After more than twenty years of “doing politics” full time, I’m pretty jaded. Little surprises me. But the level of dishonesty – indeed, outright lying – by some Nevada Republican legislators about the largest tax hike in state history they voted for last year is absolutely breathtaking.
Among the worst offenders are Sen. Michael Roberson and Assembly-critters John Hambrick, Paul Anderson, P.K. O’Neill, Derek Armstrong, Stephen Silberkraus, David Gardner, James Oscarson and Erv Nelson.
These double-talking, fork-tongued, two-faced politicians are derisively referred to as RINOs: Republicans In Name Only. But here’s the thing…
Had these Republicans campaigned honestly on a platform that education was underfunded and, if elected, they would raise taxes to dump more money into our failed public schools, they would have had a mandate from voters to do so.
But they didn’t.
Instead, they campaigned as fiscal conservatives. They said government had to live within its means, just like Nevada families. They said we needed to root out waste, fraud and abuse. They said we needed to set spending priorities.
They said, paraphrasing Ronald Reagan, that the problem was government spending too much, not the people being taxed too little.
And voters bought it. Hook. Line. And sinker.
In fact, voters in 2014 rewarded Republicans total and absolute control of every statewide elected office, as well as majorities in both houses of the Legislature for the first time since the Depression. And what did they do with it?
Instead of cutting spending, rooting out waste, fraud and abuse, and forcing government to live within its means as they promised, they betrayed the voters and shoved a $1.4 billion tax hike down our collective throats!
But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that those same tax-hiking Republicans are now running for re-election and hiding their vote like a pirate’s stolen booty.
A lie of omission is still a lie.
Look, if that vote to jack up taxes through the roof was supposedly such an honorable vote that provided critically-needed funding “for the children,” as every good liberal says, then why not run ON it instead of running AWAY from it?
Because they know that if they’d campaigned in favor of raising taxes they wouldn’t have been elected in 2014. And if they campaign now on having proudly raised taxes, they won’t get re-elected in 2016. So they lied to get into office and are now lying again to stay in office.
It’s despicable. If a businessman misled consumers like this he’d be thrown in jail. Alas, all voters can do is vote these snake-oil rascals out of office.
As Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott of the Starship Enterprise famously put it: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Let’s not get fooled again.
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach and publisher of NevadaNewsandViews.com. You can reach Chuck at ChuckMuth.com.