To the editor: George Skelton gives the impression that California's public schools have made a recovery after their financial decimation during the recession. He states that it will take "political courage" to resist any extensions of the Proposition 30 tax hike and address fundamental tax reform instead. ("Tax hike made sense during recession, but no longer," May 17)
What kind of courage does Skelton have? When was the last time he was in school?
My son is a junior in high school; his U.S. history textbook was printed in 1996. Over the last several years, standout seniors with 4.0-plus grade point averages have found themselves rejected by University of California campuses, no doubt because the system has had to accept more nonresident students to boost revenue.
Four-year degrees now often take five or six years to complete because of cuts in faculty and course offerings. College tuition jumped far beyond parents' ability to save for it.
The damage done to California's schools has been deep and wide. Those with real courage will not cut and run but continue their full support.
Brenda Tzipori, Ventura
To the editor: It is a mystery why the otherwise rational Skelton becomes so excited that higher-income residents are paying too much in taxes.
He wants a more stable tax base, but he doesn't express support for addressing the most stable one: real estate taxes. He acknowledges that our economy is more service oriented, but he leaves out the fact that our bipartisan trade laws have driven the bulk of our manufacturing base overseas.
The facts are that the wealthy have a disproportionate share of the assets in our country. They got it, in part, by manipulating the tax laws to their benefit. The group Citizens for Tax Justice has demonstrated that the poorer you are, the higher the share of your income that goes toward taxes.
In other words, the wealthy are not even close to paying their fair share.
I agree that we need to revise our tax system, but we should not put an additional burden on the least wealthy.
Emil Lawton, Sherman Oaks