EDITOR: Here we go again. We are witnessing the periodic partisan political dance intended to convince us that the federal and state governments are trying to do something about huge deficits resulting from runaway spending. Anyone who believes that the tax increase people voted to give our politicians in Sacramento will help is delusional. This state is insolvent.
Our state politicians have accrued somewhere in the neighborhood of $618 billion in debt, mostly from pension and medical benefits promised to public employees. The federal government is adding
$1 trillion or more to the deficit every year, and they are arguing about cutting $1.2 trillion form the budget over a 10-year period. That would only reduce annual deficits by $120 billion on a budget that approaches $3.7 trillion.
If we do not force our politicians to get serious about this problem our dollar value will disappear, the dollar will be removed from its position as the world currency, and our standard of living will decline.
We need to become involved, we need to understand what our politicians are doing, and we need to elect people who understand and commit to fixing this mess.
KENNETH R. WILLIAMS
More school hours
EDITOR: Research says that students who spend more hours learning perform better, so five states are increasing school time (“Five states to increase school time in 2013,” Dec. 3). Those states already have 900 hours of elementary instruction required each year, and they will add 300 more. Statistics say that California elementary students are in school for 840 hours per year. California ranks 47th in expenditure per student and in test scores, too. How sad that is.
Urgently needed in California are more school hours. We need more student commitment to getting an education, more parent involvement, more after-school networking, and how about more students taking advantage of free online Kahn Academy classes? Kahn Academy classes can provide extra learning hours without cost. Try a class. Urge your student to try a class. Libraries have computers if your student does not have one. California education desperately needs to catch up with the nation and the world.