Time to Replace State of the Union

Forget regime change -- we need a tradition change. The robotic applause and unearned standing ovations at State of the Union speeches render them as phony as our political conventions. Instead of a speech, how about a State of the Union town hall meeting? Let a sitting president listen and respond -- without looking at notes -- to real questions from real Americans with real concerns. That would be worth watching.

Bill Clinton would have loved to be part of such an event. And the current White House resident would hate it more than his father hated broccoli.

Tony Peyser

Studio City


For President Bush to talk about protecting the environment while he and his party are conducting a relentless assault on federal and state environmental protections, or to talk about helping the weakest members of our society while he and his party are trying to chisel every dollar they can out of human services, particularly welfare, in order to support his reckless tax cuts for the rich; for him to talk about prescription drug benefits (which he and his party have blocked) or about AIDS in Africa (which he has never even noticed until now) when he needs to polish his "compassionate" image, is just galling.

Bush's speech was the most outrageous hypocrisy I've ever heard.

Alex Murray



Tuesday evening the president again indicated that eliminating the tax on dividends would help the elderly retired population. This is correct. Unfortunately, the retired president of General Electric and similar retired executives and wealthy investors would make up the bulk of the elderly folk who would be helped.

Income from bonds, where most elderly retired people invest their nest eggs, would continue to be taxed. This is not even trickle-down economics but more like Texas oil ooze-down economics.

Bush also continues to talk of double taxation of dividends. No one seems to mention that corporations are individuals with the right to file for bankruptcy and to limit their stockholders' liability to the value of the stock owned. For these privileges, corporations are treated as individuals and subject to income taxes, as are their stockholders. I trust that our senators and representatives will see the light and develop a tax plan that will provide a stimulus for the economy as well as substantial relief for most taxpayers.

M.J. Weinstein

Monarch Beach

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