Remote legislating. Las Vegas Democratic Assemblyman Steve Yeager posted a Twitter poll the other day:
So, which do you miss the most in the greater Carson City area? #NVLeg
— Steve Yeager (@SteveYeagerNV) March 15, 2021
I conservatively estimate 94.65 percent of Yeager’s constituents have never been to any of the Carson City places Yeager misses.
That’s not a rap on Yeager. He’s among the most Twitter-playful of your Nevada legislators, and that’s fine.
But it reminded me of the folly of remote capital cities. Researchers who have studied the impact of having state capitals in small towns report “isolated capital cities are robustly associated with greater levels of corruption across U.S. states, in line with the view that this isolation reduces accountability.”
In other words, having the capital in Carson City has always made it easier for rich interests and their well-heeled lobbyists to control the show, including over meals and drinks at area eating and drinking establishments.
No new tax cuts. That’s one of the provisions for states in the federal relief bill, and a couple states are having a cow about it. To my knowledge – and with the caveat that l wouldn’t be the least surprised to learn I am wrong, because of How Things Work ’round here – your Nevada legislators are not seriously considering any tax cuts in these our corona times. But if they are, because now there is $4.1 billion coming from the feds to state and local governments, sorry, but no. You can’t use relief money to offset the cost of tax cuts.
What you can do, however, is cut taxes if they are offset by a tax increase. So, just to take an example, if your Legislature wanted to cut regressive sales taxes that hit the poor hardest, and offset that revenue loss by raising, say, the commerce tax rates on businesses, the Legislature could do that. Ha as if.
Vaccine passports. There are some companies, and some non-profits too, that are developing apps in case when people start travelling again they need to prove they’ve been jabbed. The apps so far are aimed at travelers, who may be required to show proof of their vaccination status before boarding a plane or entering another country. But as you will imagine there are people who are FREAKING OUT at the very idea of having to prove one’s inoculation. And the Biden administration is basically saying um yeah we don’t really want much of anything to do with this.
By the way, not to go all Captain Obvious but there is nothing about how the state of Nevada and the resort industry for which it stands has handled/mishandled travel & tourism during the pandemic to indicate any tourist will ever have to prove anything at all around here, except that their credit card’s good.
Snake oil. We laugh at the oldy-timey notion of the snake oil salesman rolling into some backwater with his horse-drawn cart and putting it over on the rubes. But even on a per capita basis, or pound for pound, or dollar for dollar or however you want to qualify it, there must be orders of magnitude more grifters selling miracle cures today than at any time in human history.
Anyway, some guy, a former Nevada GOP legislator I take it, had his magic water pulled from the market after health officials said it was magically giving people hepatitis.
(The above are excerpts from this week’s Daily Current newsletter, the editor’s opinionated morning news roundup, which you can subscribe to here.)