Income taxes are constitutionalI don't know how most...

LETTERS

July 09, 1996

Income taxes are constitutional

I don't know how most citizens feel about tax protesters but every report of another tax protest raises my ire to new levels.

I have worked my entire life by the rules, paying my taxes and meeting the demands on my income.

Yes, I would have loved not paying taxes or anything else, for that matter, but anywhere in a real world, that just isn't possible.

Fred Allnutt Sr. is frivolously wasting my tax money butting his head against a brick wall. He, along with the others, are having an adverse impact on our national debt.

Mr. Allnutt's reading of the Constitution missed the implication of taxes in Article I: ''The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States . . .''

The language was repeated in detail in the 16th Amendment and declared in a proclamation of the secretary of state, dated

February 25, 1913, to have been ratified by 38 states, which ''constitutes three fourths.'' Subsequent records show that the 16th Amendment was ratified by four more states. It was rejected by Connecticut, Rhode Island and Utah.

The jury that acquitted Mr. Allnutt in March has done a disservice to the principles of jurisprudence. If a jury cannot determine a constitutional matter, the judge should have instructed as to the frivolous nature of the trial.

Is there any wonder why our courts are overburdened?

ince Henderson

Towson

GOP defense follies recalled

President Clinton stands accused of having pursued a "dilatory approach to defending the nation" against a hypothetical ballistic missile attack by such rogue nations as Iraq and North Korea.

George Will's June 27 column supports that argument by reciting a litany of past errors of defense judgment, while mentioning only Democratic culprits. The fact is that a classic and a most egregious mistake in defense planning may be laid at the doorstep of a Republican.

When he was president, Ronald Reagan bought the whole nine yards of a specious, untested Strategic Defense Initiative costing hundreds of billions of dollars. His so-called Star Wars concept and other ill-conceived related projects literally drained the U.S. Treasury in a vain pursuit of a nationwide umbrella impervious to a barrage of Soviet missiles.

Nearly eight years after Mr. Reagan left office, U.S. defenses are still incapable of stopping a single ballistic missile from any rogue nation.

And now, George Will, who boasted of his standing weekly invitation to luncheon at the White House with Nancy Reagan, would have Bill Clinton follow the same costly will-o-the-wisp defense policies that bloated the national debt from $1 trillion to $4 trillion.

The euphoric Reagan years left America with a shaky infrastructure of underfinanced domestic social services and a national debt that will burden generations of Americans to come.

Elaine Myers Miller

Baltimore

If called, I won't serve

I see where Baltimore County is jailing citizens who fail to report for jury duty. Rather than the courts pointing an accusatory finger at its citizens, I think it's time we took a good look at the courts.

There are dozens of reasons I can give for not wanting to serve as part of such a wasteful, inefficient, fallacious charade as our jury system, but that's another letter. I'd like to relate my experience with the Baltimore County courts.

After receiving my summons for jury duty, I phoned jury commissioner Nancy Tilton twice. I explained that I would refuse to render a verdict for any trial, giving dozens of reasons why. She said that I must still report to the court. I did. For each trial of which I was a potential juror, I stated my objections and refusal. When the judges and lawyers heard my position, they dismissed me from each case.

But why is the court so obstinate and irrational? Why did I have to report at all when they knew my position going in? Why did the court have to waste my time, its own and my employer's?

By the way, negativity, disgust and frustration abounded among those of us who were forced to idle away our time in the jury pool. Why does the court want such unwilling folks to make the decisions that affect other people's lives?

The court first needs to find out and understand why people don't want to serve. Only then can it fix itself.

John Olszewski

Baltimore

Mona Charen should clean up her column

The June 10 column by Mona Charen has to represent a milestone in editorial irresponsibility. The writer, while making an effort to show her distaste for the homosexual lifestyle, leaves no glaring, gory detail to the reader's imagination.

I find it more than just a little ironic that a syndicated conservative columnist would find it necessary to resort to the graphic gutter language that she employs. Does she also sell her columns to the tabloids, or does she just criticize them? She can't be denied the privilege to write this kind of trash, but there is plenty of reason for The Sun to reject it.

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