Las Vegas Sun

September 30, 2014

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Letter to the readers:

What keeps you up at night?

What should we be discussing on the opinion pages this year?

Dear Reader:

Last Monday, we asked for your thoughts on HOAs. The response was incredible, and the result was the package we published Sunday, a sampling of your comments and letters HOAs.

Now that we’ve started the discussion about HOAs — and it will continue with more of your ideas and opinions — we want to ask you for your thoughts about what else we should be discussing on the opinion pages this year. What else are you concerned about?

Obviously, this is a major election year, headlined by the presidential race. That will be one of the focuses of discussion on these page, and it already has been, as people have debated policy issues and the merits of candidates. As the year progresses, we’ll continue to discuss the federal budget, the debt, taxes, the economy and the candidates, among other things.

Nevada, Las Vegas in particular, has been through difficult times the past few years, and there has been plenty of discussion about how the state moves forward. The discussion on how to improve Nevada often becomes a political one rather than a personal one, and much of what happens in the political world doesn’t seem to have a major impact on our daily lives.

So what are the issues that do affect you directly? The schools? Traffic? The economy? You know, the things that keep you up at night, or at least occupy your thoughts. Those are the things we want to hear about, and we’d like to know how they affect you.

We’d love to hear your story, your thoughts and your ideas.

You can send a letter or comment on the site. If you’re sending a letter, you can email: [email protected]; fax: (702) 383-7264 or mail: 2360 Corporate Circle, Third Floor, Henderson, NV 89074. If you send or email a letter, please be sure to include your name, along with your address, phone number and email address for verification purposes. They won’t be published.

We’re looking forward to hearing what you think.

Best,

Matt

Matt Hufman is assistant managing editor/opinion.

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  1. A few things are stuck in my craw. On the world front, our involvement in Afganistan. The latest bruhaha over the Quran is proof positive the US should not have been there and need to get out right now.

    On the national front, the soaring out of control debt and Washington big spenders. Ridiculous. The US is like a 'junkie' and China is our supplier. We spend more and more and the Chinese at some point will stop buying our debt to fund our spending habit. Let's put Simpson-Bowles to the test and get it done.

    On the homefront, the housing market. Little except words and talk is being done to keep families, under water and in arrears with their motgages, in their homes. The gov't put them there, now it should help keep them there.

    Education: Let's get serious. Scrutinize the usage of taxpayer funds and look at what's really needed to improve the education of our students. Stop the lunacy of the "we need more money" as the answer. Maybe we just need to spend what we have more wisely first.

    Finally, get gov't at all levels out out peoples' God given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I'm old and have fended well on all these accounts. I don't need Uncle and his offspring to tell me how and what I have to do for my own good. God, religion, family and friends have served me well. If I need gov't intervention, I'll ask.

    Carmine A. DiFazio

  2. PS: One more on the world front: Iran and Isreal. Isreal is our friend and ally. We have to support the God given right of Isreal to live in peace in the region, free from the evils of those who want to destroy the Jewish people.

    Carmine A. DiFazio

  3. The upcoming summit with the President and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is keeping me awake at night. The President gave a speech yesterday to a prominent Jewish organization, and the way I interpreted it, the "green light" was given to Israel to make a unilateral military strike on Iran. The President stated his case for letting the stiff sanctions on Iran continue to work. I fear the other shoe is about to drop. If Israel carries out it's threat to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, nothing good can come of it for the United States. It will cause major grief to our struggling economy, and force us into another war in the Middle East.

  4. Injustice is top on my list.
    Having stated that, I will second what CarmineD listed, as I couldn't say any better:..."On the national front, the soaring out of control debt and Washington big spenders. Ridiculous. The US is like a 'junkie' and China is our supplier. We spend more and more and the Chinese at some point will stop buying our debt to fund our spending habit. Let's put Simpson-Bowles to the test and get it done.

    On the homefront, the housing market. Little except words and talk is being done to keep families, under water and in arrears with their motgages, in their homes. The gov't put them there, now it should help keep them there.

    Education: Let's get serious. Scrutinize the usage of taxpayer funds and look at what's really needed to improve the education of our students. Stop the lunacy of the "we need more money" as the answer. Maybe we just need to spend what we have more wisely first."

    CarmineD's list pretty well narrows down a mighty long list, the Las Vegas Sun has done a fine job of watching water, power, mining, gaming, runaway building, military, entertainment, local government, state government, and current events, and has been my top news media choice because it is comprehensive, reasonably balanced, and very well reported.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  5. The possibility of WW III concerns me. The middle east is aflame, not just Israel and Palestinians, but the entire region. The so-called peaceful Muslim's are split between Shia and Sunni and even if we solved the Palestinian issue it would not stop the brewing conflict. Those crazies (Syria for one) are already killing their own. The peaceful Egyptian Muslims are killing Egypt's Coptic Christians. The peaceful Muslims in Libya are still in conflict. The Peaceful Shia and Sunii's in Iraq are starting to ramp up their hatred again.

    Many in the US would love to step away from the region in its entirety. But shut the oil from that region and these same people will be pleading with the president to drop nuclear bombs on the Iranians, et al so that we can have their oil.

  6. Just need more money; no logic between blue and red politics.

  7. Thanks for all the comments and letters so far.

    When you talk to other people in town, what do you hear? I typically hear about national issues. But what about locally? Education, certainly. Anything else?

    Matt

    P.S. -- Carmine, as Star noted, your comments summed up several things that many other people are talking about.

  8. Hang in there Carmine. Don't let the Sad Sack get you down. Love to read your posts.
    What keeps me up at night? FAILURE OF MEDIA TO COVER THE REAL TOPICS and when they get close, they often give voice to the "popular" side of things and ignore the rest of us. There is a growing voice, a louder voice, asking that you STOP CHORUSES OF UNTHINKING people, especially parents of K-12 students--parents who don't bother to check it out but join the teachers who cry for mroe and more rather than trying to make do with less. Our economy is imploding for generations of lack of stewardship by our "leaders." We must prioritize. I think we place value on our immediate and personal solvency--to allow a reasonable standard of living after taxes. To allow us to save for retirement, to establish an emergency fund, to help our kids and grandkids and NOT TO PAY FOR EVERY ILLEGAL WHO WANTS 12 KIDS ON WELFARE, SECTION 8 HOUSING, MEDICAID....or every illegal who steals a job from an American. We must STOP OVERPAYING beaurocrats and deal with unsustainable perks. Such a shame, when teachers and administrators making six figures keep harping for more while our kids go hungry, our parents can't find work, we can't heat our houses--yet we should DONATE MORE TO UNDERWORKED TEACHERS???? And please oh please, acknowledge that businesses do NOT pay taxes, we do when we purchase their products. Acknowledge that it's NOT ABOUT red or blue, it's about what we NEED TO DO TO CORRECT OUR PATH.

  9. Matt.....

    Good paying union jobs, NUMBER ONE.

    And low cost health care for ALL AMERICANS.

    YES, even Americans without jobs still need
    full health care.

    AND YES, teachers need better pay and schools
    need more money for class room supplies, so
    teachers don't have to buy school supplies out
    of their own pockets.

    Nevada needs a state lottery for schools.

  10. "Nevada needs a state lottery for schools."

    Yes, and NO. Here's why. In ABC's words.

    "Many experts say, however, that even when lottery money is targeted toward a particular purpose, such as education or environmental protection, it has little or no effect."

    "The lottery money does go to the intended cause. However, instead of adding to the funds for those programs, legislators factor in the lottery revenue and allocate less government money to the program budgets, says one lottery critic, Patrick Pierce, a political scientist at St. Mary's College in Indiana, who has analyzed the impact of lotteries."

    Carmine A. DiFazio

  11. Things don't keep me awake at night, but they sure as hell irritate me during daylight hours.

    If we had the political will to tackle two issues, most of our fiscal and economic problems would disappear. These two issues are our tax code and healthcare costs. Between them they account for about one-third of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

    First, we have a horribly complex tax code that is designed to encourage certain economic activities rather than gather revenue for government operation. It is not only beyond the understanding of most taxpayers, it is also difficult for the IRS to enforce. A 2007 study estimated the government failed to collect $350 Billion that was due to it. The tax code should have graduated rates as it does now, but many fewer deductions and credits. It should tax all incme equally, no matter the source. It should take a 60% vote of each House of Congress to amend anything in the tax code except tax rates and each amendment to the tax code would have to be in stand-alone legislation, not as an attachment to any other legislation. This would eliminate a great deal of uncertainty about taxes for many small busineses as well as individuals.

    The second problem we refuse to tackle is healthcare costs. While the Affordable Care Act mkes an attempt at this, it also perpetuates our current private insurance-based payment system. This requires us to pay a dollar in policy premiums to get 75-80 cents worth of healthcare. It adds billions in cost to healthcare providers to administer the claims process. Every other industrialized country in the world uses a single-payer system that provides universal helthcare to its citizens and does it for 10.5% of their GDP or less and they outlive us. We spend over 17% of our GDP on healthcare using the insurance and it's rapidly heading for 20%. Yet, we stubbornly cling to this oumoded and costly insurance system despite the succes of singel-payer plans all over the world. These costs end up in everything we buy as well as everything we export and we wonder why our exports are less and less competitive.

    So, there you go. Fix these two things and I'll relax during the day as well as sleep at night.