Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why the "Tea Party" Fears Honesty on Tax Reform

As we noted yesterday, the corporate margin tax is finally going live. And already, it's making a big splash. And already, the radical right is making noise on how "dangerous" this is.

The usual "tea party" suspects are kicking up the scare tactics. Who knew a simple margin tax, a tax proposal that some progressives complain doesn't go far enough. That's why I had a good laugh when I saw NPRI's hand wringing, and why I then rejoiced when I saw Sebring's rebuttal of NPRI's fearmongering at The Nevada View.

Anti-tax reform groups, like NPRI, feeling like they have duped and confused middle class citizens go on to state that “research shows there’s little to no correlation between $ and student achievement.” The facts are not on their side though. As the Student-Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) project and the Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) project have shown, “Research concentrating on class size is important because the findings have largely concluded that smaller class size leads to increases in student achievement, helps to close the minority-majority achievement gap, and has several other long lasting benefits.” Class size reduction though isn’t possible without an increase in the number of teachers in classrooms within a district. Logic tells us that these increases in teacher counts will cost money. Thereby showing that increased financial investments in schools most certainly does increase student achievements, as well as providing other socially relevant benefits.

For decades, the likes of NPRI have deceived Nevadans into thinking we could get something for nothing. But in the last decade, we've had to learn the hard way that we really can't get "money for nothing and chicks for free". Instead, our penchant for rewarding tax evasion has only caused us unnecessary pain and suffering as we've failed to invest in the public infrastructure (like public schools) necessary for growing a sustainable and diversified economy.

Even Ralston, who sometimes wants to like NPRI almost as much as he hates the initiative process, couldn't stay mum on NPRI's idiotic attempt to stifle reasonable discussion on badly needed tax reform. And that's what has "Tea Party, Inc." running scared. The frustration is real, the need for reform is real, and now the first step in building a lasting solution to our chronic budget AND economic development woes is real. They're trying desperately to stifle this, but their days of bullying Nevada into remaining a failed state (just so their corporate patrons can reap the rewards of our suffering) are numbered.

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