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State of the state

February 24, 2009

Re "Governor widens rift with GOP," Feb. 21

I'm not one to say, "I told you so," but the Governator was never a conservative Republican.

During his successful run for governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger pounded on the fiscal conservative theme because that was the yellow brick road to Sacramento, given former Gov. Gray Davis' abysmal performance in handling California's economy. But Schwarzenegger was always a fiscal softy in conservative clothing. That's why I voted for Tom McClintock.

In order to do the right thing when times are tough, one must have a well-thought-out, principled position that transcends "how can I get elected?"

California is a mess, and I'm glad I moved to Colorado 18 months ago.

And, oh, by the way, I told you so.

Scott Sutherland

Woodland Park, Colo.

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As I listen to the conservative wing of the Republican Party repeat its anti-tax mantra, I have only one question: Where is your plan to balance the budget, other than the generic lament "cut costs"?

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, February 26, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 18 Editorial pages Desk 2 inches; 84 words Type of Material: Correction
Tax changes: A letter published Tuesday about a news article on tax changes in the California budget referred to a graphic indicating that a single mother with two children, earning $15,000 a year, would see her state taxes increase by $498. The graphic was in error; the mother in the example might not experience a tax increase at all. The Times published a correction on the graphic Tuesday, too late for the Editorial page to catch the error in the letter published the same day.

Get specific. The Times reports that "if the state had laid off its entire workforce of 238,000 -- every prison guard, firefighter and clerk -- it still would have fallen billions shy of a balanced budget." So what specific costs do you cut? What costs are stipulated by law or negotiated contracts and can't be cut?

The same goes for the $787-billion federal stimulus bill (which has little stimulus in it). Republicans attack it, but they didn't say bupkis about the $700-billion handout to the Wall Street bankers.

The Democrats are terrible, and the Republicans are worse, and the people are to blame -- we just keep on reelecting our elected officials. There will be no change until we start to vote these losers, in both parties, out of office.

Harold L. Katz

Los Angeles

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What a sorry, shameful lot California's Republicans have shown themselves to be. They repeatedly place their narrow individual financial interests above everything else and would deny the rest of us the safety, health, educational and economic opportunities that a properly funded and thoughtfully administered state government might otherwise provide -- whether in bad economic times or good.

Bruce R. Feldman

Santa Monica

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Ted Costa, an anti-tax advocate, has just now figured out that it was a colossal waste of taxpayers' money to recall former Gov. Gray Davis? Which village is it that's missing its idiot?

Wynesta Dale

Monrovia

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Re "State to swallow up a taxpayer benefit," Feb. 20

I am outraged that a single mother with two children, no car and an income of $15,000 should have a tax increase of $498. She should be paying no taxes at all on such a small income. What good does it do to increase her burdens when she is only likely to require welfare?

Other inequities show up when a family with four children should suffer a higher increase than a single man with no dependents and the same income.

Who makes these decisions?

Joan Morrison

Costa Mesa

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