Balance budget without tax cutsLike most other Americans...

LETTERS

January 16, 1996

Balance budget without tax cuts

Like most other Americans, I am delighted that the president and Congress have agreed in principle on balancing the federal budget in seven years.

If ultimately enacted into law, this arrangement will lift the burden of budget deficit from the backs of our children.

I am, however, opposed to any tax cuts to accompany the balancing of the budget.

Tax cuts proposed by House Republicans will force unacceptable reductions in programs critical to U.S. competitiveness, such as health care -- Medicaid and Medicare, grants for research and development, training and education as well as investments for our future including transportation, water, sewer and environmental cleanup programs.

What good will it do our children if they are debt-free but lack good jobs because of substandard training or an economy made inefficient due to deteriorated infrastructure?

Jack Kinstlinger

Baltimore

Snow plows bypassed Essex

Your Jan. 11 article on Baltimore County's new enterprise zone is welcome information to me as a resident of the "depressed section" of the county. However, before businesses rush into this area and create jobs for the local citizens, they perhaps should take a good look at the services this area receives.

On Day Five of the Blizzard of '96, we were still waiting for the side streets in this depressed area to be plowed.

We made calls to Baltimore County and kept getting promises of "tomorrow," which doesn't seem to arrive in Essex. We are treated like the poor step-child of Baltimore County -- possibly because the government officials believe this is a welfare area and we do not deserve to have our streets plowed.

On Tuesday, after much slipping and sliding, I made it out of my street and traveled 10 miles to the White Marsh area where my mother lives to shovel for her and deliver groceries. Every side street I traveled between mine and hers was plowed except for mine. It appears that since White Marsh is a more affluent area, they deserve to have their streets plowed.

I should mention that I am a taxpayer and a registered voter who has a good voting record. The officials in power today will not receive my vote on the next election day.

Ginny Phillips

Essex

condition of Penn Station

As a frequent passenger on trains using Penn Station I was amused by the appearance of a Jan. 4 letter from Margaret V. Perin extolling its sparkling beauty. Ms. Perin should take off those rose-colored glasses and look at this building realistically.

Restrooms are horrendous. Hard wooden seats in the main waiting room should have been sanded and refinished to bring out their original natural beauty. Handicapped passengers have antiquated elevators to reach train platforms.

Stairways have pitted concrete steps, which could cause a passenger to fall. Platform roofs leak, causing puddles of water to form.

Sparkling beauty? Bah, Humbug!

#Thomas W. Millenburg Jr.

Parkville

We own a gun, but don't call us

It should come as no surprise that Montgomery County Sheriff Raymond M. Knight (letter, Jan. 8) endorses the state police telephone contacts to multiple gun purchasers.

Unfortunately, what Sheriff Knight refers to as good police work is beyond the authority of police powers granted by the state legislature.

In effect, by demonstrating that "big brother" already has your number (if you are one of the unenlightened gun owners), they have effectively acknowledged that our guns are already registered.

So, why does Gov. Parris Glendening want to include registration in his new gun bill?

I would have a heck of a lot more respect for the gun banners if they would simply lay their cards on the table and admit that their ultimate goal is a complete ban on handgun ownership in Maryland.

Instead, since they know that would never make it through the legislature, they are chipping away, slowly but surely, at our Second Amendment rights.

Why not try prosecuting these straw purchasers instead of persecuting the rest of us?

Michael Horst

Baltimore

Baltimore County pupils and MSPAP

One of your readers writes that he is ''sickened'' by Baltimore County's low expectations for its schools' performance on the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program tests.

He states that, in his line of work, ''I would be justly and immediately fired if I set a C as the standard for the team of colleagues I lead.''

The flaw in his analogy is that businesses have the luxury of hiring those who are most qualified and able and firing those who do not perform. Baltimore County public schools, on the other hand, must accommodate and educate nearly 100,000 children regardless of their ability, potential or motivation.

MSPAP has devised a rigorous, comprehensive exam that rates a school based on the performance of its students. Math skills, reading comprehension, written communications, reasoning, critical thinking and daily attendance are all considered in the assessment.

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