Out of Control
Editor: This is a response to the statements about the Maryland tax structure by R. Robert Linowes. The difficulty with Mr. Linowes' approving remarks with regard to the report of his commission is that the report itself does not fully develop and consider the economic effect on individuals.
Mr. Linowes talks about the infrastructure and other items of capital expenditure and correctly states that the longer capital expenditure is postposed, the more it costs when it is authorized. However, he fails to give proper emphasis to the following significant factors:
The General Assembly is not at all indifferent to these concerns; it reflects accurately the political fact that the people of Maryland have lost confidence in the management ability and fiscal prudence of the present administration.
Maryland is not a vacuum; while the Maryland rates for income tax have been static for well over 20 years, the federal income tax has risen. Furthermore, Congress constantly enacts specific programs for political aggrandizement of their sponsors which are inefficient, expensive, and concern matters that were, until recent years, left entirely to the states to fund or not. The overall tax burden on individuals (federal and state) must be considered -- not as Mr. Linowes does, considering only the state rates.
While Mr. Linowes bemoans the fact that individuals earning more than $50,000 pay a smaller percentage of their gross income as income taxes to the state than do persons with lesser earned incomes, this is a tautology. A millionaire pays a still smaller percentage of gross income as income tax to the state. Such a complaint treats the state income tax as if it existed in a vacuum apart from federal taxes, the state sales, real property, use and myriad of other state nuisance taxes such as the real property transfer tax. The fact remains that today over 40 cents of every dollar earned by every citizen of Maryland goes to the federal, state and local government.
This is the problem which the commission fails to address; that is why the views offered heretofore by Mr. Linowes are a distortion and an economic mistake. Government is out of control, and the only answer that our constitutional polity permits is to stop the flow of money. Then the people will, through the General Assembly, set the priorities.
George T. Tyler.
Would Table Chair
Editor: At the end of a March 30 letter, the editor adds: ''The writer chairs the Republican Party in Baltimore City.`
The neoteric use of ''chairs'' as a verb is a wince inducer that can spoil a leisurely perusal of the Saturday morning quiet persuader. It is indeed enough to provoke sharp twinges of copy nerves lasting from early morning until the house lights dim. What's coming next? Chairperson of the board? Chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?
It's heartening to note that, on the use of ''chairs'' as a verb, the New York Times stylebook objects. It advises as follows: ''Chair (v.). Avoid in the sense of serve as a chairman.''
Editor: On March 28 you ran a front page article on so-called conscientious objectors. The subhead of this article read, ''System grinds slowly for soldiers who decide they won't kill and seek to be discharged.'' I list below another subhead that I feel could have been used in place of the one you printed.
''System grinds slowly for those who voluntarily join the armed forces and then decide the armed forces are not for them when called to duty by the president.''
Also, I think it is ridiculous to even think that so called conscientious objectors should be given honorable discharges, as suggested by these individuals in your article. It seems that the majority of these individuals who voluntarily joined the armed forces finally realized that they object to what the armed forces do ''on the eve of their outfit's mobilization.'' If someone truly objected to the armed forces and what they do, they would have gotten out long before they were called to duty.
David W. McGlynn.
Editor: Like the Vietnam War, the gulf war was not allowed to come to its complete victorious end. The murderous dictator is still in power while the president makes excuses.
It seems the common people do not matter to the White House. It is only concerned when things are not in the power people's interest. Mr. Bush's aristocracy mentality is not in the Iraqi people's interest.
Radio: A Listener's Lament
Editor: It seems that the bottom line is killing Baltimore radio choices. It is frustrating to travel around the country and hear the greater variety of programming available in other metropolitan areas.