Sales TaxI was somewhat amused at your Feb. 6 editorial...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 16, 1992

Sales Tax

I was somewhat amused at your Feb. 6 editorial espousing the proposal to increase the sales tax base on the basis of tax equity and revenue enhancement.

There is certainly no tax equity involved for the consumer who pays the tax, especially the taxpayer on the lower economic scale, who pays a larger proportion of his income in this regressive tax than more affluent citizens do.

Granted, the sales tax is a dandy revenue enhancer, but increasing its base will only place an increasing tax burden where it does not belong.

Rene J. Gunning Sr.

Baltimore

Haiti Policy

Editor: Charles Green's Feb. 23 Perspective article, "Take Back 'Your Huddled Masses . . . Wretched Refuse of Your Teeming Shore'," was moderately even-handed, yet carried a negative impression of the administration's handling of the situation.

Having just returned from working as a civilian volunteer with the military, I was impressed by the way that our people are tending to the needs of the refugees while living under less than ideal conditions.

Our military people are feeding them three fine meals a day, while providing medical and dental services. Having served in Haiti, I know the refugees have better water and housing than most had in Haiti.

It was heart-warming to see the soldiers playing with the children and going out of their way to make life more enjoyable for the refugees.

I came away feeling proud to be an American and to know that our government is doing a good job in a difficult situation.

James H. Greeley, D.D.S.

Baltimore

Obscene Costs

My wife has a physical ailment which requires that she wear custom, made-to-measure support hose. Two pairs of these hose cost $250. I can have five custom, made-to-measure dress shirts in 100-percent Egyptian cotton for $250. I cannot believe the hose are as expensive to make as the shirts.

My granddaughter has severe cerebral palsey and is required to spend most of her time in a wheelchair. The wheelchair is made of metal tubing with a specially padded seat. The wheelchair is not motorized. It must be pushed. It costs nearly $3,500; yes,nearly $3,500. I can buy a new motorcycle for $3,500.

I find that many products which have to do with health care are highly over priced. Is it because the costs are covered by Medicare or other health insurance?

Look at the values of the businesses which provide health care or health-care products. Someone is making an obscene profit.

Kenneth Goldberg

Baltimore

Irish and Haitians

As an American of Irish descent, I take great insult at KAL's Feb. 4 cartoon depicting American sailors of Irish descent forcing the Haitian refugees back to Haiti.

The cartoon insinuates that only European immigrants are allowed to enter the United States. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The United States has recently allowed some Haitians to immigrate. There are limits to the number of immigrants we can accept. Just as every Irish person who wants to immigrate here is not accepted, every Haitian who wishes to immigrate here cannot be accepted.

It is not a matter of race; it is a matter of economics. In these time of high unemployment it is unfair to accept a large amount of immigrants when the people who already live here cannot find jobs.

KAL owes every Irish-American an apology for this insulting, racist cartoon.

Patricia Blair

Lutherville

Celebrating St. Patrick's

During the upcoming commemoration of St. Patrick's Day, those who plan to celebrate with friends and family and enjoy some cold beer should remember two rules of thumb to help make this holiday safe and memorable: Drink responsibly and use a designated driver.

Naturally, the designated driver is no replacement for responsible drinking.

Before we go out celebrating with friends, select one member of your group who will agree to refrain from drinking and drive the other members home. It's simple, but effective.

According to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation, drunk driving fatalities have dropped 13 percent since 1982 -- progress that we believe is attributable, at least in part, to Americans' increasing use of designated drivers.

George J. Acton

Baltimore

Evidence

A front-page article in the Sunday Sun suggesting "that recovery is almost here" is so fallacious that it is tantamount to perpetrating a fraud upon your readers.

How can anyone accept this story as fact when:

* Your chart on existing home sales indicates a rise of 0.9 percent in sales. However, the fact remains that the number of home foreclosures far exceeds the number of home sales.

* Your chart of leading indicators, also up 0.9 percent, is countermanded by the fact that although a few businesses have increased sales, most did not. Bankruptcies, which have reached an all-time high, also invalidate that figure.

* The rise in construction spending is significantly diminished when we consider that the number of vacancies in both commercial and residential properties is astronomical, multiplying at an alarming rate and causing more slums than ever before.

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