Billions for billionaires, pittance for parents

If the Titanic had only hit the tip of the iceberg it might still be afloat today.

Tuesday evening Gov. Brian Sandoval delivered his State of the State speech to lawmakers and outlined his proposed budget for 2017-19, which would grow from $7.3 billion from this past biennium to $8.1 billion in the next, about 10 percent.

But the fact of the matter is that is just his general fund budget, the part under which taxes pay for expenditures. If you add in all the expenses covered by fees and fund transfers and federal slop the total budget for the coming two years is really $26.1 billion, up from $23.5 billion, an 11 percent increase.

Sandoval gives State of the State speech. (RGJ photo)

Fully 44 percent of that is spent on Health and Human Services, which includes Medicaid, which is largely covered by federal funds for now.

One of the most closely watched aspects of Sandoval’s smorgasborg of increased funding for everything from a veterans home to state parks was his plan to dollop out $60 million to fund education savings accounts. According onenewspaper account, that be $25 million the first year and $35 million the second — enough for 4,800 students at first and then 6,700, even though more than 8,000 have already applied.

Another account reports the governor is considering means testing for determining who gets the education saving accounts — something the new Democratic majority has been demanding.

When Sandoval announced his funding proposal for ESAs, Republicans applauded and Democrats sat on their hands, prompting the governor to quip, “I know it would be a split house on that one.”

The governor had his chance to fund education savings accounts in the special session in which lawmakers doled out $750 million for a new football stadium in Las Vegas, but he failed to put that on the agenda.

Nevada continues to dole out billions for billionaires and pittance for parents.


62 comments on “Billions for billionaires, pittance for parents

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    Ah, the middle class…..gets it right between the eyes, again!

  2. deleted says:

    Rest your mind Thomas, even if ESLs were Constitutional, the vast majority of the money stolen from public education, would wind up in the hands of some billionaires, and mostly in the hands of multi-millionaires; at least if the population applying for ESLs in other states is an indicator.

    “Whew! That was close eh”

  3. Barbara says:

    The only good thing is this is Sandoval’s last State of the State speech. Good riddance to America’s worst governor.

  4. Rincon says:

    I thought Conservatives liked the idea of giving tax breaks to billionaires. Something about encouraging investment.

  5. Rincon says:

    Off topic alert. As anticipated, 2016 was the hottest year for the planet in recorded history, beating 2015, which was the hottest year in history, which beat 2014, which was also the hottest year in history at the time. Boy, it’s a good thing you guys informed me that global warming is over or I might have been worried.

  6. Vernon Clayson says:

    Global warming, spare us, please, Mother Nature, please. It’s 2017 according to the calendar, that’s only two thousand seventeen years of history, hardly a blink of time in the life of the earth, who the hell knows how many spells of warming there’s been or how many spells of cooling there’s been in the eons before the first year of the calendar we use. I understand many are under the delusion man can affect warming and cooling but nature has the final say. One of my cousins posted that it’s -50 where he lives in Alaska, who thinks man can warm that up?

  7. deleted says:


    Some suggested reading for you, if you haven’t already.

    “Merchants of Doubt”. Non-fiction about how the far right has conducted denial campaigns regarding cigarrettes, destruction of the ozone, and now global warming. Reviews were consistent; this is one of the most well researched books you will read.

    As an example:

    “Philip Kitcher in Science says that Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway are “two outstanding historians”. He calls Merchants of Doubt a “fascinating and important study”. Kitcher says that the apparently harsh claims against Nierenberg, Seitz, and Singer are “justified through a powerful dissection of the ways in which prominent climate scientists, such as Roger Revelle and Ben Santer, were exploited or viciously attacked in the press”.”

    “In The Christian Science Monitor, Will Buchanan says that Merchants of Doubt is exhaustively researched and documented, and may be one of the most important books of 2010. Oreskes and Conway are seen to demonstrate that the doubt merchants are not “objective scientists” as the term is popularly understood. Instead, they are “science-speaking mercenaries” hired by corporations to process numbers to prove that the corporations’ products are safe and useful. Buchanan says they are salesmen, not scientists.”

  8. Rincon says:

    The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is very robust, while the evidence that the warming that we’re seeing is due to natural causes is essentially nonexistent. Nevertheless, Conservatives cling to what they want to believe. The propaganda machine provides them with their fig leaf.

  9. deleted says:

    Thomas it’s odd that you’d be citing a chart that demonstrates how man man global warming is increasing the water vapor in the atmosphere and thus exacerbating the effect.

    “The amplifying effect of water vapor has been observed in the global cooling after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo (Soden 2001). The cooling led to atmospheric drying which amplified the temperature drop. A climate sensitivity of around 3°C is also confirmed by numerous empirical studies examining how climate has responded to various forcings in the past (Knutti & Hegerl 2008).

    Satellites have observed an increase in atmospheric water vapour by about 0.41 kg/m² per decade since 1988. A detection and attribution study, otherwise known as “fingerprinting”, was employed to identify the cause of the rising water vapour levels (Santer 2007). Fingerprinting involves rigorous statistical tests of the different possible explanations for a change in some property of the climate system. Results from 22 different climate models (virtually all of the world’s major climate models) were pooled and found the recent increase in moisture content over the bulk of the world’s oceans is not due to solar forcing or gradual recovery from the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. The primary driver of ‘atmospheric moistening’ was found to be the increase in CO2 caused by the burning of fossil fuels.”

  10. Chart shows what is present, not any increase.

  11. Rincon says:

    This is how our lack of good science education adversely affects our nation. Yes. Thomas, water vapor is a huge greenhouse gas and warms our planet dramatically – much more so than CO2. Our distance from the Sun also dramatically affects the Earth’s temperature, but in both cases, they are irrelevant in the global warming issue unless they change. This means that either your chart is completely irrelevant or, if deleted is correct, your chart bolsters the case for anthropogenic warming. Take your pick.

    I am amazed at how lay people are totally unimpressed that climate scientists predicted substantial warming for the foreseeable future since before 1988, the first year for the IPCC, using models that have been substantially correct. As a matter of fact, they have been a bit too conservative so far. According to Scientific American, the Earth is warming faster than the IPCC had warned. One reason is that our C02 output has increased fasted than they had predicted. In part, I suspect the ignorance and obstinance of the American people were greater than scientists had expected.

    I know of no political Conservative, not one, in the 1990’s that was willing to predict the Earth’s temperature decades into the future. The scientists were far more courageous and they were and still are, correct. Instead, Conservatives listen to the likes of Fred Singer, who for decades was cited by tobacco companies as an authority who denied that smoking could cause lung cancer. They also listen to Bjorn Lomborg, a global warming skeptic who still claims that DDT was innocuous. Where do you find these idiots?

  12. deleted says:

    Water vapor levels are not constant Thomas. They vary depending on the temperature; rising as the temperature rises and falling as the temperature falls.

  13. Steve says:

    And it’s all the USA’s fault….

  14. Steve says:

    But of course, the USA is the criminal.

    “Chinese production and consumption of coal increased for the 13th consecutive year in 2012. China is by far the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal, accounting for 46% of global coal production and 49% of global coal consumption—almost as much as the rest of the world combined.”

  15. Steve says:

    Reports that China is slowing coal use are becoming mere “smoke” and mirrors, based on declining electricity demands….but the USA must cut our noses off to spite our faces…..we are all criminals for using dirty FF.

  16. Rincon says:

    Make up your mind, Steve. With your set of beliefs, the Chinese are blameless. I have never seen you advocate reducing production of greenhouse gases. BTW, China produces more solar, wind and hydroelectric power than any other country.

  17. Rincon says:

    Because our Conservative leaders claim that there is no such thing as global warming, we have lost the moral high ground. We have absolutely no right to criticize the Chinese production of CO2.

  18. WSJ today: “The underreported news here is that the warming is not nearly as great as the climate-change computer models have predicted. As climatologist Judith Curry testified to Congress in 2014, U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change simulations forecast surface temperatures to increase on average 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade in the early 21st century. The warming over the first 15 years was closer to 0.05 degrees Celsius. The models also can’t explain why more than 40% of the temperature increase since 1900 happened between 1910 and 1945, which accounts for only 10% of the increase in carbon emissions.”

  19. Steve says:

    IF (IF) we accept liberal claims for human activity causing the calamitous effects of climate change, then liberals must accept the fact that the USA is NO LONGER the cause.

    China is. I suggest you all aim your primary efforts where your problems exist.

  20. Steve says:

    And as to those calamitous effects….for the last 30 years or so, the climate in the southwest has been great!

  21. Rincon says:

    Scientific American says the models underestimated the warming. WSJ says they overestimated. Let them settle it, because it’s all nit picking. The scientists forecasted significant warming for the near future and they were quite correct.

    Fact is, 15 of the last 17 years have been the warmest on record, with the last three being the three warmest. Not a single Conservative voice was gutsy enough to predict the planetary temperature during the 1990’s (unless we count Conservative claims during the first decade of the 21st century that the warming was over. In that case, they were dead wrong). The scientists on the other hand, were willing to stick their necks out and say that the early 21st century would be significantly warmer than the previous years and they were right. Let me know when you can forecast the future as they have, Thomas.

  22. Rincon says:

    Like I said, Steve, you guys continue to demonstrate the poor education in the sciences in this country. I could point at the drought in the southwest as well as their temperatures, but it is IRRELEVANT! Just because the global temperature is higher, you seem to expect that every town and region should experience the same temperature rise as the average. Only in your dreams, chum. The real world is a little more complex than that.

    Your logic with the U.S. vs China is also impeccably bad. There is no “the cause”. It’s multifactorial. Just because China’s emissions have eclipsed those of the U.S. does not negate the contribution we make. Besides, as I said, we are in no position to condemn China, since they are merely acting as Conservatives say we should act.

  23. Barbara says:

    “For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule,” … President Obama is out of the White House. Oh Happy Day!

  24. deleted says:

    “I am a person of principle. I could never vote for Trump. Thank God Trump is president”

  25. Steve says:

    So, Rincon, the USA should forego all FF use…..and since China is burning more coal than the rest of the world combined…..everything goes to shit….but in your world it’s all good because the USA will go to heaven and China will go to hell?

    In the end (in your paradigm) we are all dead anyway….hey! that works for me too!
    I’m getting a big ass TRUCK! Woo Hoo! Burn that diesel, babies!

    Now, if you peeps “fix” China, maybe you will have a leg to stand on.

  26. deleted says:

    Rincon set your mind at ease, the president has solved the problem of climate change Owellian style.

    “Poof, no more climate change”

  27. deleted says:

    Bet the next tweet the interior department tweets (when Donald says it’s alright) will show the crowds at the inaugural were Yuuuge!

  28. deleted says:

    And I don’t know if I’d call trumps wife fat, but hawking her cheap, or maybe not so cheap wares at public expense seems unseemly doesn’t it? Maybe Trump cut a deal with QVC?

  29. deleted says:

    Boy he sure didn’t waste any time hurting the middle class did he?

    “An hour after Donald Trump assumed the presidency Friday, his administration indefinitely suspended a pending rate cut for mortgage insurance required for FHA-backed loans, which are popular with first-time home buyers and those with poor credit.

    The move by the Department of Housing and Urban Development — one of the first acts of Trump’s administration — reversed a policy announced in the waning days of the Obama presidency that would have trimmed insurance premiums for typical borrowers by hundreds of dollars a year.”

  30. Barbara says:

    “I am a person of principle. I could never vote for Trump. Thank God Trump is president”

    Deleted – Thomas can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe putting something in quotes indicates you are writing the exact words said by the person. I never wrote or said the words you have attributed to me. I have no idea if God intervened in the election and would not offer thanks for Trump being President.

    For the record, I am not pleased that Trump is president. Cruz was my choice. But, I am very, very happy that Obama no longer occupies that office. Ditto for Hillary.

    Great example of why when I see your postings I normally just skip them.

  31. deleted says:


    My sincere apologies for misquoting you. Perhaps you didn’t say you were a person of principle?

    Or is it that you didn’t claim that you couldn’t vote for Trump?

    Or is you real objection that you never wrote here, that you Thank God Trump is president?

    If it’s this last one, then again accept my most humble apology for attributing a statement to you, that you never wrote.

  32. Steve says:

    absolutely dripping with sincerity…….

  33. Rincon says:

    Speaking of misquotes, when did I even hint that the U.S. should forego use of all fossil fuels? Try reality, Steve. It really is more fun than hallucinating.

  34. Rincon says:

    Trump is inheriting a far better economy than Obama did. Now we’ll see what he and the Republican Congress can do..

  35. Steve says:

    Since I didn’t use quotation marks, I didn’t quote you, Rincon.
    Rather, I employed one of your favorite tools, I spun your words. Felt nice, huh?

    On the new power structure, I couldn’t agree more. Hopefully they won’t make the same mistakes as Obama, Pelosi and Reid by wasting whatever political capital they have now on things that should wait for a couple years.
    I’m with the Pope on this, lets wait and see what Trump does before vilifying him.
    (Remember, I was not a Trump supporter and I did not vote for him….or Clinton)

  36. Rincon says:

    I didn’t accusing you of misquoting me. I said, “Speaking of misquotes…”. I call it poetic license. Whether your words were truly a misquote or a grossly inaccurate attribution is hardly a worthwhile point of argument. I understand though. If you can’t deny the truth of a statement, nitpicking at the edges may distract anyone who’s reading.

    BTW, in reference to our earlier conversation, not only is China #1 in renewable energy, it has more miles of high speed rail than every other country combined – 12,500 – as opposed to 692 miles here. Of course, calling ours high speed is a stretch. While the Chinese trains typically run at 190 mph, ours does a mind boggling 125. While we drive at 70 mph or spend hours waiting in airports, millions of Chinese routinely travel much faster with greater fuel efficiency.

    I do not pretend that the Chinese do this in order to save the world from the ravages of global warming. Rather, they are leapfrogging us in technology because it saves them costs in the long run. Between the fossil fuels industry, especially the Koch brothers, and the airline and auto industries, high speed rail here might as well be a snowball in hell. I like our system much better than that of China, but in some ways, their model is proving more effective than ours. They are beginning to surpass us.

  37. Steve says:

    By any other name, spin is spin.

    China burns more coal than the rest of the world, combined. And they are building more capacity.

    China surpassing the innovators who gave them the ability to do so…is one reason the election went the way it did.

  38. […] Billions for billionaires, pittance for parents Jan18 by Thomas Mitchell If the Titanic had only hit the tip of the iceberg it might still be afloat today. […]

  39. Rincon says:

    We agree than China still burns a great deal of coal. I never said otherwise and it certainly wasn’t my point. Nevertheless, even this statement requires some attention to detail. When China produces a ton of steel and then sells it to us, who is the one really consuming the coal used in the process? China produces more steel than the rest of the world combined, but exports much of it. They also produce 97% of the world’s rare earth metals, which are energy intensive. Aluminum is a similar picture, and so on with other resources.

    China also burns a lot less oil and natural gas compared to us, and they use 4 times less energy per person as us, even with so much of that going to exports, but you conveniently ignore that. As you said, spin is spin.

    The bottom line is that China is aggressively pursuing high speed rail and renewable energy while we’re not. Why do you think that is? They also consume far less fossil fuel per person, but you paint them as the big energy hogs. Totally unrealistic.

  40. Steve says:

    You, and many of the studies, conveniently ignore China’s poor who are being blamed for burning more coal and remain uncounted.

    Well, we seem to agree Trump is right, bring the steel mills back here! ??

  41. Steve says:

    Oh…and infrastructure…another place we seem to have in common with Trump….

  42. Rincon says:

    Lemme see…China knows how much coal was mined and imported. The total of those two (minus exports, if applicable) should equal coal consumption within the country. Pretty simple stuff. Hard to imagine invisible coal under these circumstances. Can you show a reference to support your claim that coal being burned by poor people somehow isn’t being counted?

  43. Steve says:

    Nope….you need to read one of those links I posted.

  44. Rincon says:

    And you won’t tell me to which one you refer and of course, you would never even think of including the relevant quotation. Why am I not surprised? Sorry Steve. I have more important things to do with my time than trying to guess which part of which link I’m supposed to be appreciating.

  45. Steve says:

    Come to realize, you don’t actually read things, if anything you skim a few words and rely on the headlines.
    Then you (and the rest of the liberal spinmeisters) simply spout off standard talking points as though they are the lords own gospel.

    And you love those high speed trains China has…the ones turned grey brown from speeding through all the coal smog!

    Reiterating, take the battle to the source. Hint, it’s not the USA.

  46. Rincon says:

    “How much more freaking obvious could it be, Rincon?” – It’s STILL not obvious. Did you even check your most recent link above? It brings me to all three of your previous links, which, of course, is no help. Why could you not just copy and paste the quote to which you refer? As I said, I don’t have the time to play this guessing game.

    “Come to realize, you don’t actually read things, if anything you skim a few words and rely on the headlines. Then you (and the rest of the liberal spinmeisters) simply spout off standard talking points as though they are the lords own gospel. – Is this how you treat your family and friends? If so, I assume you have very few that will deal with you. I certainly have no desire to do so anymore.

    “And you love those high speed trains China has…the ones turned grey brown from speeding through all the coal smog!
    Reiterating, take the battle to the source. Hint, it’s not the USA.” – Perhaps you are the one skimming too much. To quote myself: “We agree than China still burns a great deal of coal. I never said otherwise and it certainly wasn’t my point.”

  47. Steve says:

    No. it brings you to the first one, at the top of the page where you can READ what the link involves.

    Gotta spoon feed you now?

  48. Steve says:

    CLEAN GREEN CHINA! (you guys talking points are really hollow.)

    I love this bit….yeah, lets be MORE like China!

    “Wang Jiang, 42, and her family had eight air purifiers at home, yet found that the indoor air quality was still not good enough on heavy pollution days. Then they decided to take their efforts up a notch.

    But sealing windows and doors and turning on the purifiers caused carbon dioxide levels to spike, leaving Wang to wake up last year with headaches while pregnant with her second daughter.

    So now they have installed a $5,000 industrial-grade filtration system that sucks in outdoor air, cleans it via three filters and distributes it around the house through newly fitted pipes. They filled in vents from their building’s central heating system and installed their own.

    While some might find that extreme, it’s an increasingly popular solution. Filter manufacturer Yuanda says their customers range from the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee to homes and about 1,000 kindergartens and schools.

    A marketing representative, who only gave his surname, Hu, said their purifying systems often go out of stock. “If you order one today, it won’t get installed until March,” Hu said.

    Now Wang, a coffee importer, can exercise on a living room treadmill when pollution is bad without worrying about her health.

    Her husband, Frenchman Ludovic Bodin, 38, said he thinks every house should have an air filtering and ventilation system pre-installed. “At least if you cannot secure outdoors because it takes time … at least try to secure the house inside,” he said.”

  49. Rincon says:

    How many times do I have to say it? CARBON DIOXIDE IS INVISIBLE. THE CLEANEST POWER PLANT WE HAVE PUTS OUT THE EXACT AMOUNT OF CO2 PER BTU AS THE DIRTIEST CHINESE PLANT. Either argue the point or accept it. And no, I don’t admire the Chinese, as I’ve also said before. For someone who accuses others of skimming, you don’t seem to have any clear idea of what I have said. My problem is with arrogant Americans who think that being number two somehow means that suddenly we are no longer a factor.

  50. Steve says:

    “no longer a factor” or the reverse….

  51. Steve says:


    Burn that fossil fuel, we NEED CO2!
    Mainly as the new refrigerant in our heat pumps.

    “CO2 is a component of our atmosphere that is essential to life. It has no ozone depletion potential and insignificant global warming potential, so CO2 has no regulatory liability, as do HFCs. There is no need to account for the amount used, and it does not need to be reclaimed.”

  52. Steve says:

    “Will your next car have carbon dioxide air conditioning? For the last 30 years American academics and climate ‘experts’ have gotten away with telling us that carbon dioxide is a dangerous warming gas, a hazard to life. But in the real world engineers and applied scientists use carbon dioxide every day to keep us cool, grow better crops and refrigerate products. Indeed, CO2 is nature’s best cooling gas! Ask Mercedes Benz!”

  53. Rincon says:

    Only a science illiterate would say something like that. You may have brains, but your science education is sorely lacking.

  54. Steve says:

    The insult!

    This is where and how you liberals (un)gracefully admit the error of your ways.

  55. Steve says:

    Use the Google machine to research R744

    (Hint, you can buy the stuff over the counter at most supermarkets)

  56. Rincon says:

    BTW, China completed its first long distance high voltage direct current electric line in 2010 and has a second, completed in 2013 for a total carrying capacity of 13,600 megawatts. This is more than three times the electricity needed to power greater London. They also have a 12,000 megawatt line over 3,400 kilometers long under construction. That’s enough electricity to power half of Spain. The U.S. is just planning its first 1,100 kilometer line, which will carry all of 4,000 megawatts. 7 1/2 years behind the Chines and on a smaller scale. (Economist 1/14/17 p.71)

    The high efficiency of these lines makes it economically feasible to carry electricity over much longer distances than previously, so much so that it is cheaper to set up a coal fired power plant next to the coal mine and send out the electricity than it is to ship the coal to a local plant. It also allows solar and wind power to be transported from where it’s abundant to where it’s not. That makes it feasible to supplement solar and wind from those areas with more than they can use to those that don’t have enough. China’s 12,000 megawatt line is being built to transport electricity from the coal and wind rich Xinjiang to the more populated Anhui Province in the east.

    My point is not that China is nicer or better than we are. It is that they are quickly being leaving us behind in technology. They are number one in solar, wind and hydro power, high speed trains and now, their smart grid is much further along than ours. Their life span is now only three years behind us and they are gaining fast (while spending less than 1/12th as much per person as we do). We shouldn’t be too hard to pass up. 26 nations have done so already. Do you guys actually approve of this?

  57. Steve says:

    Perhaps the Republic chose to place an outsider in a position of power because of things just like that.

  58. Rincon says:

    We all hope that it will work out

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