Vol. 1, No. 17
& Final Legislative Report -
Nevada Taxpayers Association
$366 Billion Outrage
All across America, state and city workers are
retiring early with unthinkably rich pay
packages. Guess who's paying for it? You are.
By Janice Revell
just call it what it is: Gaming the
system. And it's a game that has already
resulted in skyrocketing tax increases and the
loss of public services across the country—from
the shutdown of libraries and community centers
to the gutting of many local police and fire
It is also a game that is
played in the nether regions of public finance,
in the fine print of lengthy contracts that
hardly anybody sees. As with so many other
recent scandals—from Dick Grasso's $140 million
pay package to CEOs of bankrupt airlines padding
their own retirement accounts to big
corporations manufacturing "earnings" that don't
really exist—this one has to do with the
generally ignored realm of pensions. But here
the beneficiaries of the shell game may come as
a surprise: school superintendents, librarians,
sanitation workers, county clerks, and a host of
other public servants. By now you can probably
guess who's paying for it. That's right: you.
Win by saying
'I don’t know'
Lasting excellence in
corporations seems to stem less from decisions
about strategy than decisions about people
By Jerry Useem
he’s not out scaling mountains (he’s a
world-class rock climber), author Jim Collins
eats, drinks, and sleeps business.
fortune senior writer Jerry Useem
(a sometime Collins collaborator) asked him to
discuss the art of decision-making, he got so
into the idea that he pored over 14 years of
research and interviews he had amassed in the
course of writing his business blockbusters
Built to Last and Good to Great.
Gates and Ozzie: How to Escape E-Mail Hell
Microsoft’s top geek and his newest tech guru
explain why they love—and hate—e-mail, and how
they plan to fix it.
By David Kirkpatrick
shelf in Bill Gates’ austere office at
Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., sits a crystal
ball. It was an apt accouterment for the
conversation FORTUNE’s David Kirkpatrick
had there last month with Gates and top
lieutenant Ray Ozzie—a 90-minute exploration of
how technology will shape our working lives in
the next decade.
they ring a bell
By Ted Geoca
Geonomic Advisors LLC
been a lot written on the housing bubble
recently. On May 20, Alan Greenspan, Chairman of
the Federal Reserve made the statement that
there is no national housing bubble, but then
stated, “There are a lot of little bubbles
around the country”.
Chairman Greenspan went on to tell the Economic
Club of New York, “Without calling the overall
national issue a bubble, it’s pretty clear that
it’s an unsustainable pattern”. This is not the
normal “Fed speak” The chairman is apprizing the
investment community of the Fed’s concern in
pretty plain language. There is evidence that
the Fed has begun to move to contain the housing
bubble using credit standards in place of
interest rates. With a little noticed memo,
several Federal regulatory agencies have begun a
major crackdown on excessive home equity
A Bill of Rights for Nevada Taxpayers
Recent legislatures generate new push to
protect Nevadans' property rights
By Steven Miller
It was on this
date, June 15, in the year 1215, that English
barons forced a money-wasting and tax-happy king to stop
abusing his power and acknowledge that they had rights
he could not violate.
Beside the Thames River, on Runnymede Meadows, King
John, at sword point, was forced to put his signature
and royal seal beneath 63 promises to mend his ways.
They were the 63 clauses of the Magna Carta.
It was the first real Bill of Rights. And it was
intended, in large part, to preserve from royal
predation the property of free men.
The American Bill of Rights, too, was intended to
protect our rights, liberties and property from
the predation of rapacious government.
“The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw
certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political
controversy,” wrote the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Robert Jackson. “One’s right to life, liberty, and
property… may not be submitted to vote; they
depend on the outcome of no elections.” (Emphasis
Unfortunately, in Nevada today, the recognition of our
rights of property clearly DOES depend upon the
“vicissitudes” of politics. Every recent Legislature has
become a workshop in schemes to prey upon Nevada
In 2003 it was the huge, long fight to plunder the
Silver State with America’s most detested and
destructive tax, a general Gross Receipts levy. Though
that was defeated, the session still imposed a barely
camouflaged income tax, camouflaged by routing it
through employers and calling it a “payroll” tax. Then,
this year, the promise of property tax relief for all
was cynically turned into a discriminatory and
unconstitutional split roll property tax on business.
Few Online ‘Canadian Pharmacies’ Based in
Canada, says FDA
Study Finds Most Sites Are
Linked to U.S. Entities
By Brian Krebs
The Washington Post
Most Web sites
that purport to sell quality, discounted
prescription drugs from online stores in Canada appear
to be controlled or owned by individuals or companies
located outside Canada, including many in the United
States, according to a study commissioned by the Food
and Drug Administration.
Must Warn of Drug Risks
MIAMI -- A Florida appeals court has ruled for
the first time that pharmacists can be held
liable for failing to warn about risks
associated with use of drugs, even if they are
filling a doctor's prescriptions.
The study examined some 11,000 Internet pharmacies,
finding that only about a thousand of those Web sites
actually sold prescription drugs and that fewer than 25
percent were registered to or hosted by companies or
individuals in Canada.
the report concluded that most of the sites referred
visitors to 1,009 online stores, 86 percent of which are
currently hosted by companies located in the United
States. Nearly 70 percent of the sites also were
registered to U.S. citizens, and more than half of those
sites are registered to a single Web design firm based
in New England, which the publicly released version of
the study did not identify.
Public Pension Reform
remains committed to putting
public employees on private-sector footing
Budget & Tax News
Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to promise public
employee pension reform but has backed away from a
proposal to move public employees out of traditional
pensions and into a “defined contribution” plan.
A Powerful Partner
Longtime business ally leads governor’s initiative
drive to rein in state spending
By Aurelio Rojas
in the steel town of Beaver Falls near Pittsburgh,
Allan Zaremberg learned change can be painful—even
when it is for the greater good.
Suddenly, Cal assembly
poses as pro-business
Facing energized business coalition, Ds seek more
By Dan Walters
thing happened early this month as the
Democrat-dominated state Assembly churned toward a
deadline for initial approval of its members’ bills.
Southern Nevada living costs are taking toll
lament rising home prices
By Kevin Rademacher
For 12 years,
Trudy Haszlauer has worked in the Southern Nevada human
resources industry, and as home prices continue to soar,
her job gets more challenging.
“I must admit, I’ve had a lot more rejections in the
past few months, and I would attribute that absolutely
to the cost of living,” said Haszlauer, a human
resources strategic partner with Nevada Power Co. and
its parent company, Sierra Pacific Resources.
Spending becomes farce
in Washington state
Democrats hike taxes $500 million, raise spending limit
despite voter initiative
By Jason Mercier
Budget & Tax News
complete political control for the first time in
years, Washington state Democrats pushed through a
record $26 billion budget for the state’s 2005-07 budget
cycle on April 24. The legislature relied on nearly
half-a-billion dollars in tax increases and one-time
revenue sources and left $200 million in reserve, less
than 1 percent of the total budget.
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