Letter: NIFA abandons fiscal stewardship
As one of the original appointees to the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, I deplore the vote to lift the wage freeze ["NIFA now owns pay hike deal," Editorial, May 7]. To any thinking person, this says it all: The decline in sales tax revenue, the negligent omission of millions of dollars owed to the pension fund, the softness in the financial projections and the clear overreliance on traffic cameras as a source of revenue.
Intellectual honesty and prudent fiscal analysis demonstrate it is too early to lift the freeze. NIFA has abandoned its fiduciary duty. Chris Wright, the lone NIFA member to vote against the labor contracts, got it right.
David H. Peirez, Garden City
Minimum wage hike doesn't go far
I was astonished by the article about the Republican Party blocking a move by Democrats to raise the minimum wage for federal workers from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour in stages over 30 months ["Senate GOP halts minimum wage hike," News, May 1].
I understand the need to help low-income workers, but can a person realistically be expected to support a family on even $10.10 an hour? That's $20,808 a year. A Long Islander couldn't support a family with two of those jobs.
If we really want to help low-income workers, we need much more creative thinking from elected officials -- on both sides of the aisle -- to get more of our citizens above the poverty line. That assumes, of course, that our representatives in Washington really care about eliminating poverty.
Mike Bergen, West Babylon
Sticker shock over health costs
Regarding "Health care costs squeeze employees" [News, May 5], one of the main reasons why workers are suffering from sticker shock is that for decades they have been shielded from the true costs of health care.
With other forms of insurance -- automobile, life and homeowners -- the policy holder bears the total burden of the premium and is much more cognizant of the costs. By contrast, employers have traditionally picked up a large portion of the monthly health care premiums.
When people paid modest copayments to see physicians, going to the doctor regularly was not a financial decision. Now, even people in employer-based health care plans are feeling the pinch of larger copays and deductibles.
Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act is only going to increase that burden.
Arthur M. Shatz, Bayside
Ban guns outright as death instruments
"Still fighting for peace" [News, April 27] concerned Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) and Joyce Gorycki, who both lost their husbands to a shooter on a Long Island Rail Road train 20 years ago.
"Still" is the word -- and it will still be "still" 20 years from now unless the federal government takes a stance to rectify the obsolete Second Amendment. The ubiquitous mantra quoting the Constitution, chimed by every gun-toter, is the culprit. I cringe when I hear people, even President Barack Obama, say we must respect the Second Amendment.
No ordinary citizen needs a gun. It's an instrument of death and must be banned. The police in London are able to enforce the law without "bearing arms."
Selma Musicant, Whitestone
Survival of fittest granddaughter
Reader Richard Skolnik's essay about his son and granddaughters' negotiations made me cringe ["Daughters, Dad and the art of the deal," Expressway, May 3].
What most parents seem to have forgotten is that a parent's primary purpose is to teach children to survive and thrive in a world that was, is now and always will be a dangerous place to live.
If animals in the wild gave their offspring the same latitude modern humans do, few would survive.
James A. Clark, Syosset
Two sides to coin over ID cards
I have a question about the plan by New York City Democrats to provide municipal identification cards ["City ID fraud concerns," News, May 1].
Why is this ID program a positive for bringing immigrants here illegally "out of the shadows," but when Republicans support voter IDs, it's considered a plan to disenfranchise minorities?
Tom Kiley, Massapequa
Pricing residents off the Island
When will we stop the madness on Long Island ["Study ranks New York as worst for retirement," News, May 6]?
The costs of our educational system and police are killing taxpayers, and all we look for are new ways to generate revenue, such as speed cameras, instead of cutting spending.
Put an end to the tenure and pay increases at schools, and let us keep Long Island a place not just for the wealthy.
Shawn Hureau, Port Jefferson Station