To the editor:
There seems to be a misunderstanding among many government employees concerning the source of their incomes. I refer here to Brent Bandhauer’s letter of Feb. 12, “State workers don’t mooch — and they pay taxes!”
First of all, government does not, and cannot, create wealth. All wealth is created by the private sector. The government seizes from the private sector those funds deemed necessary for its existence.
Not only must members of the private sector provide wages for civil employees, but they must also pay for their retirements, entitlements, health care, etc. And this funding occurs, of course, while those privately employed are providing for their own livelihoods, retirements and health care.
And then, there are the double- and even triple-dippers, those who retire from one government position and obtain a second or even a third government position, taking with them benefits from each.
After reading the March 2 Review-Journal article about the fire captain whose 2008 salary was an amazing $230,166, one sees immediately the irresponsible decisions made by those who spend other people’s money.
Actually, as it turns out, it is we, members of the private sector, who have become servants of the government.
If my comments here have, to some extent, explained the reason for any animosity that might be displayed by the private sector toward the ever-expanding government employment, I rest my case, intent accomplished.
JEANNE M. CAMPBELL
To the editor:
It is hard to not see how Tuesday’s Review-Journal editorial and its characterization of the Obama health care plan as lacking any redeeming quality and being an attempt to bankrupt private insurers is anything less than a bald-faced lie intended to cause Rep. Dina Titus to have second thoughts as we approach this historic vote.
You are just trying to push the Republican agenda while appealing to the conservative determination to cut off their nose to spite their face. It would be laughable if this view were not so prevalent among those who care nothing for the struggle of the common man.
The Review-Journal should be ashamed. I call on Rep. Dina Titus to show courage and do what is best for the people. Vote to end the tyranny of health insurers.
To the editor:
I am compelled to respond to your March 3 editorial “It’s in the mail.” You state unions are bringing the U.S. Postal Service to its knees. You are wrong. Failure of postal management to plan and properly direct postal operations for the past 20 years has brought the Postal Service to its knees.
Here are some of the most glaring examples:
— Business mailers have been allowed to advertise and bill customers enjoying up to 75 percent discounts on postage because they mail in bulk. Huge volumes are required to break even. The volume is now greatly reduced.
— The Office of Inspector General disclosed the Postal Service made more than $75 billion in overpayments to the Civil Service Retirement Fund. Apparently GAO and Postal Finance were clueless or the misdirection of the funds was intentional.
— Every contract negotiated since 1994 with postal unions has included “no lay off” clauses. Why? Because postal management understands they cannot lay off employees and meet their delivery time promises. That’s why they don’t care if that clause is in a contract. Postal staffing is generally not about volume, it is based on schedules. If a carrier delivers 10 mail pieces to one delivery point or one mail piece to a delivery point, he still must visit each delivery point. His mail bag is just a little lighter. If a mail processing clerk runs 200,000 or 100,000 pieces of mail on automation equipment, the dispatch time for that station is still 6 a.m. It wouldn’t do any good to send the mail to the station earlier because the carriers have daytime schedules for safety reasons. I have dozens of other examples.
Over the past 20 years postal management has spent billions and billions of dollars in unnecessary automation equipment, subcontracts for nearly everything when craft employees could do the work, and excessive numbers of management positions. They rode the proverbial Postal Horse at a fast gallop out into the desert. Now the horse is lame and there is no water.
The unions have fought to preserve our institution and our jobs. Management’s agenda has been to line their own pockets with big bonuses during the economic boom and blame the union and employees for their failure to plan and execute when mail volume drops. The captain of a ship would resign his commission in the face of such failure.
The writer is president of American Postal Workers Union Local 761.
To the editor:
Finally, the Department of Veterans Affairs will treat Vietnam and First Gulf War veterans with the respect they deserve when they file for disability benefits. Just imagine: The Vietnam War ended 35 years ago, and some of those claims are pending. The first Gulf War ended 19 years ago.
Don’t credit politicians, Republican or Democrat. Instead, be grateful that we have the most qualified secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, a retired general who earned the Purple Heart in battle.
More money has been unnecessarily spent in deliberate delay, lost files, waste, fraud and abuse. How many veterans suffered and died waiting? Combat veterans have always been cheated.