Raising taxes to ensure quality of life
Your Nov. 1 editorial, "Hard Fiscal Choices," says it all. While Schaefer-bashing and down-sizing have become dominant themes in the public dialogue, the time is long past when the governor had control of the allocation of additional spending. In fact, within the past six to eight months, the governor has been in total compliance with his legal responsibility for pruning and cutting total spending.
As a recent immigrant from New York, by way of New Jersey, I find that, while Maryland's property taxes are substantial, the income tax is at a 7.5 percent maximum, and the sales tax at a relatively low 5 percent. As long ago as 1980, for example, New York had a 14 percent income tax maximum and a 7 percent sales tax.
I have come to know Maryland as a state with concern and compassion. How can anyone truly say that a 1 percent increase in the maximum income tax, a 1 percent increase in the sales tax, broadening the sales tax base, and a 2-cent increase in the gasoline tax would be an unbearable price to pay for knowing that Maryland cares, and that Marylanders stand ready to face up to their responsibilities.
I see no license for restraint-free spending in this set of initiatives. I see a determination to set our house in order and to get on with our lives. In the long run everyone will benefit. The net result would be minimized levels of pain, statewide. And isn't that what it is all about?
What do you say about a nation that makes a constitutional and political issue out of prayer in the schools and yet allows 26 percent of its children to live in near destitution? Or what of the unnumbered street children and teens who are homeless in the United States?
The United States is 25th in the world in the fight against infant mortality. Japan, by contrast, leads the world in this fight. As for the elderly in America, they lack catastrophic health-care
coverage, and to be eligible for government assistance for long-term nursing home care, they often must sell all they own.
The bad blood between the Tamils and Hindus goes back at least 1,000 years. Civil war has ebbed and flowed ever since, but today it rages more violently than ever.
Amnesty International is working to draw attention to the thousands of cases of arrest,disappearance and extrajudicial execution of Tamil people by the Sri Lanka army since the resumption of fighting between the Sri Lanka army and the Tamil Tiger guerrillas in June 1990. The minority Tamil population wants independence from the Sinhalese-dominated government in Colombo.
People who are concerned about human rights should write to the Sri Lanka government asking it to adopt measures to halt further human rights abuses. The security forces of Sri Lanka must learn that the world will not allow them to violate human rights with impunity.
In reference to the letter of Oct. 15, lamenting the loss of shrubs and crops because of deer, there is a very humane solution to the so-called "existing problem." Simply provide hay for the hungry deer, and the "graceful animals" who harm no one can still be enjoyed.
I fail to see how someone can enjoy animals, yet suggest sneaking up on them to drive arrows into their "graceful" bodies and seeing them running in fear and suffering with arrows imbedded in their flesh.
It was once said, "a thing of beauty is a joy forever," and surely these animals are beautiful. There are many animal lovers who would be glad to help finance this approach if it were made known.
If America is to become "kinder and more gentle," then why not begin now? Eliminate carnage and suffering and substitute peace and tranquility, which is certainly a far better sight.
What was saved?
This year's daylight-saving time will soon end. What was saved? Will it be deposited in a sound savings and loan association? Or bank? At what rate of interest? Just kidding, but maybe daylight-saving time should end for good.
It was recently reported that Harford County (and possibly others) are considering raising the assessment cap to 10 percent. This, it is argued, is necessary to offset reduced income.
This is patently absurd in light of generally reduced property values. Many homes and other properties are selling at prices below that of three years ago.
The politicians will be hard-pressed to explain such a move to their constituency should they elect to follow such a theory.
Back River discharge
I would like to correct a statement made in an article in The Evening Sun on Oct. 17 ("Sewage plants blamed for pollution excess"), wherein a state official was quoted as saying the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant was not now meeting its discharge permit.
The plant is meeting its discharge permit, and, since April 1990, has been doing better than the permit requires by as much as two times.