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Gov. Deukmejian on State Budget and Times Response

March 26, 1989

After reading the governor's comments on the state budget and the editorial reply by The Times, I feel a strong need to put in my dollar's worth (used to be 2 cents) about the Deukmejian Administration (letter, March 15, editorials, March 15-17).

The governor has stated the increases in revenue and expenditures in precise figures but fails to mention exact figures for the rate of inflation and population growth. Why not all the information?

The governor has not mentioned the effect on local governments when he sent the mental patients back home and failed to follow them with local financing. Then he says that few places on Earth can match the "quality of life, the level of public services and the opportunities for personal fulfillment" offered by California. This, of course, ignores the hosts of homeless and street gangs in areas where the unemployment figures are greater than for the rest of the state.

Then come the infrastructures; the conditions of highways, bridges, sewage systems, water supplies, and other such publicly supplied items. Proposition 13 took away the greater portion of the local taxing authority from cities, school districts and counties, so they had to turn to state funding. Then the Gann initiative lowered the ability of the state to spend. The public did itself in after falling for the hype of Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann and so greedily swallowed the idea that taxes do nothing but rob the citizens of their ability to buy more things--things which are more self-fulfilling than schools, roads, sewers, etc.

We would get a better picture of the real situation if we put together the income and expenditures of the state, counties, cities and school districts for the past eight years and correct these figures for population increase and inflation; then we should compute all the infrastructure necessary to serve the capital needs of the newcomers to the state.

Just like Ronald Reagan, our governor is trying to build himself a tax record on which he can run for the presidency. As a political analyst once said, "You cannot depend on a driver who has his eyes too far down the road!" In other words, you cannot be a good governor when you are so busy posturing for a presidential campaign!

The Times response, "Fulfilling the Promise" (March 15), is such a complete and logical statement of the facts that I would like to see it reprinted in a booklet and circulated throughout the state.

MORRIS JONES

San Diego

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