Tax cut enticing, but insults elderly's sense of...


October 01, 1998

Tax cut enticing, but insults elderly's sense of fairness

The shortest route to most Americans' hearts is to offer them a tax cut, but a caution light might better serve long-term interests.

Ellen Sauerbrey proposes to exempt from state taxes a large portion of retirees' pension income. She clearly comprehends our collective voting strength but insults our individual intelligence and sense of fairness.

The basic inequity of a tax break for only one group of Marylanders comes immediately to mind. More important, she ignores its impact upon the already strained funds to pay for public services to seniors and others.

The seeming "benefit" would hurt many poorer seniors and lessen amounts available to local jurisdictions through piggyback taxes. The probable results? A property tax jump for all.

Proposed tax cuts are enticing, but a thinking electorate must look beyond vote pandering by unthinking politicians. Can they occur without jeopardizing necessary government services? Might they well create unintended fiscal barriers causing more expensive problems later?

Frank Chase


Burgeoning Beltway sounds like Sauerbrey's vision

Your editorial page cartoon "Baltimore Beltway 2025" (Sept. 26) was hilarious and frightening.

However, it should have been called "Ellen Sauerbrey's vision of the future: 2025," given her poor environmental record and support of such projects as the Intercounty Connector. Indeed, this is a vision that only she and her supporters in the real estate development and road construction industries would find appealing.

Theodore A. Kluga


Steinberg's endorsement opposes his principles

As a loyal Democrat, I was chagrined but not altogether surprised to read that former Lt. Gov. Melvin A. "Mickey" Steinberg, who lost to Gov. Parris N. Glendening in the Democratic gubernatorial race four years ago, has endorsed Republican Ellen Sauerbrey for governor.

This move is an obvious display of sour grapes (which naturally aligns him with Ms. Sauerbrey). It is also, though perhaps less obviously, an effort to feather his own bed.

As a lobbyist for the Maryland racing industry, which supports installing slot machines at horse-racing tracks, Mr. Steinberg knows all too well that any hope of bringing slots into this state lays with Ms. Sauerbrey, not Mr. Glendening.

Ms. Sauerbrey has said that she will consider slots. Commendably, the governor has consistently proclaimed that there will be no slots in Maryland on his watch.

Mr. Steinberg should be ashamed of himself. His endorsement of Ms. Sauerbrey is a rejection of the Democratic Party and its leadership. But, more important, his endorsement is a rejection, implicit but no less real, of the ideals of Democratic government that Mr. Steinberg has so long championed -- gun control, public education, collective bargaining, abortion rights -- in favor of the diametrically opposed ideals of one of the most conservative Republicans to come to the fore of Maryland politics in decades.

In light of this, Mr. Steinberg's challenge to the governor's integrity -- baseless in any event -- rings particularly hollow.

Robert Levine


Glendening has protected black bears, other animals

All animal lovers and animal welfare supporters have a duty to show their support by voting for Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

He is the only governor in the United States with enough courage to appoint an animal welfare advocate, Joseph Lamp, to a state wildlife advisory commission. In Maryland, this nine-member commission recommends policies to the

Department of Natural Resources. Its members speak out for the interests of the declining number of people -- fewer than 150,000 -- who hunt, trap and kill our animals in Maryland.

Thanks to Mr. Glendening, the animals now have a spokesman for their interests.

Our governor has saved Maryland's black bears from the bullets and arrows of persons wanting a hunting season.

During a speech at the Humane Society of the United States, he explained that Maryland will continue to be a safe haven for the bears, animals that must remain living treasures for all and not mounted trophies on a hunter's wall.

Lou Sullivan Carter


Self-righteous could destroy people and institutions

The blind hatred and self-righteousness of certain elements of the Washington political scene willfully destroy people's lives and may even put United States institutions at risk with an impeachment of flimsy grounds and the lurid Starr report.

Our country is better than this. Our country deserves better than this. The people are speaking. When will our "leaders" take heed?

Catherine Hall Myrowitz


Hillary Clinton's tolerance did women a disservice

That feminist leaders Betty Friedan, Patricia Ireland and Eleanor Smeal are urging women to write, fax, e-mail, call and shout to Congress not to impeach President Clinton is thoroughly disgusting, but not at all surprising.

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