Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/27

Beyond belief

For those of us who worked until we were 65 years old, saved what we could for retirement and now receive a little less than $1,000 a month from Social Security, the retirement being paid to our public workers appears to be beyond belief.

Gov. Jerry Brown will soon be asking us to pay more in taxes. I say we should tell him to come back to us after he has reformed the public employee retirement boondoggle and then we will talk about increased taxes.

Josie Hyde

Morro Bay

Poly ‘benefits’

I’m not trying to single out the professor you featured on the front page Jan. 18, but I’m certain that he is not the only one at Cal Poly with these “benefits” (“His ancient alcohol”).

I question how much time he is personally in the classroom. Does the teacher’s aide handle more or all of his classes? What is his salary that permits him these special interests and investments? Is his course readily available each quarter? 

I’ve heard complaints from students who say some courses were not available and as a result, their ability to complete the requirements to graduate on time were affected.

Do we have a “corporate” operation at Cal Poly? According to your recent classified ads, we do. Our students (local, as well as out-of-state) deserve what parents pay for.  

Louise Justice

San Luis Obispo

The whole story

Larry Bargenquast (“Can’t fix stupid,” Jan. 25) blames liberals for Gov. Arnold Schwarzen-egger’s inability to fix the deficit. Speaking as a retired teacher, I will agree that public employee salaries and pension plans have grown to imprudent levels, but I draw his attention to a couple of details.

First, those same salaries and pensions looked much more reasonable when the economy was roaring and the state had money to burn. The teacher’s pension fund, for example, was fully funded until the recent near collapse of our inadequately regulated banking system.

Tax-strapped school districts and municipalities, struggling to recruit and retain staff, were tempted into offering attractive pensions in lieu of higher salaries. One can argue that they shouldn’t have succumbed to the temptation, but conservative reluctance to pay for needed services was a factor leading to the dilemma.

Second, we should not forget that conservatives chose to give back “surplus” revenue rather than stash it for a rainy day. Certainly, our revenue stream is unwisely dependent on economic swings. That needs to be fixed by changes to the tax structure or by establishing a rainy day fund (or both), but let’s not pretend that liberal spending is the whole story.

Bruce T. Bevans