Here are some proposals for spending cutsHere's a "grocery...

the Forum

April 05, 1993

Here are some proposals for spending cuts

Here's a "grocery list" of ways to cut the federal budget deficit:

* A $10,000 pay cut for members of Congress. They would still maintain salaries in excess of $100,000. How many people have had to take a pay cut in order to preserve their job?

* Give up a few perks, e.g. free postal privileges. How about working with one less congressional aide?

* If a representative from each state gave up one $1 million pet project (the "pork barrel" spending that runs rampant) there's another $50 million.

* Eliminate programs that are just plain foolish. The U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) gives away multi-millions of dollars to countries to improve the lives of their people, yet the majority of the funds are used by corrupt officials to line their own pockets.

Administrative costs are outrageous. AID directly employs 4,300 persons and keeps 7,450 others as contract employees. One supervisory position exists for three staff jobs; direct costs run $150,000 per field employee, twice that of private volunteer organizations that operate abroad, like the Red Cross.

* When a non-U.S. citizen is convicted of a crime, he or she should be deported to the country of origin. It's bad enough we have to support murderers and drug dealers that are citizens; we shouldn't have to support aliens, too.

When my spending runs amok, it is up to me to find ways to cut down without eliminating what is necessary. As taxpayers, we are asked to eliminate some of our spending (higher taxes means less take-home pay), while nothing is done by those doing the spending.

That ain't the way it should be done. Everyone knows that when taxes go up, so do congressional and senatorial spending and salaries. When are our Washington bureaucrats going to tighten their belts along with their constituents?

Diane E. Pazourek


The scam

Recently your newspaper used the word "scam" to describe certain legislative activities. These accusations could easily mislead the public into thinking legislators are the only ones who use deceitful methods to further their own interests at the expense of the public.

Senate President Mike Miller's justification of the scholarship fund -- "we've been doing this for 100 years" -- is a "scammy" excuse to justify keeping a legislative perk.

The doctors' booing of Sen. Thomas O'Reilly's criticism of abuses of the nation's health care system -- evidenced by exorbitant fees and excessively high drug prices and insurance premiums -- give voice to their scare "scams" about the harm that Hillary Clinton's plan will do to the quality and quantity of medical care.

Don't blame Mike Miller. He is simply "scamming" to justify a historic perk that gives legislators constituent leverage. Don't blame the doctors or the drug and insurance companies. They are "scamming" to justify unconscionable profits.

Don't blame hospitals for unbelievable bills for short hospital stays and $5 aspirin tablets. They are "scamming" to cover up a hidden welfare system by charging those who can pay for the expenses of those who can't.

Last of all, don't blame yourself for devising a "scam" to protect your financial interest.

The truth is, we are all potential "scammers" when our interest is involved. It's the American system. Relax and make the most of it.

James C. Hunter Jr.


Where's the beef?

Gilbert Sandler's article about Klein's Billiard Hall ("No dime-a-game joint, this pool hall!" March 23) told a true story but omitted a big feature about Klein's that patrons of this venerable pool hall will never forget: the wonderful, wholesome, delicious roast beef sandwiches.

Many of us left our offices at lunchtime and headed for Klein's (not to play pool, mind you) but to partake of one of those delicious roast beef sandwiches served with a generous slice of pickle.

You could order a side dish of french fries, potato salad, cole slaw and grab a chair to watch a pool game while you munched a delightful sandwich.

Louis M. Schlimer


Normal names

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's unfortunate remark and Dan Rodricks' March 6 column have set off a fire in Stephen Kranz, who wrote a March 23 letter on the matter.

I sincerely hope he doesn't in fact speak for thousands of Marylanders -- he certainly doesn't speak for me. Perhaps instead of whining about minorities getting all the breaks, he should devote some of that boundless energy to encouraging the little Kranzes, Browns and Halls of American to turn off the television and excel in school.

Then, and only then, will ''normal-named'' American children develop the knowledge base and the creativity necessary to win Westinghouse Science Talent Search scholarships.

Kristine E. Wickfield


Baltimore County faces an education crisis

Baltimore County is facing an education crisis. Projected student enrollment for the 1993-94 school year is 96,902.

Currently the student population is 93,250. This year's education budget makes up 42 percent of the county's total budget.

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