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Self-Serving Politicians Will Bust the Budget

May 06, 2003

Re " '91 Budget Crisis Seems Like the Good Old Days," Opinion, May 4: I worked at the state Capitol for most of the 1980s when then-Assemblyman Willie Brown was at the height of his powers and the Legislature and Gov. George Deukmejian were split over another budget crisis. We didn't have term limits then. We had experienced and real public servants who were interested in solving problems -- not just those looking for the next opportunity to raise money for their campaigns or for the next step on the political ladder.

The time has come for the repeal of term limits so that real statesmen, like former Republican state Sen. Ken Maddy, can help the Legislature and the governor find ways to rise above politics and address the critical issues. The revolving-door Legislature has been a disaster, compounded by a governor who has spent most of his time avoiding the responsibilities of the office to which he was elected. California deserves better.

Z. Greg Kahwajian

Encino

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Re "State Lawmakers Find Way to Pare Budget Gap," May 1: Why can't the politicians see what's right in front of their eyes? Maybe it's what the special-interest lobbyists put in their pockets that blinds them. You don't need to raise sales taxes and put a larger burden on an overburdened public. You need to charge sales tax on all the mail-order and Internet purchases that come into our state. That would more than make up for an increase in the sales tax.

Arnie Sperling

Los Angeles

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After months of dithering, Republicans in the state Legislature have finally put forth an alternative budget plan. Their plan, in effect, says California should max out its credit cards and repay the debt later. If California doesn't have a budget by the end of June, it will be because the Republican leadership has been missing in action.

Grant Green

Fair Oaks, Calif.

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