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California's Loss of Clout

February 25, 2001

* In "Golden State Loses Luster Under Bush" (Feb. 20), you seem to indicate that California was rewarded in some way for its devotion to former President Clinton. Perhaps it was, in a nickel-and-dime sort of way, with little bits of pork. Unfortunately, on a far larger scale, Clinton devastated the Golden State's economy, even as he was soaking up fund-raising dollars in Hollywood.

As the fabled peace dividend became reality following the end of the Cold War, it was California that paid for the so-called dividend through the evisceration of the defense contracting industry, especially here in Southern California. This effect was multiplied many times over by Clinton's scaled-back defense spending. California endured almost six years of recession/depression due to this meltdown in defense contracting and the attendant ripple effect and only began to come out of the recession in the past three years.

We should all hope that Bush will not be as good for California as Clinton.

JAMES A. GORTON

Pasadena

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* May I respectfully point out that when President Bush got on his high horse concerning the recent California energy crisis, Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas) stepped in it. Evidently, according to Dreier, the days of throwing federal money at California's problems are over. However, according to the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard University, California pays more to the federal Treasury than it receives; $685 per person, or approximately $22.6 billion, if the recent U.S. Census Bureau estimate of 33 million persons remains the same for the most recent census. (Interestingly, almost without exception, states that Bush carried in the most recent election receive more in federal funds than they pay to the federal Treasury.) Quite frankly, as an American, I assumed that our problems here in California would be every American's problem. Foolishly, I thought we were Americans together. Bush and the GOP have shown me otherwise.

Let's keep California's money in California and let the rest of the country fend for itself!

CORINNE A. TAMPAS

Santa Maria

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