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Big Three deserve support

To the editor:

From the comments I have seen on editorial pages and heard from radio and TV commentators, the general consensus of the American public appears to be that we should not help the automobile companies. They made their bed, let them lie in it. But I believe there are other matters to be considered before we turn our backs.

I am old enough to vividly remember the preparations and actions of World War II. Almost overnight, the auto companies, including GM, Ford, Chrysler and forgotten companies such as Studebaker, Packard, Nash and Willys-Overland, converted their assembly lines from auto and light trucks to military vehicles, from Jeeps to Sherman tanks. Collectively they supplied not only the United States but our allies with military vehicles and contributed greatly to the Allied victory in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Sure they made great profits, but they were all patriots from the bottom up. Many executives were “dollar a year men.”

Now nearly seven decades later we ask ourselves: Are they worthy of government help?

Before condemning them to a slow death, consider this. We live in very volatile times. Should World War III come about (heaven forbid), who will make the Jeeps and Sherman tanks? Will it be the GM, Ford and Chryslers of the United States or are you willing to turn it over to the Toyota, Nissan and BMWs of the world?

If we continue to lose manufacturing at the present rate, we will be hard put to make even military uniforms in the event of war, much less the much-needed military vehicles.

I vote we support the “Dwindling Three” automakers in some manner — if not for past services, for national defense.

D.N. Maw


Same thing — again

To the editor:

The auto bailout is going to pass. Not because the U.S. automakers have finally learned their lesson (again), not because we have their word that they’ll finally build fuel-efficient vehicles (again), and not even because it makes good sense economically. No, the bailout will pass because of “politics as usual.”

U.S. politicians know that saving U.S. auto manufacturing-related jobs, no matter what the expense to the U.S. taxpayer, equals support and votes in the short and long term for their respective parties. That’s all they really care about.

Change? Not really.

Watch, even after this bailout passes, in a couple of years, one of the “Big Three”* is still going to file for bankruptcy protection. Then, what of all those taxpayer dollars down the drain? The politicians will have already gotten what they wanted and the “Big Three” will get to pocket taxpayer money — again!

D. Garcia


Easy out

To the editor:

One reason the foreclosure rates are currently so high is the federal government has made it too easy for people to walk away from their mortgage debt.

There used to be a time when if you were forgiven mortgage debt, you had to pay federal income tax on the amount of debt forgiven. But back in 2007 a Democrat from New York, Charles Rangel, and 24 other Democrats and one Republican, co-sponsored H.R. 3648: the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, which paved the way for people to just walk away from their mortgage responsibility without any repercussions.

This bill lets anyone who had a home worth $2 million or less walk away and not have to pay any income tax on the forgiven debt. H.R. 3648 was obviously not written to help the average homeowner and obviously passed to aid influential people who bought investment property or vacation homes at the wrong time.

If the people who are able to make their mortgage payments, but choose not to because the value of the property has dropped, were required to pay taxes on the forgiven debt, they would not be so fast to just walk away from their mortgage responsibility. Then there would be fewer foreclosures flooding the system and we might have been able to stop the hemorrhaging artery of foreclosures.

People should be held responsible for their decisions and actions.

David Drabek


Warming folly

To the editor:

The Nevada Environmental Appeals Board says the EPA should either reduce CO2 emissions or explain why it won’t regulate them for new coal-fired power plants (“Sierra Club says ruling jeopardizes coal plants,” Thursday Review-Journal). If I were the power companies, I would either commission a study or sue the EPA to commission a study to prove that CO2 is the cause of global warming.

The crusade to eliminate fossil fuels is based solely on statistical correlations, with no scientific proof. A straightforward engineering study would verify whether such a small component of total greenhouse gases (less than 1/10th of 1 percent) could actually be responsible for the warming.

Tom Keller


High salary

To the editor:

In regard to the Nov. 11 article on the budget deficit by Ed Vogel, in which Gov. Jim Gibbons said he is willing to take a reduction in his $141,000 a year pay:

What needs to be done is lower the $300,000 a year salary of Walt Rulffes, superintendent of the Clark County School District. When his salary is higher than that of Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie and the governor, there is something wrong with this picture.

Mr. Rulffes’ salary needs to be cut, along with his vehicle allowance. From what I have read, he does his job, but he is not that spectacular.

Like always, it’s the little guy who comes up short.

John Dzama


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