Bush's budget shows compassion for the taxpayers...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 26, 2001

Bush's budget shows compassion for the taxpayers

"There's not much compassion in this conservative president's first budget," said The Sun's editorial "Bush's budget -- good, the bad, the ugly" (April 15). I can understand where a consumer of federal tax expenditures may feel that way. But as a producer of federal tax revenues, I think the budget is very compassionate.

This $1.96 trillion budget is a four percent increase over last year. That is a pretty big budget and a reasonable increase by anyone's standards.

However, a federal budget should not be judged in terms of dollars or percentage increases, but in relation to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and as a percentage of U.S. income.

Federal taxes consume 20.7 percent of GDP. One has to go back to 1944 to find a higher level of federal consumption. And individual income taxes are at an all-time high as a percentage of U.S. income, 10.4 percent. That percentage is higher than during World War II or the Vietnam War.

Clearly the producers of federal revenues, the taxpayers, are doing their part. Unfortunately, it seems the consumers of federal expenditures are never satisfied.

The president's budget shows compassion to the American taxpayer. This budget rewards the creators of wealth and tries to encourage people to emulate them.

President Bush is a man of his word. He is doing exactly what he said during the campaign that he would do.

Terrence H. Scout, Chestertown

Balto. Co. tax cut offers possible breath of fresh air

Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger's proposed property tax cut is one of the best moves he has ever made and the County Council would be wise to embrace it ("Executive proposes $10.5 million tax cut," April 17).

I don't care if it's politically motivated. A tax reduction anywhere in Maryland is a rarity. A Baltimore County cut would demonstrate leadership and good faith in today's tax-happy world.

Property tax reassessments have been moving up in each three-year cycle and it's only a matter of time until they set off another homeowners' revolt like the one in Baltimore County in 1990.

A lot of double-talk and misleading statements arise when the state and county compute assessments and tax rates. That's why the proposed cut in Baltimore County is such a breath of fresh air.

David Boyd, White Hall

Bush's tax cut would save his vice president a bundle

Vice President Dick Cheney paid $14.3 million in 2000 income taxes ("Tax returns show Bushes earned $894,880 in 2000," April 14).

Mr. Cheney is in the top income tax bracket of 39.6 percent. President Bush wants to cut the top income tax bracket to 33 percent, a reduction of about 20 percent. If Mr. Bush's plan had been effective in 2000, Cheney would have paid $2.86 million less in income taxes.

Who says the president's tax cut proposals aren't to benefit the very wealthy?

Kirk Donovan, Columbis

Impact of state spending will be felt by taxpayers

The huge budget passed recently by the Maryland legislature will definitely be regretted at some point in the near future.

The problem is that it will be the Maryland taxpayers who will suffer from this wild spending spree. I only hope voters take this into account in the next gubernatorial and legislative elections.

Find out how your elected officials voted on the governor's budget proposal and cast your vote accordingly.

Remember also that Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a silent partner for the most part, is still very much a partner in this administration. Voting her in as our next governor will only perpetuate this fiscal irresponsibility.

Ron Parsons, Glen Burnie

Cutting federal coverage sends business wrong signal

On April 12, we read of yet another assault on the health coverage of federal workers: The White House wants to drop a requirement that all health insurance programs for federal employees cover a broad range of birth control ("Federal workers may lose coverage for birth control").

Not every woman can use certain methods of birth control. If the only approved method is hazardous to their health, will their reproductive choices be limited to pregnancy or death?

The health care coverage provided for our federal workforce is considered a model for the nation's health care industry. What kind of a message is the Bush administration sending to private industry?

Joan Burke, Baltimore

First Amendment protects anti-Semitic comics, too

Reading about the furor over Easter Sunday's "B.C." strip I think that, once again, we have people who do not understand the First Amendment ("Comic strip sparks protest among Jews," April 13).

If the Sunday strip was as it has been described, it is anti-Semitic. But there are worse dangers than anti-Semitism, and censorship is one of them.

The First Amendment was not created to protect inoffensive speech; it was created to ensure every viewpoint, no matter how repugnant, can be heard.

Apparently the left doesn't understand this any more than the right does.

Patrick Macijeski, Towson

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