Dear Editor,

I attended the Valley Transportation Authority meeting on the coming service reductions and am glad I did. I learned that the current service will be reduced by 8 percent to save money and balance their budget. I also learned that the employees will take off one day a month to cut the payroll costs by 8 percent. Also they have agreed to a two-year salary freeze. It appears that the VTA employees will be paid 5 percent less, but do 8 percent less work. Interesting. Where is the benefit to the riders or the taxpayers? I don't see any. The benefit is to the VTA employees because there will be no layoffs. That is not a cost savings, or a budget cut.

I retired from a large corporation after 30 years working in cost accounting, budgets, and new business proposals. During the last 15 years or so of my career the world got more and more cost competitive and there were many changes to the corporate cost structure. Lots of layoffs and lots of cost saving. When I started working at the company we had 100 percent paid health care with no co-pays, lots of paid sick leave, liberal vacation, retirement, a savings plan, and paid overtime for all employees union and non-union.

In about 1990 things started to change, including lots of layoffs and cost cutting to meet the competition. Over the years, we started paying for health insurance. Co-pays started, then increased, and increased again. Salary increases got less generous. Retirement benefits were reduced


and then eliminated for new employees, uncompensated overtime was started, vested sick leave was replaced with sick leave offsite by unpaid overtime. Lots of cuts, but most of us kept our jobs. All the other corporate employees had similar cuts to compete with the foreign workers so we could keep our jobs. We also were expected to do a lot more in the same amount of time and we did. New computers helped but stress went up a lot. Got the flu? Who cares? Come in anyway. We did.

It's time for the government employees to do their part. The rest of the work force can no longer afford to pay excessive salary and benefit costs for the one in seven workers who are government employees. The non-government employees will need to work the rest of their lives so the government employees can retire with near full pay at 50, 55 or 60 years of age.

That is part of what the current town hall meeting anger is about. It's an American style revolution.

We need to get realistic about public employee benefits. We need to stop paying anything for illegal immigrants' benefits except free bus trips to the border. We are funding it all with debt. Does anyone believe that foreign governments will send us any foreign aid? The foreign governments will stop buying our bonds soon. That will leave only one more source of money. The government will print it, equals inflation. It should balance out in about 15 years when one dollar will buy about one quarter of one of China's yuan (dollar now is worth about seven yuan). How much do you think a product from China will cost then? It won't matter to China as its domestic market will sustain them as ours once did as they don't have any debt, only investments. China is busy buying up our natural resources. They are big time buyers in Canada and Africa too. It's a fact.

We must start someplace. The VTA is a good place as we will all need those buses when gas is $15 a gallon and small cars cost $100,000.

-Dan Manassau, Milpitas