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You’ll never feel those tax hikes — and other lies

To the editor:

Once a week, my husband and I wake up early and take our dogs out to an area park and do some training. We stop at a fast-food place and get a quick meal on our way out. This past week, with the July Fourth holiday, we were able to train two days.

On June 30, we stopped and paid $7.41 for our breakfast. We have been paying this for many months — we go to the same place and order the same meal each and every time. On July 3, after additional taxes and an increase in the minimum wage went into effect on July 1, we paid $9.90 for the exact same meal! An increase of $2.49.

So to all those who said we won’t notice any tax increases, they are wrong. I did.

On the other hand, they are right. I won’t — again. On my next trip to the market, I purchased a box of Jimmy Dean sausage biscuits, 10 for $4.99. Grocery store food is not taxable, unlike the hot food served at a restaurant. It takes fewer than two minutes to microwave the biscuits. I will actually save time and more money because I won’t be waiting in the drive-through line, wasting gas.

Paula Herwig


On fire

To the editor:

I found your Sunday article “Firefighter retirement enriched” very interesting, especially in light of the fact that the Parade insert in the same edition had an article recognizing volunteer firefighters and their dedication to their communities for little or no pay. Particular points of interest in this article were the fact that 72 percent of America’s firefighters are volunteer and that of the 118 U.S. firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2007, 68 were volunteers.

As a former volunteer firefighter who was paid $3 per call, I find this to be a contrast in character with the Clark County firefighters who are now refusing to give up their pay raises in line with other departments, including the Nevada state employees who not only gave up a pay raise, but had their pay reduced by a furlough day equal to about a 4.5 percent pay cut. This includes the state troopers who face danger on the job every day, as do some firefighters.

I now take a different view when I see a firefighter license plate on a vehicle.



U.S. policy

To the editor:

Good old Joe Biden, winging it again. “We won’t tell Israel they can or cannot attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.” “They are a sovereign nation and can determine on their own what constitutes a national security threat.”

Read between the lines on that. Does this apply to every sovereign nation; or just Israel (which, by the way, is the only nuclear-armed nation in the Middle East, for now)? The United States now has no stake in or opinion on any intervention, anywhere in the world. Or is Israel a special case?

Heaven help us if the first case applies and something happens to President Obama. No need to worry if it’s the second case. Standing U.S. policy since 1947.

Dale Quale


Nutty move

To the editor:

After reading the recent article in the Review-Journal about Joe Biden’s proposal to create another stimulus package, I was reminded of the old saying, “One indication of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Well, I think this should remove any doubt that I or anyone else has about Joe Biden and the Obama administration.

Gary Aftoora


Palin fees

To the editor:

In response to Jim Frake’s Tuesday letter to the editor, “Dumb move”:

Sarah Palin is paid $125,000 per year as governor of Alaska. To date, Sarah Palin has paid $500,000 for legal representation because of ethics complaints (filed at no cost and at no consequence to the filer of those complaints).

Sarah Palin made $312,500 in her 30 months as governor and paid $500,000 to do so. Who knows what amount she would incur in legal fees during the final 18 months of her term as governor of Alaska?

Does Mr. Frake work full time at a job where it costs him more money to work than what he is paid? Only a really dumb person with no intelligence and no common sense would continue to work under those conditions.

Maybe Mr. Frake should save his vitriol for a more worthy target.

Lynn Ratcliffe


Bleeding green

To the editor:

Can someone please help me understand the math presented in the article “City officials describe solar energy plans” (July 8)?

According to the article, $11 million of public money is to be spent on solar panels, which will save Las Vegas $300,000 a year in electricity costs. By my calculations, the total cost of these panels will be recovered in nearly 37 years.

But with a life expectancy of 25 to 40 years, the panels may not last long enough to be cost effective or even to reach the break-even mark.

The article states that “the cost of the city’s investment will be recouped in about 15 years,” according to the city’s estimates. Apparently the city is paying only part of the cost, and the rest of the $11 million total is coming from a variety of sources, including federal grants and bonds. But it’s all taxpayer money, in one form or another, isn’t it?

If “going green” makes sense economically, by all means, let’s embrace it. But unless my math is wrong, this enterprise does not appear to be cost effective, at all.



Not free

To the editor:

On July 7, President Obama addressed the New Economic School in Russia. He said, “I believe that the free market is the greatest force for creating and distributing wealth that the world has known.” He was correct. But what he said next was not.

He said, “But wherever the market is allowed to run rampant — through excessive risk-taking, a lack of regulation, or corruption — then all are endangered, whether we live on the Mississippi or on the Volga.”

Our President implies the free market was the cause for our current economic crisis. And that more government regulations are required to prevent excessive risk-taking.

The truth is, a free market exerts forces that keep excessive risk-taking in check. No lender would lend money to someone they deemed unworthy of credit. However, when lenders are instructed by government regulations to lower their standards as to whom they lend, and when government regulations instruct government institutions to insure such loans, the results are that excessive risk-taking are encouraged and increased dramatically. The rise and fall of our housing bubble proved that point convincingly.

The cause for our current financial crisis is not as our President tells us. The crisis was not caused by a “free market” running rampant but instead, the cause of the crisis is that we were not practicing freedom. A free market is a market free of government regulations. A free market is what made America great. A free market is no longer a free market when government controls interest rates, lending standards and uses tax dollars to provide insurance for wrong-headed loans.

I am thoroughly convinced that as long as we elect those who believe as President Obama does — that freedom is the cause of our troubles and not the cure — America’s condition will grow worse.



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