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Where Should California's Money Go?

June 12, 2005

On June 8, The Times reported the following stories:

* The death of a 5-year-old child killed in a drive-by shooting might have been averted had a trauma center and surgeon been available ("A Cry for Trauma Care").

* Hunger and malnutrition are rising among California's low-income families. Many adults have to choose between buying food or buying necessary medication, paying rent, etc.

* The Los Angeles Unified School District is facing further cuts.

* Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is planning another special election, which would cost millions of dollars and could force cities and counties to cut vital services because they could be deprived of hundreds of millions of dollars ("Cities and Counties Balk at Plan for State Spending Cap"). His measure is called the Live Within Our Means Act.

Would our multimillionaire governor reveal to those of us who don't have direct access to him what cutbacks he is imposing on his own family?

Dale Pitt

Los Angeles


If Schwarzenegger's Live Within Our Means Act appears on the fall ballot, I should hope local governments will not "work with others in a campaign against" the measure.

More campaigns are not what California needs precisely because they are not within California's means. Have Californians forgotten the state's financial crisis? Was not the recall of former Gov. Gray Davis supposedly a progressive step toward future economic balance?

I fear this collective fervor to conserve state spending lacks the pragmatism California needs. I am not as concerned with special interest groups' disfavor to tighten their belts as I am with an indebted future state with an IOU mentality and undisciplined consumption. Yes, the time has come to slow down, save a little and invest in a progressive California future.

Joseph T. English


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