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Opinion

Readers React: Cap-and-trade money for water, gas tax funds for ‘road diets’ — why do we trust elected officials?

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. - OCTOBER 26, 2017: Capitol building in Sacramento. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles
The state Capitol building in Sacramento
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: It truly is a mystery why the residents of California continue to vote for and trust their elected officials. (“California lawmakers are turning cap-and-trade into the slush fund critics long feared,” editorial, June 14)

Revenue from cap-and-trade taxes goes wherever the politicians think it should go (most recently, for water cleanups). Part of the money from gasoline taxes goes toward “road diets” that slow traffic. The list of misallocated and wasted spending goes on and on.

Why do hardworking people think that those who work in government are better at spending their money and making good decisions than they are?

Kathleen Taylor, Newport Coast

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To the editor: Gov. Gavin Newsom should be embarrassed by the “ludicrous logic” that justifies spending cap-and-trade revenue on water cleanup.

The changes necessary to dramatically shrink the state’s carbon footprint will be extremely costly if we rely on cap and trade. On top of that it will be the poor and middle classes that bear the brunt of the cost. Cap and trade is not the right policy to address carbon emissions.

We need to put a price on carbon when it enters the economy, with the revenue passed to Californians in the form of a monthly dividend. Such a fee and dividend plan will protect lower- and middle-class Californians from rising prices and drive businesses and people away from fossil fuels and toward conservation and renewable energy.

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Craig Preston, Costa Mesa

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