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September 2, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Government is root of our frustration

Another view?

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Regarding Debbie Starr’s letter, “Republicans are OK with this?”:

It’s hard to believe how people are caught up with government propaganda and bad news coverage. It is not the corporations in America where the problems lie, but large government and over-regulation.

We can no longer afford to keep putting people on government handout programs and must rein in all payouts by the government in every corner they reach.

Disability and welfare laws have to be readdressed; give help to the people who are in need and get the cheats out of the system. We have to close a lot of doors in Washington, turn out the lights and gut the programs we don’t need. We need real leadership in Washington. We need to get rid of the spenders and those who hang on year after year and spend our tax dollars on their special projects.

Don’t blame the corporations; blame the government that made the laws by which the corporations to operate. Starr’s frustration shows in her letter, but she’s blaming the wrong people.

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  1. It is 'both' our elected members of Congress and powerful interests with money and lobbyists that are responsible for the issues we face.

    Members of Congress require the money and support of powerful interests with money and lobbyists to fund their re-election campaigns. These powerful interests need to control legislation so they maintain or increase their advantage in the marketplace.

    No matter how many fine people we send to Congress, they are forced to do the bidding of the powerful interests if they want to be re-elected and remain in office. That will not change unless a way is found to allow powerful interests to advocate for their positions.... but to keep the money they command out of campaigns. They only way to do that is to limit what campaigns can spent to a set and equal amount of money provided by the public...ie public financing of Congressional campaigns.

    Debbie Starr and others want to blame Republicans. Dave Mesker and others wants to blame government. The truth is we have a corrupted campaign finance system so that every person we send to Congress becomes corrupted in an attempt to remain in office. We must change that system.

    Michael

  2. Michael

    The gist of your letter is support of the repeal of Citizens United, one of the worst decisions ever handed down by our politically motivated Supreme Court. However there are more issues at play: gerrymandering of Congressional districts to favor one political party or the other. Voter suppression legislation and blatant attempts in "red" states to insure a low turnout of Dem voters, which then gives an advantage to GOP candidates. Fortunately it didn't work in 2012, but the efforts to disenfranchise certain voting blocs continues. Grover Norquist is still calling the shots for the vast majority of GOP House representatives and Senators. The Tea Party has taken the GOP so far right that former GOP icons couldn't get elected today, and I am including Ronald Reagan on that list. The idiotic "60 vote rule" in the Senate which ensures gridlock, and gotten worse than tyranny of the minority, it is now tyranny of the minority within the minority: Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz leading the way. Their latest affront to common sense? "Object" (another word for filibuster) to appointing Senate conferees to join with the House conferees to hash out a REAL budget.
    Sequestration (which I favored) is now the "Budget", and the Congress seems quite happy with it, unless it interferes with their feckless self interest (see the Air Traffic Controller funding which was messing up their never ending recess flights home). The list goes on and on. Oh yeah, let's not forget the BS loopholes that allow purely political organizations to gain tax exempt status.

  3. Funny, but I didn't read a whole lot about the "tyranny of the minority" & the "60 vote rule" during the years Dumbocrats stonewalled, filibustered and obstructed just about every initiative, program and nominee Geroge W. & the Republicrats put forth. Then it was just fine; the way things should be. Hypocrites and crybabies; that's what Dumbocrats are. Or, as Spiro Agnew correctly labeled them, "Nattering nabobs of negativism."

  4. The usual kvetching, the usual lack of solutions. This letter could easily be reduced to a bumper sticker.

  5. The voters who like President Obama, blame Congress for all our ills. The voters who don't, blame the President. Both are culpable. And so are the American people who rate Congress with a 9 percent approval and vote for incumbents 90 percent of the time. The U.S. is a huge diverse entity of 3 basic political philosophies: Progressives, conservatives and libertarians. Most of time, like here on these threads, the groups talk over each other and try to prove the other wrong and stupid. The President is the CEO, Congress is the board of directors and the American people are the shareholders. We all have a vital roll to play in governance and when any doesn't, the country suffers. As it is now.

    Carmine D

  6. lvfacts101 - "Funny, but I didn't read a whole lot about the "tyranny of the minority" & the "60 vote rule" during the years Dumbocrats stonewalled, filibustered and obstructed just about every initiative, program and nominee Geroge W. & the Republicrats put forth."

    You didn't read about it because it didn't happen. It's a blatant lie. You really need to change your login to "lvnofacts". Prior to the 110th Congress filibusters were about 60. Since the 110th Congress when Democrats became the majority in the Senate, filibusters by Republicans have been maintained at over 100 and as high as 139. Your comment about Dems filibustering Bush is pure nonsense.

    I also have to agree with El_Lobo, using Spirow Agnew as an example is a joke and shows how little you know. He is the only VP I know of who was forced to resign because he took bribes.

  7. Mr. Mesker wrote, "It's hard to believe how people are caught up with government propaganda and bad news coverage. It is not the corporations in America where the problems lie, but large government and over-regulation."

    It isn't hard to believe he himself ignores facts and is a product of propaganda. In case Mr. Mesker hasn't noticed, from the federal level to state and local levels, government is smaller. Does Mr. Mesker know banks were fixing rates and laundering drug cartel monies? If not is it because of the news sources he relies on?

    Include another fact, the deregulation of banking and Wall St. via The Gramm--Leach--Bliley Act. That law got us into this economic mess, proving once again "trickle down economics" and "free market" ideology is a fantasy and complete failure when greed enters the equation. Hedgefunds and derivatives destroyed working class 401k plans while those on Wall St. pay next to no taxes for skewing the system in their favor. Another fact to include, working class wages have been stagnant for 35 years creating a wider income disparity and inequality.

    According to data analyzed by the Pew Research Center during the first two years of the nation's economic recovery the upper 7% of wealthy families received an estimated 28% of the nations wealth, while the net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by 4%.

    "Household wealth rebounded by $5 trillion in the first two years of the economic recovery, from 2009 to 2011. But, in a familiar story, most of the benefit went to those at the top. The bottom 93 percent of households lost $600 billion, according to Pew Research, while the top 7 percent--those with more than $836,033--gained $5.6 trillion. That's a loss of 4 percent vs. a gain of 28 percent."

    Railing about the IRS, Benghazi, and the AP so-called "scandals" does nothing to resolve our economic problem other than to misdirect the publics eye. The wealth of the country is being squirreled away by people who only have allegiance to the dollar.

    What jobs bills were passed over the three years? Instead the House wasted $55 million voting to repeal ACA/Obamacare 37 times.

    I wonder how many millions were wasted trying to dig up evidence on any conspiracy for them to latch onto. The House has become some sort of political leech looking to feed on anything.

  8. Don't blame corporations? One financial crisis after another starting with the 1987 stock market crash have cost Americans nearly everything.

    Hybrid financial instruments, mortgage schemes, corporate corruption, Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing etc.. as well as thousands of tech companies going bust at the conclusion of the tech bubble have cost Americans their life savings. Guys like to Depak Desai have cost Americans their lives.

    Nearly 2/3 of the people in the country can't come up with $1000 for contingencies. Special interests lobbying and corporate corruption have made attaining independence an impossible dream for the vast majority of people in this country.

  9. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/may...
    the above is number one under most popular today. This sort of thing is a daily occurrence all across America.

  10. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/may...
    Another $3,600,000 shot to hell. You could write volumes just on the corporate corruption that takes place in this town in one year.

  11. Dave, lots of revisions to disability perhaps--perhaps excluding illegals and those who never paid into our systems. WELFARE needs to be addressed--millions upon millions of illegals are covered REGARDLESS of political hype. Illegals get LIHEA free utilities while American seniors are cold and hungry. Illegals who get LIHEA automatically qualify for EBT SNAP food stamps. Illegals get housing vouchers based on local "criteria" where the feds arm-twist that we "should" give to illegals. "Non-profit" food banks that are almost always government subsidized PRIORITIZE giving groceries to illegal families rather than Americans, particularly American seniors who might be getting $800 a month in SS benefits. And if anyone bothered to look there are essentially NO FRAUD INVESTIGATORS looking into BENEFIT FRAUD. There are a few who look into PROVIDER FRAUD. And then what about waste and abuse. IS IT NOT ABUSE TO APPLY for benefits rather than take care of yourself so far as you are able to?

  12. Chic...I know a great deal about ACA and my wife has Humana which is a Medicare advantage plan. What about it?
    Ms. Anderson is correct. There are very few investigators to monitor welfare programs, the medical industry and the financial services industry. That is why corruption is rampant.

    The state of Nevada has six medical investigators to monitor the health care activity in the state. I was an investigator for over 20 years. I would need a few guys just to monitor the 1200 people a day that go in and out of the UMC system. This is why we have doctors practicing that have never been to medical school and dentists that have never been to dental school.
    The federal government has the same number of employees they did 50 years ago and the population has doubled.

  13. Comment removed by moderator. Personal Attack

  14. hombre - "They hate Republicans."

    Not close at all, I hate stupidity and dislike people who will intentionally hurt American citizens siding with thieves on Wall St. I voted Republican in the past but as noted by many, "This ain't your father's Republican Party!" Ask yourself, why is not one banker in prison for destroying our economy? That I can get pissed at Obama or Holder about, not some phantom conspiracy drummed up for political points.

  15. Vernos,

    How many bankers do you know should go to jail? Were they in New York, Colorado or here in Vegas? Do you know these bankers personally? Did you work alongside of them and caught them doing illegal acts? Were they all republicans and, if so, how did you determine who these bankers voted for?

    Vidi,

    I typed in "food tamps" as you suggested but it pulled up nothing.

  16. Vidi,

    I think democratic economic advisers put the losses at $988 trillion, mostly lower income wage earner stock losses.

  17. BoliBlingBling - "How many bankers do you know should go to jail?"

    In response to your ridiculous question try reading this, unless you think it's OK for banks to launder drug money. The following articles is only scratching at the surface of banking corruption and many of our "store bought" politicians who benefit from bribes known as donations. When the economy crashes again, and it will, would you still wear blinders and not recognize the problem?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-31...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr...

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/el...

    "Money laundering by large international banks has reached epidemic proportions, and U.S. authorities are supposedly looking into Citigroup Inc. (C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co."

  18. hombre - "Vernos...Barack Obama has been in office 4 plus years now and he hasn't done anything to put those bankers on Wall St in Jail."

    Where do you see me blamimg Bush? Here we go again, reading and seeing things not written. It's no wonder you are confused in the real world. I blame our "company owned" politicians, Obama and Holder for not prosecutiong the thieves on Wall St.

  19. Jeff,

    What Congress does and doesn't do is indeed a big problem. On that, I think you and I agree. An electorate that is both only marginally engaged and is massively uninformed is also a big problem.

    It's a fact that both parties 'provide' programs, tax cuts and various benefits to the masses to try to curry favor at the voting booth. Neither part is very willing to match revenues to what government costs and that is a huge problem. Add to that my concern that along with the benefits given to 'us' to mollify 'us', Congress also constantly passes legislation and tax law wanted by large entities with lobbyists that contribute heavily to campaigns. The data you provided illustrates the big numbers and big disparity between what candidates spend in their campaigns. The money and the lobbying distort our whole legislative branch.

    You, like many others and like me, in the past, seem to want to believe that all the cash funding campaigns, and all the lobbying, are only effective with Republicans and that only Republicans 'pander' to 'us' to curry favor. I use to believe as you seem to, only substitute Democrat for Republican.

    I now understand that an R or a D next to a name does not shield that person from wanting to retain office or from understanding that the best way to do that is to pander to the masses to keep them mollified and to, in large part, help the powerful interests with lobbyists get what they want.

    If I believed that we could get improvement that 'I' thought was good improvement, by electing a majority of Democrats or a majority of Republicans, I be all for it. I just don't believe that will work, no matter which side controls government....unless we get this money and influence out of elections.

    This isn't a simple equation and public financing, term limits, Democrat run government, Republican run government, shared government, alone isn't going to solve the equation. But money does corrupt and Congress is awash in money. To me, that says a lot.

    And finally, I think you are Progressive, both socially and financially, so of course you believe the more Progressive of our two parties is the one that should guide us and you would probably be happy with much of what such a government would do.

    I, on the other hand, am Progressive socially, but I am Conservative financially, so, while I am fine with much of what Progressives do socially, I strongly disagree with Progressives financially, so I would not really want to see them run the financial show.

    The Republicans screwed things up because they did the opposite of what they said. If I take the Democrats at their word, I 'know' they would do all kinds of things financially that I would not like.

    I just don't think you'll find me joining you, although I appreciate the invite.

    Michael

  20. Vernos,

    If you believe big banks do and have done many illegal things, I am surprised you are not more supportive of term limits and public financing.

    Examples: 2004 to 2008.... banks acting very badly under a Republican controlled government.... actions taken against them.... virtually nothing

    2008 to 2013 .... banks there to be punished under a Democrat controlled government but instead they are recapitalized using taxpayer dollars and are held accountable for.... nothing....they are not even required to lend in exchange for being recapitalized.

    I don't know about you Vernos, but I've seen this movie too many times before. The banks ARE one of those powerful interests with lobbyists that fund Congressional campaigns. It's pretty obvious that they 'buy' whomever is in office when they need to. One reason they can is because we have no term limits and no public financing of campaigns.

    Michael

  21. wtplv - "It's pretty obvious that they 'buy' whomever is in office when they need to. One reason they can is because we have no term limits and no public financing of campaigns."

    Michael,

    I agree many of our politicians are prostitutes, but as of late it's been one party who won't enact regulations during the Obama administration, Republicans. They've been screaming about how regulations are killing jobs and how Obama destroyed our economy which is a complete bullcrap.

    The BP and Massey mining explosions were a direct result of ignoring regulations, but has anyone been convicted? The recent explosion in a Texan fertilizer plant was because regulations weren't followed, leading to more deaths. What does it take for the radical right to wake up to the idiotic propaganda they buy into? Even China now recognizes we have a global CO2 problem while dunces continue believing climate change is some sort of liberal conspiracy.

  22. Vernos,

    You can continue to point out that many Republicans fight more regulations and I will agree that they do.

    But that has zero to do with the fact that no matter what party is in power, the abuses continue in many industries and after our government, even with regulations in place, allows them to steal us blind, they make it worse by not holding anyone accountable.

    If the Democrats enact regulations but our government allows them to be ignored and then doesn't punish the guilty, what does that say? It says the we have a government corrupted by lobbying and money. That is not the fault of only one party.

    Michael

  23. Contrary to the letter, we actually need to gut the ultra-conservative Tea/Republican Party agenda that they continually pound out there.

    Because it's a proven fact it gets Nevada, and America, nowhere.

    Except on a road that hands everything to ultra-conservative vampires like Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn.

    We need to reject all of this garbage.

    Because if you pay attention to it, it will only lead to the complete and utter destruction of the middle class of America. Not to mention pounding the poor into dust.

    I stand for Americans. Not the filthy rich. They'll do alright by themselves. I ALWAYS stand for the average everyday Americans. The ones who will never be rich and know they will never be rich. The middle class. THAT'S the America I know. Idiots like Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn don't represent what I stand for. I reject everything they say.

  24. Vidi,

    Sorry for not responding sooner to your question. I support Progressives call for reduced military spending and for more infrastructure spending as two examples. However, on the other side of the ledger, they show little interest in reforming Medicare or Social Security, even for future beneficiaries and even though multiple studies have pointed out huge waste and fraud in numerous government programs, they show little interest in pursuing any of that either.

    Now I don't much like many of the Conservatives ideas on economic policy either.

    Congress, under both parties has this bad habit of continually creating new programs and new spending while rarely examining current programs to see if they are even working and if they are working, how efficiently are they working. Due to Congress only doing 1/2 of their jobs, we continually have fights over 'priorities', where if Congress did 100 % of their jobs, less new legislation and spending would be required and there would be more money to divide between 'priorities'.

    That about 1/2 of Americans look at economic policy as proposed by Progressives and are satisfied with it and 1/2 look at economic policy as proposed by Conservatives and are satisfied with it, really surprises me. I think we should all be highly unsatisfied with the fact that Congress constantly builds, but never looks back at what they've built with a critical eye.

    Michael