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Dems won’t raise your taxes — unless you’re rich

To the editor:

The results of a poll can pretty much be determined by the information available to the people being polled, and the question you ask them.

So when the Review-Journal and Channel 8 pollsters asked people if they wanted the tax cuts that expire in 2011 to be extended, 61 percent said yes. But that has nothing to do with the actual plans presently being contemplated in Congress by the Democrats.

They are calling for the tax cuts that affect the middle class to be extended, but that the taxes hitting the 2 percent of Americans earning more then $250,000 be allowed to expire. So when you hear from Republicans that the Democrats want to raise taxes, that’s on only that wealthy 2 percent.

So the question asked in the poll should have been: Do you want your tax cuts to be extended, while the tax cuts for the wealthy making more than $250,000 are allowed to expire?

You would have had an overwhelming approval of the Democratic plan.

RIchard J. Mundy

Las Vegas

Low ball

To the editor:

Regarding the Saturday story, “Sign rule coming down”:

The reason the sign ordinance restricting price advertising was put in place was because of “low balling.” The motels and wedding chapels at the time would advertise a $9 room, but it was never available. The wedding chapels advertised a $20 wedding, but would then apply high pressure to the customer to buy more.

As I recall, the “low balling” got completely out of line, causing lots of complaints to officials who finally decided to put an end to it with an ordinance.

Now that they’re getting rid of the ordinance, methinks the “low balling” problem will resurface.

Bruce Holloway

Las Vegas

Mosque issue

To the editor:

President Barack Obama is showing his true colors again. Throwing his support behind the building of a Muslim worship center is wrong, and letting it be built near the site of the 9/11 attack in New York is tantamount to desecration of those who perished.

“This is America,” Mr. Obama declared, “and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our founders must endure.”

Isn’t it amazing that the president, as well as many other politicians, cite the Constitution and what our forefathers wanted for this country only when it suits them?

Wake up, Mr. Obama, and listen to the people for a change. That is what you were put in office to do.

Joe Schaerer

Las Vegas

Ponzi scheme

To the editor:

James Bragge had an interesting letter Friday, whereby he defended Social Security as being solvent, at least until 2037, and took issue with previous writer Tom Cameron’s description of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme.

To quote Mr. Bragge, “The idea that Social Security is filled with IOUs is dishonest rhetoric promoted by partisan hacks. Social Security funds are invested in U.S. Treasury bonds and securities, the safest and most reliable securities in the world.”

Oh really?

Actually, the $2.5 trillion in the trust fund (I use the term loosely) is not in the form of U.S. Treasury bonds, which can be bought and sold in the open market anywhere in the world. Nope, they are non-negotiable “special bonds,” denominated in the billions, which can only be redeemed by the U.S. Treasury. They are in fact IOUs from one branch of the government to another.

That may be Mr. Bragge’s definition of solvency, but it’s not mine, nor apparently Mr. Cameron’s.

Social Security is not now, nor has it ever been a retirement plan. It is an intergenerational transfer scheme whereby current workers and their employers pay the benefits for retirees. As long as the economy and the number of workers grows as least as fast as the retired community, it can go on forever.

Unfortunately, with the boomer generation retiring, increasing life spans, declining birth rates and decreasing immigration (for political and other reasons), we now know “forever” is fast approaching.

Just as every other such scheme, the last ones in will be the ones left holding the empty bag.

Mr. Ponzi would be proud.

Cliff Gregory

Las Vegas

Charity work

To the editor:

Jane Ann Morrison’s series on salaries for nonprofit executives just touches the tip of the iceberg.

The executive salary reported on the IRS 990 is the base salary. This means that their real salary is higher. They hide their real salary by not reporting bonuses, incentive pay, severance pay, pensions, Cadillac health-care plans, company cars, sweetheart deals, etc.

The IRS is approving 10 applications each day for organizations requesting nonprofit tax exempt status. Most of these organizations are just businesses which use a charity cover to enrich their execs.

George Moss

Columbus, ohio

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