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April 4, 2013
Re "Garcetti, Greuel gingerly hug city worker unions," March 28 Bob Schoonover, president of SEIU Local 721, is quoted in the article as describing the public and private retirement programs as two lifeboats, one with a leak. Private 401(k) plans go up and down with the investment tides. But those smaller plans let their owners know exactly where they stand so they can make informed decisions. It is the public employee plans that are underfunded. Theirs is that "leak" that requires taxpayers to endure ever-increasing fees while receiving fewer benefits.
April 2, 2013
Re "Kim is making the U.S. nervous," March 30 At the end of World War I, the Allies so crippled Germany that widespread unemployment and economic dislocation led to the rise of the Nazi regime. We have spent years employing similar tactics in North Korea. We supply food that doesn't get to the hungry yet so isolate North Korea that one of its biggest sources of currency is its sale of weapons and military technology, the very things we are trying to contain. This isn't a call for appeasement, and North Korea has a history of not living up to its commitments.
March 29, 2013
Re "No debt agreement, no break," Opinion, March 25 Debt hysteria, or "austerity," is the bad idea of late that just will not die. America does not have a debt crisis; it has an employment crisis, which, if appropriately addressed, would reduce the debt. Social Security does not contribute to the federal budget deficit; it is projected to pay out 100% of benefits due until at least 2033, and could remain at 100% forever by raising the contribution cap. Spiraling healthcare costs can be solved by doing three things: end fee-for-service, establish Medicare for all and allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
March 23, 2013
Re "Fusion power on the right," Opinion, March 19 Jonah Goldberg is right that libertarians and Conservatives share very close views on economic issues, but it's the social issues that push libertarians and even some Republicans into the liberal camp. If you strongly support free speech, voluntary military service, marriage equality and repealing drug laws, you are far to the left of conservatism. If and when we have a strong libertarian candidate the Republicans can accept, it will be Democrats, not conservatives, jumping into the libertarian camp.
March 21, 2013
Re "Forging a healing bond," March 17 With so many ups and downs in our country these days, it warms the heart and brings tears to our eyes to read about people who care. Sisters Staci Freeman and Jami Valentine and the little girl from Afghanistan they cared for, Arefa, are all heroes today. Truly big hearts were working when these sisters took this frightened little girl into their home while she underwent treatment for her painful burns and were there for her until she was able to return to her home and her family.
March 18, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - It was bound to happen: As the "sequester" budget cuts are felt around the country, lawmakers are having second thoughts - and are trying to tinker with them. On a routine spending bill, senators filed more than 125 amendments that would have reopened the White House to tours, shielded meat inspectors from furloughs and kept air traffic control towers staffed, among other moves. The attempts to rearrange the across-the-board cuts filed by senators on both sides of the political aisle had stalled the measure, which is needed to keep the government running after March 27. Without approval of the stopgap spending bill, the government would shut down, a prospect lawmakers and President Obama have said they want to avoid.
March 14, 2013
Re "OneWest is said to be exploring a sale," Business, March 9 The current value of OneWest Bank is nearly twice the $1.55 billion investors paid to buy it in 2009. Those great profits, of course, ignore the $13 billion bath the public took when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over IndyMac in 2009, the bank that became OneWest. Privatized profits, socialized losses. Tell me again about too much bank regulation. Kelley Willis Venice ALSO: Letters: Tell that to Thatcher Letters: The Wal-Mart moviemaker Letters: Doctors, drugs and addicts
March 13, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Senators questioned two of President Obama's nominees for key financial regulatory positions, and Democrats and Republicans appeared to like both of them. But only one of those candidates is expected to be confirmed. Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor, was on track to be confirmed as chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission after Tuesday's hearing by the Senate Banking committee. However, the path for Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who has been renominated by Obama, was still blocked by Republicans who want changes to the agency.
March 11, 2013
Re "Burned by 'the nasty effect,'" Opinion, March 7 There is a simple solution to the stream-of-sewage comments that now accompany electronic versions of The Times and other news blogs. When a person writes a letter to the editor to The Times, the person's name, address and telephone number must be included. There are no such requirements for online comments. Unedited rants from anonymous nutjobs pepper the discussion boards of online articles. As Meghan Daum points out, these nasty comments are fast becoming must-read parts of electronic news and are negatively shaping our opinions of the articles they accompany.
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