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State’s pension plan is sound, responsible

To the editor:

The Review-Journal’s Thursday editorial, “Avoiding the issues,” implies the Nevada Public Employees Retirement System is poorly funded and will run out of money to pay benefits. The inaccuracies in the editorial promote fear among Nevada taxpayers, including PERS’ 145,000 members and benefit recipients.

The editorial refers to a study by Northwestern University Associate Professor Joshua D. Rauh from which the editorial summarizes, “many state pension funds will run out of money this decade without drastic changes.” Actually, referring to pages 3 and 27 of Mr. Rauh’s study, Nevada PERS is one of five state pension funds that is expected to never run out of money.

Nevada PERS provides a reasonable retirement benefit for public workers (who are not covered by Social Security) at a cost that a 2008 study commissioned by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce found was the seventh-lowest in the nation when Social Security costs for other states are included.

Nevada’s public employees and taxpayers can feel confident that the Public Employees Retirement System is responsibly funded and fiscally sound.



The writer is executive officer of the Nevada Public Employees Retirement System.

Liar, liar

To the editor:

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to bear arms. Justice Sonia Sotomayor was one of the four dissenting votes.

At her Senate confirmation hearings last year, she answered that question in the positive, saying that, in her opinion, the Second Amendment granted an individual right.

She lied to the American people. I wonder whether President Obama’s current Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, will do the same.

Marc Jeric

Las Vegas

Rules of war

To the editor:

Our troops in Afghanistan are dying daily in large part because of restrictions on who we can fire upon. So long as the Taliban can fire on our troops at will, then grab their weapons and hide in the nearest building behind the skirts of their women and children, we will never prevail.

As distasteful as it may be, we must declare a date certain that anyone firing on us will be hunted to the death no matter the cover taken. Otherwise, just declare victory and come home now.



Dubious donors

To the editor:

On Saturday, The Washington Post reported on campaign contributions gathered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Eighty percent of Sen. Reid’s contributions came from out of state, compared to only 51 percent when he wasn’t in the Senate’s leadership.

Two other contributors were very disturbing. First, Sen. Reid has taken substantial money from attorneys representing Wall Street firms directly affected by the new financial reform bill. Reports indicate the bill does very little to affect the power of Wall Street firms but, in some instances, actually consolidates power in those large firms.

The second is even more concerning. Sen. Reid has received large contributions from a Utah firm trying to import nuclear waste from Italy. Can it be that the champion of killing the Yucca Mountain Project is actually receiving money from companies trying to bring waste into the United States?

Questions have to be asked. Who does Sen. Reid represent? It seems to me that after looking at his roster of donors, his thoughts are elsewhere.

Joseph Schillmoeller

Las Vegas

Harry’s priorities

To the editor:

In response to Friday’s article on the failure of legislation to further extend unemployment benefits:

The fear and frustration of those facing an end to their unemployment compensation is truly sad. It is also unnecessary.

As always, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid either lies, changes the subject or blames others when faced with the truth. This time he has accomplished all of the above by blaming Republicans for the failure of the Senate vote to extend benefits.

The truth is, the Republicans urged him to incorporate a provision to use surplus stimulus funds to cover the cost, therefore precluding even more deficit spending.

Sen. Reid explicitly rejected this provision without regard for those in need in Nevada and throughout the nation. Stimulus funds are apparently for public labor unions only.

Perhaps if those impacted let Sen. Reid know what they now know, he will again bring a revised bill to the floor of the Senate and funds will soon be forthcoming. In any event, remember Sen. Reid’s priorities on the first Tuesday in November.

Rich Longfield

Las Vegas

Benefit payments

To the editor:

Our paragon of good judgment and morals, Sen. John Ensign, voted no on extending unemployment benefits.

Since he has screwed those of us who are struggling to find employment, will his family also send each of us that $95,000 that they gave to his mistress and her husband for their “unemployment benefits”?

It would seem that we fit the criteria.

Debbie Hardy


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