Tax cuts that favor the wealthy are still divisive and...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 13, 2001

Tax cuts that favor the wealthy are still divisive and unwise

I agreed wholeheartedly with the editorial "Before and after" (Oct. 2), until I came to the statement: "Before all this happened, much of the country disputed the president's economic program. After it ... the tax-cut stimulus and flirtation with deficit spending appear appropriate, even to previous critics."

I was a "previous critic" and I have not changed my opinion of the president's pre-Sept. 11 economic program.

The rich and powerful in this country, using their lackeys in Congress and the White House, last June rammed through massive tax cuts that primarily benefit themselves. Now, in the face of national tragedy, this same coalition of rich and powerful, using a Congress they bought and paid for, are seeking more tax breaks that will primarily benefit them - capital gains cuts and investment credits.

If the rich and powerful in this country cared at all about the welfare of the people of this country, they would now be demanding that the massive tax cuts be undone. This money - $1.35 trillion - is now needed to fight terrorism and bail out the airlines and other affected industries.

If the rich and powerful are not willing to give up this largesse in a time of need, one has to ask how patriotic they are.

And if a tax cut is needed to stimulate the economy, why not suspend all payroll taxes for a year? This would give a tremendous jolt to the economy and quickly end any recession.

Paul Streckfus

Pasadena

Clinton's broken promises paved way for Sept. 11 terror

In his column "Clinton's cloudy days" (Opinion*Commentary, Oct. 3), Jules Witcover stated this about why Bill Clinton should be enlisted by President Bush to help in the fight against terrorism: "His intelligence, his broad knowledge of an amazing range of subjects and his political talent for persuasion and conciliation all make him a highly valuable resource."

Consider this: After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six and injured 1,000, Mr. Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 1995 bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed five U.S. military personnel, Mr. Clinton promised those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 and injured 200 U.S. military personnel, Mr. Clinton promised those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa, which killed 224 and injured 5,000, Mr. Clinton promised those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 and injured 39 U.S. sailors, Mr. Clinton promised those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

Maybe if Mr. Clinton had kept his promises, an estimated 6,000 people would be alive today.

Kirvan Pierson

Lutherville

Confiscate the assets of nations backing terror

America should not only freeze but also confiscate the assets terrorist countries have in this country.

The money would help rebuild the damage (but not the human life) they have taken from America.

Thelma Neubauer

Forest Hill

Ariel Sharon should refund billions in U.S. assistance

After implying that we run our foreign policy like Neville Chamberlain ran his, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon assures Israel that this is not Israel's war ("U.S. rebukes remarks by Sharon," Oct. 6).

So he should give back the $3 billion a year that we send to support the strongest army in the Middle East.

Paul D. Kemp

Baltimore

Arafat's attitude gives Israel reason to fear

In the article "Fresh pressure placed on Israel, Palestinians" (Sept. 28), Mark Matthews states that Yasser Arafat "rushed to show that he wanted to cooperate with the United States."

Proof of Mr. Arafat's dedication was reported to be that he was so embarrassed by demonstrations of joy at the attacks on the United States that his security forces "threatened journalists who filmed them."

Israel has reason to be wary of a leader whose response to the despicable jubilee over thousands of civilian deaths was to threaten the press for its reporting and make no statement or reprimand to his people concerning their actions.

Alan Mensh

Baltimore

Don't replace Bea Gaddy; reduce size of City Council

I, along with many others in the city, mourn the passing of Bea Gaddy, the illustrious advocate for the homeless and downtrodden. But this should not be the time for a replacement ("Council vacancy sparks concerns," Oct. 6).

This should be the beginning of downsizing the City Council, which was suggested some months ago by the League of Women Voters.

Now is the time to start that count down, not look for a replacement.

Grace Y. Jones

Baltimore

Goodman distorts faith, misconstrues civic virtues

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