Tax cuts provide money for consumers, limit federal...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 05, 2001

Tax cuts provide money for consumers, limit federal spending

Raymond Daniel Burke's column "Debt payoff more urgent than tax cut" (Opinion

Commentary, Feb. 23) was nicely written, but has two critical flaws which invalidate its conclusions.

First, it is ludicrous in economic terms to compare the budget situation of a family making $30,000 a year with the national tax income of the world's largest economy.

In macroeconomic conditions such as our national economy, debt's drag is not nearly as damaging as in personal finance.

Moreover, federal debt in the national economy functions as a money magnet for foreign investors, bringing new capital to U.S. markets and thus creating additional jobs and wealth for taxpayers.

Second, and even more important, having seen what the federal government has done with our money these past 30 years or so, anyone should have a very healthy distrust of its stated intentions about where our dollars will really go.

If Mr. Burke really believes the national debt will be paid down just because politicians say it will, he is in denial of reality. The only way to stop growth of federal spending is to cut back revenue sources.

Tax cuts do that job just fine, while returning money to the people who really pay the bills.

And a dollar in the consumer's hands is worth at least two in Washington.

Frank O'Keefe

Baltimore

Pardon of drug dealer sends the wrong message

Even if we forget that Sen. Hillary Clinton's brother was paid a small fortune to obtain pardons, what kind of message did former President Clinton send about the war on drugs, when he pardons a convicted drug dealer ("Clinton brother-in-law returns pardon money," Feb. 22)?

Rob Mandelberg

Owings Mills

A president can pardon whomever he pleases

Sometimes it seems if everything wrong with this country could be blamed on the Clintons, many people would jump at the opportunity.

According to the Constitution, the president can pardon whomever he pleases, period. And money has always been an influence on almost all politicians.

I don't recall any other pardons being so carefully examined, and many in the past have certainly been questionable -- the pardons of Caspar Weinberger and President Nixon, for example.

Enough money has been spent pursuing former President Clinton. Let's remember his vast political accomplishments and leave him to rest in peace.

With his amazing talents, we may be surprised at what Mr. Clinton can do for this country, if he is allowed to breathe.

Florence Smelkinson

Baltimore

Outpouring of support touched the Schwenz family

On Feb. 13 we lost our son to tragedy when Jason Charles Schwenz, deputy sheriff for the Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Office, along with Officer Michael Nickerson of the Centerville Town Police, was killed in the line of duty.

We would like to thank everyone who joined us in our grief and attended Mr. Schwenz's funeral. The outpouring of support from the community continues to be overwhelming and is truly appreciated.

To all who braved the cold and wind to stand on overpasses and along the Beltway, many with young children who offered salutes or stood with their hands over their young hearts, please know you have truly touched our hearts.

We would also like to specifically thank the Maryland State Police, the Queen Anne's Sheriff's Office and the Centreville Police for their compassion and support.

Let us not forget Mr. Schwenz and Mr. Nickerson and all the law enforcement officers who have given their lives to help make our communities safer for everyone.

Joan Schwenz

Charles Schwenz

Columbia

Open bottles of alcohol can distract drivers

It's interesting that the Maryland House Judiciary Committee voted against an open container law ("Open container measure is killed," Feb. 24). This law, along with lowering the acceptable level of blood alcohol, could really help save lives.

Del. Donald E. Murphy worries that this law would have him thinking about where to pack open bottles of alcohol in his minivan.

But Mr. Murphy should not have open bottles in the vehicle. Drunken passengers are a temptation.

Donald E. Oakjones Sr.

Rosedale

The capital also needs campaign against gridlock

Bravo, Baltimore: May your campaign against traffic gridlock and the twits who habitually block intersections thrive and spread throughout the land ("Steps to clear gridlock begin," Feb. 24).

Specifically, may it transform the nation's capital, so urgently in need of manners and common sense -- not merely in the political arena but on the streets that serve an increasingly disenchanted public.

Angela Pedersen

Chevy Chase

Killing labor pact for bridge could create strife, delays

Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. strongly supports President Bush's decision to block the Project Labor Agreement for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge ("Bush to void labor deals," Feb. 17).

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