Letters to the Editor: Oct. 24, 2012

Romney’s Past

Geoffrey Dunn’s story (“The Book of Romney,” Oct. 10) presents information so important in this election, information I haven’t seen anywhere else. I hope you are able to distribute it to print sources in battleground states ASAP!

Santa Rosa

Double Yes Vote

Many people are (justifiably) confused about which one of the dueling education tax revenue propositions, Proposition 30 or Proposition 38, to support at the polls. One measure relies mainly on increasing sales taxes to fund the sorely strapped educational system. The other measure relies on increasing income taxes to do the same. There are other, relatively minor, differences. But here is the rub: each proposition needs a majority vote to win, and if each one gets more than 50 percent, the one with the most votes triumphs.

Conventional wisdom says vote yes for the one you like and no for its competition. But voters beware: voting yes for one measure and no for the other vastly increases the probability that both measures will lose!

The logic is simple. Assume that 60 percent of the electorate wants to increase funding for education. But, influenced by hair-splitting campaign mailers, the voters split down the middle, and 30 percent vote for Proposition 30 and 30 percent for Proposition 38, and both lose. Or they skew 45 percent vote for one measure and 15 percent for the other, and both lose.

If education supporters split the pro-education vote, both measures are almost certain to lose! They only way to reasonably ensure that funding education succeeds is to vote for both propositions. Then, assuming that most people support education, one proposition will win majority approval by a small number of votes, which is vastly superior to both propositions losing. Get it?


Around the Way

I really do not understand this nostalgia (pre-nostalgia, actually) for standard intersections controlled by traffic signals (“Hail Traffic Control,” Oct. 17). They are far more dangerous than roundabouts. Studies show that roundabouts reduce injury accidents by 75 percent. Vehicle through-put is improved, too.

via Online

More on Proposition 38

The proponents of Proposition 30 claim that if we don’t vote yes on 30 and no on 38, billions of dollars in education funding will be “cut” from the state budget. This is inaccurate.

The truth of the matter is that the state passed an unbalanced budget in which expenses exceed revenue by about $6 billion. Proposition 30 seeks to raise $6 billion in revenue so the budget will then be balanced. The defeat of Proposition 30 will not result in “cuts,” because the state can’t cut something that it doesn’t have. If Proposition 30 doesn’t pass, the Legislature will be forced to live within its means and pass a balanced budget.

Proposition 38 also seeks to raise revenue, but unlike Proposition 30, the money raised by 38 goes into a special fund that can only be spent on specific expenses, such as K–12 education. Schools would receive funding above and beyond currently mandated amounts. So even if the $6 billion reduction in general fund spending were to occur, the revenue generated by Proposition 38 would make up the difference.

If you really want to help increase funding for schools, vote yes on Proposition 38.

Santa Rosa

Dept. of Beans

A photo of the Petaluma Gold Rush bean in our Oct. 10 issue was printed without credit; let it be known the photo was taken by David Baldwin. Incidentally, Baldwin owns the Natural Gardening Co. in Petaluma, where one can purchase the fabled bean, along with many other organic plants and seeds, locally. See www.naturalgardening.com.

It’s Harvest Time

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