Tar-and-feather time

Re “Cogdill pays for being right,” Column, March 30

Reading George Skelton's column about state Sen. Dave Cogdill's ouster as minority leader, my suspicions have finally been verified. Our Republican state legislators are out and out practicing anarchists -- some essentially admitting that they would like to send California over a cliff.

I think it is time to tar and feather the lot of them and ride them out of the state on a rail.

Next best thing: Vote every one of them out of office.

James R. Gallagher

Huntington Beach

Skelton's column was interesting but demonstrated the disconnect between Sacramento and the voters.

When you have the highest or next-highest taxpaying state in the Union near bankruptcy, it is obvious that there has been little oversight on public assistance payments for several years.

The answer is not new taxes -- a wage-earner in Los Angeles pays about 10% on every retail purchase. The answer is threefold, to paraphrase the old real estate slogan "location, location and location": Reduce spending, reduce spending, reduce spending.

Mike Montgomery

South Pasadena

The writer is the former mayor of South Pasadena.

Wrong way to run a budget

Re “The May ballot scam,” Opinion, March 29

I support Propositions 1B through 1E, which reallocate dedicated funds to help balance the budget, because I voted against the programs in the first place. As a public-sector budget analyst, I am appalled by efforts to impose taxes and/or add spending to the budget (including bond issues) through the initiative process.

These special-interest taxes -- no matter how noble the purpose, they are special interests -- deny the governor and Legislature flexibility to prioritize. If anything, these upcoming propositions don't go far enough -- they should abolish the guaranteed funding for these programs and let them compete with every other line item in the budget.

Former Mayor Richard Riordan asks: "Can you really support propositions that will drastically cut services to the state's neediest -- especially after legislators increased the state sales tax, a regressive tax that places a larger burden on the poor?"

The answer is yes. Perhaps if these special funds didn't exist, the sales tax might not have needed to increase as much.