Letters from our Readers: Quality pre-K education will pay off down the line

I am a mother, a longtime San Franciscan, a taxpayer and a homeowner. Families in America today face an inadequate patchwork of prekindergarten programs. Only one in five children has access to state-funded, voluntary pre-K. Children who start behind are likely to stay behind. We can pay now for quality pre-K or we can pay more in the future to cope with children who need special-education classes, get held back a grade or drop out of high school.

Janice Bressler , San Francisco

Erroneous editorial

I have downloaded and examined the text of the House health care reform bill. I was especially interested in the claim from your Nov. 6 editorial that any adult would be fined or imprisoned for not buying government-approved health coverage. I could find nothing saying that in the legislation.

In fact, on page 1,576, any enrollee is guaranteed the right to opt out of any health plan within the first year of enrollment, without penalty. I don’t know who did your research, but that editorial seems completely in error.

Allan Edgars, San Francisco

Stop denying gays rights

I am a gay man who has been a hard worker for more than 20 years. I am also a law-abiding citizen. As the old cliche goes, “I pay my taxes.” So why should I not also have the same workplace protections that all other Americans take for granted?

Virgil J. Angulo, San Francisco

Rein in defense spending

While the nation’s attention is focused on the proposed health care reform bill and its huge financial impact, runaway defense spending continues unchecked. The Pentagon’s 2010 budget is a staggering $704 billion — 55 percent of all discretionary funding. This exceeds the total budget for all 48 states that are projecting deficits.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were launched with virtually no debate and are widely regarded by many Americans as tragic mistakes. These ongoing wars have cost in excess of $915 billion, an amount that would probably cover “Medicare for all” for the next 10 years.

Federal funding of states continues to fall while defense spending increases disproportionately. During the past seven years, defense spending increased by a whopping 41 percent while underfunded domestic programs such as health care and education continue to suffer.

Tej Uberoi, Los Altos

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