The gas guzzler tax bill in the Maryland General Assembly has captured my interest.
The federal government's luxury tax essentially destroyed the jobs of many workers in the boat industry -- and the government actually realized a loss of tax revenue due to the lack of purchases.
This gas guzzler bill, along with the proposed nickel increase in the gasoline tax, is being proposed during a time of very tenuous employment for the American auto industry. Sales are low and major auto manufacturers are losing revenue.
There is a significant possibility of the state government repeating the experience of the luxury tax, which could translate into loss of tax revenue, further slides in the new automobile purchases and the potential for loss of jobs in the automobile industry.
General Motors was very kind to Maryland in not closing its plants in the latest announcement of cutbacks. If this legislation passes, the company may not be so kind to our state in the future.
Gregg S. MacDonald
The New Ballpark: Schaefer and the Critics
It is time to stop beating on Gov. William Donald Schaefer. I read in this paper that Governor Schaefer might not go to the opening game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. That would be a shame for the state of Maryland. Governor Schaefer was the driving force behind the stadium and saw the project through in spite of loud opposition. Now that the project is completed, "on time and within the budget," it seems that everyone was in favor of it from the beginning.
It is too easy to blame Governor Schaefer for the bad economy and budget problems. The fact is that Maryland is doing quite well in comparison to nearby states. The United States is in a serious recession. Maryland has a comparatively low unemployment rate. Maryland, thanks to the comptroller and the governor, still enjoys one of the best credit ratings in the United States.
The right way to judge the governor is not on his interior decorating skills, or his ability to smooth people over, but on his leadership during a difficult time. He is not a faceless bureaucrat afraid of his shadow, but a real human being. His administration has been untouched by any scandal. He has maintained a good overall standard of living, and it is the very personality traits for which he is criticized which have enabled him to see the stadium and the light rail project completed.
Douglas H. Legum
On March 27, you ran an article taking a quick look at some "point/counter-point" arguments surrounding the new stadium. The article plainly reinforced the obvious. "The stadium is here."
Apparently it is here in spite of some rather strong opposition. For example, a 1987 petition containing 44,000 signatures requested that the issue be put to the voters. In conjunction with that petition, a Sun poll indicated that if this referendum had been held, Camden Yards may not exist today.
However, due to the wisdom of the Court of Appeals, these attempts at a referendum were squelched, which is "due process" in a government "of, by and for the people."
Your article further examined the well-known arguments of how Baltimore needs a professional football team and how the Orioles must stay here if we are to maintain our major league status. I found another article of equal interest stating how state officials were downplaying Maryland students' low test scores on a recent proficiency test.
But that is old and repeated news which we don't need to hear again, do we?
In any case, baseball season is upon us, and we are the focus of national attention due to our new and magnificently built stadium. Indeed, it is beautiful. However I still wonder about its foundation.
R. G. Wood
Missing the Point
Regarding the City Council bill to impose an incinerator moratorium, The Sun's March 28 editorial seems to be missing the point.
The issue is very simple. The city could close the Pulaski incinerator in East Baltimore and still have more than enough capacity at the BRESCO incinerator for all municipal waste. And the citywide recycling program is just getting under way.
Why build another polluting trash burner when none is needed -- unless the goal is to make Baltimore the dumping ground for other people's waste?
The bill doesn't stop incineration, it stops more incineration in Baltimore City, a distinction seemingly lost on The Sun's editorial writers.
Terry J. Harris
Democracy in Action?
On March 12, our Maryland history classes from Broadneck Senior High and Arundel Senior High took a field trip to the State House in Annapolis. We observed both the House and the Senate chambers, as well as various House committee hearings.
During our trip, we were shocked to see so many legislators eating, socializing, reading the newspaper, talking on the phone -- basically not paying attention -- while these meetings were in process. This inattentive and inconsiderate behavior left us completely appalled.