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A good idea or wasted effort?

July 09, 2009

Re "Budget crisis -- first, go after the waste," Opinion, July 3

I just finished reading Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plea for our Legislature to cut fraud in certain programs. I cannot believe that our Legislature is balking. Enough is enough. Legislators, you want to keep programs? The least you can do is to make a commitment to stop fraud and abuse of programs. I cannot imagine why you would choose not to. Thank you, Gov. Schwarzenegger, for trying to clean up government.

Kristina Cahill

Long Beach

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How ironic that our action-hero governor has once again confused motion for action. Almost six years after the recall election -- in which Schwarzenegger lamely suggested that merely cutting waste and fraud would solve California's fiscal mess -- his solution to the now-imminent crisis in this, one of the world's largest economies, is: cutting waste and fraud. How is it that such a big man can have such small ideas?

Craig Boreth

Santa Monica

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Schwarzenegger and others seem intent on privatizing many of our government services. There may be certain areas in which we can experiment with the innovative and less constrained nature of the private sector. However, we also have seen how often the private sector and the profit motive are not always appropriate. That is why we developed the civil service system, which also focuses on the principles of safety, merit, quality, accuracy, transparency, fairness and accessibility.

Daniel Luna

Fresno

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Ronald Reagan raised taxes. Schwarzenegger does not have the courage to do the same. Arnold's bravado emerged only in the movies. Unable to fix things, he blames the Democratic Legislature. The problem is the ridiculous two-thirds majority required to raise taxes. Where do I sign up to get rid of this tyranny of the minority?

Domenico Maceri

San Luis Obispo

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As an active volunteer for social service organizations, I was prepared to dislike all of the governor's proposals, no matter that they would help balance the budget. But the citations of waste spelled out in the article were appalling, and the fact that the Legislature apparently doesn't see this is even more appalling.

Where's the leadership outside the governor's office?

Gene Siciliano

Los Angeles

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Thanks so much for giving Schwarzenegger a column to explain how he thinks he can save $2 billion. I won't quibble, though that seems a bit overblown to me. When does he present us with the column that explains how we can deal with the remaining $23-billion shortfall "without raising taxes"? I am on the edge of my seat.

Jay C. Smith

Bakersfield

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The CalWorks program has been highly successful in helping families and in transitioning parents back into the workforce. Using the state Department of Social Services' own numbers, 65% of the adults in the CalWorks welfare-to-work program are working or enrolled in an approved activity.

This is a far cry from the 22% program compliance rate cited by the governor, using a measure known as the federal work participation rate that does not take into consideration caseload declines or parents who work part time.

Nancy Berlin

Los Angeles

The writer is the director of the California Partnership, a coalition of community groups fighting poverty.

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