AARP positions are all about the kids

To the editor:

I have taken the advice of columnist Robert J. Samuelson and gotten angry (Oct. 22 Review-Journal). Unfortunately for Mr. Samuelson, my anger is directed toward him and not toward specific candidates and the AARP, as he had wished. Mr. Samuelson made many disparaging and false accusations about AARP as well as about youth in general.

The interests of AARP and the interests of younger Americans are not polar opposites, as Mr. Samuelson suggests. I know this because I interned for AARP during the 2007-08 school year. AARP's goal is to make health care and financial security accessible for all -- not just for people age 50 or older. The last thing AARP would want to do is to disenfranchise potential future AARP members.

Obviously, AARP must represent its current members -- those who are age 50 and older. Nevertheless, many of these members have children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews who will pay the costs of funding Medicare and Social Security. It is ignorant to think that older people are so selfish to not regard the futures of their children and grandchildren, and youth in general.

Cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits would not benefit me or any of my peers.

In fact, if benefits are cut, my generation would have to finance out-of-pocket care giving, medical and other expenses for our parents and grandparents. Then, when it comes time for our retirement, the vicious cycle would continue with future generations.

Social Security and Medicare need to be updated -- AARP is aware of this. The current economic situation weighs heavily on all of us and will require adjustments from members of each generation. But to disregard the importance of Social Security and Medicare is dangerous when people are already having trouble making ends meet.

It's time to set aside partisanship, ideologies and, most of all, intergenerational warfare. Instead, it is time for us to come together and resolve these issues facing our nation.

Danielle Thorsen


Golden goose

To the editor:

On the front page of Tuesday's Review-Journal was an article outlining overwhelming support for a 3 percentage-point room tax hike on our area hotels. However, if one continued to the Business section of the same edition, there was an article reporting a 13 percent drop in passengers coming through McCarran International Airport when compared with traffic from a year ago.

A room tax hike to support education sure seems like a good idea, especially if we are asking tourists to pay for it. What good will that tax hike do, though, if there are fewer visitors to pay for it? Based on those two numbers alone, we are still in the hole for education -- raising taxes will dig it even further.

Las Vegas used to be a very affordable destination. If we make it accessible only to the affluent, actual tax collections will continue to decline. We need to find better ways to tighten our belts through all governmental entities.

To paraphrase a quote from "Field of Dreams," "If you tax it, they won't come."

Laura A. Friedlander


Room taxes

To the editor:

When a proposal appears too good to be correct, voters flock to support it ("Room tax backers can't wait," Tuesday Review-Journal). After all, raising taxes on visitors won't come out of Nevada residents' pockets, will it? Think again.

We are already in a bind with dropping visitor numbers and a slumping economy. Before dumping on the tourism industry and hurting our economy further by raising the room tax rate, look at redirecting existing room taxes. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is a dinosaur lining the pockets of anointed bureaucrats and politicians. If you have any doubts, look at the salaries, budgets and expenditures vs. the actual return on the tax dollars that flow to the LVCVA.

Most large hotel complexes have been adding their own huge convention spaces, in competition with the LVCVA, and planning more such space. Let the hotels do their own marketing for the exploding amount of "private" convention arenas. I'm sure the hotels won't mind seeing the LVCVA drastically reduce its activities and competition. The money saved could be immediately shifted to demonstrated need within the educational system.

Leonard Kreisler


Private information

To the editor:

I find it reprehensible that the early voting results are broken down into Democrat and Republican numbers. It is enough to say how many people have voted early. It should not be stated how many are from each party.

Voting is a private affair. Announcing numbers for each party could change the voting of later participants. Please cease this practice.

Nancy Paragamian