Letters to the Editor May 25, 2011

Del Norte Triplicate Readers

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Pat Gargaetas

Crescent City

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