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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 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.
March 8, 2013
Re "Ugly numbers for the GOP," Column, March 4 George Skelton writes that the California Republican Party is "too white. " It doesn't make any difference what race Republicans are. The party should be judged on what it does and how it benefits society. The Republicans' challenge is that Democrats have inaccurately defined what the GOP is, and they've been aided by a complicit media. Consequently, a lot of non-Republicans have a misconception of who Republicans really are. Republicans have failed to give others a motivation to find out who Republicans are. Many non-Republicans, happy with the benefits they get from government, have no incentive to reduce the size of government.
March 7, 2013 | Jim Newton
The first round of the mayoral election ended Tuesday much the way it began, with Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti fighting for the lead while facing the complicated task of defining themselves to voters and assembling a majority in an exceptionally diverse city. Both candidates have logical routes forward for the runoff, and both can look to historical precedent for proof they might win. Greuel can take heart from the election of 2001, when Jim Hahn came in second in the first round of the election but rebounded to victory in the runoff after moderates who'd voted for other candidates in the first round picked him over Antonio Villaraigosa.
March 2, 2013 | By Maeve Reston and James Rainey, Los Angeles Times
The top three Los Angeles mayoral candidates began an aggressive final push Saturday to get out the vote for Tuesday's primary contest, swooping in to Little League games, house parties and campaign phone banking operations - warning that the outcome could come down to a few votes because a low turnout is expected. At a contentious debate Friday night, City Councilwoman Jan Perry and Councilman Eric Garcetti railed against record-breaking spending by labor-backed groups on behalf of City Controller Wendy Greuel.
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