Prop. 13 and government power
I read the poll; the question asked simply if the president had knowledge of the 9/11 attacks beforehand.
Anyone who knows of the daily briefing that warned of Al Qaeda hijacking airplanes could reasonably answer yes. The question did not imply that the president was “in on” the attacks.
Ted Salins Richmond, Va.
I have heard of but have not seen this poll indicating that many Democrats believe Bush was aware that the 9/11 attacks would happen. It is a sad commentary, but it does illustrate how many Americans think poorly of Bush.
Still, it seems shortsighted to accuse Democrats of being crazy for believing this. Doesn’t Goldberg remember when most Republicans believed that Iraq was involved in 9/11? Were those Americans considered to be crazy, or just victims of dishonesty by our government? And Goldberg wonders why many Americans distrust Bush. Steven Johnson
With Bush’s approval rating hovering around 30%, Goldberg devotes a column to a possibly “serious” problem for the Democratic Party. What the devil is that tune he’s whistling in the dark? George Miller
Los Osos, Calif.
It is sad that Goldberg maligns many Democrats for being suspicious of Bush knowing about 9/11 beforehand. Many people, including respected academics, believe that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had prior knowledge about the Pearl Harbor attack but needed a reason to get into World War II. Many who believe this still have respect and admiration for him as a president.
If history has taught us anything, it is that people need to be suspicious of the reasons why governments start wars. Robert E. Griffin
Forty Fort, Pa. Re “Government by bake sale,” Opinion, May 13
Ezra Klein takes a whack at Proposition 13, saying it has deprived government of revenues needed for basic services.
We know that Proposition 13 is to a big spender like sunlight is to a vampire, but this is just nonsense. Repeated studies have shown that after adjusting for inflation and population growth, all levels of government have more money than they did before the passage of Proposition 13. California already ranks in the top 10 states in per capita taxation, and we support, according to the U.S. census, the highest-paid state employees in the nation.
There is plenty of money to provide essential services while continuing the protections that Proposition 13 provides. We already have given bigger government a chance, and it has shown itself to be wholly inept with our money. Jon Coupal
President Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn.
Thanks to Klein for pointing out this deception that conservative “privatizers” have been foisting on us for decades: Under-fund, mismanage and defang all government agencies and use their predictable failures as evidence that everything should be privatized.
They love to claim that private systems offer more freedom. Many Americans, however, do not consider consumer freedom anywhere near as important as political freedom; and political freedom — having a voice in your own democratic government — means nothing if that government lacks the power to effect any change. Andrew Matthews