If I can get political for a second, it seems every week there’s fresh news about how the system of higher education in Nevada is being rapidly dismantled and, essentially, going down the shitter. Since I work within the system of higher education in Nevada, I am–as you might understand–concerned for my personal welfare. At the moment, I feel extremely lucky to have a job, though I don’t feel confident that I’ll have one here a year from now, and let me tell you, that’s a pretty crappy place to be.

Congratulations, Republicans. You’ve managed to put educators and educational support staff into the same crap-filled boat as the rest of the country. Mission accomplished, I guess. You really nailed us, and I guess none of your kids plan on attending state school, so you can enjoy your victory.

But what I really wanted to mention was the 5% pay cut that state workers will be taking come the new fiscal year. First of all, I should say that I’m not necessarily complaining. I’ve already taken a pay cut, so this is nothing new. That said, it’s hilarious to me that the governor has put all of this into motion in order to avoid actually raising taxes in Nevada. Hey, douchebag–what do you think a pay cut is?

To put this into easily comprehensible numbers, ignoring for the moment income taxes and everything else, if I make $3000 a month and take a 5% pay cut, I’m now making $2850 a month. So if I regularly spend $500 a month to feed my family, under my full salary, that’s about 16.6% of my earnings. Under my new salary, it’s 17.5% of my earnings. So that’s ultimately equivalent to a .9% tax increase on food. Yes, it’s not a lot, but you’re lying to yourself if you think it’s not a backdoor tax on state employees.

Yes, it works that way with everything. In fact, I’m taking it up the ass even harder than most people (non-state workers) because I’m even getting taxed on my mortgage now! If I pay $1000 a month for my mortgage, that’s a 2% tax increase. Hey, at least with food, you can elect to eat more ramen noodles or something, but with my mortgage, I’m pretty much stuck.

This is pretty simple math that anybody should be understand, yet somehow, it’s okay because all this really signifies is me getting my just desserts, right? I’m a state employee, so everybody knows about my cushy salary and awesome benefits. Let’s not mention that if I worked in private industry, I would probably make a lot more than I make in education, or that my benefits get shittier every year to the point that it might not even be worth it to have them next year, and I’m still paying about 9% of my take-home salary for the privilege.

Last year, even with the birth of a baby, I think I may have just broken even with what I paid into my insurance, though if I really ran the numbers, I think I would find out that I paid more into insurance than I got out of it. I guess it’s that way for everybody, but the point is that it’s not as though I’m living the highlife here with a gym membership and free massages. I still have a crummy deductible to deal with and my HMO doesn’t like to cover prescription meds or anything remotely “elective”.

Anyway, if you look at everything I spend money on (food, mortgage, gas, utilities), I estimate I’m taking a tax increase on my lifestyle of about 3% conservatively, and maybe 4% in a rough month. I’m not really complaining, because we’re doing all right, but for the life of me, I don’t understand why people think state employees need to be singled out. The system of higher education, especially, isn’t recession proof. Hey, my wife with her Ph.D. isn’t seeing a lot of open positions, you know? We’re a single-income family just like a lot of non-state workers, and oh yeah–my institution is eliminating 318 positions with the possibility of more to come. Yeah, I’m clearly sitting in the catbird seat.

Jesus, people are stupid. Governor Sandoval of Nevada being amongst the stupidest.

I suppose it goes without saying that I didn’t vote for him.