Pension numbers highlight need for reform

To the editor:

I applaud the Review-Journal for finally identifying the most significant part of the David Roger retirement story (Sunday editorial). Mr. Roger’s decision to retire after such a recent election and the appearance of conflict-of-interest issues regarding possible employment discussions while still in office were newsworthy. But the incredible taxpayer cost to allow a 50-year-old employee to retire at 75 percent of his salary, predicated on “buying” five years of service, highlighted an unacceptably generous benefit that must be reformed.

I am no actuary, but buying an annuity that guarantees an 8 percent annual return for the next three or more decades is beyond “buying,” it is closer to a steal. The true cost of this benefit appears to be understated because additional guarantees of future cost-of-living increases were not included.

It would be interesting for the Review-Journal to ask each state legislator to give his position on permitting the current plan to continue these unsustainable benefits.

Ira Kleiman

Henderson

Oil jobs

To the editor:

We need more jobs these days, so if a private company wants to create tens of thousands of them, the Obama administration should welcome that. But no, because pleasing environmentalists is job No. 1 according to this White House.

This is wrong for two reasons.

First, the president’s job is to carry out the will of Congress. Second, in the case the oil sands pipeline, re-routing it over the pristine Canadian Rockies so the oil eventually can be shipped by tankers is not environmentally friendly.

The Canadian government even says this is a “no-brainer.” As is our charismatic president.

Matt Davis

Henderson

Voter edge

To the editor:

In his Friday column, Steve Sebelius confirmed what I suspected: Former Rep. Dina Titus faces an uphill fight within her own party as she campaigns for the Democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional District.

The idea that, if state Sen. Ruben Kihuen loses the primary in CD1 to Ms. Titus, Hispanics will not turn out to support Rep. Shelley Berkley and President Obama, treats Hispanics as a homogenous, easily manipulated group, not as intelligent, informed voters. 

A prominent meme in this shadow campaign is the unfounded — and unsupportable — notion that the new boundaries of the 3rd Congressional District provide a better chance for Democrats than the old ones. In the old CD3, Democrats had an 8.13 percent edge over Republicans in total registration, and 6.74 percent in active voters. Sounds safe for Democrats, right?

Well, the edge in votes cast was only 2.20 percent, and Ms. Titus lost to Joe Heck by a razor-thin margin in 2010.

In the new CD3, the Democratic edge drops to, respectively, 3.39 percent of total voters, 1.76 percent of active voters and -2.77 percent of votes cast.

The real purpose of claiming that CD3 can be won by a Democrat is not to convince Ms. Titus to switch races, but to make people believe she is being unreasonable or even disloyal for not stepping aside. It won’t work.

Dwayne Chesnut

Las Vegas

Lawyer ads

To the editor:

We are constantly bombarded with TV ads from lawyers. They would help us fight insurance companies, sue others over accidents, sue for bad medicines and even help us collect Social Security.

Most Las Vegas lawyers resent this advertising and refrain from it. But if we cannot stop the cluttering of our TV shows with lawyer advertising, we should require all legal advertisements to state the advertiser’s charges (contingency fees, hourly charges, etc.) to keep them honest.

George P. Dix

Las Vegas

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