Frito-Lay ThreatThe Maryland legislature made the right...


April 26, 1995

Frito-Lay Threat

The Maryland legislature made the right decision when it refused to repeal the snack tax in response to the heavy-handed, strong-arming tactics of Frito-Lay.

Because Frito-Lay didn't get its way, it now says it will not expand and provide the 650 additional jobs for Harford County that it had planned.

Robbi Dietrich, spokeswoman for Frito-Lay, said, "We make our decisions based on economics."

Whose economics? Frito-Lay does not care what is in the best interest of the citizens of Harford County or Maryland.

Frito-Lay, like any corporate entity, makes decisions on what's in the best interest of the corporate profit margin. The state legislature, on the other hand, is supposed to represent what's in the people's best interest.

Repealing the snack tax would mean a loss of $15 million for the state of Maryland. This, at a time when the governor is reducing and eliminating programs for the disabled and poor among us due to a lack of money.

Frito-Lay and its supporters argue that more jobs are important. They are, but at what cost? They claim that the income tax on these jobs would recoup the loss. But to make up the $15 million loss, the 650 jobs added would have to pay state income taxes of $23,000 per year each. Using the 1994 Maryland tax instructions, this means that each of the 650 jobs would have to provide a taxable income of $400,000 per year!

I believe that the $15 million should be raised in a more progressive way rather than with a flat consumer tax. But for our legislature to allow a corporate entity to have power and influence in setting state tax and budget policy is not any kind of answer.

It is time our state legislature makes decisions in the best interest of the people rather than that of corporations, whether Frito-Lay or the National Football League.

Refusing to give in to Frito-Lay is a good start.

Amy Donohue


Payment Due


I read with surprise and utter dismay the letter of Kalevi A. Olkio in The Sun April 18 concerning "Tax Breaks."

Either Mr. Olkio has a very short memory, or no knowledge of the recent history of the United States, if he is at all serious when he maintains that the "GOP proposed tax cuts" are "good for the middle-income families."

This is what I also believed in the early 1980s when President Ronald Reagan assured us that this large tax cut and its "trickle down economics" would have a positive effect on the economy.

What we wound up with was a quadrupling of the national debt and a period of the greatest inflation that our nation has ever encountered.

This of course was immediately followed by a huge recession for which his successor, President Bush, received the blame and, as a result, could not be re-elected.

If we cannot learn from our mistakes, but rather continue to reach for that pie in the sky, reduced taxes and a smaller deficit, we are dooming our children and our grandchildren to a life of paying exorbitant taxes to pay the interest on the national debt, not to mention the debt itself.

There is no free lunch. It is axiomatic,"You pay me now or you pay me later." This is an absolute in this case.

Either we pay the necessary taxes now or doom our children to another Great Depression.

John P. Kimball



In your March 26 profile of gay activist Mark Shaw you described the obituaries of gay men as "the gay man's sports page."

As a gay man who has read the obituaries of his friends for more than a decade, I can assure you that I have never found them to be diverting, entertaining, the source of bar chatter or office palaver, or the source of wagering information.

It is unusually insulting to see the phrase repeated in an item that is masquerading as information about my friends and me. I hope The Sun can see fit to treat the deaths they report in their pages with more dignity than is evidenced in this article.

Jack Garman



The recent release of Robert McNamara's book, "In Retrospect," as controversial as it may be in laying to rest the anguish over the Vietnam chapter in our history, brings to mind a quotation from Gen. Douglas MacArthur, "There were no atheists in the foxholes of Bataan."

No doubt Mr. McNamara has agonized over his decisions made 30 years ago. And no doubt he has called upon "his maker" for guidance and reconciliation.

I believe there are no atheists in foxholes. Perhaps one can extrapolate this observation to the twilight years and the inevitability of the unknown. Mr. McNamara is now experiencing his "foxhole of conscience, guilt and remorse" in exposing his heavy burden.

Certainly, peace of mind for his remaining years has come at a heavy price. To quote Mr. McNamara, "This is the book I never planned to write." No one ever plans to be in a foxhole.

William H. M. Finney


Smokers Will Fight Against the Ban

After reading Pamela Stewart's letter of April 4, I was both angered and alarmed by what I perceived to be yet another attack on my personal choices (rights?).

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