Setting Nevadans Up For A Massive Tax Hike – again!

In preparation for the upcoming budget wars lets take a look at Nevada’s welfare rolls from the pre-recession levels, through the 2007-09 recession, and during the recovery from 2009 through FY 2015. The picture from below (from the Nevada Division of Welfare site tells the story:
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This is the TANF caseloads from 2006 through 2015. TANF is the new acronym for welfare (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). In 2007 the caseload was 17,712. At the end of the recession the caseload was 22,556 (a 27% increase). That’s a lot, but it was a tough recession – fine. But then look what happened after the recession ended. The Caseload in FY2015 skyrocketed to 35,576 – double the 2007 prerecession levels and 58% higher than the caseload at the end of the recession. Something has gone seriously awry. And it is not that the population has grown. The welfare recipients per 1,000 in NV population ballooned from 6.62 to 12.57. Simply astounding. Remember that when they want another billion in tax revenues to pay for it, including dozens of millions in advertising the welfare expansion to attract potential recipients. Some ad agency out there will do quite well!

The next data point is TANF Medicaid recipients. In 2007 there were 63,008 TANF Medicaid recipients, 23.56 per 1000 Nevada residents. In FY 2015 this number has exploded to 271,967, or 96.12 per 1,000 Nevada residents. The 2015 caseload is more than 4 times the 2007 caseload. Simply out of control.

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The next data point is CHAP (Child Health Assurance Program) recipients. In 2007 there were 28,674 recipients or 10.72 per 1000 Nevadans. In 2015 there is an astonishing 226,816 recipients or 80.26 per 1000 Nevadans. That is an nearly eight fold increase. Are we trying to build the dependency capital of the world?

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The next data point is Food Stamps. In 2007 there were 119,596 Nevadans on food stamps or 44.71 per 1000 Nevadans. In 2015 the caseload shot up to 375,506 or 133.46 per 1000 Nevadans. OMG what are we doing in Nevada. Here is the chart.

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And finally take a look at what they have done with Medicaid – by law, we can’t even institute a simple co-pay to promote responsible consumption. Simply outrageous!

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That is enough for now. It is quite sobering. Remember this when they demand that our taxes be raised by a billion dollars. This is the same crap they pulled in the lead up to the 2003 legislative session. That year was a record tax and spend hike, but set Nevada up to have the most difficult economic recovery of any state in the nation.

Constitutional Convention Soon?

In 1979, Nevada joined a parade of state legislatures in asking Congress to call a Constitutional Convention for the limited purpose of adding a provision requiring a balanced budget, except in the case of an emergency.  It was nitpicked, amended then amended again – but Governor List finally had a bill to sign on March 12, 1979, which he did. The linked PDF includes the bill and it’s legislative history.

Time wore on through the 80s, and a lot of state legislatures jumped on the bandwagon, but by 1985 states stopped. The effort fell two states short of the required 34.

The last six years of inexcusably irresponsible federal spending, much of it borrowed and showing little return, has sealed the deal. Ohio passed a resolution about six months ago, and Michigan’s house affirmed the Michigan Senate’s intent to become number 34 a couple of weeks ago.

So the tipping point – where two thirds of the states have petitioned congress to convene a convention to consider changing the Constitution to require fiscally responsible political behavior – has happened. Of maybe not – some of the state legislatures later rescinded their petitions and there is disagreement over whether that counts.

A few folks advocate that government debt doesn’t matter. Do your own research. I concluded they are wrong.

If I were lucky enough to represent my state in such a process, I would work hard to ensure the agenda is kept to a balanced budget amendment, and that one was passed.

Here’s a great Wikipedia article on the Balanced Budget Amendment.

Gold Fever

Gold, baby!

I’ve never scraped together enough money to seriously buy gold – I keep getting sidetracked into taxpayer-protection’s siren song – but nevertheless find the stuff fascinating, all the more so when combined with my passion for mining history in the West.

Which is how I stumbled across this story within hours of when the RJ published it… I am thinking some of Joaquin Murrietta‘s stash?

Wheeler Pass passed up tonight

My dad and I did not go home via Wheeler Pass tonight, having enjoyed the Nye County Lincoln Day Dinner, but we sure did talk about it.

These beehive-shaped structures are the remains of three charcoal making kilns and one Lime Kiln built for Jonas Osborne in 1877. He had designed and built a big furnace to smelt over 20 tons of silver and lead ore each day in the boomtown of Tecopa, California in January of 1878. Forty-four men attempted to keep the furnace working by cutting and hauling the ore, and feeding and constantly repairing the furnace. It completely failed and was abandoned in the fall of 1878.

As this area of the Spring Mountains had the best and closest source of wood, the kilns were setup here and the charcoal produced was carried by horse drawn wagons about 50 miles to the Tecopa Smelter. Evidence shows only tree limbs were cut in fuel and no extensive tree cutting was done.

50 reasons we’re living through the greatest period in world history

His top 5 from a much longer and more impressive list from Professor Perry at Carpe Diem:

1. U.S. life expectancy at birth was 39 years in 1800, 49 years in 1900, 68 years in 1950, and 79 years today. The average newborn today can expect to live an entire generation longer than his great-grandparents could.

2. In 1949, Popular Mechanics magazine made the bold prediction that someday a computer could weigh less than 1 ton. I wrote this sentence on an iPad that weighs 0.73 pounds.

3. The average American now retires at age 62. One hundred years ago, the average American died at age 51. Enjoy your golden years — your ancestors didn’t get any of them.

4. Despite a surge in airline travel, there were half as many fatal plane accidents in 2012 than there were in 1960, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

5. People worry that the U.S. economy will end up stagnant like Japan’s. Next time you hear that, remember that unemployment in Japan hasn’t been above 5.6% in the past 25 years, its government corruption ranking has consistently improved, incomes per capita adjusted for purchasing power have grown at a decent rate, and life expectancy has risen by nearly five years. I can think of worse scenarios.