Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 16, 2003

Spending cuts would harm families in need

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is threatening to veto $135 million in new revenues, which could force devastating cutbacks in critical services for Marylanders ("Ehrlich seeks to rebuff tax rise," April 10).

What are vulnerable families facing? A grandmother caring for her sick daughter's child qualifies for subsidized day care. She could be denied that service because of cuts in child care funding and forced to consider relinquishing her granddaughter to state custody.

Hard-working moms and dads with young children with asthma could soon lose their health insurance. The young mother fleeing domestic violence who receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) while getting on her feet may face a cut in her paltry monthly check.

And what is in the tax bill Mr. Ehrlich intends to veto? It would require corporations that establish shell subsidiaries in Delaware in order to avoid state corporate income taxes to report payments to their out-of-state subsidiaries when their taxes are calculated. And it would mandate that HMO premiums be taxed at the same 2 percent rate as other insurance premiums.

And finally, the bill proposes a temporary increase in corporate income taxes that would bring them into line with personal income taxes.

Our governor is faced with a choice between holding corporations accountable for paying their fair share or forcing devastating cuts to vulnerable families and children.

Something has gone seriously awry with our priorities when health insurance and other critical programs for children may be slashed while tax breaks for corporations are zealously protected.

Judith M. Schagrin

Baltimore

The writer is vice president of the Maryland chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Gov. Ehrlich is right to reject new taxes

When will The Sun get it? Just about every day we see more editorials chastising the governor for promising to veto new or increased taxes for Marylanders (e.g. "Reckless," April 11, and "A year of saying no," April 9).

Every clear-thinking Marylander knows that the budget mess was created by overspending and ignoring the warning signs of a coming recession. The blame for this mess belongs to the prior administration and the Democrat-controlled state legislature that created it.

The citizens of this state elected Mr. Ehrlich because we are sick and tired of the same-old, same-old from our leaders. We are tired of officials who squander our money with the attitude that they can reach into our pockets for more whenever they want.

Kudos to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. for not bending in the face of pressure from the likes of The Sun. True leadership is never easy.

Rick Proctor

Forest Hill

Looting sends signal to other Arab leaders

Thinking about the coalition forces' initial reluctance to become policemen and curb the looting so rampant in Iraq, I began to wonder if this is another psychological lesson aimed at the leaders of the rest of the Arab world ("Civil disorder rages on in Iraq," April 13).

Do you think that the heads of Syria and Iran are getting an image of the fury pent up in their own people, which is only kept quiet by the pressure of their dictatorial rule?

I do. And I hope it makes them very anxious.

Scott Appelbaum

Catonsville

Where are weapons of mass destruction?

As "Civic disorder rages on in Iraq" ("April 13), people are beginning to wonder if President Bush was telling the truth about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq being the main reason for the invasion.

And if such weapons are not found, will Mr. Bush have the moral rectitude to apologize for his mistake, take responsibility for the deaths of countless Iraqi men, women and children and the American soldiers who died in vain, and for the enormous destruction of a weak country that did not have the means to attack us ?

Will Mr. Bush immediately bring home the troops and pay for all the damage?

Jaime Lievano

Baltimore

Photo brings home true cost of war

I want to thank G. Jefferson Price III and The Sun for having the courage to print the uncropped photo of the Iraqi girl whose legs were blown off ("Truth in war's abiding images," April 13).

It has deeply disturbed me that the print and TV media have sanitized the effect of this war on innocent civilians. It is easier for U.S. citizens to support an action such as this war if they can emotionally shut out its horrifying aspects.

And ignorance and censorship have grave consequences for the health of our democracy, which is on life-support.

Deborah Santor

Davidsonville

Nuns challenge the new empire

At one level, Mike Lane is correct in the picture he painted of the trial of the nuns - as the nuns' action was hardly a danger in any literal way to the empire's war-making capabilities (editorial cartoon, April 9).

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