Before there was SpongeBob SquarePants, we old geezers marveled at what a knucklehead Charlie Brown was for falling for the ol’ yank-the-football-away-at-the-last-minute trick perpetrated by that little tyrant, Lucy.
I mean, how can somebody be so dumb as to fall for the same trick over and over and over again, right?
With that in mind, meet Nevada’s Charlie Brown Republicans.
Year after year after painful year, GOP legislators paint themselves into the same box. First they go along with the Lucy Democrats and approve all the various state budgets — always with generous increases in them — only later to find out they don’t have enough money to pay for all the additional spending.
Boom! Another tax hike.
That’s not how it works in real life, is it?
No. You get a paycheck. Out of that paycheck you fund your essential living expenses — rent, electricity, water, phone, food, insurance, etc. Whatever’s left over is used for nonessential discretionary spending — a ball game, a movie, some new clothes, happy hour on Friday, dinner out with friends, etc.
As such, your personal budget is balanced.
But let’s say you want to buy a brand-new car. What do you do?
Do you take out the loan and then go to your boss and say, “Hey, I bought a new car so you have to give me a $200 raise so I can make the monthly payment”? Or do you cut $200 out of your nonessential spending and live within your means?
Well, that’s exactly what Republican legislators in Carson City should be doing.
The Economic Forum has determined that Nevada’s government will have $6.15 billion to spend over the next two years. Unfortunately, Gov. Brian Sandoval wants to spend more than a billion dollars over and above that figure and has proposed all manners of tax hikes to pay for it.
Fine, that’s his prerogative. But legislators should be bringing up and voting on his proposed tax hikes first. If any or all of them are approved, then legislators can spend it. In other words, you spend your “raise” after you get it, not before.
On the other hand, if the proposed tax hikes are shot down (as they should be), then legislators will be forced to spend only the allowance taxpayers have already given them. I mean, it’s simple fiscal common sense.
Now it’s one thing for Republicans to be forced into doing it backward when the Lucy Democrats are in charge. But what’s their excuse now? They have complete control of the government — the state Assembly, the state Senate and the governor’s office.
Alas, these Charlie Brown Republicans are falling for it again. Spending money before they have it. They don’t call the GOP the Stupid Party for nothing.
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grass-roots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.muthstruths.com.