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State Financial Planning

August 03, 1994

* Once again The Times has missed the boat on the cause for the state's fiscal woes. Your editorial, "Getting California Beyond the Slapdash Patch Jobs" (July 21), is well-intentioned but fails to grasp basic economic principles that drive the state's fiscal engine.

The true cause of our economic woes has much more to do with the size of our budget than the length of our planning. There will never be an end to this state's budget crises until it cuts back on entitlement programs and removes obstacles to doing business in this state.

President Kennedy downsized government and proposed reductions in taxation to spur the economy of this country. We need to learn that lesson. Selling bonds, strategizing and debating will not solve our problems. Only the across-the-board cuts you fear will do the job. It will be painful, but it is the only way. Hoping otherwise will not change that.

ROGER MARKS

Santa Monica

* Conrad's cartoon ("Psalm 23, A Psalm of Pete," Commentary, July 21) missed the mark. He only targets the governor and fails to bring the entire Legislature of our state in his sights. It's taken that entire team to bring the state into the mess it currently faces. Let's make them all accountable.

LOUIS BALOCCA

Glendale

* Your editorial comments on the need for California to develop some long-range financial planning are right on target. It seems obvious that Propositions 13 and 98 need to be restructured.

However, in addition to a constitutional revision, there is also the problem of conflict between the state Senate and the Assembly, let alone conflicts with the governor. Nebraska may have a partial answer to this problem.

Back in 1934, during the height of the Depression, the state of Nebraska decided that it could no longer afford a two-house legislature and changed to a unicameral body. This system still exists and seems to be working well. Perhaps we would do well to cut our costs by going the same route. Surely there would be a substantial saving of money. Also, let's face it; there is nothing sacrosanct about a two-house legislative body.

SANFORD ROTHMAN

Los Angeles

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