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The Bottom Line on the State's Budget

August 03, 2004

Re "State Pushes Problems Into Future," Aug 1: It's not clear what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is smiling about. Is he satisfied with the state's pseudo-balanced budget? Is borrowing billions to achieve short-term harmony fiscally responsible? He's just kicking the pain down the road.

Before the recall election, Schwarzenegger promised bold and swift actions to alleviate the fiscal crisis. But using his veto power to cut $116 million -- a mere 0.1% of the $105-billion budget -- can hardly be considered a very daring executive decision.

So what's the difference between Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis? Both are willing to borrow to balance the budget. But Schwarzenegger does it with a charismatic smile.

Richard Meis

Murrieta

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Kudos to the panel created by Schwarzenegger to overhaul state government ("Radical Revamp of State Bureaucracy," July 30). Its recommendations reflect lessons learned long ago in private industry. Cutting multilayered bureaucracy, combining functions and eliminating duplication and overlaps create tremendous productivity and efficiency gains.

Now, the real challenge and test will come in the implementation. Can those involved set self-interest aside for the benefit of the system? We'll see, but don't hold your breath.

Glynn Morris

Playa del Rey

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The Times' article on business interests having access to Schwarzenegger's committee on state government reform ("Businesses Had Say in Report on State Overhaul," July 31) confirms what many of us suspected during Schwarzenegger's campaign -- that he would be friendly to large corporations and welcome their input (and campaign donations) while lambasting environmental and labor groups as powerful "special interests."

Those "special interests" were kept out of talks that may have a radical impact on how the state deals with labor and environmental issues.

But it's nice to know that Schwarzenegger has Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard's interests close at heart.

Evan Garcia

Long Beach

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Re "Gov. Plans Attack on Lawmakers' Power," July 28: Great idea, governor! You've got my vote for a part-time Legislature. While we're at it, how about a part-time governor? Hey, maybe the Terminator can eliminate the opposition party. That should help him get future budgets approved without the need for temper tantrums.

Jeff Weissberg

Irvine

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