Scrooge-like attitudes pervade U.S.In "A Christmas Carol...

the Forum

December 19, 1991

Scrooge-like attitudes pervade U.S.

In "A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens' misanthropic protagonist asks, "Are there no workhouses, are there no prisons" for the destitute? Today, a Scrooge-like attitude toward the less fortunate seems to pervade middle- and upper-class America. We pay about half the taxes of citizens of other industrialized Western democracies. In many of these societies, health care, child day care and other services that we pay dearly for are essentially free. Contrary to popular belief, with talent and enough hard work one can make a very good living in these societies as well. For what it's worth, virtually no one freezes to death on sidewalks during brutal winters in Toronto and Stockholm.

I, for one, would not particularly mind a modest tax increase that is, if it were intended to mitigate the misery of the children, the elderly, the sick and the helpless, engendered by that ill wind of rapacious greed that blew into Washington in late January 1981.

Bill Canter

Baltimore

CCC worked

I was dismayed by Blanche Coda's diatribe against the the formation of a new Civilian Conservation Corps to help combat unemployment and delinquency among today's youth (Forum, Dec. 11).

I, and many other former CCC-ers from the 1930s era, can vouch that because of CCC service, we became better workers, family members and citizens. Most of us were ready and able, in fact, partially trained, to serve in our armed forces during World War II. I do not know anyone who is more patriotic and more concerned about their fellow human beings than the former members of the "C-s," who are joined together in the National Association of CCC Alumni.

If our words and examples are not enough, the legacy of the CCC exists in our great national parks, such as Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah. Closer to home, we can enjoy Elk Neck, Fort Frederick and Washington Monument state parks, all thanks to the work of the CCC.

Ms. Coda's ideology blinds her to the great good the CCC and other New Deal programs did for our country.

Ed Strakna

Columbia

Tax and spenders

In 1965, the state instituted the infamous piggy-back tax. The primary reason given for this tax was to alleviate the property tax burden. This makes no more sense today than it did when we were told this huge lie by our ridiculous leaders.

Property taxes, of course, have not been held in check since the piggy-back tax was instituted. This tax was just another measure by which the powers that be could pick our pockets, and there has been no let up. All Marylanders now have to brace themselves for another assault on their pocketbooks by the gan in Annapolis.

The governor, of course, will not be up for re-election after this term in office, but any member of the legislature who supports any tax increase should be removed from office by the voters.

Kenneth W. DeVaughn

Middle River

Too many people

Overpopulation is a direct cause of the world's social and environmental problems. There are 5.5 billion people in the world today and they are literally cannibalizing the planet that sustains them.

Ronald Reagan denied family planning funds for any country that practiced abortion to control birthrates. President Bush continues that irresponsible policy, which only adds to the world's problems. History will no doubt judge them both very harshly.

Our elected politicians should restore family planning funds to the U.N. and stop caving into pressure groups that are not attuned to today's realities. Andy Rooney said on a recent segment of "60 Minutes" that there are more people living today than have ever lived in the history of mankind, and ended by saying "enough already."

Albert Antonelli

Baltimore

Waiting for George

With Christmas here, the United States has no economic plan, and George Bush is to blame. Bush says he wants to wait until his State of the Union address to let us in on his plan to unlock the U.S. economy. It must be one great plan to overhaul the mess we're in now!

Justin M. Mascari

Monkton

Forgetful

Carolyn Colvin seems to be in the same mold as Clarence Thomas.

Black conservative Republicans from humble beginnings, who have reached a high place in the bureaucracy, have forgotten from whence they came and have adopted the attitude, "I've got mine; you've got yours to get."

Harry E. Bennett Jr.

Baltimore

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