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LETTERS

California Voters Will Have Big Hand in Reform

August 24, 2003

Regarding "No Time for Sound Bites if State Is to Be Saved," by James Flanigan (Aug. 17):

I suspect that salvation is going to take a lot more than political courage and speaking out on basic economic problems. It will take courage by the voting public as well to stand behind someone espousing the right solution.

The working and taxpaying segment of the population here simply cannot afford a slow but continuing increase in various levels of taxation and still have enough residuary earnings left to care for themselves and their families.

The law of big numbers poses an economic truism that we must recognize: There simply aren't enough redistributable dollars being earned by those contributing taxes to support all of the various demands government is making upon us.

The solution, as much as finding more revenue, must be finding ways to reduce expendi- tures.

Tom Stindt

Northridge

*

Labor unions are indeed struggling, not because of lack of support but because legislation has turned back the clock on hard-won gains.

The overtime scale was put into place to make it more expensive for employers to have their workers work long, exhausting hours.

California indeed must face tough choices, but to put it on the backs of the working man is not only politically unfeasible but immoral.

Gary Baum

Oak Park

*

James Flanigan accuses our myriad gubernatorial wannabes of avoiding the crucial issues facing the state, warning of the "gray dwindling of the California dream." But our feckless "leaders" spout happy talk in part because the mainstream press determinedly ignores central problems too.

Flanigan says that a "forthright candidate would explain to the electorate that California's population is increasing by 600,000 a year."

But a forthright journalist would explain to readers and politicians that our population explosion isn't a force of nature. Instead, it's entirely the result of illegal and legal immigration.

Paul Nachman

Redondo Beach

*

There's no question that we need regulatory reform, but any reform in California must be with an eye toward broadening the tax base.

Unfortunately, when Flanigan mentions property taxes he falls into the same trap as Warren E. Buffett.

Overturning Proposition 13 would only increase the cost of property ownership. If we wish to attract more business and meet the goal of lower-cost housing as expressed in Flanigan's column, overturning Proposition 13 is the last thing we should consider.

Michael Solomon

Canoga Park

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