Friday, February 3, 2012

You say Nevauda, I say Nevada

Nevada stimulus plan
As Mitt Romney prepares to romp in the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, it's worth asking: As Nevada goes, so goes the nation?

Uh, not really. 

Nevada, particularly Las Vegas, is Wall Street without the bailouts.

In other words, a failing state.

The unemployment rate is a nation-leading 12.6 percent. Nevada leads the nation in foreclosure filings at 1 in 16 when the national rate is 1 in 69. It also leads the nation in underwater  mortgages at 58 percent when the national average is 22.1 percent. 

But, how could this be?

There is no state income tax in Nevada. 

In fact, according to the Tax Foundation, Nevada ranks 49th out of 50 in least-taxed states. Only Alaska, the most heavily federally-subsidized state, beats out Nevada as the least tax-burdened state.

How could a state with such low taxes have such problems?

It makes no sense because, according to Republican dogma, low taxation means everlasting prosperity.

What gives?

Nevada, historically, is a bust-or-boom state. It relies on tourism, mining and military bases.

Well, underground explosions of nuclear bombs ended years ago. Mining and tourism rise and fall with demand.

Obviously, with the Great Recession, the numbers of those willing to donate money to mobsters has dwindled substantially.

The National Journal took the pulse of Nevada on the eve on the caucuses:

“The thrust of Nevada voting is really about taxes, limited government, and not about kind of social mores,” said Eric Herzik, a political science professor at the University of Nevada (Reno). “We’re a state built on gambling. The bars never close. We have legalized prostitution.” 

In other words, an electorate tailored made for Mormons such as Harry Reid, the senior Senator from the Silver State, and Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president.

It's hard to feel much sympathy for Nevada, with its Sin City, when it depends on the two oldest professions -- prostitution and gambling -- to make ends meet. 

It's no wonder, then, that Nevada leads the nation in all the terrible economic indicators.

Here's hoping that what happens on Saturday in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas.

The rest of the country doesn't want your troubles.

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