “rollover” could well include a suspension of the prevailing wage law. Maybe even a permanent removal…not voted yet.

    This is the kind of thing I am trying to say…”OK Dems,,,here are the taxes you wanted but couldn’t pass on your own..and here they are with much of what we conservatives wanted all along!” “Now suck on THAT!”

    And stop trying to fight it. And I like the idea floating around about redistricting…lets get some of that gerrymandering for us this time!

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