Re "Davis Budget Proposal Sets Stage for Fight Over Taxes," May 19: With all of the "temporary" tax increases that Gov. Gray Davis and his socialist ilk want to unfairly lay on smokers, drivers and the poor, the motto of the Democratic Party should be changed to: "There ain't no end to doin' good when yer spendin' somebody else's money."
Michael A. Pacer
In response to your readers who cry foul regarding "punishing" smokers with taxes, it should be pointed out that it is the rest of us who pick up the tab for smoking-related illnesses ("Paying More Taxes for Little in Return," letters, May 17). As a former smoker who cost my insurance company a great deal of money, I am ashamed to admit I didn't think of this while "legally" smoking.
Insurance rates go up. Medicare and other federal and state programs spend a fortune on smokers. Ask any hospital administrator how many patients at any given time are hospitalized for smoking-related illnesses--the numbers are huge.
Nancy S. Burgess
Re "Tax Gas Guzzlers to Balance the Budget," letters, May 21: I thought that I could never vote for a Democrat, much less Davis. But the governor's courageous decision to raise automobile registration fees changed my mind. I would like to encourage Davis to increase these fees and gas taxes much higher. A $1,000 annual fee for a typical SUV or pickup would just be a start.
My reason: The freeways would be cleared of working stiffs, young people, retirees on fixed incomes and families struggling to make ends meet, leaving plenty of room for successful Republicans like me.
William John Mikus
If Davis considers his strong-arm fund-raising, his Oracle contract fiasco, his bungling of energy contracts, his $23-billion state deficit, his flip-flop on taxes and countless other debacles as "political experience" then, yes, Bill Simon is a rank amateur.
Robert L. Rosebrock