How to solve the ongoing ‘Dotty’s problem’

To the editor:

The solution to the Dotty’s dilemma is very simple ("Dotty’s business plan dealt severe blow," Friday Review-Journal).

Dotty’s clearly violates the spirit of the restricted licensee regulations, as the revenue from gaming is not ancillary to the overall operation. This irritates other restricted licensees who abide by the regulations. This irritates the major casinos, as Dotty’s has created a neighborhood casino without building the required infrastructure or paying the appropriate gaming tax.

The solution is to tax each Dotty’s venue as a non-restricted licensee, which requires payment of a gross revenue tax. This is the same tax that the major casinos currently pay. Restricted licensees do not pay a gaming tax. This tax should be made retroactive.

This should be presented to Dotty’s by giving them a choice. They can surrender their licenses for gross violation of the restricted licensee rules and pay a fine, or they can continue to operate by electing to become a restricted taxable licensee. Creating a restricted-taxable category raises the appropriate revenue from an existing tax, virtually removes the Dotty’s advantage over both sides of the market and puts all operators on a level playing field.

Dan Scott

Las Vegas

Hidden debt

To the editor:

Hardly a week passes without a letter being published bemoaning the government’s use of Social Security surplus funds. Your readers might be interested in how this came about.

When Social Security started in the 1930s, the plan was to build large surpluses in the early decades. Simply holding the excess funds out of the economy, though, would have had a bad effect on the then-depressed economy. So the funds had to be invested in a way that would return them to the income stream.

Government investment in the private sector was thought to raise the specter of socialism, so this was ruled out. For this reason, it was determined that the excess funds would be invested in government obligations. Prior to the Johnson administration, the government obligations held by the Social Security trust funds were treated like other government bonds: They showed up in the deficit and in the national debt. However, in what may have been an effort to hide the Vietnam War costs, LBJ decided to "consolidate" the Social Security trust funds with the general funds of the government.

Ever after, the Social Security funds invested in government debt showed up as an asset held by the government’s general funds, offsetting the debt they represented. Thus, part of the national debt caused by the Vietnam War remains hidden from view … so long as the Social Security system does not have to draw on the funds the government owes it.

This is what really underlies calls to cut benefits in the cash-rich Social Security system. So long as the system does not draw on its invested reserves, part of the national debt remains hidden. But should it be required to draw on its reserves to pay benefits, the Treasury will have replace the amount needed by borrowing elsewhere, and the previously hidden debt will be revealed for all to see.

Robert O’Connor

Las Vegas

Same old

To the editor:

Here it is, the day before school begins, and my son has no idea what classes he’ll have his senior year. Last week, we received the all-important "what not to wear" list. Then we got the bus schedule. But the most important thing — what he’ll learn — is nowhere to be found.

So I called the school. They don’t tell students until the first day of school. I asked why some of my son’s friends already have their schedules. I was told football players get theirs early, since they arrive a few weeks early for practice.

Nothing ever changes when it comes to the school district.

B. Knoblach

Las Vegas

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