You can’t take from me what I don’t have

To the editor:

To my government: We’re in the biggest recession any living person has ever experienced. A lot of us spend our days deciding whether to pay the electric bill or buy food.

To the IRS: I’m self-employed. It costs $400 to do my taxes. I didn’t have it this year so I skipped, assuming you’d be happy with the loan-shark interest and penalty rates you charge when I could afford to file. Sending me a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy” doesn’t help money magically appear. There’s a negative $600 in my checking account. It’s clear you need it more then me. It’s yours.

To the county: I don’t have the $200 to renew my business license. It’s a website — not a real business anyway. I appreciate you sending a guy with a badge to my apartment threatening to close my website and take away any chance I had of earning money in the future.

To the DMV: I know the dollar per gallon you already make on gas isn’t enough to fix potholes, and you need another $400 for the tiny renewal sticker for my license plate. The threat of towing an unregistered car at great expense to myself has not fallen on deaf ears, I promise.

To the state: My website doesn’t collect taxes — doesn’t even sell anything to anyone in Nevada. Can you stop threatening me about filling out those sales tax forms and mailing them to the Nevada sales tax office in … Arizona.

To the Nevada Highway Patrol: Yes, I was speeding. In the middle of nowhere by Area 51. I appreciate learning from you what an “open range” is, but on that entire 500-mile trip, I never once saw even one cow you claimed I would hit. Maybe cows avoid the hot desert? I look forward to magically producing the $938 fine in 30 days — or going to jail. I’m told it costs $80,000 a year to house an inmate. I owe less. Want to just call it even?

The Great Recession has been horrific for many of us. I appreciate the government ensuring they made my experience as worse as they possibly could. I will continue to work 24/7 keeping a roof over our heads. You can take the money — and take me — but you won’t take my pride. All I can do is the best I can. If that’s not enough, so be it.

B. Knoblach

Las Vegas

Why vote?

To the editor:

In response to the federal judge striking down Proposition 8 in California:

What right does one judge have to void the vote of California citizens who exercised their right to vote against Proposition 8?

In other words, a citizen’s votes don’t mean anything, so why waste your time voting anymore?

Harry Hertel

Las Vegas

No free money

To the editor:

The political ads I have been seeing extolling the virtues of and blaming the downturns on individual congressional representatives are ludicrous. If I remember correctly, when home values tripled 10 years ago, Harry Reid was one of our senators. Why wasn’t he credited with this windfall of homeowner equity?

Because he had nothing to do with it. Economic cycles occur regardless of what political party is in power at the time.

Conceivably, our nation’s highest office has at its disposal some of the most learned economic minds in the world — or so we are conditioned to think. Why then is there such a dichotomy in proposed methods to quell this economic turmoil and return us to single-digit unemployment, home appreciation and liberal — but cautious — lending?

Infusing spurious money to “create” jobs is obviously not the answer. It might soften the hardships on the populace on a micro-economic level, but at the same time this only exacerbates the length of the downturn and puts the country deeper in debt. Whereas letting the economy self-correct might be perceived as a harsh and heartless answer, the economy would rebound in a much shorter time and hurt far fewer people.

It is time to stop blaming the Republicans or the Democrats or the administration or Fannie Mae or Chrysler Corp. We put ourselves in this mess by spending more than we earn. We need to quit asking Washington for free money and begin digging ourselves out. And we need to start now.

Bruce Schowers

Las Vegas

Drive time

To the editor:

After reading the Friday story, “Troubled teens might lose wheels under school plan,” I found myself becoming extremely irritated.

It should not be up to the state to decide whether to punish “troubled” teens by taking away their license privileges. Not only have officials failed to research the reasons high school kids drop out, they have also jumped to the conclusion that the parents are to blame.

If a kid is old enough to drive a vehicle then he is old enough to suffer the consequences of his own actions. Going after the parents, therefore, will not help the student realize that there are consequences.

Also, requiring teen workers to show proof of school attendance is absurd. We cannot expect an employee to “work for the school,” and this would make it almost impossible for high school students to find jobs. If the student truly is a problem, it should be a family matter and not up to the school district to decide what “outside” privileges should be taken away.

I hope that school district officials come to the conclusion that they need to focus on the needs of the students who are currently in class, rather than the students who obviously do not want to be there. Our schools have horrible national reputations and providing a solid education for our children needs to be our first priority.

Jonna Sayegh

Las Vegas

New sheriff

To the editor:

Why would anyone vote to re-elect Sheriff Doug Gillespie? The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has spun out of control since this man took the helm — and all Mr. Gillespie does is ask us to “be patient.”

Police shootings of unarmed citizens, officers causing deadly accidents, racial profiling, fraudulent search warrants, and the sheriff himself standing up at a press conference to shamelessly blame an innocent civilian of causing a deadly crash that killed a reckless, speeding officer — this all occurred under Mr. Gillespie’s watch.

The next deadly incident with Metro could happen to you or to me — then Mr. Gillespie will be telling our families to “be patient.”

Show this man you are done being patient. Vote for someone other than Doug Gillespie for sheriff.

Patricia Ducharme

Henderson

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