Draconian times call for drastic measures


To the editor:

Your Saturday editorial ("Just charge it on your new Visa!") criticized me for wanting to use a credit card (bonds) to solve our state's financial problems. Using a credit card to solve immediate problems is a good use of credit, so long as you make provisions for paying it off in the future -- and that is what I proposed.

The Legislature has three choices (I speak for myself and no other legislators):

1. We can adopt the governor's budget and destroy the state -- destroy higher education, destroy K-12 education and destroy citizens through cuts to mental health programs, welfare benefits, Medicaid, etc.

2. We can institute and raise myriad small taxes that will nickel and dime our citizens to death, disproportionately hurting poor people and small businesses. You know and I know that once a tax is instituted, it never goes away.

3. We can do the right thing and, once and for all, fix our broken tax system by instituting a business income tax (the fairest tax for businesses) that will also be the means for paying off the credit card. This business income tax would capture some of the billions of dollars that big businesses raise in our state and then ship out of Nevada to their home states. Unfortunately, a business income tax takes time to establish, so the credit card (bonds) is the bridging mechanism until the income tax kicks in.

I would never recommend using bonds to pay operating expenses in normal or even bad times. But these are Draconian times. Our great state is in dire condition.

Perhaps Draconian measures are necessary for solving Draconian problems.

HARRY MORTENSON

LAS VEGAS

THE WRITER, A DEMOCRAT, REPRESENTS DISTRICT 42 IN THE NEVADA ASSEMBLY.

Stop the spring forward

To the editor:

Regarding this weekend's shift to Daylight Savings Time: Why would anybody want to extend the hottest part of the day in the summer? It's harder on your air conditioner and it increases your power use, which drives your electric bill up.

Daylight Savings Time is a dinosaur. Its purpose is now extinct.

KELLY CLANCY

LAS VEGAS

Unjust compensation

To the editor:

It's always interesting watching a rich and powerful faction of society defend its position of privilege, as the government union bosses did at the Legislature ("Pay in public sector debated," Feb. 26 Review-Journal).

Their basic message is: "We've got ours. We worked the system very hard to get it, and we're going to keep it all. Get over it!"

The economic structure of Nevada today is one in which government employees, including police officers and firefighters, are seriously overpaid, grossly over-benefitted and obscenely over-pensioned. Right this moment, thousands of Nevada's private-sector workers are unemployed or underemployed, watching their hopes and dreams for a better future for their families go up in smoke.

Meanwhile, those inside of government go to work every day and, with every pay period, move just that much closer to their golden parachute pension, which, according to the Nevada PERS, they will start to collect on average at age 55 to 60.

This is the reality of the unjust public-sector compensation system we live under and owe billions in unfunded liabilities to, and it makes no difference how articulate, passionate and clever those who defend it may be. It is still unjust, and it must be changed for everyone's sake, including, believe it or not, the government employees themselves.

KNIGHT ALLEN

LAS VEGAS

The U.S.S.A.

To the editor:

I remember when Nikita Khrushchev, chairman of the Soviet Union, declared that his party's state-run system of government would "bury" the public-run, free enterprise system of the United States.

We buried the Soviet system a generation later.

Today, Chairman Obama with comrades Reid and Pelosi are speeding toward a state-run socialistic system. It didn't work in Russia, and it won't work here.

Two examples of our government attempting to compete in the free enterprise world are the U.S. Postal Service and Amtrak. Both are running on life support from the American taxpayers.

One can imagine the banking industry, the automobile industry, health care, etc., being run by the government. The cost of the bureaucracies the government would create to handle this expansion of power would, by itself, bankrupt the country.

Could Chairman Obama and comrades Reid and Pelosi do what Mr. Khrushchev couldn't do? Could they bury our free enterprise system?

PAUL E. WEBB

BOULDER CITY

Change, indeed

To the editor:

When President Obama was elected, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 9,319. On Monday, it closed at 6,763, a drop of 27 percent, and continued south.

How is your retirement account doing? Is this the change we voted for?

Dave Kelly

HENDERSON

 

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