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What, Exactly, Should Our State Taxes Provide?

March 10, 2004

Re "Democrats to Shift Tactics in Push for State Tax Hikes," March 8: Why do we automatically assume that government is loaded with "waste and abuse" when a cursory reading of the business news shows that corporate America abuses and wastes infinitely more of the public's (read shareholders') money than anything conceived possible in Sacramento? Rather, what the governor and the Democrats need to do is to really examine the role of state and local government in the social and economic fabric of this state.

What should government do? What should be left undone? What should be left to the private market? How does the answer to each of these questions affect the economy and well-being of Californians in general, not just select interest groups? We need this big debate first. The answers to these questions will then tell us how much to spend and how much revenue we need for that.

Maude Ham

Burbank

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So, our Democratic leaders in Sacramento are exploring the notion of cutting wasteful spending before levying more taxes on citizens and businesses. My, what a novel idea!

Eugene Burns

La Habra

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When will people realize that the concept of a free lunch is a myth? When will they stop expecting that services such as universal health insurance, quality education and assistance to the homeless and the poor be provided by the government without an adequate price tag? As a naturalized American citizen who has for the last 60 years scrupulously paid her full share of taxes, I am today, well into my 80s, deeply grateful for my monthly Social Security check, my Medicare coverage and other government benefits. These services would not be available to me today, when I so badly need them, had I not, during my working years, together with other Americans, paid for them with my taxes.

Expecting an increasing quality of benefits and at the same time demanding tax cuts is absurd. I have no problem paying my assigned share of income tax, state tax, real estate tax and sales tax; I am glad I have an income, a home and money to buy what I need. Betty Zentall

Laguna Woods

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