Will ContestedIn his Oct. 2 Opinion * Commentary column...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 18, 1994

Will Contested

In his Oct. 2 Opinion * Commentary column, George F. Will compared Ellen Sauerbrey, minority leader of the Maryland House of Delegates and gubernatorial candidate, to Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of Great Britain, in terms of Delegate Sauerbrey's "ideological clarity and pugnacity."

He commented that she had scored a stunning upset over Rep. Helen Bentley, and that Ms. Sauerbrey preaches "high octane conservatism, from more prisons to less welfare."

Mr. Will, who usually writes nothing but his opinions on how and why the Democrats have not achieved all of their goals and won all of their election battles, says that maybe Delegate Sauerbrey will win the governorship and help start a "national tidal wave of conservatism."

She promises a 24 percent tax cut. Alas, however, Mr. Will, in his excitement and zeal, ignores the fact that since the federal government in Washington has almost stopped returning any of our tax money at all to the individual states, most Republican governors are admitting that they cannot keep their campaign promises as to "tax cuts."

Like most Republicans, Mr. Will refuses to admit that, although they constantly accuse Democrats of "taxing and spending," they themselves spend lots more money by borrowing and spending.

For example, the Reagan and Bush administrations ran up the national debt from about $1 trillion to over $4 trillion and ran up the budget deficit from about $40 billion to over $300 billion with their borrowing (and taxing, as well).

I. H. Desser

Baltimore

Use Not Abuse

So now we know caffeine can be addictive. Funny, I didn't hear any clarion calls to ban the sale of coffee, tax it sky high or make it available only by prescription.

Ridiculous, you say? Perfectly able to conduct your life productively after your morning coffee?

In fact, the vast majority of us are capable of having a cup of coffee, a drink of alcohol or a puff of marijuana without descending to the depths of drug-induced psychosis.

Drug use does not equal drug abuse.

Indeed, many researchers believe that the desire to alter our consciousness, whether through drugs, meditation or religious experience, is a natural part of being human.

Well-intentioned propaganda has obscured the fact that many drugs, licit and illicit, can be used enjoyably, safely and even healthfully.

Rather than legislate what I can or cannot put into my body, help me make my decision to use any drug an informed one: Give me the facts about a drug's effects.

Make it easy for me to know exactly what I'm buying. Make me accountable for my actions. If I get behind the wheel after drinking -- revoke my license. If I report to work high -- fire me.

Drug use should be enjoyable and responsible.

Give me the knowledge to tell if my drug use is negatively affecting my life. If it is, let there be affordable, timely and effective treatment available.

Most difficult of all, help me build a society with enough hope, opportunity and security that my inner-city brethren don't feel the need to turn to drugs as an escape from an unfulfilling life.

Terry Dalton Hadley

Towson

Cigarette Gangs

On Oct. 4, The Sun ran an R. J. Reynolds advertisement which falsely alleged that a cigarette tax increase would lead to "criminal gangs" taking over the market through smuggling.

The actual reason for industry concern is that increased cigarette taxes will lead directly to lower smoking rates, especially among minors, the segment most sensitive to price.

Minors are the lifeblood of the cigarette industry, since 70 percent of smokers start when they are under the age of 18.

The illegal "minors' market" is now worth $1.5 billion a year to the tobacco industry.

Frankly, since criminals do not advertise, if tobacco distribution were to be taken over by "criminal gangs," then we would all be a lot better off.

Rodney A. Johnson

Towson

Good News

Just wanted to say how pleased I was to see your front page story Oct. 10 on "Teddy" Page.

It's so rare to see such a positive story about today's kids, and when such an article is found, it is usually "filler" not given front page importance.

My hat is tipped both to Teddy for beating the odds, and to The Sun for realizing that "good" news is also important.

Michele Shafer

Columbia

Vote 'No' on the Charles Village Benefits Plan

As a resident of Charles Village, I am being asked to vote to raise my property taxes to pay for additional community benefits . . . I plan to vote "No," for these reasons:

Baltimore City residents should pay one property tax and receive one standard of services that are controlled by their elected officials.

If city boosting, policing, trash pick-up and sport programs are not adequate, then we can push our elected officials to raise the city property tax rate.

It is not fair to provide benefits from taxes to one city neighborhood because a tax rate in a wealthy neighborhood raises much more money than the same tax rate in a poor neighborhood.

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