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Letters to the editor

Traffic and a downtown stadium; the GOP budget plan; Mitt Romney's stance on Obama's healthcare law

April 09, 2012
  • Tom Bateman, left, director of Bring Back the Rams, offers a jersey to AEG President Tim Leiweke as he celebrates the release of the Farmers Field environmental impact report at a news conference on the steps of City Hall.
Tom Bateman, left, director of Bring Back the Rams, offers a jersey to AEG… (Mark Boste / Los Angeles…)

Getting to the game

Re "Drive to the new stadium? Developer hopes you won't," April 6

Memo to Tim Leiweke, president of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which wants to build a football stadium in downtown L.A.: Your expectation that many ticket holders will travel via rail to games needs a dose of reality.

Last month I took a group of 25 on Metro's Blue Line from Long Beach to AEG's Staples Center for a midweek Clippers game. Many were first-time riders who were thrilled to experience our light rail system. Yet some of what they experienced were broken ticket machines and no visible security. Our inbound train was stopped for more than 12 minutes at one point.

I could sense the transition in my group's feelings from thrill and anticipation prior to our trip to relief upon our return to Long Beach. I suspect most of them will not venture back onto the train, at least not until the user experience is improved.

David Alpern

Los Angeles

Are you telling me that if a 72,000-seat stadium is built in downtown L.A., people attending events will drive to the stadium and cause traffic? Gee, what a revelation.

Before you get all in a tizzy, however, you might have noticed that there's a 93,000-seat stadium down the street, and people have been getting in and out of there just fine since 1923.

Robert Ostrove


GOP budget blueprint

Re "Obama takes aim at GOP mainstream," April 4

President Obama is right to take on Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and his GOP budget plan. It is as phony as Richard Nixon's secret plan to end the Vietnam War. I've lived long enough to know that secret plans rarely work.

Now we have Ryan's secret plan to fix the economy. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I'm going to keep my reaction a secret until Ryan unveils the details of his plan.

I thought the chair of the House Budget Committee had the credentials to become the 2012 Republican running mate before he dreamed up his secret plan. Now I'll let you in on a little secret: I'm no longer sure about Ryan.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach

The preamble to Obama's debt commission ends by urging leaders to follow "the Becerra Rule: Don't shoot down an idea without offering a better idea in its place."

Obama violated the rule immediately, demonizing Ryan's plan without ever proposing (on paper) one of his own. Instead he chose cheap political posturing over leadership.

Then he complains about partisan rancor and pretends to be the adult in the room. Come November we'll learn how many gullible people are left to believe him.

Jim Bass

Thousand Oaks

Logic and the healthcare law

Re "Mitt's attack can work," Opinion, April 3

No one is asserting that Mitt Romney cannot attack Obamacare; of course, Romney is loudly doing so. But Romney's attempts to demonize the plan, which is a national expansion of the program he created in Massachusetts, expose him as being irrationally inconsistent as well as hypocritical.

Does anyone think it makes sense for Romney to assert that it's a great plan — including the individual mandate — if a state does it, but an evil plan if it's on a national level?

Cyril Barnert

Los Angeles

Bumper-sticker Republicans may adamantly oppose the Affordable Care Act, but ask anyone, as President Obama certainly will, if they want to give up all the improvements over the old system of healthcare it replaces.

Building on the healthcare reform law is going to look a lot better to most voters than putting their health back into the hands of bean counters and heartless, profit-driven corporations.

Jon Williams

Goleta, Calif.

Subsidies, taxes and Big Oil

Re "Big Oil needs subsidies?," Opinion, April 5

Bill McKibben says large oil companies receive too many federal "subsidies." A subsidy is direct aid to a company. Oil and natural gas companies don't receive subsidies; they simply avail themselves of tax provisions that allow legitimate deductions for business costs, to which all other businesses are entitled.

They pay effective income tax rates averaging about 41%, far higher than other industries. This industry pays about $85 million daily to the federal government in taxes and fees.

These companies may earn a lot, but they also make huge investments worldwide to be able to provide consumers the energy they need. The legislation McKibben supports was defeated because senators recognized the unfairness of singling out companies that are reducing our dependence on foreign oil, support millions of jobs and provide billions in government revenue.

Rayola Dougher


The writer is senior economic advisor for the American Petroleum Institute.

The GOP rails against government interference in the markets and government subsidies for companies in fledgling industries such as alternative energy. They say the government shouldn't be in the business of picking winners and losers.

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