Re "Deeper cuts enrage state Democrats," July 29, and "Capitol sausage-making," July 28
As a lifelong, and active, Republican, I was appalled by the cynical and illegal activities of the Bush/Cheney administration, and now I find myself confronted by your photo of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger grinning as he signs a budget that penalizes the most vulnerable and needy of our state's citizens.
Whatever happened to the original GOP ethic that protected and benefited people like that? Where are you, Abe? Where are you, Ronnie? Where are you, Barry? Where are you guys now that we really need you -- instead of Rush and Sarah, who seem to be becoming the voices of the party?
Allen E. Kahn
Playa del Rey
Legislators should have made giant industries pay their fair share. Instead, the recession that has already left masses unemployed now results in thousands of students who will be left without an education.
As a student at UCLA, my tuition fees have risen. Even worse, the new budget will cut freshmen admittance while also cutting spending on community colleges, taking away hope of advancement for thousands of high school graduates.
Meanwhile, California remains the only state without a tax on oil extraction.
Schwarzenegger shredded California's social fabric with "blue pencil" vetoes of imperative social programs.
Two other Republican governors, Ronald Reagan and Pete Wilson, faced similar crises and had the guts to solve them. Schwarzenegger failed the people of California and brought shame to his party.
Emery B. Dowell
Gold River, Calif.
As a parent of a developmentally delayed toddler receiving services under the Early Start program, I was horrified to learn the governor cut an additional $50 million from this program.
Now many children will not begin therapy until their problems get dumped on the school district. At that point, they are older; intervention will cost far more taxpayer money and do much less good.
By letting more children fail, our governor is guaranteeing they will require more taxpayer money to support them for much longer than if we invested in early intervention in the first place.
It's morally wrong to turn your back on such a vulnerable population.
Elizabeth Bailey Dyer
No matter how tongue-in-cheek it might sound, I am convinced that if California's traffic-enforcement officers were to stop and fine all of those drivers still using their cellphones and all of those who fail to use their turn signals, the budget deficit would be a thing of the past.
Lewis A Redding
I am sitting here staring at the added budget cuts listed in the paper, and I cannot contain my grief and worry over what this is going to mean for our Golden State and its citizens.
The picture of Schwarzenegger happily signing away shows me a person of immense privilege who does not understand (or connect with) the impact these cuts will have on real people, on California's most vulnerable populations.
Reading the paper these last few weeks, my level of distress has been immense, but this was an especially grim blow.
Schwarzenegger's terrible budget deal for California reflects his delusional nature. His insistence on spending cuts that harm real people with real needs rather than taxing SUV drivers and smokers and text-message users and the rich plays into his 1980s fantasy about what it means to be a Republican.
Forgive this second-generation Republican, but I'm ashamed and fed up with the governor's rigid mantra of "no new taxes."
Now, facing worldwide recession, we're close to seeing our economy steered onto the rocks. Time for some drastic changes.
Roger A. Wells