March 7, 2010 - 12:00 am
To the editor:
In response to your Friday editorial, “Fifty plus one”:
No one disagrees that our health care system needs reform. But this president continues to pursue it in the form of 2,400 pages of mystery meat. He has put his biggest eggs in this basket while ignoring the obvious: jobs.
Getting people to work is the only thing that can cure our economic ills. Health care reform would be a much easier sell to the country if the unemployment rate weren’t so high. Then perhaps Mr. Obama could let the American public see what the bill actually entails.
I, like so many others, am scared stiff of this bill. The public needs to be able to see it, understand it and evaluate it.
If reconciliation is rammed down our throats, there will be hell to pay. If they think the “tea party” is a bunch of right-wing loudmouths, they haven’t seen anything compared to what will happen if this un-transparent bill is passed.
William C. Dwyer
To the editor:
Where do state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford and his fellow gang members get off telling mining and gaming that they have to cover the bad decisions lawmakers have made over the years? It’s not an overall restructuring of Nevada’s tax base that is needed, but more intelligence about how to spend what is received in income.
Sen. Horsford was questioned about the state raiding local governments to settle the budget deficit. There was no definite response from him, just a lot of spin, like any cornered politician.
What are these brilliant minds going to do about the supposed $1 billion to $3 billion revenue shortfall in 2011-13? How can they perpetuate deficit after deficit?
And I, for one, am tired after hearing for some 40 or 50 years about the kids. I paid for my children’s education, from kindergarten to college. I suggest those of you who are bitching about cutbacks in the education field pony up some cash instead of going to the local eateries and bars. And maybe consider a sedan instead of an SUV.
In the mail
To the editor:
I was amazed to read some of the comments that you made concerning labor’s role in the downfall of the U.S. Postal Service (Wednesday editorial).
While it is true that the Postal Service pays $5.3 billion annually for future retiree health benefits, that came as a result of a congressional act during the Bush administration, not because of the unions. That money was overpaid by the Postal Service for a 20-year span by the service’s managers.
Second, according to the labor contracts, employees with fewer than six years of tenure can be laid off. Contractual worker salaries were negotiated and they expect the Postal Service to keep their word. Eight hours pay for eight hours work is not just a slogan. It is the only way to ensure that both sides are honest.
I also didn’t see any mention that the unions agreed to adjust carrier routes under a new process that eliminated more than 3,000 routes nationwide at a substantial cost savings. Perhaps the Review-Journal should speak of the millions of dollars postal executives took in bonuses last year, even though their business was losing money.
Remember that by law, the Postal Service is not allowed to make a profit and other companies — FedEx and United Parcel Service — don’t deliver to rural areas. If you think that those other companies will send a letter across the country for 44 cents, you are living in a fantasy land.
To the editor:
I have a very simple solution for the city’s revenue shortfall, which could result in 171 layoffs. As with most simple solutions, it will not be easy. It would, however, go a long way toward solving the problem that now exists with the firefighters and police unions, their intransigent membership and leadership.
If these unions refuse to share the burden of the current recession with the rest of the citizens of Las Vegas and accept the 8 percent reduction in pay called for by Mayor Oscar Goodman and City Manager Betsy Fretwell, the city should file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.
While this would definitely be a drastic step, it is not unprecedented. The city of Vallejo, Calif., filed bankruptcy in 2008 because of the same issues facing Las Vegas today — that is, unsupportable union contracts and union membership unwilling to participate in the search for a solution.
In addition, Flint was placed in receivership by the state of Michigan in 2002 for similar reasons.
A Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing would allow the city to jettison most of its union contracts and force all parties to the bargaining table to negotiate with at least some semblance of reason and accountability.
To the editor:
When I read Charlie Michael’s recent letter, “Mining woes,” it completed the puzzle of how Nevada has wound up in such a ridiculous financial condition. I have come to realize how the politicians here have subordinated themselves to the private interests, but I could never understand how they actually got elected. Behold Mr. Michael, a Nevada resident, who himself thinks the private interest problems are an issue larger than the needs of the state. Here is an individual who will probably actually vote to re-elect the money changers we have in office.
There are probably others.
Mr. Michael seems to have a clear understanding of the mining industry. Thinking as a resident, and only a resident, do you think a little more than 1 percent tax on more than $25 billion of revenue for precious metals being removed from our ground is equitable? Do you think it is appropriate for all of us as residents that our politicians are soliciting approval from lobbyists of the mining business? How about, at a minimum, we levy a tax on mining that is equal to the amounts paid to lobbyists? If they can pay them, they can pay us. Fair?
Mr. Michael makes an interesting point about companies having to pile up a load of cash to cover themselves when “value horizons are located.” As a resident, do you think that Nevada officials should do any less for the voters in creating enough tax revenue to protect our welfare and services?
Mr. Michael is selling after the close — his buddies are continuing to “stockpile their returns” while the schools are slashing their budgets.