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Gov. Deukmejian on State Budget and Times Response

After reading Gov. Deukmejian’s petulant, childish and embarrassing letter, and The Times rebuttal to it, it is clear that the governor is standing on very wobbly legs.

While it may be politically advantageous to ignore the problems of California in order to keep one’s popularity high, in the long run Deukmejian’s cowardice will undermine all of us. There was, perhaps, a time when we looked to our leaders for leadership. That time seems to have passed, and we are left with a generation of politicians, like Deukmejian, who would rather topple the shaky deck of cards that is this state than face the really tough, unpopular facts of life.

I do not enjoy paying taxes, but I am willing to pay a realistic amount toward ensuring that California pays its way now, rather than dumping the crushing burden of a dilapidated infrastructure on my children.

And, while we’re at it, can we not ask Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley if he isn’t at least as guilty as the governor in looking the other way while the city’s services are cut back and back and back. It won’t belong before Los Angeles has to face the fact that its streets are impassable, its air unbreathable, its neighborhoods a collection of dingy mini-malls, treeless and unadorned, its beaches polluted, its citizens terrorized and unable to find housing, and its mayor asleep in the notion that if we simply ignore these ugly facts they will just fade away.

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The problems are real. Our leaders are not. That is the real problem in California today.

MICHAEL MAYSFIELD

Los Angeles


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