The flat tax throws a curveBefore signing up for a flat...

LETTERS

January 26, 1996

The flat tax throws a curve

Before signing up for a flat tax rate, there are things to consider that may impact your future.

We need to ask ourselves if our representatives are looking out for our interests or those of lobbyists who, in reality, represent the will of the affluent and the interests of business.

First to consider, especially while the hype is focused on balancing the budget, is that any tax system must provide for funding the government. Then we must consider that a small number of people, the affluent, collectively earn as much as the entire labor force.

Then we consider that any flat tax rate will have to be somewhere between 15 percent, the lowest current rate, and 39.6 percent, the highest rate, in order to be acceptable to the powers that move Congress. You might want to check the accuracy of these numbers.

Then consider that any rate that saves taxes on half the total personal income of $6 trillion will have to be made up by the low- to middle-income taxpayers.

That tells me that a flat tax most certainly implies a tax increase for nearly all in the labor force and for retirees.

I don't want simplicity that badly.

Vincent A. Henderson

Towson

American people held hostage

Does the Constitution of the United States need fixing?

Because of the Constitution, 535 individuals are allowed to hold 250 million people hostage. Because of the Constitution, only the legislative branch of government can make law. Because of the Constitution, the government of the people, by the people and for the people can create laws without the consent of the majority of the people.

At the present time, 535 individuals are creating havoc with our lives by not providing government services to the people who pay for these services.

We need a national referendum to allow more participation by the people in the decision-making process. Letters to our so-called representatives don't work.

A. Dorsey

Baltimore

Let's praise unsung heroes of the storm

We have days for mothers, fathers, grandparents. Secretaries' week, nurses' week, etc.

When will we appreciate the people who serve our needs faithfully, dutifully and continuously?

There have been three water main breaks on Joppa Road in one month.

We have been without water three times but for a minimum amount of time -- thanks to the diligent repair crews. The last time, Jan. 5, was in the cold before the storm: late Friday to early Saturday morning.

There are others. The dependable mail carriers, who get through in all the heat and cold. The police and firefighters, who risk life and limb for us. The sanitation workers, without whom we would be in a terrible ''mess''. The newspaper delivery person (my paper was delivered at 6 a.m. on Jan. 8). The snow plow crews. The gas and electric personnel, working in all kinds of weather restoring service. Bus drivers who served their routes.

These are our ''Unsung Heroes'' and I for one would like to express profound and deepest heartfelt thanks to each and every one of them.

M. Kotowski

Baltimore

Destroying presidency weakens America

It is with a great deal of anguish and concern I write this letter about the political battles being waged in Washington over the budget and Whitewater.

As a young girl, I survived the ravages of war in Berlin. After marrying an American, who served his country during two tours of Vietnam, I became an American citizen some 23 years ago, the highlight of my 33 years in United States.

We live in the greatest nation in the world. To see the childish actions of our politicians, be they Democrats or Republicans, disturbs me greatly. To criticize our president and his wife is in my opinion totally uncalled for.

The American people elected Mr. Clinton to the office of president. We should respect that office -- not degrade it -- and defend it from those who would tear it down.

Destroying the office of the presidency only weakens America's power and prestige throughout the rest of the world.

It is time to place principles ahead of personalties. Do not let the media hoodwink us, just because it is an election year.

Ruth Weese

Baltimore

Civil War buff misses material

No one can argue that sufficient money isn't important for the provision of adequate service at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. But there have been even greater costs than just the inconvenience of briefer service.

As a researcher on the Civil War I have notice that 8 percent or so of the references that I have asked to use at the Pratt are listed in the catalog but missing. Most of these books were written closer to the time of the Civil War than not. Thus, they are largely irreplaceable. Does not this loss of knowledge force us to learn our lessons over again?

Richard Hanson

Baltimore

Movement abandoned nonviolence of King

The Jan. 15 article by Linn Washington Jr., ''King's legacy,'' may have been a well intentioned clarion call to continue the struggle for economic equality between the races, but it was systematically misleading on several very important points.

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