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A warning from Texas; FDR and Obama; L.A.'s new football stadium

August 11, 2011
  • Amazon: The online retailer is trying to avoid collection California sales taxes.
Amazon: The online retailer is trying to avoid collection California sales… (Brian Snyder, Reuters )

Texas, taxes and jobs

Re "Amazon stumps outside stores," Business, Aug. 6

I am a visitor to California and a lifelong Texan. Imagine my surprise to encounter an anti-tax signature collector in San Diego arguing that California will lose jobs to Texas if taxes increase.

We Texans have already got all the minimum-wage, no-benefit jobs we can handle, along with lousy roads, a 19th century school system, a high poverty rate, hunger, lack of medical care and the highest rate of uninsured people in the nation. Our education system is declining, and much of the new jobs pay minimum wage. Texas is becoming third-world.

California has so much of what Texas lacks. Be happy to pay your taxes because you are getting so much for them. Tighten your belt and preserve the California you have while you can. Don't destroy California; you will regret it later.

Kathleen Bombach

El Paso

Stimulus spending

Re "Look backward, America," Column, Aug. 9

Michael Hiltzik is wrong when he says the 2009 stimulus "was an unmistakable success," but perhaps his definition of success is different than mine. Unemployment is still above 9% — not exactly success in my book. A "jobless recovery" is not a recovery, if you ask me.

The government getting bigger in the 1930s actually prolonged the Depression. When government is the one that creates jobs, nothing is actually created because it takes more taxes and public debt to pay for those jobs. You are just taking money away from people and giving it to the government, which creates nothing.

You cannot have it both ways: Either we basically leave business alone to create jobs, or we take away from the productive people and just give it to others. The best thing the government can do is to get out of the way and let people and businesses be creative.

Dafni Black

Culver City

Three cheers for Hiltzik's call for a strong stimulus package from Washington.

Has anyone ever questioned the hated words "government spending"? Where do people think government spending goes? It goes to companies and organizations that create jobs by building roads, educating students and improving health. Even when spending goes to individuals in need, these are the first people to spend the money on goods and services.

Government spending is good, not bad, for the nation.

Martin A. Brower

Corona del Mar

Hiltzik is wrong to compare today's stimulus to FDR's programs in the 1930s.

When the Works Progress Administration was created during the Great Depression, millions were put to work almost immediately. People went to work on "shovel ready" projects that were free of today's myriad regulations.

By contrast, because of numerous regulations today, it takes years to put any sizable number of people to work on projects we call "shovel ready." This is one of the main reasons the $787-billion stimulus program of 2009 failed to make a real dent in our problems.

Despite Hiltzik's protests, the 2009 stimulus barely moved the needle.

Robert Newman

West Hills

The right wing has managed to demonize the word "stimulus." It has taken on the taboo of the "L" word — liberal — and even, heaven forbid, taxes.

To save our country, perhaps our hapless, helpless leaders should adopt a term — for example, the Contractor and Employer Rescue Act, the Keep Consumers Spending Law or … the Works Progress Administration.

No good, I suppose, because it contains the words progress and administration.

Suzanne Schechter


A new stadium

Re "Outlines of downtown stadium deal approved," Aug. 10

I spent 25 years with the LAPD and worked the area around the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. I worked a number of football games over the years.

The reason the Coliseum died a slow death and we lost the Raiders was the lack of parking. People want to drive their cars to the game, have tailgate parties and be safe. The proposed site in downtown L.A. will provide more of the same.

What happened to the idea of placing the stadium outside downtown, such as in Irwindale or Industry, which have massive amounts of land for parking and intersecting freeways to handle the traffic? Have you ever been to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City? They did it right, with plenty of parking and easy ingress and egress.

Didn't the city learn anything from the failure of the Coliseum?

Curtis R. Fesler

Mountain View, Ark.

Boot's wars

Re "A false sense of national security," Opinion, Aug. 7

From Max Boot, someone whose livelihood depends on "national security," it is no wonder the hammer seeks more nails. One more terrorist incident would be all it takes to confirm Boot's worst concatenations.

Al Qaeda's decline from coordinating a take-down of the U.S. air defense system for several hours to its inability to blow up an operative's own shoes or underwear bespeaks its ability to threaten us. By "us" I mean the republic, not the military-industrial-government complex.

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