I really must comment on the recent Sunday front page article regarding Art and Joyce Espinosa (“A dream foreclosed,” Feb. 13).
I am only privy to the facts presented in the article and don’t really want to appear to be piling on their woes, but what was this couple thinking when they took on $500,000 in debt on the cusp of retirement?
Unless they had a huge nest egg to draw from, which apparently they did not, it seems their misfortune is self-inflicted.
To now infer that the banks, and therefore indirectly you and I, should assist them to keep a home they never really could afford is absurd.
No business buying
The recent feature story on the couple who is losing their home through foreclosure is very sad (“A dream foreclosed,” Feb. 13). It’s sad that a couple in their 70s would have been foolish enough to have an interest-only loan. This fact alone tells me that they had no business buying a house that they could not afford.
Thirty-five hundred dollars a month is a very hefty payment. The bank had no business loaning them the money in this situation. The foreclosure crisis has been blamed on the so-called greedy bankers and Wall Street executives, but the bottom line is that people took out loans they could not afford.
This may sound hard-hearted, but I do not want my tax dollars going to help out these folks in this situation. Why should the taxpayers be expected to bail out these people? Why should they receive the benefit of principle reduction because they made poor financial decisions?
The taxpayers have revolted recently in the rise of the tea party. And until the bailout mentality is stopped, the tea party movement will only continue to flourish. It’s too bad this couple had to learn the principles of sound financial decisions the hard way and this late in life.
Words and deeds
Thanks for the column regarding the so-called super patriots (“Here’s how to be a true patriot,” Feb. 12)! It is amazing how many people think that flying a large flag or repeating a pledge makes them actual supporters of their country.
How come there are laws regarding the flying of the flag, such as keeping a light on it at night or keeping it in good condition, but McDonald’s or other patriotic companies can fly their flag right below it?
And what does the national anthem have to do with a sporting event other than to motivate the crowd to guzzle beer and get pumped enough to cuss out the other team? Words have no meaning without deeds (action).
San Luis Obispo
That one kid
Remember that kid in high school who would always write something controversial in English class, just to get some attention? I always wondered what happened to him and now I know ... he writes for The Tribune under the silly moniker of Joetopia.
In a recent commentary, Leonard Pitts Jr. analogized American exceptionalism to a giant that was once intelligent but became stupid and oblivious (“Evolving backward, Feb. 2). His impetus for the yarn was a statistical report documenting the inadequate teaching of evolution in the public schools. Couldn’t he have found a more relevant stupidity than teaching evolution?
It is stupid:
To use police tactics to deal with violent international drug trafficking and terrorism when our national drug habit pays for the trafficking violence.
To import foreign energy and export billions of U.S. dollars because we lack the intelligence to use our own energy resources without damaging the environment.
To believe for the last 20 (and probably the next 20) years that not using our own energy will expedite development of clean and renewable energy as foreign energy becomes prohibitively expensive.
To think that annual debt increases of more than a trillion dollars will lead to anything other than national bankruptcy.
To keep troops at war in Iraq and Afghanistan and on site in England and Germany as our country inescapably heads toward bankruptcy.
To not control illegal workers in America by not monitoring employers that use this cheap illegal labor.
As we all cheer Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ recovery, I have a question for those people who have called for the repeal of the new health care program.
If you suffer a serious injury, will your insurance cover the surgeries and physical therapy that Giffords is receiving or will some insurance company bureaucrat (instead of your doctors and therapists) determine when your recovery is complete?
A murky realm
I too would like to know why Atascadero’s recent police chief, Jim Mulhall, received a cash payment of $126,000 to leave his job (“People deserve to know why police chief left,” Feb. 8). I don’t really care why he left, I just want to know why he got the money.
I have been an Atascadero resident for almost 20 years, pay Atascadero taxes and as a citizen, it behooves me to know where my money goes. In the murky realm of possibilities, Mulhall might have made a deal with some city bureaucrat and they cheerfully split the money (though I doubt that is the case).
We need transparency in this city and we should begin with this payment. This “personnel issue” is absolute balderdash. City Manager Wade McKinney should be required to tell us the truth.
It is an insult to raise California’s taxes again. More than 540 agencies, associations, authorities, boards, branches, bureaus, caucuses, centers, commissions, councils, departments, divisions, offices, panels, programs, services, units, universities and colleges have been identified that are supported by taxpayers. What happened to “California performance review” recommendations? Scuttled!
This bureaucracy needs slashing coupled with spending cuts. Three issues are given below that scratch the “iceberg.”
Cut the salaries, pensions and housing of university and college presidents, chancellors and administrators to re-allocate funding for K-12 teachers, transportation, supplies and equipment. Is a salary of $350,000 for Cal Poly’s new president inflationary?
Restructure the failed bloated California lottery within the state. Also, players should not win more than $100 million when $10 million is sufficient. All savings should go toward education, as was the intent.
Close the California Department of Housing and Development. Our counties, cities and villages know best what their development capabilities are. This department was created because of influence by lobbyists from the real estate industry and developer and building associations.
Starting mass layoffs and dismantling bargaining statutes may force cooperation of politicians, unions, management and special interests. States, to date, can’t file for bankruptcy.
Thanks to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, I’ve realized now that I want to change my political party. I am switching from Republican to Democrat.
Limbaugh, in many countries, would be arrested for treason. He didn’t even give President Barack Obama one day before he started tearing him apart and it is sickening to listen to.
Beck is almost as bad and is a harbinger of gloom and doom. Recently, speaking about the Egyptian uprising, he predicted, in so many words, the end of the world as we know it.
And Palin, well, she is the frosting on the cake. I absolutely cannot stay with a party that could possibly see her as Commander-in-chief of all our military forces. Good grief, can they be serious? A Girl Scouts troop, maybe, but the United States?
I’m outta there.
Kochs’ dirty deeds
They waited until the election was over and the dirty deed done, but a recent Los Angeles Times article finally revealed how the Supreme Court’s ruling declaring corporations as “persons” that could give unlimited funds to politicians of their choice helped one corporation buy the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Oil, coal and gas billionaires David and Charles Koch gave $310,000 to the current committee members, who are now staunch promoters of the destruction of the Environmental Protection Agency that oversees the Koch’s core energy business.
One committee member hired a former Koch Industries lawyer as his chief of staff. Its new chairman, Fred Upton, received $20,000 from Koch employees and has reversed his moderate approach to environmental issues, now leading the charge against the EPA, releasing a draft bill that would end the EPA’s ability to curb carbon emissions, thereby relieving the Kochs of the “burden” of paying millions of dollars to reduce air pollution under current regulations.
The irony is that, as a privately owned business, Koch Industries is one of the often-cited “small businesses” (defined by the number of owners) the GOP is determined to deregulate to stimulate the economy.
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave.”
We have the power
Many of the comments on the article about the county climate change meeting on Thursday showed a high level of frustration with government. I hope people don’t forget that we are the government.
We vote people into office and we can vote them out. We have opportunities to make our voice heard and the upcoming meeting is one of them. If you’re concerned that the government is wasting your money, attend the meeting and provide some good ideas.
Climate change is a serious problem, and while it can’t be solved only by San Luis Obispo County taking action, each one of us shares the responsibility. We will need to innovate at every level (local, state, federal and international) if we are going to address the problem.
Acting now at the local level is an essential part of the global solution. I hope no one underestimates what a dire problem we are facing around global warming or how much good can come from our county providing a positive example.
San Luis Obispo