Letters from our readers: Budget plan eliminates worthy social services 

As part of his budget plan, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed eliminating In-Home Supportive Services, the state’s fastest-growing social services program, which pays caregivers to help the disabled and the frail elderly. Nearly half a million disabled Californians get subsidized home care.

Without IHSS, many current clients would be forced to move to skilled nursing centers that accept Medi-Cal patients. At an average expense of $55,000 a year, nursing homes cost five times as much per IHSS client. The number of skilled-nursing center beds has dwindled through the years as IHSS success has grown at helping the elderly continue living independently.

Ted Rudow III, Menlo Park

Poor example for Obama

It was ludicrous for your May 13 op-ed to present Henry Clay, the “Great Compromiser,” as an example for President Barack Obama to emulate. Ol’ Henry used President Andrew Jackson’s manifest-destiny doctrine to remove the southeastern Indians and make the Compromise of 1820 possible. Slavers then greedily eyed the lands west of the Mississippi.

Then, after President James K. Polk’s Mexican War, the Compromise of 1850 attempted to expand slavery into formerly Mexican territory. And when it came to tariff reductions, Henry caved in to South Carolina’s seditious attitude and helped set the stage for the Civil War.

Gordon D. Robertson, San Francisco

China’s real role in policy

The American people should not be shocked by China’s interjection into Arizona’s immigration policy. This is Obama’s Asian race card. China is being positioned as the champion world “liberator of oppressed peoples,” bonding with people of color against the West. The great irony here is for the past 40 years, the U.S. has outsourced its manufacturing to China and India, thereby lifting 400 million people from poverty. China gets our jobs and then instructs us about social policy. Such a deal!

Philip Melnick, San Francisco

Cargill affects all of us

As a Menlo Park resident, I may live closer to Cargill’s proposed new city of 30,000 people than Redwood City Mayor Jeff Ira and Councilman Jeffrey Gee of Redwood Shores. Yet, they have implied that Menlo Park and other cities’ concerns don’t matter.

It is time for Redwood City officials to stop being defensive about regional concerns over this project. It does not require an expensive, time-consuming environmental study to know that this massive Bay-fill development would have major implications for the entire Peninsula.

It is past time for Redwood City officials to acknowledge that this is a decision that affects all of us.

Pat Walker, Menlo Park

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