Vol. 1, No. 18
& Final Legislative Report -
Nevada Taxpayers Association
Understanding the attacks on
Bills of Rights for taxpayers
By Dr. Barry
Americans for Prosperity
tax limitation movement, these are the
best of times, and the worst of times.
Constitutional measures to limit the growth of
state taxes and spending are under consideration
in more than 20 states, and will likely be on
the ballot in at least Ohio and Maine in the
next year and a half.
Yet Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR)
amendment -- the crown jewel of the tax
limitation movement -- is under attack, as a
measure to weaken TABOR will be on the ballot in
This effort to derail Colorado's limit is being
duplicated in every state where TABOR is
introduced. Opponents attack the Taxpayer's Bill
of Rights amendment because it has proven to be
the most effective tax and spending limit in
constraining the growth of government.
Passed in 1992, TABOR limits the growth of
government revenue and spending to the increase
in inflation and population growth. Surplus
revenue above that limit must be returned to
taxpayers. Voters must approve any proposal for
additional increases in taxes or government
Don't destroy KPMG'
The Washington Post
THERE IS NO reason to doubt that the Justice
Department could present before a federal grand
jury a provable indictment against the
accounting firm KPMG LLP. For one thing, the
company doesn't really deny it. A few years ago
KPMG promoted tax shelters to individuals and
businesses -- shelters that were designed to
create paper losses to reduce or eliminate tax
liability on large gains and that the firm now
concedes were over the legal line. In a
statement last week, it bluntly conceded that it
"takes full responsibility for the unlawful
conduct by former KPMG partners . . . and we
deeply regret that it occurred." What's more,
the firm's hardball tactics in defending itself
since have apparently exposed it to plausible
obstruction-of-justice charges as well. The
federal government has a legitimate interest in
prosecuting those responsible, both as a matter
of accountability and as a deterrent to similar
misconduct by others. Yet it's hard to see the
good that could come of indicting KPMG as a
firm, as the department is reportedly
of the Jedi
The Dark Side triumphs when the forces of Good
adopt its methods.
By Adam Young
the commentary of Star Wars Episode
III: The Revenge of the Sith has focused on
alleged comparisons between the rise of the
Empire in the movie to the disciples of
deception and the apprentice torturers of the
present regime in Washington. Others have drawn
the connection more broadly on how the forces of
evil in general rise to power on the back of war
Jihad through history
By Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
just-released, absorbing, and excellent book,
Understanding Jihad (University of
California Press), David Cook of Rice University
dismisses the low-grade debate that has raged
since 9/11 over the nature of jihad – whether it
is a form of offensive warfare or (more
pleasantly) a type of moral self-improvement.
Mr. Cook dismisses as “bathetic and laughable”
John Esposito’s contention that jihad refers to
“the effort to lead a good life.” Throughout
history and at present, Mr. Cook definitively
establishes, the term primarily means “warfare
with spiritual significance.
seeks 'task force'
to push for new tax hike
Transportation Board and firms that get the
highway-construction contracts believe the state needs
more more highway construction than money in the
pipeline is expected to cover. So on Tuesday the
Transportation Board, led by Gov. Kenny Guinn -- father
of the largest tax and budget increases in Nevada
history -- voted to form a tax-funded task force
designed to recommend to state legislators that taxes on
Nevada citizens should be increased once again.
Coverage in the Las Vegas Sun:
Officials: State running
out of roadwork money
Coverage in the Las Vegas
State Eyes Tax Hikes for Roads
Reagan was right
don’t Nevada’s government schools improve?
Fundamentally, because they are
By Steven Miller
Today public education
is state government's chief justification for taking
your tax dollars.
Over a third of the State of Nevada's
entire budget—some 55 percent of the state's general
fund—goes to support government schools, primarily at
For decades it’s been that way. Yet also
for much of that time, the deepening crisis of Nevada's
public schools has also been widely known—leading
successive political leaders to make turning the system
around a recurring campaign theme.
Yet the schools never
get turned around.
In 1986, under then Nevada Governor
Richard Bryan, the State Board of Education, with
fanfare, approved a statewide strategic plan of 40
policy initiatives aimed at improving Nevada schools.
Graced with the politically sexy title, “Blueprint for
Educational Excellence,” few of the initiatives were
In 1987, addressing the inadequate
preparation of Nevada high school graduates for college,
the board increased the units required for high school
graduation—from 20 to 22.5. Then, in the mid ‘90s, the
board spent four years debating about reducing
LV Chamber largely upbeat about legislative results
By Kevin Rademacher
continued poring over the results of the recently
completed legislative session this week, and while most
officials said the results were mixed, it was still
considered a more successful session than 2003.
Labor steps up Beck enforcement
right-to-work notice for workers
Alliance for Worker Freedom
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced
Tuesday that it is stepping up efforts to verify that
federal contractors and subcontractors are posting
employee rights notices relating to union representation
and the use of union dues and fees as required by
Executive Order 13201.
By Thomas Bray
Motors and the United Auto Workers appear
headed for a showdown over health-care costs.
But the underlying story is that the American
labor movement is headed for a showdown with
This executive order, issued by President George W. Bush
on February 17, 2001 and implemented by the department’s
Beck Rule, requires federal government contractors to
post notices informing employees that they are not
required to join a union in order to keep their jobs.
Non-union employees who work under union-security
agreements must pay certain dues or fees but can object
to their dues or fees being used for purposes other than
collective bargaining, contract administration or
grievance adjustment. Those employees are entitled to an
appropriate reduction in fees or dues and a refund for
past payments used for non-representational purposes.
Credit card processor:
The head of the
credit card processing company whose computer system was
breached by hackers, exposing millions of credit card
accounts, has acknowledged that his firm should not have
been keeping the consumer records in the first place.
Jack Kilby: The man who
invented the modern world
Kilby's achievements show the importance of funding
for technology research and education.
By Pete Lewis
It was the
summer of 1958, and Jack Kilby, a 34-year-old
electrical engineer from Great Bend, Kansas, was too new
at Texas Instruments to qualify for a summer vacation.
Working mostly alone with borrowed and improvised
equipment, Kilby tinkered on a fingernail-sized sliver
of germanium—a semiconductor—to see if it would be
possible to etch transistors, resistors, capacitors and
other integrated components onto it. Normally these
components were soldered together into a bulky unit the
size of a large bread box. So if Kilby succeeded in
creating an integrated circuit on a slice of
semiconductor, it would revolutionize the electronics
industry, allowing devices to be made smaller, faster,
cheaper, more reliable and less power hungry.
Is OPEC obsolete?
Oil prices didn't budge after the cartel promised to
boost crude production—because it's the lack of refining
capacity that's the real problem.
By Nelson Schwartz
The shiny black
Mercedes limos left early this morning for the
Vienna airport, whisking the OPEC ministers attending
the cartel's meeting this week back to their jets for
long rides home to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, Africa and
Venezuela. But despite the usual media circus
surrounding the pronouncements of the cartel and its
various oil chieftains, OPEC lately seems to have lost
its power to control surging crude prices.
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