Low taxes have triggered America’s decline

To the editor:

The nation is $14 trillion in debt. The national debt is growing faster than the national economy. The Republican desire to cut, cut, cut only leads to a lower standard of living for most Americans.

We need to restore the top income tax rate of 70 percent, which is what it was before the Reagan administration cut it in half. We also need a 50 percent estate tax on properties valued at more than $2 million.

These measures would bring an extra $1 trillion into the national treasury. The problem with this is that most members of Congress and their supporters are millionaires who are reluctant to cut into their wealth.

If we continue to believe that lower taxes are good for America, we will continue to decline. The nations of northern and central Europe have the highest living standards in the world. They also pay the highest taxes in the world.

ANTHONY TIDEI

LAS VEGAS

Tax collectors

To the editor:

It seems such a simple concept, and it has been written about several times in your newspaper, yet so many people do not seem to understand it, including Val Sharp and former state Assemblyman Harry Mortenson, featured in side-by-side letters in the Sunday Viewpoints section.

Here’s the concept: Businesses do not pay taxes. They are tax collectors for local, state and federal governments. They collect taxes from you and me. Only people pay taxes.

If one of these government entities asks business to collect more tax, then these businesses either reduce their product and/or raise their prices. You and I end up paying the tax. The tax increase does not come out of profits. If the increased price or the reduced product makes that business no longer competitive, then the company goes out of business or moves to a more favorable business environment where it can be competitive.

Neither of these alternatives is helpful to our economy.

Now repeat after me: Businesses do not pay taxes. They are tax collectors.

John B. Alvord

Las Vegas

Ride by

To the editor:

In his Monday letter, Scott Dakus raises several interesting points about bicyclists and road taxes. He stated that he observed several cars rolling stop signs and used that as justification for large groups of cyclists doing the same. Breaking the law is breaking the law, Mr. Dakus.

Mr. Dakus also wrote that traveling in packs is safer for cyclists. The packs I have observed are six or seven riders wide, often covering more than the one lane they should be using. Further, many ride side by side so they can talk with their friends. These mobs swell greatly around the Tour de France. The difference is that the Tour de France is on a closed road with controlled traffic. Those emulating their heroes are riding on public roads with drivers who, as Mr. Dakus says, are on their cell phones and drinking coffee.

I am aware that this valley is not the most accommodating or friendly to bicycles, but we all must abide by the law and use common sense.

Tom Conners

Henderson

Making miners pay

To the editor:

I was disappointed, but not surprised, to learn what a poor job our state does in auditing the mining industry. The mining industry is allowed extremely generous deductions that are robbing Nevada of millions of tax dollars.

Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining are able to save millions with deductions currently allowed by state statute. This problem could be corrected by legislation and would not require amending the state constitution.

How can we justify cutting funding to education and eliminating programs for handicapped children while allowing the mining industry to pay so little? Why are politicians in this state so afraid of the mining industry?

Also, if educational programs and schools are to be cut or closed, make it happen in Northern Nevada first. Our representatives in Carson City need to put the children of Clark County first. We cannot afford to keep supporting the rest of the state while sacrificing our quality of life.

Robert W. Mueller

Las Vegas

Must tell

To the editor:

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” has been rescinded so openly gay individuals may serve in the military. In implementing this policy the privacy rights of non-gays must be recognized and protected. Above all, a non-gay who exercises his privacy rights must not be harassed or persecuted.

To integrate gays into the military while respecting the rights of all parties, the gays and non-gays must be identified and made known. A “must ask, must tell” rule is needed. For example, our military academies must know the sexual preference of each cadet to maintain standards while making room assignments. In turn, some remodeling of the living quarters is obviously called for to separately accommodate each gay.

When our Navy decided a year or so ago to assign women for the first time to submarine service, the living quarters on the subs were remodeled to accommodate the women. Similarly, our military must face up to the fact that housing changes are need throughout the services to properly accommodate gays.

Richard P. Mcgarrity

Las Vegas

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