Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 12, 2003

Spending cuts could prove quite costly

Maryland's elected officials should heed The Sun's warning that vital government services face painful trimming if state revenue is not increased ("Lose the loopholes," editorial, Jan. 2). They should employ the common-sense principle of assessing what services their constituents need, and then obtain enough revenue to pay for them.

Particularly alarming are reports that Maryland's state and local governments may try to balance their budgets by reducing funds for health care, shelter and education.

Officials should recognize that most people feel compassion for citizens who are hungry, homeless, ill or disabled. They should also realize that, for example, it costs much less to educate a child properly than to imprison him or her later if that person can't find work and turns to crime and drugs.

And it costs much less to provide preventive health care for the needy and uninsured than to pay for their excessive use of hospital emergency rooms when they get sick.

If we want to maintain our state as a great place to live and work, we have to invest in protecting the health of our needy citizens and educating all children properly.

Maryland should increase its tax revenues by closing the special interest loopholes in its tax laws and by repealing its recent income tax cuts.

If that isn't enough to maintain services, high-bracket income taxes should be increased for those like me who can best afford to pay.

Robert S. Rochlin

Chevy Chase

Focus on cutting state's expenses

The Sun's editorial on ways to raise more tax revenues by closing so-called tax loopholes was commendable ("Lose the loopholes," Jan. 2). However, the emphasis should be on reducing the cost of state government.

Every business and family, when faced with a revenue decline, cuts back on expenses to weather a financial downturn. Yet for some reason the government is not expected to do the same thing.

I would appreciate it if The Sun would investigate the plethora of unnecessary and bloated state programs and payrolls.

Robert D. Moore

Cockeysville

Preserving programs protects incumbents

To enhance their power, generations of politicians have sold the idea that government can, and will, solve all of life's problems. Amazingly, many people buy this - even The Sun's editors ("Showdown 2003," editorial, Jan. 5).

But "preserving services we all want and need" may not be necessary or possible. Most state programs are created to protect incumbent politicians. The looming state deficit is the result of irresponsible legislatures rubber-stamping bloated budgets.

Slot machines, I suspect, are just seen as a way to continue this level of spending.

Until the growth and reach of state government are controlled, there will never be enough money to pay the bill.

Georgia Burch Benson

Timonium

Backing gay rights is good for families

It's reassuring that we have such individuals as Douglas P. Stiegler, who opposes Gov. Parris N. Glendening's call for newspapers to publish same-sex union notices, to help us determine what should be allowed in the newspaper and what shouldn't ("Same-sex union notices urged," Jan. 3).

Clearly Marylanders are not able to make choices on our own and must have someone of Mr. Stiegler's intellect and fine standards to instruct us as to what to read and how to form a "normal society."

My sons and my partner live in Maryland and we are a family. We and many other Maryland families of our "normal society" only wish Mr. Glendening's perspectives were more consistent throughout our society.

Phil Reely

Baltimore

Arab bombers murder civilians

The Sun's headline "Palestinian suicide blasts kill 23 in Israel" (Jan. 6) caught my attention. Such headlines bother me because The Sun never uses the word "murder."

The blast murdered civilians. It did not kill them by accident; the victims were not bystanders who just happened to be blown up because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were all intended targets.

And the bombers consider all infidels their enemies.

Barbara Ann Bloom

Baltimore

U.S. has power to avert a war

The Sun's editorial "The guns of winter" (Jan. 5) makes it sound as if the United States is reluctantly facing its duty to go to war to save the world. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Bush regime has been eager to go after the Iraqis from day one. It clearly wants nothing more than to go get Saddam Hussein out and put in its own puppet regime to tighten America's grip on Middle East oil.

And the editorial makes it sound as if only Iraq can stop us from going to war. Are we really helpless?

Washington can take itself "off the hook," as The Sun put it, by admitting it has no proof that there are banned weapons in Iraq, then letting the weapons-hunters hunt.

Mr. Hussein may hate us and he may want to kill us. But it has not been shown that he poses any real threat to American people or property.

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