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Include spending in budget debate

June 29, 2008

Re "The cap trap," editorial, June 22

E.E. Cummings once said, "I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart."

That statement sums up California's budget mess, and why spending reform is needed to ward off future deficits. If the state increases taxes and fees, it won't stop the true root cause of the deficit: excess spending. Since Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took office in 2003, the state's general fund spending has increased astronomically, from $76.3 billion to $101.8 billion. This continued rise is unsustainable and outright reckless.

California should look at Colorado, which successfully used spending caps to stabilize its budget and grant tax relief to its citizens. The budget debate must center on how to reduce and cap spending rather than how to increase revenue.

John Nothdurft

Legislative Specialist

The Heartland Institute

Chicago

Your editorial is interesting for what it did not say, especially in the section recounting how we got into our current mess. You just cannot seem to acknowledge that it was a Democratic Legislature and a Democratic governor who just could not put aside excess state revenues for a rainy day. Please call it like it is.

Jeff McCombs

La Palma

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