Pyramid SchemeEditor: I read with interest two of your...


January 08, 1991

Pyramid Scheme

Editor: I read with interest two of your editorials Dec. 7. One, ''Painful Choices in Annapolis,'' concerned our state budget. It stated that the Persian Gulf crisis has sent tax receipts plunging more rapidly than at any time in 50 years. The other, ''Easing the Credit Crunch,'' blamed that crunch for worsening what President Bush has labeled a serious slowdown.

I have not heard anyone address the fact that all during the 1980s every other bank in the nation was sending every United States resident credit card upon credit card.

My daughter was in college and not working when she was offered a pre-approved $5,000 credit card. Tell me how she could have even begun to pay back such nonsense?

We have created a pyramid scheme or almost a chain-letter reaction. Everyone ran up those credit cards to the hilt, then got another card and another. Why not? It was there without even asking. Buy now and pay later.

I think later has finally come. There is no more credit for a lot of people.

They were using one credit card to pay another. Then on top of that, every other person got a home equity loan when they were brain-washed into finding a tax loophole. Now they had more money to buy more things.

Guess what? The piper needs to be paid, and 10 years of reckless spending is about enough. It just happens to coincide with the war in the Persian Gulf.

The economists, bankers and everyone else who allowed our country and people to go into such debt should get their heads out of the sand. I think we should slow things down and let people get out of debt.

I have to wonder as everyone discusses laying off people, how that will help. Those laid-off people will go on unemployment or welfare.

They certainly won't be buying much to help the sales tax revenue, plus they will also probably go past due on all their credit purchases.

I think it makes more sense to keep people employed some way or another, (a la the 1930s) and cut down on all the frivolous spending our federal, state and local governments have created.

Janice K. Rasey.


No Gulf War

Editor: Our last best hope to avoid war in the Gulf is Congress. With President George Bush's simplistic threat to "kick Sadam Hussein's ---," it is clear that he will not climb back down from the precarious limb he chose after the November elections.

This nation would taint itself with the brutality of Iraq and its leader, if we were to opt for war at this time, in the face of the powerful testimony we have heard for reasonable alternatives.

Former Joint Chiefs chairmen and secretaries of Defense have advised giving economic sanctions and diplomacy a chance to work. I daresay that they are at least as knowledgeable and as dedicated to peace and stability in the Middle East as the president.

While the White House may be focusing on Mr. Hussein's rear end, Congress should be more concerned about our soldiers' lives; hopefully the legislative branch will be responsible to the serious doubt that has been cast on the option of military force. Our senators and representatives should be very mindful of the assessment of Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf, that any Gulf war would be an all-out battle that would last six months or more.

This is the hour for Congress to assert its constitutional responsibility for declaring war. The president must not be permitted to abuse his power as commander-in-chief by preempting the rightful role of the legislature. The opportunity is clearly present for a deliberate decision by our representatives in Washington to vote war up or down.

Let the nation speak to the world through its Congress and say: We, in concert with the international community, propose to turn around Iraq's aggression and remove the threat of its arsenal. We shall achieve these goals by all available methods short of war. The new world order we seek requires respect for the sanctity of human life. In the context of the destructiveness of modern weapons, this means the moral courage to say, "No," to what might be catharsis but is neither wise nor ethical.

Robert D. Katzoff.


No German

Editor: A recent letter from Gerald H. Kessler asked, ''Is it not time for the name of Redwood Street to be changed back to German Street?''

No, it is not.

ladys Fishman.



Energy Sources

Editor: The draft energy policy options prepared by the Department of Energy for President Bush are foolishly slanted toward increasing production of energy from non-renewable sources. Consideration of renewable energy source development or encouraging conservation through efficiency or reduced demand is practically non-existent.

Policy options before the president include incentives for oil drilling, and an oil import fee is proposed which would encourage draining U.S. reserves even faster than they are presently being exhausted (at present rates U.S. reserves -- including estimated undiscovered oil -- will be gone by about 2023).

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