LETTERS: Feds wasting money on cattle roundup

To the editor:

Reality check, people. Have you been to Gold Butte? Cliven Bundy’s grazing cattle are not starving out desert tortoises, nor are they trampling them. In fact, you have to look hard to even see a cow out there most times. God’s desert creatures have co-existed for longer than we can imagine. Why do some think they know better than God?

I am offended that our government would spend my money on the Bureau of Land Management’s ridiculous cattle roundup. And the icing on the cake: the government wants to corral us like cattle into First Amendment areas. It’s time for the federal government to get out of Nevada and allow citizens to take care of themselves.



Bundy’s cattle

To the editor:

There is no doubt that Cliven Bundy’s cows are grazing on illegal grass, and I concur with the plan to move them off the Gold Butte area. However, I wonder what the response would be from the Obama administration if a Chinese corporation requested a permit for a five-square-mile solar energy generation operation on the Gold Butte range?

Tortoises? What tortoises?

After all, it is only desert wasteland.



Politicians and pensions

To the editor:

With all the editorials and letters to the editor about high-salaried public employees and the Nevada Public Employees Retirement System, we never seem to get to the root of the problem. It’s the politicians — always in need of the union endorsement for their re-election — who bestow these salaries and benefits.

The pathetic Nevada voters can’t get it through their heads that you can’t keep re-electing the same politicians over and over again and expect any changes to the system. Term limits don’t work, for crying out loud. Don’t re-elect anyone. That’s the cure.



Pension problems

To the editor:

A long time ago, I learned that research by an advocacy group needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The Review-Journal’s use of research by the oldest pro-business think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, is a prime example (“Nevada No. 1 in pension benefits,” Sunday Review-Journal). In short, Nevada is not number one and probably not in the top 20 percent of benefits to retirees.

First, the average pension is not the right metric; the median pension is. For example, consider pensions of $40,000, $42,000, $43,000, $45,000, $75,000, $90,000 and $95,000. The average salary is about $61,000, but three of the seven pensions are below $45,000. The median is a much better metric.

Second, the Review-Journal omits the fact that Nevada is one of the very few states that chooses not to participate in Social Security. This adds, in all but a handful of states, upward of $20,000 annually to retiree compensation. In addition, it saves the state of Nevada millions of dollars each year. Also, many other states pay health costs for pre-Medicare retirees. Here, a retiree can pay $9,000 or $10,000 per year to continue health care.

The lesson is clear: the Review-Journal needs to carefully vet research before using it as gospel.

Finally, we constantly read that the Nevada Public Employees Retirement System is underfunded, but no one says why. The reason is obvious: Previous governors, both Democrats and Republicans, paid lip service to actuaries and made conscious decisions to consistently underfund the system.

That’s hardly the fault of Nevada state workers. Place the blame where it belongs.