Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 17, 2003

Trimming taxes of the rich won't revive economy

President Bush seeks to cut taxes for those rich enough to sit home and collect stock dividends but offers little to those who have to get up and go to work each day ("Bush offers bold tax cuts," Jan. 8).

And the boost this proposal gives the stock market will be short-lived. Companies will quickly change their traditional taxable $3 dividend to a tax-free $2 dividend, keeping their offerings competitive with the bond and interest markets.

Mr. Bush thinks that if we give money to the rich, they will somehow invest it to create jobs. But every entrepreneur knows that investment has nothing to do with creating jobs. There is only one thing that can create a job, and that is a customer.

Give the money to the customers, to those who spend it. Those at the lower income levels will buy food and clothing for their children and those in the middle will buy computers, televisions and automobiles, and together they will drive up the economy.

You don't drive business from the top down with investment. You drive it from the bottom up, with customers and with profits.

Likewise, you don't drive an economy from the top down with tax breaks for the rich. You drive it from the bottom up with people who have buying power and productivity.

George Gregoire

Baltimore

Tax cut's benefits go to wealthy seniors

President Bush, in seeking public support for his proposal to eliminate the tax on individuals' stock dividends, tugs at our heartstrings by stating that about half of dividend income goes to seniors.

While his claim may be true, it is hardly pertinent, because some of the seniors getting the tax break may be among our country's wealthiest people.

Stanley W. Krohn

Baltimore

Bush's plan lets us keep money we earn

The Sun's editorial "The big bet" (Jan. 8) is, of course, critical of the president's economic plan, but certain points need clarification.

First, The Sun bemoans the "vastly disproportionate share of tax relief to the most well-off." What is omitted is the fact that in 2003, under current law, the top 15 percent of wage-earners will pay more than 75 percent of all income taxes. It's impossible to have a meaningful tax reduction without benefiting those who pay the taxes in the first place.

Second, The Sun is deeply concerned about lost revenue and resulting deficits. But deficits are never overcome by prudent fiscal management of receipts and expenditures, because politicians will never exercise such discipline.

Deficits are overcome by strong economic growth that occurs when all citizens are allowed to keep more of their own money, revving up an engine that generates tax dollars as a by-product. The 1990s offer a prime example of economic growth outpacing politicians' proclivity to spend.

What The Sun and those on the left really appear to detest is any tax reduction that takes money out of the hands of politicians and government bureaucrats and puts it back in the hands of the citizens who earned it.

Doug Lombardo

Timonium

Slots weren't reason voters chose Ehrlich

In The Sun's article about the ladies of NocasiNo, a spokesman for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. stated that the Marylanders voted for slots when they elected Mr. Ehrlich over Kathleen Kennedy Townsend ("No place for slots in state, group says," Jan. 6). To think that is either very arrogant or very foolish.

The reality is that many people voted for Mr. Ehrlich because they did not like Ms. Townsend. If she had been a stronger candidate, run a better campaign, selected a different running mate or served under a more popular governor (or at least had distanced herself from Gov. Parris N. Glendening), Mr. Ehrlich would have lost the election.

Marylanders did not vote for Mr. Ehrlich because of slots but because he was, to many minds, the lesser of two evils.

D. Adams

Baltimore

Using death penalty cuts the murder rate

In the death penalty controversy, has anyone looked at Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties' homicide rates vs. that of Baltimore City ("Racial bias study may play role in death role appeals," Jan. 9).

Both counties' murder rates are much lower. Why? Because both counties' state's attorneys seek the death penalty in all eligible cases while Baltimore City's state's attorney seldom does.

As a retired Baltimore City police officer, I can think of no other reason for the disparity in murder rates.

John F. Rupertus

Pasadena

Oil is real reason for war on Iraq

As implied in The Sun's editorial "An oil change" (Jan. 12), a picture is beginning to emerge of the Bush administration's real motives for a war in Iraq - oil.

Since Sept. 11 our faith in the stability of Saudi Arabia has been shaken, so we must find a replacement for their oil. Why not Iraq, whose evil dictator is sitting on the second-largest oil reserve in the world.

Getting him off this seat and us on it would enable us to thumb our noses at the Saudis and keep our SUVs rolling.

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