Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: Endorsements

An easy choice

Your choice of Sam Blakeslee should have been easy given the present condition of California (“Sam Blakeslee is the best choice for state Senate,” June 13). Our decadeslong Democrat-controlled state legislature is the origin of most of our problems.

Blakeslee should be applauded for his restraint on taxes, since our citizens and businesses are not under taxed. The deterioration of California’s economy has been concomitant with increasingly burdensome regulation, spending, taxation and public-sector growth. Unless these issues are addressed, our economy will underperform.

The private sector drives our economy, providing the resources consumed by the public sector. Taxation and regulatory policies that retard the private economy curtail the resources available for the public sector.

Thus, ever-increasing taxation leads to slower economic growth, leading to lower tax revenues, higher tax rates, further slowing of economic growth, etc., ultimately producing economic stagnation.

The tax eaters and legislative spenders don’t appear to understand these basic economic facts.

Blakeslee understands how the economic issues facing California should best be addressed to ensure long-term economic viability. Frankly, I don’t care much about Blakeslee’s positions on other matters, because if we don’t turn California around soon, the rest won’t matter much.

Fred C. Hoey

Creston

Out-of-kilter tax

For many San Luis Obispo County retired employees, their pension is almost all of their income.

I figured out what percentage of my county pension I pay in state and federal taxes, and it is 11 percent.

Then, the other night, it was reported that the net profit of Exxon Mobil last year was $45.2 billion. I Googled that to discover how much they paid in taxes, both state and federal. My Google source reported they pay nothing in state and federal taxes, zilch. Exxon Mobil says it does but won’t release its tax documentation. If they paid state and federal taxes at the same rate as some San Luis Obispo County retired employees, they would pay $4.97 billion.

We all pay sales taxes.

What is wrong with this picture? We desperately need representatives in Sacramento and in Washington, D.C. who recognize how skewed this picture is. Exxon Mobil alone can’t make up our deficits, but add all of the other multi-billion-dollar profit corporations, and it will certainly make a significant dent. Our schools, social services, infrastructure and provision for the general welfare will certainly prosper.

I support John Laird for state senator because he recognizes how out-of-kilter this tax picture is.

Shirley Bianchi

Cambria

Need an advocate

Sam Blakeslee is alleging in his campaign literature that he is a supporter of our schools. He has represented us for six years in the Assembly, including being in a leadership position.

During his terms, more than 400 local teaching positions have been cut, more than 200 school-support positions have been cut, more than $40 million has been taken from local school district budgets and our class sizes have increased by 30 percent.

We do not need this kind of support. We need a strong advocate for the needs of our students rather than the needs of a political party.

Julian Crocker

San Luis Obispo County Superintendent of Schools

Message received

The Tribune’s endorsement of Sam Blakeslee for state Senate brought back fond memories of their endorsement of Jerry Lenthall in his failed bid for a second term on the county Board of Supervisors (“Sam Blakeslee is the best choice for state Senate,” June 13).

Fans of Tribune endorsements will recall that you essentially endorsed Lenthall for another term on the Board of Supervisors because he had learned from his mistakes.

Now we have your Blakeslee endorsement, which notes his “hard tack to the right,” his “contribut(ion) to California’s partisan gridlock” and his support for offshore oil drilling in state waters that “has been limited to the Tranquillon Ridge project off Santa Barbara.” (Whew!)

And you “hope he’s not just playing to his moderate constituency” when he pledges not to go on being the way he’s been.

Thanks, message received. I’ll vote for John Laird, named by the San Jose Mercury News as the most effective legislator in the region in 2008. I think he’ll go on being that.

Susan Harvey

Paso Robles

Key factors

I strongly encourage voters in San Luis Obispo County to vote for John Laird for state Senate on June 22. Laird understands how critical it is for California to achieve progress in higher education, because education is the fundamental factor in which an individual can achieve upward mobility.

Currently, California ranks 40th in direct high-school-to-college enrollment rates in the United States, and young adults in California are less likely than older adults to have graduated from college.

Furthermore, cuts to education have made community colleges and CSU and UC schools less accessible and attainable to Californians.

According to projections from the Public Policy Institute of California, by 2025, California will have a shortage of 1 million college graduates needed to meet the projected economic demand. This will have a grave fiscal impact on our state. Laird is an educator, former community college trustee and University of California graduate.

Laird understands that our schools are a key factor to our state’s future success. If elected, he will work to end the gridlock in Sacramento. Please join me in voting for John Laird on June 22.

Andrea Devitt

San Luis Obispo

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