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Criticism of federal government well-deserved

To the editor:

In John L. Smith’s Friday column, he seems upset that Sharron Angle, whose husband earned a pension working for the Bureau of Land Management, is critical of the size and effectiveness of the federal government.

Ms. Angle has called for the elimination of the departments of energy and education and the Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Smith snipes on about how “a lot” of rural Nevada families who “rely” on federal agencies and programs for their livelihoods also criticize the government.

Having worked for the federal government for 25 years investigating fraud, waste and abuse with several departments and agencies, I know that you would have to be an idiot or asleep at the wheel not to criticize the size and effectiveness of government.

At EPA headquarters, where I worked for a year and a half, the personnel office had all employees place an EPA memo in their personnel files acknowledging they worked in a building that contained asbestos. How ironic. This was so each employee could document they might have been exposed to a toxic substance.

Did you know the Department of Education — which was born in the late ’70s — has not generated any improvement in student test scores in our school systems today, and that for every dollar we send to this agency, 85 cents is returned to the states? So what are they really accomplishing, other than filling a whole lot of fluff jobs? Our students are not improving on tests.

Yes, Mr. Smith, I do have an excellent pension. But did you know that all federal employees contribute 7.5 percent of their incomes for that pension and that a family pays more than $400 per month as their part of the health care coverage cost?

For Mr. Smith to say over and over again that an employee of the federal government can’t criticize where they work is ludicrous. I assume Mr. Smith never criticizes the news industry.

Michael O. Kreps

Las Vegas

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