Enron's misbehavior shows business needs to be tightly...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 24, 2002

Enron's misbehavior shows business needs to be tightly regulated

The continuing stream of disgusting revelations about the sleazy business practices of Enron Corp. and its "auditor," Arthur Andersen Inc., is a terrific example of why corporate America needs more regulation and supervision, not less.

And the report that Enron paid no income taxes in four of the last five years is another example of how the vast majority of American taxpayers have been swindled by tax benefits given to businesses.

I also strongly suspect that all those executives at Enron who padded their own pockets by cooking the books and stock manipulation, and who thereby ruined the investments of not only their own employees but also of many others, paid a far smaller fraction of their ill-begotten income in tax than I and the vast majority of Americans - who earn far less than Enron executives - do.

Enron is a terrific example of why a tax policy such as that advocated by President Bush and most other Republicans - one that astoundingly favors even more tax cuts and benefits to businesses - is a financial rip-off for the vast majority of the American public.

And the links between Enron and the Bush administration in considering energy policy and between Enron money and other politicians are also clarion calls for shining more light on links between corporate America and government policy and for campaign finance reform.

Nancy L. Craig

Baltimore

What are the odds that anyone of consequence in the management of Enron Corp. will be punished in any significant way for the offenses committed against the company's own employees - let alone the investing public at large?

And if severe justice is not dealt out here, then what would it take?

This gives rise to the question: Is our government so bribed, so steeped in corruption that no mega-corporate outrage, no matter how egregious, is too much?

Leslie K. Lear

Timonium

Enron scandal makes vote on campaign reform urgent

The large number of government officials with connections to Texas-based Enron Corp. is making it difficult to find independent investigators ("Groups wary of Congress' Enron probe," Jan. 20). This points to the need for reforms, most notably campaign finance reform.

For the past year, the House's Republican leadership has blocked a vote on campaign finance reform legislation. Other members of the House have tried to force a vote by a parliamentary procedure known as a discharge petition.

The discharge petition effort had been stalled; however, the excesses of Enron have sparked renewed interest and new signatures on the petition.

Now is the time for us to lift our voices and call upon Congress to curtail the influence of big-money interests by forcing a vote on campaign finance reform. The pressure point is the discharge petition.

Jim George

Baltimore

Blame the doctors, judges for mayhem in the streets

Instead of blaming guns, why don't we try something truly novel and investigate the doctors who treat psychotic people who appear normal while under the influence of prescribed drugs ("Law student kills 3 in shooting spree," Jan. 17)?

And, while we are doing that, we should also examine the judges who allow the criminally insane to wander the streets and wreak mayhem among us.

Jim Pileggi

Galena

How can state allow the abuse of juveniles?

The Sun and Juvenile Justice Secretary Bishop Robinson's abuse reports only focus on the guards' abuse ("Md. says teen jail incidents far higher," Jan. 15). What about the abuse caused by other juveniles?

What about guards who allow juveniles to attack each other, as they did my son? What about kids with mental disabilities "treated" by abusive guards? These kids need help, mental help, not abuse.

It's a disgrace that the state continues to run facilities that are not safe. The state is the first one to accuse parents of abusing their children, but will permit abuse in state-run facilities and neglect in state-operated child services.

Why is it OK for the state, but not parents, to use force on our children?

Joe Goddard

Westminster

City children will suffer for fiasco on bus routes

Let's see: A bus company with a history of safety violations sends only one-third of its buses for a mandatory inspection. Of those (the best of the fleet?) almost all fail. Later that same day, one of the failed buses, while carrying students, crashes into a house ("City takes away routes from school bus firm," Jan. 11).

Rather than filing criminal charges, the city administration allows the company to keep two of its routes. After further review, half the routes are restored to the bus company by the school administrators ("City gives bus firm a reprieve," Jan. 17).

And I bet no one, except the children, will suffer for this latest revolting display of administrative idiocy.

John Robinson

Baltimore

City's jurors do merit much better treatment

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