Keeping government's belt tight

We're happy to see Gov. Kenny Guinn leading the way by taking quick steps to hold state spending in check while the economy has a chance to rebound.

Guinn continues to hold open 1,400 state jobs and says he will fill only the most needed of 87 new state-government positions scheduled to start Monday.

The belt-tightening will stretch services, but these are the times we find out which services are essential and which are merely desirable. But state government needs to be ahead of the curve when it comes to holding the line on expenses, and can expand again once revenues are in hand.

Be assured Nevada's economy will rebound. We just don't know when.

It will take some time for people to feel comfortable flying, and vacations will be low priorities for many families worried about whether they will have jobs next month.

Both will drag down the tourism trade, the state's biggest industry and largest revenue source through both gaming and sales taxes.

Northern Nevada should be hurt less than Las Vegas, because a higher percentage of tourists drive here from California. About half of Las Vegas visitors fly in, but we think it will recover fairly soon as well.

In fact, with Las Vegas' reputation as the top tourist destination in the country, Nevada could end up being among the first to see the economy's turnaround.

Still, much is unknown about the coming months -- including the United States' military response to the terrorist attacks.

In Carson City, cutbacks in state government will affect local businesses. So Carson City government should be taking the same precautions as Guinn.

In the long run, lean and efficient government operations will be the best way to keep Nevada's economy on an even keel during hard times, as well as poised to attract new business when the upswing begins.


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