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Letters to the Editor April 09, 2011

Stop thinking in terms of wants; state must spend only on needs

After reading our local editor’s summation of the current budget debacle in Sacramento (“It will hurt Del Norte,” April 2), it is easy to assume that his solution to the problem is the only one that makes sense for Del Norte County. It is, however, filled with the usual fuzzy thinking that has plagued California’s financial state for decades. Since 2003 every budget projection has bled red ink. After passage of the tax hikes that the legislators are currently bickering about, the state’s deficit ballooned to over $20 billion. The following year another nearly $6 billion and counting was added.

It seems that California’s legislators have difficulty understanding that when you run a deficit budget, you need to stop thinking in terms of what you want to spend money on and simply focus on those things that you need to spend money on. The same is true at the local level.

Since the government no longer has the realistic ability to borrow its way out of trouble and history has shown that raising taxes, as in 2009, does not instantly decrease the next year’s budget deficit, it is difficult to understand why the proposal such as the editor has offered is even under consideration. It may cushion the financial blow that Del Norte County is sure to sustain for the next six to 12 months, but it is merely delaying what will surely be a far larger blow in the very near future.

As difficult as it may appear, the state’s Republicans are offering an opportunity to the state as a whole to reduce its dependence on government services, before the inevitability of even larger deficits.

As the private sector economy has all but vanished over the past 25 years, we in Del Norte County have jumped on the tax fund bandwagon with both feet. Well-paying government jobs exist where none existed 50 years ago and we now live at the mercy of state budgets and their cuts. Perhaps it is time, maybe even past time, for the county to stop hoping for quick fixes and start looking further down the road. It might be a good time to take a second look at what government has done to inhibit private enterprise at both the state and local levels and loosen the noose a bit. The increased activity could provide the tax revenue that the state needs as a temporary fix and give it time to grapple with the even larger problem of over-spending.

Samuel Strait

Crescent City

 

Touched by sensitivity in column about the raising of family’s boat

I just read the March 30 Michele Thomas column, “Raising of the vessel Stormy,” and was touched by the writer’s sensitivity.

Thank you for documenting the raising of such a special vessel and thank you for heeding the request of the young man not to publish the photo of his dad crying. You are an honorable writer in doing so.

In all things important, be well.

Peggy Rourke-Nichols

Arnold, Calif.

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