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No Room in the Budget for Political Bickering

May 29, 2003

I just returned from Sacramento. I was part of one of the hundreds of special-interest groups lobbying the Legislature to help protect what remains of our funding. Both parties' positions can be argued convincingly: "We have to learn to live within our means." "We have great needs (health, education, etc.) that cannot be ignored." I feel for all our legislators as they face this dilemma. However, they are in Sacramento because they and their constituents felt they could be trusted to act on our behalf.

I think it's time to look back to our founding fathers for a little guidance. The members of the Constitutional Convention had great differences of opinion: They put themselves in a closed room with a guard at the door and worked day after day in uncomfortable conditions until they were able to work out a compromise that resulted in a working document that has stood the test of time. Legislators, please close your doors and get to work!

Susan Cuttriss

Fillmore

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Re "State's GOP Refuses to Face Reality on Taxes," letter, May 26: As a political independent, I often get a kick out of the political bickering that has only been growing more prevalent in these times. It is all so one-sided. On reading the letter bashing the GOP for its refusal to raise taxes, I actually laughed out loud. It said, "Any rational person would see that with the state $38 billion in debt, there are very few alternatives" to raising taxes. When I have more expenses, I don't get to have my salary raised; I have to cut expenses. Gosh, could this be an alternative?

Dale Proctor

Irvine

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Re "GOP Can Seize the Moment," by Tony Quinn (Opinion, May 25), on the state's budget problems: Finally, an article that makes sense to me. Why not cut spending? Quinn says that Gov. Gray Davis and crew have raised spending by 40% in the last few years. Why can't we cut back those new programs instead of telling everyone we have to make cuts on schools, firefighters and police? It's the same old story every time. No way can we have a spending cut; just more taxes and fees to fuel the giant spending machine.

We would not have a federal budget deficit if we had the budget that Bill Clinton had his last year in office. Spending has to stop growing to solve our budget problems. It was proven in the 1980s that tax reductions increased revenue. It is always pointed out that we then had huge deficits, but that was all due to spending increases that were more than the revenue increases. Spending has to be controlled.

G.M. Nichols

Palm Springs

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Quinn's opinion piece contains clear proof that "trickle-down" economics works. Quinn cites data from the State Board of Equalization showing that "80% of the state's revenue losses since 2001 can be attributed to disappearing millionaires." In other words, if we had more millionaires we would have a much smaller budgetary crisis.

This is important for all policymakers, including our current governor, to note. Millionaires matter, and if we want to get out of this budgetary crisis -- and avoid future ones -- we need to enact policies that focus on the creation of wealth. Perhaps the California millionaire should be declared an endangered species and afforded state and federal protection!

Bill Jones

Pasadena

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