Vol. 1, No.
Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights should be repelled
serious effort is underway in Colorado to
bypass the effective tax and spending controls
imposed by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR)
and permanently increase the size of the state
TABOR limits how fast state tax revenues can
grow by requiring that the state refund taxes
collected over the limit to the taxpayers.
Therefore, TABOR also, in effect, limits
spending. This has kept the burden of state
government low and has led to a stronger state
But TABOR is under attack. Elected officials
have placed Referendum C on the ballot for this
fall, asking Colorado citizens to let the
legislature keep (and spend) $3 billion in
surplus taxes over TABOR limits instead of
refunding those revenues to the taxpayers.
As voters ponder this referendum, it is helpful
to examine why TABOR was necessary and why it
should be retained.
TABOR’s Background Colorado voters passed TABOR
in 1992 to end the undisciplined spending and
tax increases of the 1980s, which increased the
effective state income tax rate by 15 percent
and the gasoline tax by 214 percent.
Chart 1 shows how effective TABOR has been in
controlling spending. Before TABOR, state
spending increased dramatically in relation to
taxpayers’ ability to pay, even briefly
surpassing the national average. After TABOR,
the burden of government declined and Colorado’s
competitiveness with the rest of the nation
Estate tax hurts small business
By Dick Patten
American Family Business Institute
As the U.S.
Senate prepares to debate the permanent
repeal of the estate tax, the famous political
mantra hangs in the air -- follow the money. Who
benefits from repeal, how does it affect the
federal budget and who is fighting to keep the
tax in place?
The answer is not as obvious as opponents of
estate tax repeal like to believe. Polls have
consistently shown that as income levels drop,
support for repeal actually increases, while the
most prominent supporters of the estate tax are
some of the United States' richest people. Why?
Is everyone that hopelessly confused about their
Prominent estate tax booster Warren Buffett is
famously aware of what's good for his own
finances. In his annual letters to shareholders,
he continually reassures investors that upon his
death, no large tax will be paid and that the
bulk of his estate will be left to charity.
By Caleb Carr
Wall Street Journal
ultimate targets of the London bombings
were not, of course, human beings.
Rather, they were a set of governmental policies
that the terrorists hoped to change by
separating political leaders from the support of
their shaken citizenry.
Despite this distinction, however, the
underlying psychological principles involved in
investigating such crimes remain the same as
they would were we studying a mass- or
serial-murder case, of which terrorists are in
many respects the politicized version.
Is this to say that the four young men suspected
of being the instruments of terror on this
occasion can be classified as clinical
We will likely be unable to answer that question
with certainty, now that they are dead. What we
can focus on, however, are the motivations and
perversities of the vastly more dangerous
Islamist clerics and terrorist organizers who
sought out youthful pawns and instilled in them
a theology of murder.
This article will be available to
non-subscribers of the Online Journal for up to
Is the Euro forever?
By Grant Nülle
of European Union member states have been
reeling from the double rejection of the
proposed European Constitution by two of the six
founding members, the Netherlands and France.
Given a chance to express their opinion on “ever
closer union,” for the first time in over a
decade and ever, respectively, French and Dutch
voters spurned the controversial text against
the wishes of their countries’ political, media
and commercial elite.
The reasons for rejection were varied and
contradictory, but at its roots was
dissatisfaction with present economic conditions
–foremost persistently high unemployment- and
perceived indifference and arrogance with which
national politicians subordinate domestic
concerns to busy themselves with constructing a
One particular object of derision and scrutiny
is the euro, the currency adopted in 1999 by 12
of the 15 member states that comprised the EU
before the admission of 10 Central and Eastern
European states in 2004. Three ministers in
Italy’s governing coalition have augured for a
reconstituted lira tied to the dollar and
leaders of the German Finance Ministry have at
least been privy to pessimistic discussions
among private banks concerning the euro’s
future. Since the referendums the value of the
euro has dropped. As of June 21, the euro was
nearing a nine-month low against the very shaky
officials are telling news reporters that the defection
of two major unions from the AFL-CIO and the looming
departure of two others won’t make a difference in the
But the reality is that unions disaffiliating from the
AFL-CIO nationally are legally barred by the union
federation’s constitution from continuing to be
affiliated at the state level. So far, the relevant
provisions remain unchanged and national officials—hurt
and angry—don’t appear about to change them.
So while Nevada AFL-CIO boss Danny Thompson assured the
Las Vegas Sun this week that there “is no problem
in Nevada,” he may well be whistling past the graveyard.
Eighty percent of the union members ostensibly under
Thompson’s leadership belong to the anti-AFL-CIO
Calling itself “Change to Win,” that coalition includes
the largest union in the U.S., the service employees (SEIU),
and the Teamsters, who have both already officially left
the AFL-CIO. Change to Win also includes two other
unions threatening to quit: Unite Here, which represents
apparel, hotel and restaurant workers, and the United
Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).
All four dissident unions are active in Nevada. The
state’s largest local—Culinary Local 226, reporting
50,000 resort industry members—is part of Unite Here.
SEIU Local 1107 represents approximately 11,000
government employees with Clark County, the Las Vegas
Convention and Visitors Authority, McCarran
International Airport, the Las Vegas and North Las Vegas
housing authorities and the Clark County Health
Just 3 in 10
workers would unionize
Seven-in-Ten Content With Jobs
union memberships in decline nationally, a new
Zogby International poll shows that just one-in-three
(35%) non-union workers would consider voting to
unionize their workplace, while a 56% majority would
The poll also finds workers nationwide are
generally content with their jobs and their employers.
The survey of 802 workers nationwide was conducted June
14 through 21, 2005, and has a margin of error of +/-3.6
percentage points. Polling was performed by Zogby
International on behalf of the Public Service Research
State quest for Canadian drugs continues
By Michelle Swafford
Board says it is one step closer to making Canadian
drugs available to Nevadans.
Board lawyer Louis Ling and incoming executive director
Larry Pinson visited with about 20 Canadian pharmacies
in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for a few days last week.
pharmacies are interested in selling prescription drugs
to Nevadans—at a lower rate on brand-name drugs than is
available from U.S. pharmacies. Canada has mandated
discounts imposed on pharmaceutical manufacturers, while
the United States does not.
Delayed Justice Center
undergoes mold removal
Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas is taking so
long to complete that it now needs $250,000 worth of
mold removal. Clark County recently hired Walker
Specialty Construction of Snohomish, Wash., to clean
several mold-contaminated areas inside the overdue,
The project calls for water repairs and mold remediation
on 11 of the building's 18 levels. It's a two-month task
that entails removing and replacing ceiling tiles,
drywall, fire sprinklers, windows and carpet, among
other things. Certain types of mold, if left untreated,
can cause serious health problems.
single mothers to jobs
By David R. Francis
taxes on low-income single mothers can have an
especially favorable effect, an important National
Bureau of Economic Research study has found.
1993 tax reform under President Clinton," says the
working paper, "single mothers worked fewer hours per
year, but this decline was overwhelmed by a solid
increase in low-income mothers going to work.”
Evaluation of Four Tax Reforms in the United States:
Labor Supply and Welfare Effects for Single Mothers
(NBER Working Paper No. 10935), coauthors Nada Eissa,
Henrik Kleven, and Claus Kreiner look at the tax acts of
1986, 1990, 1993, and 2001 and find that each added to
the economic welfare well-being of the nation. Each
reform reduced taxes owed by single mothers, thereby
shrinking government revenues but also providing an
incentive for them to substitute work for welfare
to assign dollar value
to famed Las Vegas slogan
By David McKee
LV Business Press
against a Placerville, Calif. shirt vendor could
be the tip of the iceberg, if the Los Vegas Convention &
Visitors Authority and its longtime ad agency, R&R
Partners, intend to stop the use of the slogan, "What
happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" on intimate apparel
currently sold in a number of Las Vegas casino resorts.
The LVCVA and R&R are seeking to prevent designer
Dorothy Tovar and Adrenaline Sports from marketing the
T-shirts, tank tops and camisoles, arguing that Tovar's
trademark phrase infringes upon their own "What happens
here, stays here" marketing campaign, unveiled in
January 2003. Tovar told the Business Press that she
received federal trademark approval for her marketing
slogan on February 28, 2003, with Nevada approval
following in April 2003.
Did fluoridation researchers
ask the right questions?
New evidence: Fluoride
increases risk of bone cancer in boys
By Sharon Begley
Wall Street Journal
fluoridation have returned because of allegations
of scientific misconduct against a prominent researcher
at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. The
Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization in
Washington, charged last month that Chester Douglass
misrepresented an unpublished study about bone cancer
and fluoridated tap water.
The study was conducted by one of his doctoral students,
Elise Bassin. She started with the same raw data as her
mentor—139 people with osteosarcoma (a rare bone cancer)
and 280 healthy “controls”—but saw a way to improve on
it. Since most of the 400 people diagnosed in the United
States each year with osteosarcoma are kids, and since
any ill effect of fluoride would likely come when bones
are growing most quickly, she focused on the 91 patients
who were under 20.
Her result: Among boys drinking water with 30 to 99
percent of the fluoride levels recommended by the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of
osteosarcoma was estimated to be five times as great as
among boys drinking nonfluoridated water. At 100 percent
or more, the risk was an estimated seven times as high;
the association was greatest for boys six to eight.
This article will be available to non-subscribers of the
Online Journal for up to seven days.
How Medicaid sabotages the
long-term care insurance market
By Les Picker
“The presence of
Medicaid is sufficient to explain why at least
two-thirds of all households would prefer not to
purchase private long-term care insurance,” says a new
working paper from the National Bureau of Economic
Most health insurance in the United States is provided
through a mix of public and private sources. Often the
public insurance—although heavily subsidized from the
individual’s perspective—offers only limited protection.
This holds true in many other countries as well, where
public insurance against risks such as longevity and
high medical expenditures usually provides only partial
Report: Big supply poses risk
for young commercial market
By Kevin Rademacher
real estate market in Las Vegas improved in the
second quarter of the year, according to Moody’s
But it didn’t help much.
In a Moody’s report on the well-being of major
commercial real estate markets, the Las Vegas
metropolitan area posted a score of 57, up from a 51
score in the first quarter. Only eight markets scored
worse than Sin City in the report, including Dallas,
Pittsburgh, Charlotte, N.C., and Stamford, Conn.
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