On Jan. 4, I was surprised to see three letters to the editor from people condemning Rep. Kevin McCarthy for voting against the "fiscal cliff" bill and thereby neglecting his constituents. The following day, I read an editorial condemning the congressman for voting his party line and betraying those he represents ("McCarthy voted for party, not district," Jan. 5).

I wonder if either the letter writers or the members of The Californian's editorial board are aware that the "fiscal cliff" bill did not include a continuation of the payroll tax deduction, and that people's paychecks will be less starting this month, in spite of the fact that income tax will not increase. For example, a family with a $50,000 annual income will get $1,000 less in take-home pay than last year. A family earning $200,000 will have more than $200 less a month in take-home pay. Could it be that McCarthy really had his constituents in mind when he voted his conscience? Sometimes, it is wise to look before one leaps. That could apply to letter writers as well as editorial board members!

Robert D. Sherwood