Hogs don't butcher themselvesThe U.S. House and Senate...


November 15, 1995

Hogs don't butcher themselves

The U.S. House and Senate federal budget bills estimate a balanced budget (no deficit) will be achieved in seven to 10 years.

Unless things change, how long will it be until the interest we pay on the debt will take up the entire federal government revenue? We won't get there, but as we approach that point government operations will become increasingly chaotic, severe economic upsets will occur and the populace will become quite unruly.

Let's figure it this way. The federal government debt in FY 1990 was $3.1 trillion and in FY 1995 was $5 trillion, which is a growth in the debt of an average of $380 billion per year. Treasury says the average interest rate paid on the debt in FY 1995 was 7.082 percent.

This tells us two things: (1) Continuing deficits cannot go on indefinitely (each annual deficit adds to the debt). (2) We are nearing the point where the interest on the debt is so high that it will wipe out, gradually but at a point in sight, federal government programs which are necessary.

We must stop the debt from growing, but we can never raise taxes enough to meet ever-increasing interest payments. Therefore we must work our way to a balanced budget by steadily reducing total spending, primarily by reducing or eliminating programs which are not necessary.

Citizens should form in their own minds what is absolutely essential for the federal government to do, remembering that good things can be done by resources other than the federal government. Then they should inform their representatives what government programs should be reduced or eliminated.

Left alone, politicians won't do anything significant. Hogs don't butcher themselves.

Sam D. Calaby


No-casinos stance is hypocritical

It is hypocritical for The Sun to say casino gambling is bad for Maryland and in the same breath say that we must preserve race tracks. People don't gamble at race tracks? If they didn't, there wouldn't be any race tracks.

If you think ''trackers'' are not gamblers, you never met my family. They were faithful to the track to the last buck, whether booking or betting. Incidentally, there was nothing wrong with these people -- I loved them all.

To deny Maryland the excellent revenue to be had with casino gambling is an exercise in bad politics and stupidity.

Phyllis Lichter


Washingtonian views Baltimore's new team

Baltimore's jubilation over its new pro football team should be tempered because this zero-sum transaction has stripped Cleveland of its soul and robbed all football fans of their innocence.

In more ways than you can imagine, the Browns embodied what people in Cleveland think about themselves.

The Browns may have had ugly uniforms, just as Cleveland was often the butt of jokes, but they prided themselves on getting dirty and working hard -- as do the people who labor in the factories on the Cuyahoga River. Their helmets were blank, lacking a mass-marketed insignia, just like the workers who sweat in anonymity in the city's steel mills.

But on Sunday, usually under overcast skies, the Browns and their rabid faithful would fill a cavernous stadium and make it thunder with the hopes and aspirations of a people looking for respect. It was often bitter cold, but everyone except the visiting team knew how to survive winter in Northeast Ohio.

On the field, this team didn't play a flashy West Coast style game. The Cleveland Browns ground it out, yard marker to yard marker, just like the people in the stands who go from paycheck to paycheck.

The movement of the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore is an affront to the American value of rewarding loyalty and hard work.

Baltimore's happiness comes at a steep price for everyone: a shattering of our increasingly faint hope that there are things in this world more important than money.

Christopher Porter

Arlington, Va.

Handgun panel lacks credibility

To the surprise of no one, Gov. Parris Glendening's Commission on Gun Violence proposed more laws, making it more difficult for honest people to purchase or use legal handguns.

The panel was headed by Vincent DeMarco, former head of Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse. Most panel members had strong feelings against handguns, and even The Sun described the group's makeup as "stacked" last spring.

The one-sided complexion of the group, selected by an anti-gun governor, invalidates any recommendations the panel makes.

As long as we pursue approaches to our crime problem that have only proved to be ineffective we will continue to wander further from the solutions.

Gordon B. Shelton


The poor need to move to opportunity

Michael Nauton's Opinion * Commentary article of Nov. 1 undoubtedly expresses the feelings of many in the near suburbs of Baltimore, whatever their differing individual motives may be. His arguments, however, are in many places flawed.

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