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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
March 27, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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March 27, 1997

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,199,7 Pamp Vley .ette 17 days and counting...before T-Day Ready or not, that annual Red Letter Day, April 15, 1997 is nearly upon us. As a public service to taxpayers, this is- sue of the Pahrump Valley Gazette contains a feature on taxeslto help readers prepare for the fateful day when re- turns must be safely, and securely, placed in the trustwor- thy hands oftbe U.S. Mail. blo excuses this time, the IRS won't accept the excuse of the "check's in the mail." There are, numerous legitimate reasons, of course, be- yond those of pure procrastination, that make it impossible to get that check in the mail, and to prove its understanding nature, the IRS allows taxpayers to receive an almost auto- matic 45-day extension, but you have to apply for it before the midnight April 15 deadline. Not having the money to pay taxes due by the deadline is not considered an allow- able reason for granting the extension. If that's the case, applicable penalties and interest will be applied to Me bill. Say what you like about the IRS, they're used to it and probably have heard it all before. In fact, our friend Marty Bibb, a reformed IRS agent, who has since gone straight, once shared an insider's secret with us about an in:house pool at the Rent office for the best excuse offered as a rea- son for not paying his or her taxes. The winner of their annual "ghoul pool," as they called it, was always an IRS employee, never the delinquent taxpayer, no matter how legitimate or creative the submitted excuse. All kidding aside, the subject of taxes is never a joking matter for most people, especially to the great majority of us who may have to pay them. Our longtime friend Roy Neighbors, our 36 th District Assemblyman, is fond of using a phrase he borrowed from the late 52 Judicial District Judge Bill Beko, once an Assemblyman himself, which went something like this, "Citizens can have all the government they think they can afford." Truer words were never spoken. Except, of course, right here in the judge's old/',lye County stomping grounds where the majority of former commissioners appear to have been spoiled by using those federal dollars like the well would never run dry. But, as you can read in Brent Mathewson's column this week, the citizens may soon suffer a drought of dollars as a result of these exposed delinquencies. Jumping off my well-worn soap box, of their fiscal powers and responsibilities appointed Nye County officials, are about to feel the force of the irrefutable Law of Retribution, it's as dependable as Newton's Law of Gravity, only thing is that it sometimes takes a little longer for us to witness the results. In any event, government, a taxing proposition, either good or bad, costs money, and those costs are imposed upon each individual taxpayer for the services pro,ided by the gov- ernment. Americans were given a object lesson when many of those services were shut down during the recent federal budget impasse and non-essential government employees and services were temporarily furloughed until compromise could be reached between congress and the administration. The actual cost of government occurs in that day of the calendar year, counting from January 1, on which the aver- age American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her federal, state and locfl government-im- posed financial obligations. That exact date is calculated for us annually by the good folks over at the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, and for which, scribes such as myself remain eternally grate- ful to them for their good works. The enormity of the task became apparent to me several years ago when I attempted to calculate the elusive figures by myself. To illustrate the complexity of the task, their figures include all govern- ment spending (federal, state, and local), as well as an es- timate of the spiraling costs of government regulations. When T-day, April 15 arrives and we have filed our tax returns, don't think for a New York Minute, that we are finished with our obligations to Uncle Sam and can start to enjoy the fruits of our labors for the rest of the year. Not so. The taxes we just paid, or will pay shortly, are really only the visible tip of a much larger iceberg whose by R.P.L. deadly mass remains hidden from our view. The bulk of these hidden costs come from the government's deficit spending and added costs to all goods and services which are generated by often excessive government regulations. While hidden under the surface, these costs are never- theless real. And that's not by accident. For years, liberal legislators and activist bureaucrats have used these bud- gets to push the growth of patronage government through favored programs which have, in turn, mushroomed fed- eral spending. When these hidden regulatory costs are added to the burden of direct taxes, the price tag becomes stag- gering to say the least. Look at the calendar. If you, like most of us, started work- ing on January 1, you will according to the calculations of the tax foundation, have to work until July 9, more than half the year, to pay for costs of both taxes and regulations. Only then, five days after Independence Day, will we be able to keep all of our hard-earned money for our own needs. Doesn't take much imagination to think how our Free- dom-loving founding fathers would turn over in their graves at the thought of their fellow Americans being placed in involuntary servitude to the government they created until after July 4. Today's government, with its voracious appe- tite for spending taxpayer dollars, both direct and indirect, continues to eat away at our economic liberty. Today's fed- eral tax system begins to make the old English Parliament's Stamp Act and tea duties look minuscule by comparison. And those were the taxes that started the Revolution and ignited the spark that created the world's greatest and long- est lasting experiment in Democracy. Let's face it, while the government's Taxman will un- doubtedly Cometh to see us on April 15 on schedule as law and tradition demands, he'll return again and again until some form of reform or relief is passed at the national level. But the prospects for that realistically happening this year look somewhat bleak. Last year, before the presidential election, the focus was on tax reform - scrapping the present income tax system and replacing it with a flat tax, a national sales tax and other reforms. This year, it seems, the best theAmerican public can hope for is some relief in the form of tax goodies. "Change," it has been said, is the only thing "certain" in life. Let's hope that's true. But when it come to the subject of taxes, the certainty appears slightly more ominous in nature. As noted in previous columns, obituaries are one of the very first writing assignments given to aspiring young news- men. Nothing morbid about that, it's just that there is an established format to follow to preclude errors in the epi- taph tribute to the life of the departed. But that doesn't make the task any easier when you knew the deceased and when death came under tragic circum- stances. That was the case this past week with the deaths of Kathleen Thompson of Beatty and her son Ethan Hale Th- ompson in a fatal automobile accident on US 95 just north of the mid-county town. Their obituaries and details surrounding the accident ap- pear elsewhere in this same is- sue. Due to our weekly deadlines, it will not be possible for us to attend her memorial services on Wednesday at the High School Gymnasium. We will trust her pastor, the Rev. Jeff Taguchi, will convey our heart-felt condolences to her sur- viving family. Her tragic death came just before the celebration of her 252 anniversary of her marriage to her husband, Evan Th- ompson III. We had known her since they were first mar- ried and lived adjacent to the historic Bottle House in Beatty, where Evan was raised from his youth by his late grandpar- ents, retired Vaudevillians. We knew her through most of her subsequent pregnan- cies. She was a natural mother and home schooled all eight of their children. When the Bond-Bullfrog mine became their immediate neighbors and blasting became a threat, the company relo- cated the Thompson's to their new home near the historic settlement of Pioneer just north of Beatty. It was there that she was headed when the tragic accident occurred. The Prescott, Arizona driver of the death dealing pickup will be charged with felony DUI, according to NHP. I did not know any of the victims of the other accident on SR 160 that same weekend, but the one fatality involved also could have been avoided since the accident was caused by illegal passing, although in this case alcohol was not considered a factor. During the early days of this newspaper, we averaged a minimum of 2,000 miles a week traveling through this cen- tral Nevada territory. It's hard to retrace those miles with- out passing the scene of a fatality that has occurred on these rural roads and the desert scenery would be marred by the crosses of lost friends. The last two for Evonne and Ethan are perhaps among the saddest of all. , Nye Regional Medical Clinic? --no such thing Nye Regional Medical Center in Tonopah has enough problems without Gazette columnist Brent Mathewson com- pletely distorting the situation with incorrect information. First of all the item appeared on the news pages as a news story when, in fact, it was an editorial opinion and should have been labeled as such. For example, Mathewson begins one paragraph, 'There seemed to this writer to be a general feeling of dismay and disgust..." No one gives a dam what Mathewson thinks unless it's clearly labeled "Opinion" and appears in his column or on the editorial page. The situation with Nye Regional Medical Center is much too serious to have a reporter's bias appear in news stories. So, as a news story how does it hold up? It's a nothing story and full of misinformation. Item: Matbewson writes aboiJt the long wait (up to two weeks) to get an appointment at the clinic. tops. Sorry to burst your bubble Brent but the clinic and the hospital are two entirely separate facilities. Item: Mathewson compares the cost of the hospital emer- gency room against office calls at clinics. If you're going to compare emergency room costs, at least compare them against other hospitals m not against office visits in a clinic. If he had done his homework properly he'd have discovered that NRMC is actually lower in cost than Las Vegas hospitals or Rent hospitals ! Item: Mathewson writes, "Reportedly, a call to the NRMC -emergera:y room inquiring as to when a doctor would be available is always met with an answer that is 3 hours sooner than it turns out to be. "Reportedly? By whom and in what? The word "reportedly" means this has been reported some- where else. Are we discussing the clinic or the hospital here? Item: Mathewson writes that there is no medical help over the phone. Not true. In fact several employees work late every medications of $65. These were obtained through prescrip- tions -- but the complaint is still against the hospital. Huh? The hospital doesn't fill prescriptions, the drug store does. Just who the heck are we complaining about, Brent? Yes, I noticed folks. The figures don't add up. $220 for the emergency room, plus, $145 for medication equals $365. But NORTHERN EXPOSUREI the article said the total bill was $445. Mathewson imPlies that medical treatment at NRMC is 0 inadequate and people were going elsewhere because of it. by Dave Downing night to see to it that medical information is returned to those who had inquired dur- ing the day. Item: It was written that the clinic is only open for limited hour four days a week. Not true. The clinic is open at 8:00 a.m. to around 8:00 p.m. five days a week. With employees often working over- time. The initial complaint in Mathewson's story was a local person who's two sons had to visit the hospital emergency room because they couldn't get an appointment at the clinic. The complaint was the cost of $445. The article implied this was NRMC's charge yet, if you read clearly, it was not. According to the article the actual cost was $110 each. That's not bad for an emergency room visit. The article further states that one boy had medications of $80 and the other had This is simply not true. The quality of medical care at NRMC (and the clinic for that matter) has never been questioned. There are always rumors floating around town that "so and so was misdiagnosed at the hospital and nearly died." Every time I try to trace down "so and so" he/she doesn't exist or there is a completely different story to be told. I have been to Nye Regional Medical Centerandthe clinic. I have received proper, efficient and quality medical care every single time. The good doctors at NRMC once saved the life of my wife. Look folks, rm not going to run blindly amok supporting NRMC, screaming that everything is OK. Everything isn't OK. Terrible mismanagement, a billing department that's so screwed up I can only shake my head, county commissioner's who have not examined the hospital under the microscope that they should. It's in serious trouble and needs to be fixed. On the other hand, let's not be screaming the sky is falling either. Let's resolve to fix the problem. It can be done.