Toss Them OutRegardless of which lever we pull for...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 07, 1992

Toss Them Out

Regardless of which lever we pull for president in November, the choice of which lever we pull for the House and Senate candidates should be obvious.

With a national debt that is unprecedented and people who are homeless and starving, we must remember a few facts about the members of the House and the 100 members of the Senate.

This is the elite group of parasites that enjoys free parking, free postage, 26 barbers at four hair salons, a state-of-the-art gym for a minimal fee, a top-notch health plan for about a quarter of the cost that we common people must pay.

Even with all of these perks (and there are more), they found it necessary in 1989 to vote themselves a 45 percent salary increase. It is my understanding that the average salary is now in the neighborhood of $129,000 per year and the pension is a veritable bonanza.

So why should we not dump the incumbents if for no other reason than to express our disgust with those currently in office who are milking the taxpayers of every last dime?

E.M. Fritz

Ocean City

Supreme Courting Disaster

Not enough is being said during the presidential election campaign about the United States Supreme Court.

As presently loaded with Reagan and Bush appointees, the court may or may not serve as a defense of the Bill of Rights. Sometimes it does; sometimes it doesn't.

Shortly after he was appointed, Justice David Souter had to make a decision about the gag rule on family planning clinics, which was then being challenged.

He asked questions of the government attorney that showed he understood perfectly that the rule was a violation of the First Amendment. Then he voted to uphold it. At that moment, he was being a loyal Republican appointee who had passed the tests in the selection process.

More recently, the Supreme Court ruled that it is legal for the United States to kidnap citizens of foreign countries and bring them to trial in this country.

The justices who supported that ruling said they based their decision on U.S. laws. There are international laws, and that decision made us international outlaws.

If the Supreme Court is an uncertain bastion of defense of the Constitution now, imagine how it will function if President Bush is given four more years to make appointments.

Carleton W. Brown

Elkton

Party of God?

During the 1988 presidential campaign George Bush wrapped himself in the flag; today, he and his party wrap themselves in the cloak of godliness.

If, as someone once said, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," I wonder what the appropriate term would be for those finding political capital in proclaiming themselves to be the party of God.

Daniel S. Lynch

Baltimore

Harford's Tipping Fee

In the past couple of months you have published several comments concerning Harford County's new solid waste tipping fee and recycling plan, including a letter from the county council president suggesting the tip fee was the sole culprit of doubling trash bills. We believe further background and clarification is needed.

Prior to this year, Harford County was one of three Maryland counties and the only "big seven" county which did not have a solid waste tipping fee.

Presently, we are the only "big seven" county to utilize private haulers who are not franchised to operate routes by the county government.

The other Baltimore metropolitan counties have handled this vital service to add control and flexibility.

The future costs of landfill closures, clean-up expenditures, construction of additional landfill cells and the prospect of locating a new landfill in the next 10-year period brought Harford County to the realization that a solid waste fee was necessary.

The approval of this fee in connection with the county's state-mandated (but unfunded) recycling program came with two basic truths.

We as citizens must pay to bury our trash. The tip fee revenues are dedicated to the solid waste fund solely for construction, clean-ups and recycling. The revenues do not go to the general fund.

Citizens should pay only for the amount of trash they generate. The citizen who recycles should not pay the same amount as a neighbor who does not recycle.

Upon implementation, however, many Harford County trash customers received bills with 100 percent increases, regardless of the amount they recycled.

The $35 per ton fee, when calculated to the ton and a half of trash generated by the average family, should result in a $3 to $5 monthly increase.

Theresa M. Pierno

Philip J. Barker

Barry Glassman

Bel Air

The writers are members of the Harford County Council.

Israeli Realities

The dispatches from your correspondent Doug Struck in Israel continue to be disappointing and irrelevant.

At a moment when Israel is taking extremely risky steps to emphasize its determination to make peace with the Arabs, the Arabs have made no gesture toward equivalent concessions.

Nevertheless, Mr. Struck is pleased to portray the Arab refugee problem as a dilemma which Israel alone can resolve (Aug. 30).

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