Society pays when parents do not
Thank you for publishing Rosalie M. Scalia's Aug. 23 essay, "Scoffing at child support." Nationally, the taxpayers shell out $60 billion annually for food stamps, housing, medical assistance and other benefits to families in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program.
About 90 percent of these families receive benefits because of non-payment of child support by absent parents.
Aside from the immediate financial burden to taxpayers, there are the non-welfare families struggling day-to-day to make ends meet without financial support from deadbeat parents.
Many barely keep a hair's breath ahead of eviction, hunger, loss of utilities and medical crises.
When custodial parents work long hours to support their families, the children without supervision get into trouble. Then society pays for the problems we hear about daily in the media ` teen pregnancies, substance abuse and street crimes.
Elaine M. Fromm
The writer is president of the Organization for the Enforcement of C Child Support Inc.
We hear on TV and read in the papers how the state is in such dire financial trouble and that the answer is more taxes. Here are some questions:
What happens to all the money collected from the daily lottery, lotto and instant sales tickets?
Or the money collected from the tolls on roads, bridges, tunnels?
Or from the sales tax?
Or money from gasoline taxes?
Or from sales of wines, beer, liquors or the taxes from the 5 million people who visit Maryland each year?
Judge Clarence Thomas should not sit on the Supreme Court. A product of affirmative action, he now opposes it, in effect saying, "I got mine; now it's root, hog, or die." His record at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was, to say the least, questionable. He gutted the agency, leaving it practically impotent. His reliance on "natural law" means that the law is just what he says it is.
His admiration for Louis Farrakhan, the black George Wallace, is very scary. Do you want a Supreme Court justice who admires a racist?
Howard H. Green
One solution to the problem of underused (and thus revenue-wasting) reserved parking spaces for judges, City Council folk and other VIPs would be to install time-limited meters at such locations and continue to permit vehicles with official ID decals to park for free.
This way no VIPs would gain the use of such space for short stays; the city would gain the revenue the meters would create; the various VIPs would still enjoy an almost 100 percent chance of getting an instant parking space and at most would have a very short wait for short-metered parkers to move.
A. Robert Kaufman
Message to women
As I read about the anti-abortion protests in Wichita, Kan. (and elsewhere), these questions run through my mind: Who do these people think they are? Who appointed them moral arbiters? What makes them think they should decide what's best for women in our country? And why is our president in their corner?
These individuals are irrational and dangerously misinformed. This is not a religious or moral issue; it's an issue of women' reproductive freedom.
I shudder to think what lies ahead. We have an apathetic president who wants abortion outlawed. He vetoed civil rights legislation that would guarantee fair treatment in the workplace. His message? Women don't deserve equal rights, and they shouldn't be allowed to make their own reproductive choices. It's terrifying.
No more taxes
Governor Schaefer has been singing rhetoric about higher taxes for some time. This does not make him right. Regardless of what the experts and the federal government say, the recession is still going strong. With such a weak economy, and everybody scraping to get by, tax increases of any kind will wreak havoc.
Have our legislators so quickly forgotten the anger over taxes that was vented in the last election? Listen to what is being said. We are expected to pay more taxes income, sales, gas, etc., and get fewer services?
The state government is going to "downsize," but heaven forbid if any state employees are laid off or fired. How is that possible? It isn't. We are told that there is no more to be cut from the state's budget, yet we are to somehow come up with the requested funds from our overburdened paychecks. Where must we cut back on our money for the gas and electric bill? Maybe they think we can get by without luxury items, such as food. The line must be drawn somewhere.
The proposed tax increases will only worsen the situation. With less of a usable income, people will spend less and save less. As the taxes bite deeper, those on the edge of poverty will topple over. As a result, more of a drain will be incurred upon the programs to be cut back, eating up any increased revenue. Last but not least, the increases will drive people and businesses out of state, eliminating sources of revenue.
The anger of the people over government mismanagement will continue to increase. Any faith we have left in this state will vanish.
All over the world, people are telling their grossly inflated governments that enough is enough, that they will not be bullied anymore. If things continue here as they have been, there truly will be a day of reckoning. One question remains: Who will it be for? If the government keeps pushing, I am afraid people will push back.