Tax sheltersIn 1989 and 1990, RJR Nabisco wrote off over...

the Forum

September 23, 1992

Tax shelters

In 1989 and 1990, RJR Nabisco wrote off over $3 billion in interest payments. Time Warner deducted $2.1 billion in interest payments. (1989 and 1990). The net operating loss write-offs are costing the U.S. Treasury billions of dollars.

Carnival Cruises has earned a fortune in our nation. They pay little or no income tax because their company was incorporated in Panama.

The tax rules and regulations won't be corrected just so long as the deal makers on Wall Street control the lawmakers in Washington.

Joseph Lerner


Advertising of tobacco should stop

As a physician, I am truly angered as I drive to work every day on the Jones Falls Expressway when a particular billboard that has always advertised cigarettes comes into view.

As I drove home from work recently, I noticed that a new advertisement for the University of Maryland Medical System picturing a cute baby with a stethoscope to his chest had been placed on the other side of this very same billboard.

The irony of this made putting pen to paper irresistible. If that cute baby partakes of the "joys" of cigarette smoking during his life, as encouraged by the advertisement on the reverse side of the billboard, when a doctor places a stethoscope to his chest as an adult he or she may hear the effects of heart disease, lung disease, and/or cancer.

Given the incredible medical costs of smoking at a time when medical costs are strangling our economy, we should be redoubling our efforts to curb smoking.

As research pioneers try to find new treatments and cures for common and rare diseases, it is time we try to eradicate a plague that has been in our midst all too long.

An easy place to start is with cigarette advertising. And please, change that billboard to something that child could use, like diapers.

%Stephen M. Pomerantz, M.D.


Bite the bullet

I am increasingly alarmed by the quick fix, Band-aid mentality being advanced by our candidates (as well as citizens) when it comes to our economy.

One cannot pick up the paper or listen to the radio without being overwhelmed by the number of complaints about cutbacks on the state and federal levels.

While all of us share the frustration of budgetary cuts, we must realize that after making this bed, it is to sleep in it.

There is only one way to restore our country's (and our state's) economic health: through a combination of increased taxes and further cuts.

We now realize that, for all his strengths, Ronald Reagan practiced "credit card" economics. While there is no denying the euphoria surrounding a spending binge, it is time for us as a nation to face facts and begin paying the bills.

It is not enough to simply cut back the deficit spending to which we've all grown accustomed. We must demand of candidates that they explain how we are going to reduce and eventually eliminate our massive government debt.

The responsibility is ours. Realistically, the only way we can expect change is to demand it. For years we have allowed elected officials to sit back and watch our economy deteriorate -- patching the cracks with Band-aids and pointing the finger of blame at anyone but themselves.

Increased taxes will hurt. Further, deeper cuts will hurt. But if we don't wake up now and demand action, the recent recession will in hindsight look like fantasy land.

It is time to bite the bullet and, more importantly, elect officials willing to do the same.

We owe it not only to ourselves, but to the future generations who will inherit whatever we leave.

James S. Hebb 4th


Individuals not treated individually

Wiley A. Hall III, in his column in The Evening Sun (Sept. 15), wrote eloquently about the way Americans, and the media in particular, continue to lump all blacks together so that, as his title said, "all blacks (are) tainted by the atrocities of so very few."

As co-chair and treasurer of the Libertarian Party of Maryland, we urge Mr. Hall to pursue his insight to its logical conclusion -- the need for a political party that truly stands for "the right of each individual to be treated as an individual."

Both major parties, in their own fashion, continue to play up to voting blocs. The very word "bloc" eliminates the concept of an individual. If it's true that one can win the battle at the ballot box, it is also true that one can at the same time lose the war of individual respect and recognition.

Susan J. Gaztanaga

Lorenzo Gaztanaga


The writers are treasurer and co-chair respectively of the Baltimore City Central Committee of the Libertarian Party of Maryland

Truth and the press

Joanne Baccala (Forum, Sept. 8) seems to be of the mistaken belief that if stories in the press are slanted to express her point TTC of view, that constitutes truth. In fact, truth does not have a slant. It is simply the truth.

The press does the people a disservice when it doesn't deal in facts. We are capable of reaching our own conclusions for the most part.

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