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Federal Subsidies and Prop. 13

June 27, 1993

* In the June 18 editorial pages of The Times there was an editorial applauding federal subsidies to Los Angeles schools, another editorial requesting federal subsidies and tax privileges to achieve affordable housing in Los Angeles, and a guest commentary by Barry A. Sanders asking for federal tax privileges for Los Angeles enterprise zones.

In the same issue, an article noted that "sheriff's officials have threatened to close jails and local stations" and may be forced to close a helicopter rescue unit, and that libraries are being closed throughout California (all due to the ludicrous tax limitations which Californians imposed on themselves with Prop. 13).

It shows extraordinary temerity for Californians to place stringent limitations on their ability to raise funds, and then go crawling to Washington, begging for political handouts from a federal government that is $4 trillion in debt already.

Common sense and fairness require that every plea of California for federal donations be summarily denied.



* A note to letter writer Charles Barr (June 19) and all Los Angeles County taxpayers: In 1970 (before Prop. 13) the billings to property owners were $2.5 billion. Twenty years later, in 1990, the billings swelled to $5.5 billion! It isn't a matter of revenue, but what is done with all of that money!



* Let me get this straight: Mayor-elect Richard Riordan actively opposed the April ballot initiative that would have put 1,000 more cops on the street because, he said, the extra $78 average per year it would have cost property taxpayers would make the city less competitive for business.

So, first thing after getting elected Riordan goes to Sacramento to beg Gov. Pete Wilson not to cut state money that comes to L.A. (June 11). Wilson, however, feels he has to take local government funds because, he says, raising state taxes to pay its own bills would make California less competitive for business. Instead, Wilson has reluctantly agreed to a statewide ballot measure that would retain the half-cent sales tax.

Wilson and Riordan have already traveled to Washington asking for more federal dollars to come to California and Los Angeles. They did this knowing that not one of their Republican cohorts in either the House or Senate has ever cast a single vote for President Clinton's economic plan that would raise taxes--so that someday the federal government can pay its bills and respond to requests like theirs.

Both know that the way to win elections is to convince enough voters that they can have the good life at no cost. Neither Riordan nor Wilson lacks intelligence. What they do lack is the guts to level with their constituents about where the buck really starts.


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