|The “Big Lie” is a propaganda technique embraced by the communists in which the offending party tells a whopper so “colossal” that the public would refuse to believe anyone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”The audacity of Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval’s early re-election campaign propaganda certainly falls into that category, but fortunately for the governor the Nevada Legislature passed a law this session making it illegal to fire anyone for being a communist. (Although I’m not sure the law applies to voters.)In any event, the slogan “Better Schools, No New Taxes,” rolled out in the closing days of the legislative session, is a demonstrable whopper on both counts.
On Thursday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that “less than 19 percent of Clark County high school students passed the Algebra I spring semester exam in 2012” and “not even half of eighth-graders passed the pre-algebra exam.” Worse, only half of elementary and middle school students “earned the minimum score for grade-level proficiency on the state’s reading, writing and science tests.”
Guess it all depends on your definition of “better.”
In fact, Governor Sandoval hasn’t made the schools better; he’s just done what every liberal before him has done — dump more money into our “failure factory” schools instead of boldly reforming education as he promised. Indeed, after appointing a truly reform-minded state schools chief, who declared that more money wouldn’t fix what ails our public schools, the governor forced him out after just a year on the job.
Worse, although the governor campaigned on the only true reform we haven’t tried yet, universal school vouchers, his lame voucher bill in the last legislative session never even got a hearing, and his convoluted business tax credit program this session never got out of Senate Finance.
The fact is, this governor has refused to fight for school vouchers and has invested no political capital whatsoever into making them a reality. “Better Schools” is nothing but cheap talk and hot air.
As for “No New Taxes” — oh, puh-lease.
In 2011, Governor Sandoval broke his word and slammed us with $1.2 billion worth of new taxes by re-imposing the 2009 tax hikes that we were promised would be “temporary.”
He then doubled-down and again re-imposed that same $1.2 billion worth of new taxes this year… in addition to some $60 million worth of new taxes disguised as “fees.”
Oh, and let’s not forget the sole reason Gov. Sandoval called the Legislature back into special session this month was for the purpose of passing a new sales tax hike on Clark County residents and tourists for the so-called “more cops” program.
Better schools? No new taxes? Why not throw in “The check is in the mail”?
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy grassroots advocacy organization. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.