Make sacrificesIn his 1961 inauguration speech, President...

the Forum

July 11, 1995

Make sacrifices

In his 1961 inauguration speech, President John F. Kennedy pleaded with the American people to "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

At this time when crucial decisions are being made by our representatives in Washington, we should tell them that we are willing to give up something -- to make sacrifices, as long as they are fair -- in order to restore American values.

Phillip R. Grossman

Pikesville

Tax consumption

While our fearless leaders rant and rave in reference to the flat tax, they overlook a most significant fact. A consumption tax permits Uncle Sam to collect from everybody.

In order to increase revenue, we are sorely in need of a national sales tax or a value added tax.

It is the only way to permit the government to receive money from those who are involved in the huge underground economy.

Under our present system, the wages of sin are not reported.

I prefer the value added tax, because most states already have a sales tax, and the VAT is a hidden one which many of us will accept.

About 25 tycoons avoid paying U.S. taxes by becoming a citizen of a foreign nation. Congress refuses to close this loophole.

Some people believe that these fat cats contribute large donations to powerful politicians. When gold argues the cause, eloquence is impotent.

Joseph Lerner

Baltimore

Leaving the scraps

A front page article on June 28 was headlined "Congress urged to pre-empt generational crisis." That's right, Social Security is fast going broke. So who broke it? Certainly not the wealthy contributors to this mismanaged government annuity.

So let's look elsewhere. Who else had the opportunity to get their stickly fingers on it?

How about members of Congress? Who should pay for the fixing? Who else but the "raiders of the old folks fund," to whom care of the Social Security Trust Fund was entrusted.

They nonchalantly confiscated the monies therein for their own pet pork-barrel schemes, tossing in their place a bunch of worthless IOUs.

So now they try the ploy of pitting the younger generation against the olders, whose only crime is having reached retirement age before it was all squandered by Congress, leaving nothing for the "Johnny-come-latelies" but paper scraps.

Blanche K. Coda

Baltimore

Blighted areas

In The Sun of June 27 was an article on the Nehemiah III project. This is to spend $14 million to renovate or build 150 homes for sale in the Johnson Square area, because it is blighted.

It seems to me that the authorities, since I began reading the newspapers, circa 1935, have been trying to renovate run down and abandoned areas. I do not know how many areas or how much has been spent, but it seems that after 50 years and all that money, they could have rebuilt the whole city at least once. And it is probably worse now than it was in 1935.

On the other side of the coin there was an article in the Real Estate section, June 25, about Aero Acres and Victory Villa.

These 310 homes, according to the article, built to last a maximum of 10 years in 1941-2, are still in good condition after 52 years.

This should show that responsible people can act like human beings. Does this dilemma have a message?

W. A. Jenkins

Lutherville

'New' programs on WJHU aren't very new

On June 23 an important part of Baltimore's cultural structure was torn away by the decision of the management of WJHU-FM to dramatically change that radio station's programming format by stripping away all of the classical music except for a few hours on weekends.

Dennis Kita, WJHU general manager, said this is being done "to provide service which is not available." Accepting this as his true motive, it must be pointed out that he is mistaken.

Much of WJHU's new programming was already available from Washington stations WAMU and WETA, which are well within the reception area of Baltimore listeners.

I live about 30 miles north of Baltimore, and I receive both Washington stations at home and in my car. I have achieved moderate reception with a Walkman.

It is a gross disservice to the staff at WJHU to suggest that their efforts can be replaced by the other Baltimore classical music station. The professionalism of people such as Lisa Simeone, Bill Spencer and Bob Benson is not replaceable. Additionally, the repertoire, or knowledge of the breadth of it, is so limited on the other station that its output becomes predictable and boring.

I have contributed to WJHU for many years and am also a member of the Friends of WJHU, a volunteer group that helps during fund drives, miscellaneous station activities and produces the bi-monthly Notes, a publication of information on station activities and personnel.

I have been a regular listener of WJHU's classical programming, only infrequently switching to other stations. I am also a devoted fan of National Public Radio news and generally depend on WJHU for it. I also listen to "talk radio" on WAMU and classical music on WETA.

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