It's our money government spendsPresident Clinton has told...

SATURDAY MAIL BOX

September 14, 1996

It's our money government spends

President Clinton has told the American people that we cannot afford a 15 percent tax cut. Instead, he proposes an insignificant tax reduction and a plethora of new and costly initiatives.

He erroneously concludes that we can solve the nation's problems simply by throwing money at them -- without raising taxes.

He may not increase our income taxes, but the American public is smart enough to realize that his proposals for additional regulations on business and taxes on foreign trade add up to higher consumer prices, fewer choices and bigger government. He may not get the money directly, but we will certainly be the ones paying the bill.

What we really cannot afford is to assume that after 50 years of futility, the welfare state will finally work.

Instead of spending more and always getting less, let's elect those politicians willing to reform and restructure the existing entitlement programs that threaten to cripple the American taxpayer. After all, it is our money.

John Donahue

Towson

Sometimes you have to assassinate

That our government should be actively engaged in an attempt to assassinate Saddam Hussein is perhaps debatable on both political and moral grounds, although, admittedly, I am inclined to favor such a course of action.

But to state, as does Carl Rowan (Sept. 9, "Well, why don't we just assassinate Saddam?") that ''this country must never engage in the murders of foreign leaders, however repulsive the world may deem them to be", is an example of the kind of simple-minded thinking that this reader, at least, has come to expect of Mr. Rowan.

There are times, it seems to me, when assassination could be justified politically as well as morally. For example, would Carl Rowan have also been opposed to an attempt to kill Adolph Hitler, even by the U.S. government, in let us say 1941?

Robert Smith

Baltimore

Statism incompatible with freedom, rights

The Sept. 3 editorial -- ''The state mandate that wasn't'' -- is remarkably honest in pointing out that the Maryland State Board of Education ''conceived a state mandate but didn't want it to look like one.''

Of course not. No statist policy ever starts out openly. The question is: Is a mandate which does look like one more preferable?

Statism is based on the premise that the individual belongs to the state. Few Americans would claim to support this idea, but equally few see its pervasiveness in our society. Whenever the government tells people that they must do something, or else ... that is a sure sign of statism. Whenever the government tells people that they must not do something -- with the single exception of the initiation of the use of physical force -- it is the principle that the state can and should control its constituents which is at work.

Once people accept a single application of the statist premise, it is only a matter of time before the more consistent statists (such as the editorial writer) will push for and win further-reaching and more centralized controls.

Is compulsory community service "statist"? Yes. Is compulsory education statist? Yes. An exhaustive list would go on for pages and include many things we have come to take as given.

The root contradiction is that statism is incompatible with freedom and individual rights. We must choose one or the other.

Jeff Lindon

Glenwood

Voter questions Ehrlich's value

In the recent past you have endorsed Robert Ehrlich as the Republican nominee for the Second District congressional seat noting that he has worked hard as the incumbent. I believe this to be true. The only question in my mind is: worked hard at what?

I have been a registered Republican for 43 years. I am of the Senator Charles McC. Mathias stripe and Mr. Ehrlich does not fit in that category at all.

It is true that Mr. Ehrlich believes in saving the Chesapeake Bay, but beyond that he is questionable in regard to environmental issues and regulations. He apparently believes the national forests should be turned over to the states and he has voted with Newt Gingrich's "Contract on America" some 90 percent of the time. That "contract" is certainly unfriendly to the great majority of people.

When are Mr. Ehrlich and his colleagues in the House going to get down to the business of compromise and hard work necessary to resolve the balancing of the budget, downsizing of government, the elimination of gross subsidies for corporations and agribusiness and reducing the defense budget (i.e., $20 billion for B-2 bombers), while seeing to it that the social safety, the regulatory agencies and other annoying -- but necessary -- functions like the Internal Revenue Service are not totally destroyed?

James V. McCoy

Phoenix

Zurawik needs lesson from 'Book of Virtues'

When I read David Zurawik's review of ''Adventures from 'The Book of Virtues'" (Sept. 3), I first thought, ''What a clever parody on politically correct journalism!'' As I read on, however, I failed to find any hint of humor and was led to conclude that he really believes in this stuff.

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