To the Editor:
I too urge a “yes” vote on Proposition 25. One hundred (100) days after the beginning of the fiscal year, California finally has a “balanced” budget. Again, the balance is achieved by the usual gimmickry. How: by suspending Proposition 98, $1.7 billion of K-12 public education money will be deferred until July 2011; $189 million in Community College funds will be deferred until next year; assuming that California will receive $5.4 billion from the federal government although only $1.3 billion has been approved to date; and $1 billion increase in spending under the dubious assumption that revenues will increase in this troubled economy.
The bottom line is that California is once again deferring the deficit until next fiscal year. Why do we have an annual budget crisis? Primarily because California is one of only three states — Arkansas and Rhode Island are the others — to require a super-majority to adopt a budget. Thus, each year at budget time, the Republican minority is able to exercise disproportionate control over the budget process because passing a budget requires a two-thirds vote in both houses. We are tired of having to wait until October for the state to finally have a budget, and then learn about all the political horse trading — often at the public’s expense — that happened to obtain one. That’s why it is important that Proposition 25 pass so that a California budget needs only a majority in both the Senate and Assembly to pass.
Ralph E. Stone
To the Editor:
Re: “Blame Obama for Democrats’ Problems” (BeyondChron, October 19, 2010), I think that the author’s sense of frustration gets in the way of his achieving any fair analysis of President Obama’s performance to date.
President Obama inherited a terrible and historically unprecedented mess when he entered the White House. The previous president, with blind support from his loyalists and a large segment of this nation’s populace, damaged the U.S. and its people in ways and to depths as never occurred before. The actions of invading and decimating Iraq and its people, giving tens of billions of dollars through “bailouts” to Wall Street megagiants and corporations, are among the events which damaged our nation.
Those events were also blessed and endorsed by Democrats and so-called “progressives” in government. For example, how did Vice President Biden, Senator Feinstein, and their fellow Senators and Congresspeople, cast their votes on the issues of invading Iraq, giving generous “bailouts” to Wall Street, and other actions? Did their votes reflect their own vested self interests, or the nation’s?
One can agree or disagree with President Obama on different issues. I believe that President Obama’s decision and policy to increase U.S. troops in Afghanistan was a grave mistake, one which further perpetuated and deepened the “quagmire” and tragedy of the war in Afghanistan.
It seems that “Blame Obama for Democrats’ Problems” might sound almost like a treatise found in the “Standard Weekly,” or like a press release from Republican party headquarters. We have to make sure that how we approach our criticism of President Obama does not play into the hands of those who wish that President Obama would fail, or who hope that the Congress will be returned to the hands of the Bush and right wing loyalists.
For President Obama’s difficult efforts on behalf of this nation to be judged as “failing” is not the kind of “self fulfilling prophecy” any “progessive” would want.
126 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
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