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The cost of the budget mess

August 07, 2008

Re "Gov. lays off 10,000 workers," Aug. 1

State Controller John Chiang is a real hero for standing up to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and refusing to cut the pay of state employees to the federal minimum wage of $6.55 an hour. If we pay our state workers $6.55 an hour for a 40-hour week, that comes out to $262 a week or $1,048 a month. With gas and food prices going through the roof, how can we expect them to get by on that, even for a short time? Do you think your family could live on $262 a week?

California's state employees work hard, and they deserve to be treated with basic respect. Schwarzenegger is treating them like pawns because it's just a game to him. He either doesn't understand or doesn't care that people's lives could be ruined by his political brinkmanship.

Julie Sanford

Van Nuys

If not for Schwarzenegger's decision to continue the reductions in vehicle license fees, which costs the state $6 billion a year, the state would have collected an additional $24 billion over the last four years and there would be no fiscal emergency justifying the layoffs and wage cuts of state workers.

Schwarzenegger, too, has been living on the state's credit card. We need to end this car-tax cut and modify our state laws to allow a budget to be adopted by a majority vote of the Legislature.

Brian Sheppard

Encino

I was excited to read in The Times that "part-timers are fired."

I thought that the governor had finally fired the entire Legislature and himself.

How disappointing to read further that he was merely firing other part-time employees of the state.

It looks as if the voters will simply have to wait and eventually fire the real part-timers in Sacramento.

Wayne D. Kerr

La Crescenta

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