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Status Quo Works Against Budget Reform

January 15, 2003

Kevin Starr's "Time to Rethink the Golden State" (Opinion, Jan. 12), on refounding California, is one of the most clearheaded presentations of California's dilemma I've seen. However, it seems to me that if we are to be successful in this endeavor two additional issues must be addressed.

Rampant special-interest lobbying (funding) of legislators robs our legislators of the independence needed to deal with California's problems in a just and fair-minded manner. And term limits too often eject legislators from effective governing just as their legislative skills are reaching fruition.

Paul Fuller

Palm Desert

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I was amused to read in "Bush, Davis Take Two Tacks on Taxes" (Jan. 12) that Davis spokesman Steven Maviglio complains that solving the state's budget problems is not helped by the fact that "they [the federal government] can print money. We can't. That's the difference." Whew, and what a relief that is, too. Given the rate at which Gov. Gray Davis and the Legislature have burned money over the last four years, we are indeed fortunate that the state is unable to print its own money. It would be like giving a shopaholic a credit card with no limits.

Peter MacKinnon

Los Angeles

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Enough of columnist George Skelton's pontificating about how I am responsible to help pay off California's massive debt (Jan. 11). Sir, I did not go on a reckless spending binge during the dot-com boom. If anything, Sacramento owes me an apology.

David Woods

Los Angeles

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Re "Finance Director's Wife Appointed to State Post," Jan. 11: It is so reassuring to know that Gov. Davis is working on a remedy for the state's fiscal crisis. At the same time, the state Senate's president pro tem appoints the wife of one of Davis' political allies, Steve Peace, to a $117,000-per-year job that I am sure will require her to work several days a month. Her qualifications to handle this high-pressure position are being a homemaker for the last 20 years plus handling some family rental property.

Doesn't anybody else feel disgusted by this? And this was after Davis appointed the husband to a $131,412-per-year job as finance director.

Roy Kautz

Newbury Park

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