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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters to the Editor May 25, 2011

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Letters to the Editor May 25, 2011

Cartoon ridicules those bringing attention to illegal immigration

I wish to also register my objection to a political cartoon published in May 12 Daily Triplicate last regarding illegal immigration.

Dale Bohling wrote a letter (“Cartoon introduces racism into heretofore peaceful community,” May 19) similarly expressing his concern The Triplicate would irresponsibly run a political cartoon mocking Tea Party patriots’ concern that illegal immigration laws in this country and California are summarily being ignored.

The picture of the hard-working migrant filling a wheel barrel infers there is no cost to the taxpayer. Assuming this particular migrant is a law- abiding person (other than his breaking America’s border law) is unrealistic since the crime rate is so disproportionately high among this population of immigrants.

My concern is this political cartoon ridicules and marginalizes those that bring to the attention of our federal government the devastating effects of illegal immigration. I consider the members of the Tea Party and Minutemen to be patriots who endure this ridicule.

And for those of you who are still undecided about the effects of illegal immigration burdens on our state, look at the facts: Illegal immigration costs California billions of dollars a year. Eliminating that cost would ameliorate the chasm of deficit California presently suffers from.

Defend that practice as Gov. Jerry Brown and the Assembly/Senate ask you to pay more taxes on income, sales and DMV fees to support this madness.  Say no thank-you.

 Roger Gitlin

Crescent City

 

Take away Republicans’ power to block tax increases in Calif.

On May 13, Calie Martin wrote a letter to The Daily Triplicate (“McArthur offers simplistic view of education funding problems”) stating that “California’s legislature has not been controlled by the Republicans for years, they have been the minority.”

Superficially this is true, but when it comes to raising taxes it is a half-truth. The reason I say this is that the two-third’s vote requirement to raise taxes allows the minority, not the majority, to rule.

Two years ago in San Diego County a tax increase for rural area fire protection was put on the ballot. The vote on the increase was 63 percent “yes” 37 percent “no.” But guess who won? Not the 63 percent majority, but the 37 percent minority. Rural San Diego County did not get its increased fire protection because the two-third’s requirement ensures minority rule, not rule by the majority. This two-third’s requirement is the crux of California’s budgetary mess!

If one doesn’t believe this, look at the current California legislature, which has 77 Democrats and 42 Republicans. If California had simple majority rule for tax increases, Gov. Brown’s tax extension proposals would already be scheduled for the June election. Instead, by using the undemocratic two-third’s requirement, Republicans have denied voters a chance to decide whether or not to extend these taxes.

California is one of a small number of states that doesn’t allow a simple majority to decide tax issues. Neighboring Oregon, which has lower taxes than California, is one that requires a simple majority.

Why is the Republican minority so afraid of a simple majority vote on taxes? Many times when I see arguments about taxation in California the topic of immigration comes up. This makes me wonder if racism or xenophobia is part of this. Does the largely white Republican minority fear having to pay taxes to support services and education for non-whites?

Whatever the reasoning, be it racism, greed, selfishness, short sightedness, etc., the anti-tax minority is leading California on a disastrous downward spiral toward becoming a Third World society, one with an extremely wealthy minority living in the midst of enormous poverty and squalor. For this reason the two-third’s vote requirement for raising taxes should be abolished, either by a vote of the people or by court decision, if necessary.

Don't kid yourself, a court decision to accomplish this could be a possibility. It has already happened in neighboring Nevada. In July 2003, in answer to a suit filed by Gov. Kenny Guinn, the state Supreme Court threw out Nevada’s voter-enacted two-third’s constitutional requirement for tax increases because it was not allowing Nevada to fulfill other constitutionally mandated state functions. This seems like a precedent that could be used by California courts for a similar decision.

Getting rid of this requirement might not totally solve California’s budget problems, but it would certainly help. I remember seeing an interview with former Chief Justice Ron George when he stated that the two-third’s requirement was “strangling” California. Let’s not let this continue to happen. If the Republicans want to stop taxes, let them first win a majority instead of destroying democracy.

Allen C. Johnson

Klamath

 

Direct vote on budget renders representative system useless

I suppose that given the fact that the Triplicate’s editor removed a portion of my original letter (“McArthur doesn’t understand the role of being a representative,” May 13), Richard Ruppert (“Criticisms of McArthur’s op-ed were baseless, disappointing,” May 19) could quite easily make the mistake of believing that I was responding to Mr. McArthur’s Coastal Voices piece (“If we treat kids like crops, then we’ll pay for schools,” May 3). It was, however, a letter by Kathleen Williams that drew my attention.

Kathleen Williams (“McArthur spot on about raw deal for education,” May 6), and yourself, Mr. Ruppert, are voices who believe that if you disagree with your elected representative it is simply a matter of having a special election to solve your problem. If we were to take that reasoning a step further, there is seldom any governmental decision that would garner full support of the electorate; and therefore, all decisions should be made by the electorate.

At this point we could eliminate the whole representative process. While I don’t believe this should happen for a minute, it is something that people who want a vote in this and any other specific instances should consider. As far as the poll that I refer to, it is one by the Public Policy Institute of California, which was discussed in an article which appeared in The Daily Triplicate, was given local air time on the radio, and received considerable attention from a whole host of other media sites through out the state.

I am not familiar with any poll that has shows support for extending taxes except for on the wealthy. While I agree with Mr. Ruppert that money spent on education is well spent, Mr. Ruppert might wish to review the PPIC’s finding’s, where he will learn that government funding of education no longer has the support of the majority in the polling sample.

Finally, that “elusive funding” Mr. Ruppert is counting on will soon disappear unless the much-maligned Mr. LaMalfa and his fellow representatives do something about it. He might also want to be aware of the fact that since these additional revenues were put in place to save education and safety programs, the deficit spending in the state has exploded and revenues to meet educational needs have declined.

Samuel Strait

Crescent City

 

Clearing up misunderstandings about SSI/SSDI funding sources

Regarding  the May 18 letter “SSI, SSDI services should not be paid out of Social Security fund, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not paid out of the Social Security fund.

While the program has been administered by the Social Security Administration since the individual state programs transitioned to a federal level umbrella program in 1974, the money is from the General Fund.

Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit amounts are based on a worker’s prior payroll tax contributions and are financed by the Disability Insurance Trust Fund.

The elderly and disabled with no resources are eligible to receive SSI. They are not criminals.  Workers who have become disabled have paid into the Disability Insurance Fund, which is also not the Social Security Fund, both of which workers have paid into their entire working lives.

 Pat Gargaetas

Crescent City

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