I salute Gov. Gray Davis for making tough, unpopular decisions (Jan. 16). The state's budget is suffering from the slump in the national economy. He must work with Republicans in the Legislature who scream against increased taxes while trying to satisfy Democrats who resist spending cuts to programs for the needy. Even though it is difficult, he seems to be trying to find a balance to avoid gridlock and get Sacramento working in the best interest of the state. On the other hand, President Bush is ignoring the good of the country in order to reward his wealthy supporters. Quite a contrast!
Re "Higher Car Fees May Be Reinstated," Jan. 15: Why is there no mention from our legislators about increasing the taxes on alcohol? Is that lobby so politically and financially strong that the topic won't even be addressed? We all know alcohol causes family strife, lost work hours, ill health, violence and road death. Raise the tax $1 on each container. It's a small price to pay for a total luxury
An idea for our strapped state budget: On my 25-to-45-minute commute on the 405 Freeway in Orange County recently, I counted 27 solo riders in the high-occupancy vehicle lane flying past us. At $271 a pop, that's $7,317. Installed cameras and related enforcement would be paid for quickly, bringing in tens of thousands of dollars for the state coffers. Unlikely though; raising fees on the law-abiders still seems the easier choice.