To the editor:
In response to the Tuesday article, “Study makes case for state income tax”:
The article is completely flawed. The study states: “Generally, taxpayers can deduct portions of state property, sales and income taxes from their federal returns.” This is true, but you must itemize your taxes to take full advantage of these deductions. Today, most likely 90 percent of Nevadans get a more favorable return by taking the standard deductions.
In addition, there would be no guarantee that sales taxes would be reduced if an income tax were voted into the state constitution. Local sales taxes would not be affected. There would be no guarantee of the rates that an income tax would be held to. An income tax might also require Nevadans to pay to complete all the forms for the tax — in addition to the federal tax forms, with additional rules and regulations.
When you look at states with income taxes, they are having the same troubles with budget shortfalls as Nevada. The only difference is that they can raise more tax revenue from their citizens because they already have an income tax.
A state income tax is a bad idea and doesn’t even deserve a debate.
To the editor:
Most people like firefighters and police officers. Most little kids are brought up to know police and fire folks as friends. They are our friends, and we count on them in time of need.
But the recent actions of their various unions, in resisting significant wage and benefit reductions, are turning the public against them. Nevada, our cities and the taxpaying public are hurting financially. That environment does not make for sympathy for public employees who will not even give up cost-of-living raises.
The recent scare tactic adopted by the firefighters is that our homes and businesses will be in danger if we lay off firefighters. No one wants to lay off any more people, but the unions will not give up enough pay and benefits to avoid layoffs.
Another defensive tactic of the firefighters unions is to dramatize the dangerous work they do. In fact, they have dangerous jobs. But their argument is shallow because the really dangerous work is done by our servicemen overseas. Even miners and construction workers do much more dangerous work than police officers or firefighters, with a lot less pay and benefits.
Fire and police unions can save jobs for their people by: dropping cost-of-living raises, and any other raises at this time; reducing pay and benefits; and cutting out all the semi-fraudulent schemes that increase their overtime pay. Then the taxpaying public will feel their public employees are sharing their pain.
Richard N. Fulton
To the editor:
I appreciate the terrific work Glenn Cook has done in calling attention to the many problems with the federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (“Regulatory hell, now hiring,” Sunday column).
But although I share his concerns with this terribly destructive law, I do not share his notion that I have one of the “crummiest jobs in the world.” In fact, I love my job and consider it an honor to have been appointed. I get to work alongside many talented scientists and other professionals dedicated to ensuring the safety of consumer products.
In my opinion, however, we are implementing a flawed law that ignores risk and imposes multiple, ill-conceived mandates, thus shifting the agency’s focus and subverting its noble mission. We are all striving to improve the statute wherever possible, and I hope that our constant efforts to inform Congress about the law’s devastating effects and unintended consequences will bear fruit.
I look forward to the day when the agency’s experts can restore their attention to genuine safety concerns.
The writer is an appointed commissioner for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Wild about Harry
To the editor:
Sadly, the Review-Journal editorial page now features daily attacks on Sen. Harry Reid. Just as the Review-Journal editorials have been consistently wrong on health reform, they are wrong on immigration reform. It’s a shame that the Review-Journal never misses a chance to distort Sen. Reid’s positions, and flat out lie about the facts.
Sen. Reid has always said that immigration reform needs to be tough, fair and practical. No one has worked harder than him in Congress to achieve this, while also protecting both our northern and southern borders.
He has consistently spoken about the need to sanction employers who take advantage of the broken system by lowering wages for American workers and abusing immigrant labor.
He’s also been very clear that undocumented immigrants won’t be granted amnesty or immediate citizenship, and instead would start on a pathway to legalization that would take decades to complete. This would include paying fines and taxes, getting background checks, and not having a criminal record. These folks would also have to go to the back of the line, behind the immigrants who came to this country legally.
Like on so many pressing issues, the Review-Journal prefers diatribe over dialogue, and to take political shots at Sen. Reid. Nevada deserves better from its largest newspaper.
North Las Vegas