Another big jackpot, more lost revenue

To the editor:

I guess all this talk coming out of Carson City about our state being almost a billion dollars in the red is just a bad April Fools’ joke. Otherwise, why would our legislators allow thousands of Nevadans to stand in line in beautiful Primm to buy lottery tickets (“Nevadans help California fuel $600 million Powerball jackpot,” May 17 Review-Journal) when the money could just as easily stay here.

According to the article, the Primm lottery store is the biggest ticket seller in the state, and lines that are hours long are not uncommon. California is expected to raise more than $50 million. Apparently we don’t need the revenue as we continue to prohibit a lottery.

I have lived in Las Vegas for more than 40 years and have heard all the excuses, and they are nothing more than excuses because there is no logical, rational explanation as to why we shouldn’t have a lottery. The casino industry says it will lose money. It’s already losing money, except it’s going to California and Arizona instead of staying here.

If the casino industry is going to lose more money, why not allow the casinos to administer the lottery and take a percentage of the ticket sales? That would solve the “loss” issue, and the state could minimize taxpayer expenses by maintaining a limited supervisory role through the Gaming Control Board or another agency.

I have also heard that a lottery is ill-advised because the revenue raised won’t go to education. Whether that’s true or not, as long as the lottery revenue goes into the general fund to benefit our state and those who live here, as opposed to repairing a section of the freeway system in Sacramento, I fail to see a real issue.

At present we’re indirectly requiring Nevadans to finance the infrastructure in California and Arizona and, at the same time, ignore our own. I would rather see nine-hour lines here in Las Vegas than Nipton or Rosie’s in Arizona.

If anyone can explain this nonsense to me, I would certainly appreciate it.



Reduce the limit

To the editor:

The National Transportation Safety Board wants states to reduce their blood-alcohol content threshold for drunken driving from .08 percent to .05 percent (“Lower blood-alcohol level proposed,” May 15 Review-Journal). In every country that has enacted this standard, drunken driving fatalities have dropped.

Still, businesses that depend on the sale of alcoholic beverages are complaining. They contend this would be bad for business because customers will not consume as many alcoholic beverages. Logically, undertakers and funeral homes could complain, too, because of fewer deaths on streets and highways.

If all individuals involved here would think for a minute, they could see how such a law could create more jobs and make Las Vegas a much safer place to drive, walk and live. Businesses give breathalyzer tests and drive the impaired home, for a fee of course.

I realize that everyone’s livelihoods are important, but so are everyone’s lives. We can actually help the local economy by creating jobs driving drunks home and keeping them off our highways and killing our loved ones. Let us keep trying to be bad for the undertaker’s businesses.

There are those who are not going to heed advice and go on killing people no matter what. In their cases, I would like to see even stiffer laws and sentencing.

Get as many of these drunks off our highways as fast as we possibly can.



You go, IRS

To the editor:

So the IRS targeted some political groups? So what. That’s what it should do.

Inspector General J. Russell George was appointed by President George W. Bush, and he was overseeing the guy in charge of the IRS, who was also appointed by President Bush.

Suddenly, before the election, the IRS had 70,000 applications for tax-exempt status for organizations that were presumably “social welfare organizations.” What we all know is they had a huge number of political groups gaming the system, pretending to be these do-gooder social welfare groups, when in fact they were political groups with secret donors.

Because the Republicans in Congress keep cutting the IRS budget, there were only about 150 IRS employees in the Determinations Unit of the Rulings and Agreements Office of the Exempt Organizations Division, which had to figure out which of the 70,000 were actually just political organizations.

Why would they not look mostly at (or target) groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in the name, among others? They didn’t just look at conservative groups. Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller said it wasn’t a case of politics.

The inspector general says that, so far, there’s no evidence of political pressure, just ineptitude at the way they selected which groups to inspect.

When the Republican investigator asked, “If the targeting wasn’t targeting, if the targeting wasn’t based on philosophy, how come only conservatives got snagged?” Mr. Miller said, “They didn’t.” Immediately they stopped ‘targeting’ that line of questioning because the Republicans want this witch hunt to be about their conservative comrades.

You’ll see that at the conclusion of the investigation, if they publish it at all.



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