TSU's SpendingEditor: Your editorial of Oct. 19 that...


November 17, 1990

TSU's Spending

Editor: Your editorial of Oct. 19 that extolled the virtues of Towson State University President Hoke Smith's budget cuts has me wondering if you looked to see exactly what programs were cut. Dr. Smith deserves much of the credit for the advances TSU has made in recent years. However, I feel that he now deserves much of the blame for what is happening on the campus.

Towson State's budget was cut by 6 percent this year, resulting in a loss of about $3.3 million. Library hours were immediately cut by a drastic 18.5 percent. This radical cut in the most important campus facility only resulted in a net savings of $11,000, according to University Provost Robert Caret. That means that cutting the hours resulted in saving 0.3 percent of the needed $3.3 million. What a bargain.

The university has also eliminated teaching positions and dropped degree requirements for some majors. Professors are forbidden to use the Xerox machines to make class handouts and there is now a limit on material that faculty can put on reserve in the library. Actions like this can only serve to throw Towson State back to the days when it was known as ''York Road U.''

It is interesting that the state still has money left over to hire former porno star Taylor Dayne to sing at Homecoming and to give Dr. Smith a whopping 17.6 percent pay raise (he now makes $120,000 plus car and a housing allowance). I guess you have to have priorities in life.

Joe Montalbano Jr.


S&L Oversight

Editor: Throughout the 1980s, the Congress liberalized laws controlling the savings and loan industry with virtually no hearings or debate. This was particularly true in the Banking Committee of the House of Representatives. It allowed a 150 percent increase in deposit insurance and massive deregulation the industry to become law without testimony, debate or votes in the committee.

The national media yawned and looked the other way. The costs of this congressional and media apathy are monumental.

In its Nov. 5 edition, The Sun suggested a return to this ''vote now, disclose later'' philosophy. Your editorial notwithstanding, a billion request for new funds for the Resolution Trust Corp. deserves full hearings in an open forum.

Contrary to The Sun's contention, this was not an attempt to question the administration ''once more about the S&L debacle,'' but an effort to find out how the agency -- for which $57 billion is sought -- is performing currently.

Billions of tax dollars hinge on how well the bailout is administered. Neither the Congress nor the media should allow the administration to dodge its responsibility to disclose the facts about its stewardship of this massive bureaucracy.

Your editorial is wrong in stating that there will be a ''long delay'' or that $3 billion will be added to bailout costs. As the administration was well aware, there remained $18.8 billion in borrowing authority for RTC -- without further congressional action. After a week of political game-playing -- presumably the source of your $3 billion number -- the administration conceded this fact and announced that it would use the $18.8 billion for its current operations.

I have announced oversight hearings on RTC for the first week of December as well as the day after Congress is sworn in next January. On completion of these hearings, the funding request will be considered. Meanwhile, RTC has ample funds to continue its operations.

Henry B. Gonzalez.


The writer, a U.S. representative from Texas, chairs the banking committee.

No Common Sense

Editor: Jack Levin argues that a simple majority (51 percent) of Congress should be adequate to override a presidential veto. This lacks common sense.

Since bills are passed by a simple majority in Congress, the veto would be meaningless if it could be overridden by the same majority vote. Only the president is elected by the nation at large and the veto enables him to consider the national interest, while congressmen need only consider their parochial interests.

Eliminating the requirement for a two-thirds majority to override a veto would reduce the presidency to a mere administrative function and destroy any incentive for national leadership.

Wesley L. Michael.


Fiscal Beauties

Editor: Does the House need to spend $375,000 to renovate its beauty parlor? I think not. They don't even need the beauty parlor. All they need to do is to think of their fiscal spending excesses. Surely that's enough to make one's hair curl ten times over.

Ruth Fried.


'McTofu' That Idea

Editor: I am shocked and dismayed that The Sun would print such tripe as Llewellen H. Rockwell's Nov. 13 article, "McTofu Anyone?"

Not only are his comments ludicrous, they are also inaccurate. Mr. Rockwell correctly states that Styrofoam does not biodegrade. He then adds, "But so what? Rocks don't biodegrade either" and that we should be comfortable walking over buried Styrofoam just as we are walking over buried rocks.

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