On the debt-ceiling debate; a pricey Cal State president; and Tim Rutten on the hate-mongers among us

How about an IOU?

Re “GOP revolt derails debt bill in House,” July 29, and “Countdown on Debt Crisis,” July 29

Dear Congress:

Last year I mismanaged my funds, and this year my family and I cannot decide on a budget.


Until we have come to a unified decision that fits all of our needs and interests, we will have to shut down our checkbook and will no longer be able to pay our taxes.

I’m sure you will understand.

Thank you very much for setting an example we can all follow.

Tom Ball


Santa Barbara

How ironic that the most extreme element in American politics is continually referred to as “conservative.”

Not since Alice encountered the Mad Hatter and March Hare have we seen such frenetic activity leading nowhere. We are about to run out of clean cups.

Donald Kerns

Garden Grove

What a grand illusion created by the “tea party” members. They seem to be willing to create economic chaos in order to inhibit government spending. Really?

Where were these folks when George W. Bush handed a multimillion-dollar national surplus over to the super-rich? Silent as tombstones.

Where were these folks when Bush gave the nation an unfunded multibillion-dollar prescription drug program? Silent as tombstones.


Where were these folks when Bush commenced a trillion-dollar unfunded war of choice? Silent as tombstones.

Now that the bill for all this unfunded spending has come due, tea party members one and all say: Forget the unemployed, the sick, the lame, the elderly, the vets — cut their programs or we will pull the plug on the entire economy.

This small, very loud and very well-financed minority wishes to destroy America as we know it —

to satisfy a commitment to an extreme and failed ideology.

Frank Ferrone

El Cajon

Times columnist Michael Hiltzik demands higher federal taxes. Times columnist George Skelton has twisted himself into a pretzel trying to think up ways to increase state taxes. I’m sure if I read local news, your columnists there would be thirsting

to get deeper into our pockets.


What is it about you liberals that you constantly need more taxes? Stop!

Paul Knopick

Laguna Hills

Re “The independents have it,” Opinion, July 26

An “independent” in my view is a voter who does not register as a party member, may vote for candidates of any party and may take ideas and attitudes from any party or other sources.

The “tea party” people hew to a rigid fundamentalist doctrine of “small” government, no tax increases for anyone for any purpose, and no compromise in governance, adhering to the principle of “our way or no way.”

They are just another political party, not independents, aligned mostly with the Republican Party.

Jerry D. Tate

San Gabriel

Re “Boehner is walking a knife’s edge,” July 28

Rep. Richard Nugent, the freshman Republican from Florida, made the childish statement that if House Speaker John A. Boehner’s bill passed, not only would the Republicans win but “the bonus is, the president loses.”

Wouldn’t it be great if a bill were proposed wherein the American people win — and nobody loses?

Mary L. Santoni

Laguna Beach

Given the incredibly complex negotiations that are already damaging our economy, I only need to know one thing.

Any party deliberately demanding to do this all over again in less than six months is only looking out for its political well-being and is totally abandoning the American people’s interests.

Jim Parsons

Canyon Lake

Sorry, but like many Americans, I’m fighting mad.

What about the millions of Americans struggling to survive? Rep. Nugent, they are the big losers: the people you were elected to represent.

Our debt-ceiling crisis should not be about defeating Obama in 2012. GOP leaders voted to raise the debt ceiling multiple times under President George W. Bush without turning it into a three-ring circus.

Morgan St. James

Marina del Rey

Angry at a Cal State salary

Re “Brown criticizes university hiring,” July 28

Finally, there is public outrage over the wage inflation showered on top administrators at universities and colleges.

If Elliot Hirshman, the new president of San Diego State, were a true leader in public service, he would have offered to take his new, prestigious position at the same salary as his predecessor.

Instead, he talks about being approached by other institutions.

Pretending that no one else can do a credible job for less only demonstrates how corporate culture corrupts even the most cherished public institutions. Of course, who sits on the boards of trustees and who serves as regents but valued members of the power elite?

Too bad that the students don’t protest and block Hirshman from setting foot on his new campus. But their minds have apparently been programmed with the false dreams of someday joining the graced inner circle that rifles their empty pockets.

Tom Tomeoni

Thousand Oaks

I have worked at a Cal State campus for more than 20 years in a clerical capacity. When I first started, administrators were homegrown. They came up through the ranks as faculty or staff. They were part of the campus community.

Then, during the dot-com bubble, things started to change. The concept of “market salary” took hold. As executive administrators retired, we launched expensive nationwide searches for the “best and brightest” to replace them. The “best and brightest” have been coming and going with brutal regularity ever since.

From my lowly perspective, where I see faculty denied instructional materials and many employees buying their own office supplies, they certainly look like hired guns.

Margaret Costello

Long Beach

Gov. Jerry Brown doesn’t like paying market rate to hire a new CSU president, but apparently he has no problem with public pension abuse. Oh, that’s right, those public employee folks put him in office, and keep him there.

Tom McLoughlin


How we cope

Re “Many in California doing without,” July 24

This article does a nice job of describing the choices that people are making during the bad times, but I’m more interested in what they did when times were good.

Did they buy more house than their incomes could justify?

Have they ever considered collective bargaining in their own jobs or did they laugh at the grocery clerks and cross their picket line a few years ago? Do they vote?

Those who made good choices when times were good are thriving now. Tight money has forced businesses to lower prices and compete for customers again. Am I the only one who hopes the downturn never ends?

David Hawkins

Anaheim Hills


Re “The maniac challenge,” Opinion, July 27

An excellent and thoughtful article. We cannot afford to give up the kind of society we cherish.

I believe that with technology we could find a legal and judicious way to attach “warning labels” to the sites that issue these poisonous diatribes; perhaps even some clever ridiculing of the site. We don’t prohibit the sale of cancer-causing cigarettes, but our government does issue warnings. We could do the same with these maniacs.

Ellis Katz


A cure for the common opinion

Get thought-provoking perspectives with our weekly newsletter.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.