Letters from our Readers: Government support for transit nothing new 

Your Feb. 1 editorial, “Rail grants show DC’s ears plugged,” raises the issue of high-speed-rail profitability. Perhaps the writer thinks Interstate 5 is profitable? Doesn’t he know the airlines would make no money at all if not kept afloat by government support of airports and the rest of the system?

David Anderson, Hillsborough

Trains are smart option

In checking with Rail Europe, I find that train fares between Paris and Avignon — roughly the same distance as S.F. to L.A. — range from $82 to $164 for a 2 hour 40 minute ride. No one is going to be able to drive from S.F. to L.A, in that amount of time.

And a quick check of Expedia now shows air fares between S.F. and L.A in the $117 to $174 range. What is wrong with trains that take you city center to city center, something airplanes can’t do? Also, all forms of public transportation are subsidized in one form or another. Even your private car is subsidized by government-built highways.

Irving Q. Waldorf, San Francisco

SF politics at its worst

Some things never change in San Francisco politics, as Ken Garcia’s column pointed out Wednesday. Why anyone is surprised about this sudden rush to implement new park-shadow legislation when The City faces record deficits, job losses and empty shops is the real story.

This is not about the parks, the sunshine or the shadows cast by new high-rises. It’s about S.F. machine politics at its worst — with a long vendetta against one specific development proposal pulling the strings.

Lynn Jefferson, San Francisco

Steps to reach solvency

President Barack Obama inherited a recession, which is partly responsible for his record $1.6 trillion federal budget deficit. But Obama’s new “pivot” to fiscal prudence comes after a huge spending binge and is one year too late.

Obama’s advertised “spending freeze” is little more than a political marketing gesture. It does not take effect until 2012, applies to only 17 percent of the budget and “saves” a meager $15 billion in the first year.

If Obama were serious about out-of-control federal spending, he would immediately drop the health care bill, cancel the unspent stimulus spending from last year, kill the $150 billion new stimulus that has now passed the House and bar all repaid bailout cash from being respent.

Jim Hartman, Berkeley

Chance for energy shift

In the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called for “a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.”

We are at the threshold of a new opportunity, promising new industries, new jobs and a secure energy future of our country. Now is the time for our elected leaders to heed the countless voices here in California and work together on meaningful and comprehensive clean-energy policies.

Boyer C. August, Hayward

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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