House tax plan will ruin the local economy
I was appalled by your editorial "Revolt in the House" (March 25). The House of Delegates members you termed "misguided and irresponsible" should be hailed as heroes for opposing the ill-conceived tax plan put forth by the Ways and Means Committee and recently confirmed by the full House.
Are you aware that Maryland's personal income tax is already the fourth highest in the nation, that business is the economic engine that creates jobs, that the wealthy already pay more than 50 percent of their income in taxes?
The House tax package suggests "class warfare" when it calls for still more taxes on the corporate sector and the so-called rich. It will do great harm to economic development efforts -- and jobs -- throughout Maryland.
The solution is not to tax the drivers of our economy, but to spend within our means. Only as a last resort should tax increases be called for, and those should center around broadening the sales tax on cigarettes, alcohol and gasoline. That would spread the burden equitably, as the Senate has proposed.
Hats off to the Arnicks, Masters, and Bartenfelders of the world who will not be strong-armed into irresponsibility and who have the courage to "stand up and be counted."
Richard E. Hug
In May of 1990, the Fort Meade Coordinating Council, a public advisory group set up by the "Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1988" passed by Congress, recommended that 9,000 acres of land at Fort Meade be given to the Fish and Wildlife Service and that Tipton Army Airfield, also at Fort Meade, be converted to general aviation use.
For several reasons, I believe that the field should be converted to a GA airport as expeditiously as possible. First, there is no other publicly-owned GA airport in the Baltimore/Washington corridor. The closest such field is Martin State, well to the northeast of BWI.
Second, Tipton can serve as a general aviation-only reliever for BWI. BWI is sufficiently crowded that the airspace surrounding it was recently changed to a TCA (the most regulated terminal airspace there is). As a reliever airport, Tipton would help alleviate the congestion, with its associated problems.
Last, Tipton is already operating. This means that the conversion could be accomplished cheaply, yet the economic benefits to the region would be significant. Besides money that is pumped into the local economy by users of the airport, the field would add revenues for the local and state governments and add jobs to the region. Regional businesses and government agencies would use Tipton for their aircraft, instead of BWI (with its congestion and delays), as Tipton would better serve their needs. Please keep in mind that Tipton is already operating -- handling helicopters, light planes, and small turboprops -- and this type of aircraft is what would continue to be served at a public airport.
With such a valuable economic tool at the area's disposal, it would be a shame not to take advantage of it as quickly as possible.
William K. Lehmann
How's this for a classic case of putting the cart before the horse? I paid $20 to purchase a sticker to allow me to park in front of my own house. This is to give me preference over people looking to park their cars during a ball game. However, the ball game goers don't know that they can't park because the signs prohibiting them from parking will not be erected until some time after opening day.
Teachers are not "just whining" because their pay is being NTC cut. That's done and we have to find a way to cope with it, even if we don't like it. When you become a teacher, you certainly don't expect to be rich.
But now you're messing with our kids! That instinct that will tolerate a lot for myself rebels when I realize the things that will impact on "my kids" if government does not see education as a priority. A society that does not look to the future of its children sends them a message -- "you don't matter."
When we teach children the values of honesty and respect for each other and their world, isn't it hypocritical when much of society doesn't regard them in the same way?
The writer is an art teacher at Pleasant Plains Elementary School.
Out of control
In your editorial of March 23, you state "The whole judicial system needs to be overhauled." On March 26, The Evening Sun has on the front page an account of the release of two innocent men incarcerated in California for 17 years. On page 20, there are quotes from two "prominent defense lawyers" including one by E. Kenneth Mundy, stating "prosecutors and police are flippant about defendants' rights to a fair trial." The first story would certainly back up this statement.