So let me get this straight: Hoyer was embarrassed by Colbert’s testimony?
Well, gee, most of us are embarrassed by the Democrats’ lack of leadership, lack of focus and their allowing the minority party to run the show.
Whether or not one agrees with Colbert’s “in character” presentation style or feels that style was somehow disrespectful, what was made very clear is how out of touch, arrogant, pompous and selfsatisfied many of our elected officials seem to be.
Not only did many of them not “get it,” but it was totally over their heads.
There is apparently no limit to the ways this Congress will find to waste our money and their time.
I guess all the serious work has been done.
Can sales taxes really wait?
Re “State is owed sizable sum in taxes,” Sept. 28
Your article regarding the amount of unpaid sales tax owed the state is truly shocking. As a small-business owner, I dutifully pay my sales taxes to the Board of Equalization every quarter. Now I see there is evidently no reason to do this. There seems to be no real penalty (you mention “subject to fines for missing payments”) for holding on to the tax money paid to us by customers. Is this any way to run a state?
It’s no wonder that I haven’t been able to receive payment on an invoice that the state has owed me for more than four months. Thank you for your latest expose.
In your article, Peter Welch of the California New Car Dealers Assn. views the idea of shortening the time car dealers have to remit their sales tax to be unacceptable because, as he puts it, they would be “fronting” the money to the state.
If I’m not mistaken, that money belongs to us, the taxpayers of California. By allowing dealers to pay monthly or quarterly, we are in effect giving them an interest-free loan.
Perhaps in this time of tight money and budget shortfalls, the state should offer this option: keep paying on a monthly basis, along with interest for the short-term loan, or remit the tax at the time of the sale with no interest due.
Though it is certainly important to collect sales taxes already paid to merchants, how about demanding sales tax on interstate Internet purchases?
As a retailer here in California, I am at a severe competitive disadvantage with out-of-state retailers who don’t collect sales tax as I have to.
California needs the money; I pay my sales taxes, but I am losing a lot of sales to retailers outside California who don’t collect sales tax. Is that fair?
Lake Forest, Calif.
Our parks and Proposition 21
Re “Parks vs. budgeting by ballot,” Column, Sept. 27, and “Prop. 21, the wrong solution,” Editorial, Sept. 27
An $18 yearly surcharge, added to car registrations and meant for the dedicated purpose of maintaining our jewel of a state park system, would amount to a few cents a day for residents with a car. And the sites would be saved from disrepair and decline.
State legislators are clearly unable to pass any budget, let alone one that protects these world-class natural places with all of their precious geography, wildlife and history.
Should we be working furiously to protect children in poverty, the frail elderly and many other public needs as well? Of course we should, but in the meantime, waiting for legislators to get their act together on behalf of all of our needs is like waiting for snow at the Salton Sea.
Sometimes, when things get dire enough, triage is necessary.
Your editorial doesn’t emphasize the difference between Proposition 21and the ballot-box budgeting initiatives that hound Californians every election.
Proposition 21 provides for a new, independent revenue source and thus won’t take away from other programs. Accordingly, I disagree that Proposition 21 helps parks “at the expense of, say, medical treatment for children.”
Of course we should raise revenue in “a way that allows the state to allocate money to the programs that need it most in a given year.” But it has been impossible for the state to come to any meaningful agreement between cuts and new revenues. We clearly need comprehensive structural reform in Sacramento.
I for one am not willing to wait until the state gets its act together and properly supports our woefully underfunded parks. I’m voting yes on 21.
I want to thank The Times for recognizing the misguided good of Proposition 21.
As an avid hiker, I spend a great deal of time in our mountains, beaches and state parks. Yes, parks have been underfunded for years and maintenance delayed. But they are not closing and toilet paper has not been eliminated.
Though your editorial made salient points about the fiscal realities of Proposition 21and the long list of worthy public benefits that could also be funded with the vehicle license fee, you left out one of my greatest concerns: the consequences of allowing free, unrestricted and uncontrolled access to our beaches and hiking trails.
It has been my experience that people respect what they pay for. When parking lots are a “free for all,” it attracts people looking for a place to “hang out” rather than for a nature experience.
This is simply the wrong approach to a good cause.
Although your arguments against Proposition 21 have merit in the long term, “later” is not an option to fixing the problems with the state budget. Now is the time to take a stand and protect our state parks and beaches — the people’s resources. If the Legislature continues to abdicate its responsibility, we the people will continue to take things away.
At the Phil
Re “The L.A. Phil’s leader, sans baton,” Sept. 26
Reed Johnson wrote a very inspiring article on Deborah Borda, the president and chief executive of the L.A. Phil.
Only in L.A. can architect Frank Gehry call the conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic “the Dude”: “She’s totally committed to the Dude.”
I love it.