Where will tax cut money come from?

To the editor:

Memo to President Obama and the leaders of Congress, in particular Sen. Harry Reid:

All this talk about a two-month vs. a 12-month “temporary” payroll tax cut is nonsense. This cut has done nothing to stimulate the economy, and history has proved that temporary tax cuts never work. Only permanent tax cuts do the job.

But first this: The payroll taxes are Social Security taxes, which go into the Social Security trust fund. What are you planning to do about the lost revenue to the trust fund? Will you make it up from general revenues? If so, when? Will you cut present or future Social Security benefits to make up for the revenue loss? Or will you honestly tell the American citizens that the trust fund no longer exists, and Social Security is now nothing more than another welfare program? Make up your minds and tell us what you plan to do.

And if you are really serious about stimulating the economy, here is a suggestion. Announce that the United States will do everything possible to increase the supply of crude oil to force a massive drop in the worldwide price of oil. This means drilling everywhere — the Gulf, coastal areas, Alaska. This means approving and putting on a fast track the Keystone XL pipeline project from Canada to the Gulf.

A 50 percent drop in the price of oil, and therefore gasoline, jet fuel, etc., will have massive benefits for the economy and will put far more money in workers’ pockets than any temporary payroll tax cut. It will bring life to the airline industry, the freight industry, local school districts, the military, you name it — which will drop the price of virtually everything we purchase that is shipped from somewhere, and allow airline employees to have real increases in pay for the first time in a long time. The construction industry will have real, critical work from pipeline construction, and the materials sold for the pipeline and the associated jobs will have a domino effect.

And guess what? A booming national economy will have a direct, positive effect on the tourist economy of Las Vegas.

Do this, Mr. President and Sen. Reid, and Americans will do a lot more than just have pizza night.

What are you waiting for?

Joel Vandevoort

Las Vegas

Political payoff

To the editor:

We have been inundated with stories about the fight over the “payroll tax holiday” for the past week. I’m having a hard time understanding how the definition of paycheck deductions is being characterized by the Democratic Party.

When reform is called for, the Democrats rise up with charges that Republicans are trying to take away benefits from seniors who have paid into the system. Those “contributions,” say Democrats, are sacrosanct and the property of the seniors who paid into the system.

But when the Democrats want to use the “contributions” as a political tool, the funds conveniently become a “tax” that can be adjusted and manipulated for political purposes. What we are seeing now is the slow morphing of Social Security from a stand-alone program to a program that will become part of the yearly operating budget. That means the viability of Social Security will be subject to how much general fund revenue the government receives and how much money the government can borrow.

The first example of that reality was the claim by President Obama and Sen. Harry Reid that if the U.S. government were unable to incur more debt, the Social Security checks might not go out.

This “payroll tax holiday” is a political payoff that will have very little effect on the economy for the next year. The real effect will be felt by our seniors as reductions in benefits will become a reality due to our thirst for a short-term “fix.”

Joseph Schillmoeller

Las Vegas

D.C. trends

To the editor:

I see a trend happening in Washington, D.C.

We were told that we had to pass the stimulus bill to keep the unemployment rate from topping 8 percent. Man, did that work.

We were told banks and businesses were too big to fail, that they had to be bailed out to preserve business as usual. The banks are back lending, and the businesses are back. Right?

We had to pass ObamaCare to get cheap health care. That’s worked so well that they’ve only issued about 1,300 waivers. Of course health care costs went down. Right?

We were told that the debt ceiling had to be raised or there would be financial ruin. Well, that worked, too. Right? Right.

Forrest A. Henry

North Las Vegas


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