Nevada U.S. Sen. Dean Heller took to the floor of the Senate on Wednesday and had a thing or two to say about tax hikes:
"President Obama said in 2009 - quote - 'You don't raise taxes in a recession ... because that would just suck up, take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole.' I agreed with that statement in 2009, and I agree with it today. ... My home state of Nevada leads the nation in unemployment at 11.6 percent. ... Raising taxes will do nothing to create jobs in Nevada or this nation."
Darn straight, Skippy! And yet ...
The Nevada Legislature, with plenty of Republican accomplices, "temporarily" raised taxes in the neighborhood of $800 million - over the objections and vetoes of then-Gov. Jim Gibbons - during the height of the recession in 2009.
That same Nevada Legislature, again with plenty of GOP accomplices, re-imposed $620 million worth of those "temporary" taxes - most of which hit Nevada job creators - in collaboration with Gov. Brian Sandoval in 2011 during the ongoing recession and while Nevada was leading the nation in unemployment.
Then just this past March - as Nevada continued to lead the nation in unemployment - Gov. Sandoval announced he was going to once again re-impose that $620 million worth of "temporary" tax hikes on Nevada's job creators next year despite the fact that, as Sen. Heller pointed out, "raising taxes will do nothing to create jobs in Nevada."
Now, some liberals in the media would have you believe that it's only radical right-wingers like me, the tea partiers, the Ron Paulbarians and our good friends over at the Nevada Policy Research Institute who believe that raising taxes, especially during this seemingly never-ending recession, is bad policy and won't help create jobs in Nevada.
But the truth is, our position is the responsible, mainstream conservative position ... and thank you, Sen. Heller, for sticking to your guns and sticking up for Nevada's taxpayers and job creators.
While Sen. Heller opened his remarks by quoting President Obama from 2009, let me close with a far more eloquent quote from gaming executive Steve Wynn, also from 2009:
"This is a time - anybody that raises any taxes now is purely psychotic. I mean, every time they touch a tax now you can just increase the unemployment line at the Culinary Union and at every place else in this city. No, no. This is a bad time to raise taxes."
Darn straight, Skippy!
Fiscal conservatives agreed with that statement in 2009, and we agree with it today. Perhaps Gov. Sandoval might rethink the wisdom of again re-imposing that $620 million "temporary" tax hike next year and join the rest of us mainstreamers.
• Chuck Muth is president of CitizenOutreach.com.