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Mailbag: Control expenses first before reform

March 17, 2010

Should Rep. Adam Schiff be defended? For that matter, should President Obama be held liable for the national deficit, the stimulus plan, the bloated budget and the health-care-cost trends?

In his March 10 letter, “Representative trying to kill the economy,” Brian Stauffer expressed his fear of more deficits and demanded fiscal prudence for the sake of the future of our nation. I fully agree with his sentiments. Washington seems to have forsaken our financial future. But he might have his anger partly misplaced.

The stimulus plan and the banking bailout might well be the bitter pill we needed to swallow to avoid a massive economic implosion, or we would be facing 30% unemployment today.

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Credit is the lifeblood of an economy, and Washington started the reckless dismantling of banking laws that had put controls on speculation since the Depression.

The dismantling started with Bill Clinton and skyrocketed with George W. Bush. Now, rescuing the banks was like paying the bondsman to take your wayward son out of jail after he crashed your car and went on a buying spree with your credit card. The banks are paying back Uncle Sam by hiking up interest rates and concocting gimmicks to extract more money from their customers.

The health-care solution is an analogous problem. The Democratic plan forces people to buy insurance, but fails to address the true source of the problem with medical care today — uncontrolled expenses.

Republicans are right in one respect. An expanded medical system that lacks cost containment will send the federal budget crashing. But Republicans have not been good stewards of the budget nor prudent in their oversight of the two systems that the Democrats are now attempting to rescue or control.

Schiff should take this message to Washington: Control costs first and restore fiscal prudence. Put the squeeze on hospitals, insurance companies and all abusive practices. Then put the squeeze on credit card companies and establish true bank reform to protect consumers.

The public is fed up, and all incumbents should start taking notice.

HERBERT MOLANO

Tujunga

The other side of the AB 32 debate

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