Officials need to act soon on Social Security
Business columnist Carol Perry updated the Social Security shortfall information she previously wrote and suggested that readers research the issue at the CBO and GAO websites. My conclusions after doing so are as follows:
Social Security benefits are currently being paid from Social Security taxes on employees. Currently more money is being taken in through taxes than paid out and this will last until 2016 or 2017 per the reports. At this time money will need to be withdrawn from the Social Security Trust Fund to continue full benefit payments as the tax money coming in will fall below the level paid out.
The Trust Fund will become exhausted in 2039 or 2041 depending on which report is accurate, at which time benefit payments will continue to retirees from the Social Security taxes collected from employees, although at a diminished level.
Obviously, our elected officials must do something, and it is our obligation to encourage them to act sooner rather than later. Kicking the can down the road is no longer an option. I thank Ms. Perry for her article and am truly glad I retired at 62 instead of waiting.
Legislature needs to explore all revenue sources for education
In Sunday's business section, Executive Director of NNDA Rob Hooper defined the Top 10 Attributes of Successful Regional Communities.
Languishing at No. 7, with the smallest word count of all, was "Strong belief in and support for education." One page later, Dr. Parker of the University of Nevada, Reno, described the dismal fiscal situation of the Nevada System of Higher Education.
Mr. Hooper pointed out his list was developed by David Beurle of Innovation Leadership, and while all of Mr. Beurle's attributes are praiseworthy, every similar list I have ever seen puts educational resources at or near the top in regard to what potential business investors look for when they consider moving to new areas.
I trust the attributes were not in order of priority, and the business community in our state will strongly and vocally support increased funding for education, and, to that end, encourage the Legislature to seriously explore all sources of revenue.
Traffic signal in Mound House could save lives
Putting up a traffic light in Mound House would greatly help reduce accidents. The two main problems in that area are speed and vehicles entering and exiting the roadway.
Have you ever tried to make a left-hand turn out of the Highland Mobile Home Park onto Highway 50? It is very hard to do. It is hard to tell how fast people are driving. You could assume that they are going 50 mph but in reality, they are probably going much faster. People are driving way above the speed limit.
Having a stoplight, or even two, would force people to slow down. In the mornings when everyone is heading to work, I have been passed as if I were standing still and I was going 5 mph over the speed limit. Would it really cost that much to do? I have heard talk about putting in a median and widening the lanes. A stoplight would cost a lot less than doing any of that. It would work well at reducing people's speed which would save a lot of lives.
Lowering the speed limit did not work. How many more people have to die before anything is done?
All Nevadans need to shoulder cuts
I was born in Carson City in 1959 and I have a true love for Nevada. I went to work for the state 22 years ago with understanding that I would be provided cost of living raises, medical benefits and a secure retirement plan.
It has been proposed to raise our insurance premiums, raise our deductible, eliminate our dental coverage, eliminate co-pays for doctors and raise our pharmacy co-pays. In addition, the governor is requesting a 5 percent wage decrease which may affect our retirement.
Gov. Sandoval made an interesting statement during his state of the state speech. He asserted he spoke with a local dentist who indicated that for the first time, her practice made a profit. I can assure you it will be short-lived.
I worked in the casino industry prior to working for the state. I fully understand the uncertainty that private sector employees face. I chose to leave a good-paying job, with benefits for the security I felt the state could provide. I am now at an age where these benefits are crucial to my health and well-being. It is disheartening to know that my 22 years of hard work and dedication to the state means nothing and I am just a pawn.
We must consider alternative solutions to balance the budget that involves all Nevadans and not just the government workers.
My thanks to the legislators who responded to my recent letter. Unfortunately, my own assemblyman, Pete Livermore, failed to respond.