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Why is Nevada shorted on federal funding?

To the editor:

The sky is falling, the sky is falling. All we hear from the Legislature is that we don’t have enough money. There’s not enough money for roads, there’s not enough money for education. We have to raise taxes, there’s not enough money. Yet four years ago, we raised taxes by almost 40 percent. Where did it go?

Meanwhile, in the real world, the federal government rakes in money from Nevada and gives us little in return. The feds return money to the states, but Nevada gets the short stick when it comes to money returning to us. We rank 45th in how much money the feds return to us for highway funding and 48th for education funding. If we could just get to the national average, we would have another $164,342,105 a year for highway funding and $214,198,211 a year for education funding without raising taxes on Nevadans.

Nevada’s Harry Reid is the majority leader of the U.S. Senate and Sen. John Ensign is the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Reps. Shelley Berkley and Jon Porter sit on the coveted House Ways and Means Committee. We probably have the strongest congressional delegation in the country, and yet we cannot get to the national average in money returned to the states. If there is a funding shortage for highways and education, it can be laid at their feet.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m against the feds collecting money from the states and then redistributing back to us based on their own formula. But because we live in a collectivist society, we have to live by the existing rules.

Dan Burdish

LAS VEGAS

DMV computers

To the editor:

Your Friday editorial, “DMV baloney,” was long on euphemisms but short on facts.

The notion that a software package costing “a few hundred dollars” would work with the DMV’s computer system shows a woeful lack of understanding of the system. It’s not some off-the-shelf suite marketed by some Silicon Valley company. With more than $1 billion flowing through the system each fiscal year, there are between 870 and 890 collection account codes on the front end and 600 back-end accounts that handle the distribution of that revenue. All changes to the system require analysis, design, programming and regression testing to ensure a smooth transition into a complex environment.

As for procedures already in place to take donations, the Organ Donor Fund and Veterans Fund are tied to special license plate sales. There is nothing in the current system that permits a separate voluntary contribution to the highway fund or any other fund.

What your readers need to know is that, when developing fiscal notes, the DMV’s policy is to identify the number of programming hours necessary and apply the standard industry rate of $135 per hour. The DMV does not have programmers standing idle, just waiting to make programming changes when bills are passed. DMV’s programmers are assigned to projects that represent literally years of work.

Presently there are more than 800 projects and change requests waiting to be completed. They are projects that will enhance the system, expand Web site functionality for customers and make processes more efficient for our window staff.

Finally, the editorial’s parting shot that taxpayers won’t voluntarily donate their wealth to the DMV is the final uninformed statement in a fact-lacking editorial. Should Senate Bill 180 become law, motorists would have the opportunity to donate their wealth to highway constructions projects. Note to Review-Journal editorial staff: Highway construction is handled by a different state agency than the DMV. Look it up.

Tom Jacobs

CARSON CITY

THE WRITER IS PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER FOR THE NEVADA DMV.

Civil rights?

To the editor:

In response to Rene Cantu’s Sunday letter on immigration:

Mr. Cantu betrays his ignorance of what happened in Nazi Germany when he compares the deportation of illegal aliens to the horrors of Auschwitz. If he feels that the Mexican government will torture, starve, degrade and murder the 12 million deportees, then his problem is with the Mexican government, not America’s.

Also, his assertion that this is a “civil rights” issue is absurd. If someone broke into your home and declared that they would be squatting in your living room, you would try to get them to leave. If they refused, you would call the police to force them out. Following Mr. Cantu’s logic, it is their “civil right” to break into your house, eat your food, use your medicine cabinet and make you foot the bill.

The only good solution to the illegal alien problem is to secure the border; require a biometric ID for legal immigrants; sanction businesses that continue to disobey workplace laws; and deport illegals who, in addition to disrespecting our immigration laws, commit other crimes.

This is enforcement by attrition. It would not require mass deportation.

Americans love and respect those who desire a better life in the United States — just as long as they get in line like everyone else. Become an American, don’t be a Mexican who happens to live in America. Come one, come all. Just do it legally.

Jeffrey S. Markewich

LAS VEGAS

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