Share The Austerity

Readers write

April 03, 1991

From: Bill D. Burlison


Much play has been given to the proposal by the governor to reduce the welfare for the poor by 5 percent. It is said the purpose of this suggestion was to coerce the legislature into a tax increase. Thistheory is given legitimacy by the fact that the governor withdrew his plan when the alleged coercion did not work.

The fact is that the proposal was a good one, but for a different reason. It was sound public policy to reduce government spending at a time of state fiscal shortfalls. In addition, as I have emphasized for years, there is a lot of fat and waste in the welfare programs that demand legislative investigation. The legislature's response is always more taxes and more spending and more welfare.

So we should cut welfare for the poorand provide incentive to work.

However, that is but the tip of the iceberg. Again, as I have stated for years, we should reduce welfare for the middle-income and wealthy. We should erase our embarrassment as the only remaining state to practice the anachronism of education patronage. As documented by (Washington) Post and Sun investigativereporters, our legislators provide college scholarships to the families of their friends, supporters and relatives. There are no scholastic and need requirements, as in the case of the State Scholarship Program. There is no groundswell of opposition as virtually every middle-high income family in the state is, has been, or will be a beneficiary. The legislature has this boondoggle up to $7 million now. They are increasing it again this year.

Finally, legislative District 30is proving what I have argued for years, i.e., two delegates per district is more efficient and cost-effective than three. We could save scores of millions of dollars a year and not impede proper representation.

"Austerity" is in the eyes of the beholder. There is no austerity in our state today except for our hard-working citizens who paytaxes but are not in on any of the rip-offs.


From: John R. Leopold


During our state Senate campaign last fall, my opponent, Philip C. Jimeno, strongly defended his vote in favor of legislation that legalized slot machines for use by fraternal, religious or veterans groups on the Eastern Shore.

I therefore noted with interest Jimeno's recent vote on the Senate floor against similar legislation legalizing slot machines in Harford County.Fortunately, this ill-advised bill was defeated by a vote of 22 to 25.

Especially noteworthy, in my view, in light of the closeness ofthe vote, was the fact that Jimeno voted for the Harford County slotmachine bill in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on March 18, but flip-flopped and voted against the bill on the Senate floor nine days later.

Editor's note: The writer is a former member of theMaryland General Assembly.

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