LETTERS: Margins tax just throws away money


To the editor:

In response to Steve Sebelius’ Wednesday column (“It’s not just a tax, it’s the end of the world!”), the education system in Nevada is a failure. Nevada children fail in elementary school and high school at an alarming rate. All the statistics, ratings and every other measure I have read about in the Review-Journal say as much.

Why in the world would anyone agree to a new tax in order to throw more money into a system like that? Until and unless Nevada radically changes the way education is structured and delivered, I cannot believe the public will accept a tax increase to continue a failed system. There are so many new things in education to try — starting with vouchers and charter schools. But all we hear about is money.

The public has long since stopped listening to arguments to fund Nevada schools at the national average. Does Nevada really want to be on a dollar-per-student par with New Jersey, when that state’s enhanced education system is also a failure despite some of the highest taxes in the United States?

LINDA LOVELLE

BOULDER CITY

Improving schools

To the editor:

Steve Sebelius’ Wednesday column suggests that we could fix our economy by fixing our schools, and fix our schools by passing the teacher’s union’s business margins tax proposal (“It’s not just a tax, it’s the end of the world!” Wednesday Review-Journal). Similar logic would lead us to believe that we could get gold out of coal mines if only we paid the miners more.

Unfortunately, neither proposition is sound. The U.S. leads the world in expenditure per pupil by a wide margin, while our achievement level is close to the bottom for developed nations. Heredity and home environment are the most important indicators of a child’s educational success.

Las Vegas is not Palo Alto, Calif., and paying teachers more won’t change that. We don’t have Harvard and MIT here, but we do offer good transportation, a good climate and a business-friendly tax environment. We can and should do more to encourage hi-tech ventures — public and private — to locate here. We should streamline business permitting. We should support the UNLV medical school and strengthen the technology graduate programs at UNLV.

We should encourage reading in the home and extol the values of education. We should focus our schools on the three “Rs” (reading, writing, and arithmetic) and have AP programs for our brighter students. We should reward our best teachers and trim the fat from the administrative budget.

BOB LAFLEUR

LAS VEGAS

Christie vs. Obama

To the editor:

There has never been any accountability nor anyone fired for the Obama administration’s handling of Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, nor the National Security Agency surveillance scandal. There has never been any accountability for the ineptness and the recently documented lies from President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton after the deaths of four Americans at Benghazi, nor for Solyndra or the debacle and lies associated with the Obamacare rollout.

This president goes so far as to insist he knew nothing about any of these events until after they were brought to light.

But the liberal media, Democratic pundits, left-wing congressmen and Eric Holder’s Department of Justice demand federal investigations into New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s involvement in what amounts to a traffic jam over a bridge, for God’s sake. So far, Christie’s only proved involvement has been his immediate and decisive firing of those on his staff who concocted this ill-conceived prank, compared with President Obama’s costly and deadly screw-ups.

Do liberals who still support this charlatan live in a parallel universe, or are they just in denial now that their fearless leader has been shown to be inept and a liar?

J. J. SCHRADER

HENDERSON

 

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