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The irony of budget cuts and tuition increases 

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Cutting back is the only option to make up for the shortfall

 

It’s hard to walk anywhere around UNLV without noticing the catastrophic signs declaring doomsday scale budget cuts. Personally, I find it all hilariously entertaining. The university system and student groups around campus have made Gov. Jim Gibbons out to be worse than Hitler. Why? 

I’ve read numerous articles and commentaries criticizing the governor for keeping to his campaign promise of not raising taxes. I find it rather ironic that every other time we criticize and mock politicians who make campaign promises and never fulfill them. 

But for once we actually have somebody who is upholding the promises he made to the people who elected him. Sadly, the people who criticize politicians for not keeping promises are now criticizing politicians who keep their promises! Make up your minds people!

Personally, I’m very pleased that the governor has the guts to stand up and stick to his principles where most would bend over and grab their ankles at the first sign of trouble. 

He vowed not to raise taxes and I praise him for it because to do so would only be harmful to Nevada and its citizens in a time of economic hardship. Gibbons actually has the brains to realize that if the citizens of Nevada have to tighten their belts and do without, so can the government. 

Wouldn’t it be selfish to ask us to pony up cash during a recession so the government can be safe and secure? 

That’s another thing I find amusing and at times frustrating about this whole to-do over the budget cuts. Everyone is saying, “no budget cuts!” So, what is the solution? As to my understanding none have been offered, or for that matter, thought of.

Well, there was one solution offered by the Board of Regents – increasing tuition by 25 percent. The increase would have helped the university to keep professors and programs. What happened to that solution? It went right out the window thanks to a huge student protest even though such an increase would have helped the imbalanced budget.

What’s the irony in all of this?

The university is a government entity and as such requires money from taxes to operate. Any time the university needs more money, taxes must go up. So when the government suddenly doesn’t have any money to give to the university and the option of raising taxes is out of question, what must the university do? Raise tuition.

After all, the university represents the government and therefore, is government. The beneficiaries of the government’s endowments (i.e. the students) must now pay higher for the service. Tuition has to go up which is equivalent to taxes going up.

Here is what is hilarious – I’m sure the same students who protested against higher tuition because it would directly hit their wallets, support politicians who support raising taxes (Democrats). So the students who helped elect those politicians in office directly see what the equivalent of a tax increase would be – their own tuition going up. But sadly, they still don’t understand.

So we can’t have our tuition go up. But we don’t want to cut the budget. What’s the only other option left? Well, it’s something the drones passing out the anti-budget cut flyers haven’t answered for me when I asked. 

Our taxes have to go up! So we have two solutions to the budget cuts- raise tuition or raise taxes. One directly affects the students and one affects everyone else. Either way, somebody is going to have less money in their pockets. 

I think the solution to the budget crisis is cutting the budget. Gasp! I’m sure many of you are thinking I’m heartless, but at least I have a brain. I’m paying my own way through college and the budget cuts have directly affected my means of paying. 

I used to be a tutor through the university, however, once the budget started getting slashed, I lost my well-paying part-time job. You know what I did? I found work elsewhere, budgeted and saved money in order to stay in college. That’s called life.

Budget cuts are the solution. I would love to have a ton of sections for classes and I certainly don’t want to see departments disappear. However, there are ways to keep those things while still saving money. The university wastes so much of our money as it is. Budget cuts will finally be able to reign in some of that wasteful spending. 

Let’s just look at the salaries of university personnel. A total of 571 university employees make over $100,000 a year; eight of those 571 make well over $200,000. 

Cut some of the programs that aren’t necessary, such as the ridiculous diversity program. Cut administrative overhead. Cut UNLV football— we lose all the time anyway.

What are some other solutions for Nevada? 

How about growing a pair and going through with the Yucca Mountain project. If we did, either Nevadans currently living here would get a check from the federal government each month or, in exchange for Yucca Mountain being here, the state and local governments would get extra federal funding. 

We certainly wouldn’t have to worry about budget cuts then. What if, in exchange for Yucca Mountain every citizen currently living in Nevada didn’t have to pay federal income taxes?

All of these ideas were proposed years ago and all of them would have probably helped with our current economic and budget situations, but our very own Sen. Harry Reid disagreed with all of those because he’s beholden more to environmental groups than to the citizens of Nevada. 

There is a solution to our problem. Budget Cuts. Gov. Gibbons has the guts to go through with them. We should too.

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