GOP's tax cuts can save us money, won't hurt retireesI...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 31, 1999

GOP's tax cuts can save us money, won't hurt retirees

I feel compelled to respond to The Sun's editorial "Alan Greenspan vs. the Republicans" for three reasons.

First, it is important to note that The Sun took Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's statement out of context.

Mr. Greenspan's remarks on the Republican tax relief bill were: "My first priority, if I were given such a priority, is to let the surpluses run, as I've said before. My second priority is if you find that as a consequence of those surpluses they tend to be spent, then I would be more in the camp of cutting taxes, because the least desirable (outcome) is using those surpluses for expanding outlays."

Since President Clinton and most liberal Democrats in Congress have already pledged to spend the surplus on additional federal programs, I welcome Mr. Greenspan into the tax cut camp.

FOR THE RECORD - Because of an editing error, Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s letter to the editor Saturday incorrectly stated the surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund. It is $1.8 trillion. The Sun regrets the error.

Second, if The Sun is now taking its cues from the Fed's chairman regarding fiscal policy, I look forward to your endorsement of Mr. Greenspan's longstanding call to reduce the capital gains tax to zero (a position I strongly support).

Middle-class workers with 401(k) retirement plans or mutual funds would benefit from a capital gains tax reduction. Older Americans who sell their homes and other assets also stand to gain.

Third, my colleagues and I are committed to paying down the national debt, providing tax relief for all, and, most important, saving Social Security.

The Republican budget resolution protects the Social Security Trust Fund from Washington spenders. It sets aside the entire $41.8 trillion surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund to provide Americans with retirement security.

I ask citizens not to be fooled by arguments taken out of context to justify the limitless expansion of big government during this era of economic prosperity.

The debate in Washington today is whether the surplus created by working Americans should be spent on more government programs or on the novel idea that American taxpayers should get to keep a little more of their money.

Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., Washington

The writer represents Maryland's 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Sun's July 28 editorial quoted Chairman Alan Greenspan's comments on the Republican-controlled House's proposed income tax cut and criticized that proposal.

But the editorial failed to mention that Mr. Greenspan was equally concerned about new spending programs President Clinton is promoting.

If I had a choice, I would prefer the tax reduction.

Thomas Grimes, West Friendship

Reluctantly supporting Robert Kaufman for mayor I've been having trouble deciding who to vote for mayor.

First, I favored Kweisi Mfume. But he decided not to run. Then, I decided to support Naron McCormick, but he couldn't prove he was a city resident for more than a year and is not on the ballot.

I considered Carl Stokes, but, after his Loyola College graduation and driving record scandals, I find it difficult to seriously consider a liar for mayor.

Councilman Martin O'Malley says he is going to close down open air drug markets. I don't see how and he doesn't say.

Mr. O'Malley says he is for zero-tolerance policing. Isn't that just a code for "lock-em up"? This is certainly the wrong approach for non-violent offenders and has already caused the racist incarceration of many African Americans.

City Council President Lawrence Bell seems to be the race's front-runner. But as president of the City Council, Mr. Bell hasn't done anything to make me believe he can turn around this city around.

This leaves me with A. Robert Kaufman. His insurance co-op idea could save hundreds of dollars for thousands of city residents, and it does sound do-able.

I don't like Mr. Kaufman much, but maybe he's what Baltimore needs.

Robin Mills, Baltimore

Councilman O'Malley is the class of a sorry field

Dan Rodricks' column regarding a karaoke night for candidates ("Karaoke is way to go to select next mayor," July 23), while mildly amusing, failed to explicitly endorse the only credible candidate to emerge from the mayoral campaign thus far: Councilman Martin O'Malley.

City Council President Lawrence Bell's inability to manage his finances indicates he's unqualified to run a budget for a city the size of Baltimore. Carl Stokes' lies about Rita Church endorsing him, his education credentials and his driving record point to an utter lack of integrity.

Mr. O' Malley stands for something. He has worked to improve this city, his positions are well-informed and his experience is unquestioned.

If Dan Rodricks, and everyone else in Baltimore, looks at the character and ability of each candidate, Mr. O'Malley will be Baltimore's next mayor.

Sammy Azzouz, Baltimore

Bell's financial failings show he can't lead the city

Reading about City Council President Lawrence Bell's debt problems made me see him as an irresponsible person ("Bell's debt problems led to lawsuits," July 22).

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