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Questions, We got Questions  
by Vice President Knight Allen
Originally published on October 13, 2016 - reprinted with permission

  The ballot questions are the closest we get to direct democracy.  Let's take a look at this year's lineup.

Q1. Gun sales background checks

    Every debate about gun control is never about guns. It's about control. It's the "cancer of gradualism." The insatiable hunger of a faction within every society to control the actions of the mass of people -for the "greater good" of course. With guns it's always safety, what could be more important than your safety and the safety of your family and of society in general? Q1 is only a small trade off. Just a small step from where we are now. Besides, have you really missed the freedom you've already lost?
Benjamin Franklin had the eternal answer when he expressed the idea that anyone willing to trade a little freedom for a little safety deserves neither.
                                      "No" on Q1

Q2. Recreational Marijuana

    As a near zealot when it comes to individual freedom of choice and a strong believer that the right to be wrong may be the most important freedom of all my natural tendency is to support Q2. There are 3 things about Q2 that turned me around:
1. There is no opt-out clause for communities that don't want it. Even Colorado, the poster child for recreational marijuana has an opt-out.
2. It's crony capitalism. There's no free market. Small business entrepreneurs need not apply. Q2 is rooted in government handouts to a privileged/corporate elite.
3. What's the hurry? Lots of states are rushing headlong into this. Why join them? Let's take a little time and see if the well documented negative social and crime trends happening in Colorado and elsewhere will taper off or get worse. It never hurts not to get swept up in bubbles. Dotcom, housing or recreational marijuana.
                                      "No" on Q2

Q3. Electric Utility De-regulation

    This is a real beaut. Talk about your numbers game. Reminds me of the line about; "lies, damned lies and statistics." In some ways it's funny. In some cases, has deregulation worked in New York, Connecticut and Texas? YES, it has and here are the references and numbers to prove it. Has de-regulation worked in New York, Connecticut. and Texas? NO it hasn't and here are the references and numbers to prove it.
Who do you believe? I checked the names of those writing the arguments. On the "Yes" side are two men from something called Nevadans for Affordable, Clean Energy Choices. A group clearly a front for the green energy industry. On the "No" side is a lone private citizen.
I've had all I want of the "greens" and their multi-billion-dollar tax subsidies, crony capitalism and corporate welfare. I think we should go with the private citizen.                                       "No" on Q3

Q4. A proposal to exempt durable medical equipment (oxygen, wheelchairs etc.) from taxation.

    As you probably know I am a passionate believer in the core principle of taxation in "Wealth of Nations", "Do not tax the necessities of life." If the items in Q4 don't fall into that category I don't know what does so I went into the Arguments with a strong "Yes" mindset. I got slowed down a bit by the first item in the Argument Against which states the question is vaguely worded without clear definitions of which devices we're talking about. This concern was completely eliminated by the first item in the "Rebuttal to Argument Against" which reads, "Durable medical equipment is already defined in Nevada law."
Q4 is a wonderful opportunity to vote FOR something that can be of real help to people who truly need it.
                                      "Yes" on Q4

Q5. The Gas Tax

    This is the ballot question in which I had a hand. I read in the paper that not one single person had come forward to write the "Argument Against." Under Nevada law the job was delegated to the Clark County Registrar of Voters, Mr. Joseph Gloria. I called him and was pleasantly surprised when he said I could offer my ideas. Realizing my part in the process was totally unofficial and dependent on Mr. Gloria's goodwill, I kept my proposals simple and to a minimum.
1. I emphasized the time frame and how ten years is way too long in an ever fluctuating economy.
2. I took off after the construction inflation escalator which is so disconnected from and higher than the general inflation rate the people live with, it might as well be operating on another planet.
Mr. Gloria and his assistant did a wonderful job, adding: the fact it's actually TEN separate tax increases, the 30 year bond albatross and its outsized burden on lower income people plus the other points in their "Argument Against." I believe their "Arguments Against" and their rebuttal of the arguments for more than carry the day.
                                      "No" on Q5

    Observation on Elections:

"Good intentions will always be pleaded for any assumption of power. The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." --Daniel Webster

Contact Vice-President Knight Allen

N.B. The opinions expressed by Knight are his own and do not necessarily express the opinion of Nevada Seniors Coalition.