Gas tax hike would be a disasterIn the Sept. 23 Forum...

Forum

October 14, 1991

Gas tax hike would be a disaster

In the Sept. 23 Forum, Walter Schneckenburger proposed a $2 a gallon tax on gasoline and diesel fuel as a means to reduce consumption. This would be a disaster.

Using 40 gallons a month (which I use just to get to work) at the current price of $1.13, for example, costs $45 per month. A $2 tax will increase the bill to $125. That is an increase of $80, which I, and many others, cannot afford.

Schneckenburger suggested a higher gas tax would generate enough money for a 5 percent reduction in Social Security taxes. This would save me $80 a month, but the profit from the fuel tax will not go to Social Security. It will go to other programs. I am baby-boomer and worry about the viability of Social Security when I retire ` particularly under this plan.

In addition, a higher gas tax would force railroads and truckers to pay more for fuel, which would translate into higher fees to haul the goods such as food and clothes. This means that we, the consumers, would pay more.

Moreover, if the gas tax were raised $2, public transportation systems would have to raise fares to cover their fuel expenses. And low-income people, who rely on buses, would suffer. The tourist industry would suffer as well, as people cut back on traveling. Power stations would pay more, too, which would result in higher energy costs. Already, many Americans have trouble paying their heating bills.

I agree with Schneckenburger that we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. But a better tack would be to explore alternative fuel sources. Stop waiting for OPEC to raise the price of a barrel, and do it now.

Mike Jayroe

Baltimore

Senate hypocrites

Shame on the United States Senate! The black leaders and white liberals who expect Judge Clarence Thomas to be perfect -- when they clearly are not -- should be judged by how they judge.

I see nothing but hypocrites in the Senate who are trying to destroy this hard-working ambitious and intelligent black man. His enemies, who conspire to destory him, and their pawn -- Anita Hill -- should be also judged as they judge him. Senators Kennedy and Biden and the five who were involved in the saving and loan mess have no right to sit in judgment of Clarence Thomas, for their sins are worse!

Perhaps The Evening Sun can better serve the nation by focusing attention on the judges who sit to judge Clarence Thomas' fitness to sit on the Supreme Court.

Charles Walker

Baltimore

More lessons

In his engaging causerie, "A few of the lessons learned in three score and 10" (Other Voices, Oct. 2), Milton Bates says lesson No. 1 is "Don't assume anything." Because a car shows a blinking left-turn signal, he writes, doesn't mean the driver will turn left, or at all ` especially if the driver is using a car phone.

As one well into the golden years (a phrase probably originated by some dreamy nut in his 30s), let me also offer a few lessons learned:

1. Never let go of what you've got until you've got hold of something else.

2. The good life is a matter of asking the right questions of the right people at the right time at the right place and getting the right answers. Trouble comes when we ask the wrong questions of the wrong people at the wrong time at the wrong place and get the wrong answers.

3. Important: Always know what you're going to do next! That precaution applies to everything we do, both little and big, from lift-off to splashdown.

4. Don't ask a barber if you need a haircut.

5. It's not whether you win or lose, but how you place the blame. (Grantland Rice, revised.)

If you find something you really like and it really works well, buy a lifetime supply they're going to stop making it.

7. A shaky peace is better than a steady war.

8. When you ask for advice, you usually know the answer but wish you didn't.

9. When in doubt, use a bigger hammer.

10. If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

Wells Mears

Baltimore

Endangered rights

In The Evening Sun's zealous campaign to prevent private citizens from owning guns, you should remember one thing.

If the Second Amendment can be circumvented, what's to prevent the First Amendment from being next?

0$ All in the name of public order.

Thomas Burnham

Baltimore

Tough times

During the Depression, teachers and other city employees in Baltimore took a 10 percent pay cut and every other street light was turned off to save electricity.

On the up side, phone calls were a nickel, a 10-ounce glass of beer was a dime and rye whiskey was $2 per quart.

The Depression lasted until the onset of World War II. Let us hope that this one is over soon.

Howard H. Green

Baltimore

Budget squeeze

The state of Maryland is in the throes of a budget squeeze. It has been said that this has been caused by reduced revenue due to the recession. Possibly so. But the primary cause is the gradual inexorable proliferation of state programs and bloating of state employment rolls. Government continues to grow at the expense of the governed.

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