Politicians keep spending despite taxpayer wishes Its...

LETTERS

March 05, 2000

Politicians keep spending despite taxpayer wishes

Its hard to understand why there isnt a public outcry over the manner in which public representatives, at all levels of government, are deciding how excess taxpayer dollars should be spent.

Federal, state and local governments are in turmoil because, after meeting budget guidelines, there are huge excesses.

The word excess means remainder, surplus, too much. This is easy for everyone to understand, so why the taxpayer apathy? One would think there would be a revolt that puts the Boston Tea Party to shame.

But, the lack of interest on behalf of the taxpayer seems in part because of the hopeless feeling that results when attempting to influence the political bureaucracy. Taxpayers despair that nothing can be done.

The same despair appears when it comes to elections: Apathy leads to few people voting.

The general idea of using some of the excess on stabilizing Social Security and paying down the debt is a safe alternative that is least likely to bring an outcry from the public. But the Republician movement to return a sizable portion of the excess to those who paid it consistently brings resistance from the tax-and-spend Democrats.

Again, some politicians believe they alone are more knowledgeable when it comes to spending the taxpayers money.

If the public doesnt soon cry uncle and take some responsibility for how tax dollars are levied and spent, then we must merely submit to the tax collector when the next increase comes along.

Gary Riffee, Millersville

Teaching conflict resolution in Arundel

I was pleased to read your article about the Maryland Alternative Dispute Resolution Commissions recommendations for increasing the use of community mediation. The article highlighted that mediation provides a setting for parties to resolve their own disputes to their own satisfaction, at a reduced cost and with more likelihood of preserving their relationships.

As a volunteer mediator and member of the board of directors for the Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center, I want your readers to know that we share the goals of the commission.

The center is a nonprofit community service organization, and we have been promoting creative and positive ways of dealing with conflict since 1994.

Our core offering is community mediation, and we have our own mediator certification program.

We also provide excellent training in no-lose conflict resolution, effectiveness, and anger management to individuals, businesses and public organizations.

Zane Schauer, Annapolis

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