State workers don’t mooch — and they pay taxes!

To the editor:

In response to the Feb. 2 letter from Bill Edwards, “The unfair burden is shouldered by taxpayers”:

I enjoyed Mr. Edwards’ attempt to make state workers look bad. He complains that taxpayers are “paying for the fat salaries and exorbitant benefit and retirement packages of government employees.” What Mr. Edwards fails to realize, or purposefully omits, is that we all pay each other’s salaries and benefits packages.

Every time any individual purchases gasoline, part of that purchase pays for the clerk in the station, pays the driver who brought the gas from the refinery, and pays the oil companies. Each article of clothing we buy pays for the salary of the store clerks, the cashiers, the truck drivers, the manufacturing workers and the owners of the factories. Every meal bought as a treat partly pays the wait personnel, the host, the cooks, the managers, the truck drivers, the distributors, and the farmers who grow the food in the first place. Every ticket sold for a baseball game pays the salaries of the athletes, trainers, coaches, grounds keepers and owners.

State workers are no more moochers off of society than anyone else in our modern world.

Mr. Edwards also appears to forget that state workers are taxpayers. I pay the same sales tax as anyone else, the same property tax, the same gasoline tax, and the same national income tax. If state workers lived tax free, then I would join the chorus that Mr. Edwards sings.

The reality is that government workers are simply citizens who are also struggling to put food on our tables and roofs over our heads. We all accepted job offers at one time hoping to achieve that. Now we are scorned simply because our paychecks come from governments rather than profits.

BRENT BANDHAUER

LAS VEGAS

True priorities

To the editor:

The Obama administration’s 2011 budget proposes spending $2.7 trillion, including $200 million to help pay for security costs for civil court trials of terrorists (Jan. 31 Review-Journal, Page 7A).

But readers should direct their attention to the 17th and final paragraph of this report: “Some homeland security agencies will take some cuts. The Border Patrol, for example, will lose 180 positions and the Coast Guard will lose about 200.”

While observing the difference between the rhetoric and the reality, voters may draw their own conclusions as to the true priorities and goals of President Obama.

ALLEN HAWKES

LAS VEGAS

Battle lost?

To the editor:

It wasn’t that long ago that my friends would drive me to McCarran International Airport 20 minutes before flight time. Then they’d walk me to the gate — sometimes even coming aboard and chatting for a while before everyone was politely asked to leave who wasn’t flying.

Did this really even happen in our lifetime? Certainly did. And now, what I’d like to say to the airlines can’t be published in your newspaper, but you get the idea.

It wasn’t that long ago that if you bought a Toyota you knew you had nothing to worry about for at least 75,000 miles. Now, maybe the gas pedal will stick. We made wonderful cars for 100 years without computers. Maybe they oughta watch “2001: A Space Odyssey” and get the hint that computers may not be the best thing to use if our lives depend on them.

President Barack Obama says we should reward the companies that keep jobs here in America and punish those that send jobs overseas. How come the Democrats stood up and applauded the idea while the Republicans sat in protest?

As Americans, when do we say, “We’re as mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore”? Or have we become such mindless sheep that the battle is already lost?

Allen Williams

LAS VEGAS

Better way

To the editor:

I read two recent articles about the valley’s current water rights and water consumption. According to the consumption article, “Valley water use dips,” we are using less water than we have in a decade. The other article, “Ranch losses spur doubts,” states that the Southern Nevada Water Authority is going to lose $1.47 million on its collection of working ranches in eastern White Pine County.

Now who is paying for this? Is it my tax dollar?

When I first heard they wanted to build a pipeline and move water from these ranches I thought it was crazy. I still do. Tell me you’re building a water pipeline from Seattle, where it rains more than 300 days a year, and I would say that makes more sense. Something like the Alaskan pipeline, where other states that would benefit are also paying in.

But to go into the ranching business just for the water rights — when you’re not sure how much water you are actually going to get for your investment — well, that doesn’t add up.

Also if you’re being a good rancher, you would see how much this water means to them. It’s time we found a better way.

SUZANNE DINICOLA

LAS VEGAS

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