Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 18, 2004

Maryland needs more revenues, better leadership

Paul E. Schurick, a spokesman for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., is quoted in The Sun as saying, "Everywhere Governor Ehrlich goes, he runs into people and the message is twofold and it's simple: Bring slot machines to Maryland and don't raise taxes" ("Slots gain favor; most want state to keep all proceeds," Jan. 11).

But the real news in the poll on which Mr. Schurick commented is the overwhelming concern Marylanders have for their state's fiscal health and schools and their disdain for slots as the principal mechanism for addressing the state's budget shortfall.

Mr. Schurick's observation suggests that the governor is out of touch with those who are not friends or supporters.

At the minimum, affluent Marylanders should be asked to contribute to closing our large deficit.

This shortfall was not of Mr. Ehrlich's making, but his dogmatic refusal to consider any remedial revenue measures other than gambling revenues - which in the best of circumstances would address only part of our problem - portends an absence of leadership Maryland can ill afford.

Charles W. Mitchell

Lutherville

Tax hike no cure for schools' woes

The article "Top concerns are schools, state budget" (Jan. 11) quoted a retired Baltimore County bookkeeper as stating, "I just don't think people would be opposed to another one-cent tax."

But surely a retired bookkeeper realizes that an additional "one cent" represents an additional 20 percent burden on top of our 5 percent sales tax. When was the last time you or anyone you knew received a 20 percent increase in benefits or pay?

The solution to the education problem is not throwing more money at the problem, it's correcting the problem. When the administrators and unions stop protecting their incompetent staff and members and replace them with productive educators, then we can talk about a tax increase.

Show me how you will cut the waste. Then and only then would I support a tax increase to produce a better product: a student prepared to advance to the next grade and who will become a productive member of the community.

Arthur H. Beasman

Baltimore

Let governor's race wait for two years

I am getting pretty tired of reading about a potential match-up between Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr. and Mayor Martin O'Malley ("An O'Malley challenge could threaten Ehrlich," Jan. 11). I really wish The Sun would let these two political leaders focus on their current jobs.

The Sun is doing the people of Maryland a disservice with its constant attempt to hold pre-elections for governor. Like it or not, Mr. Ehrlich won the governorship. The Sun should learn to deal with it.

The people of Maryland should not have to hear about potential contenders until 2006. A lot can happen in two years.

Cassandra Tomarchio

Forest Hill

Investigate the lies that led us into war

Despite the blatant public relations job that has protected and supported President Bush throughout his campaign to wage a wrongful war, the facts are coming to light. The president lied or distorted facts to the American people and Congress to promote an agenda that was in place from the beginning of his administration, and perhaps even before he took office ("Challenging the case for war," Jan. 12).

Congress was not elected to be a rubber stamp for the president. When will it have the moral integrity to call for an investigation into this corrupt administration?

I believe the American people deserve better than they have gotten from the Bush administration and Congress.

Paula Baranowski

Havre de Grace

Threat level rose after the capture

Michael O'Hanlon thinks the capture of Saddam Hussein made us safer ("Dean's claim doesn't hold up," Opinion

Commentary, Jan. 12).

Can he explain why, a week after Mr. Hussein was captured, the Bush administration raised the threat level from yellow to orange?

Vincent Daly

Baltimore

Scaring women away from right to choose?

David Nitkin's article "Abortion foes propose regulating Md. clinics" (Jan. 7) highlighted yet another effort by anti-choice lawmakers to deter women from exercising their right to choose.

Women, not politicians, should decide personal and intimate matters, such as whether to choose to have an abortion. But laws such as the bill proposed by state Sen. Janet Greenip are designed to block women from making such decisions and put politicians and regulators in the middle of abortion-related medical practices.

Such legislation is part of an anti-choice strategy to make the right to choose a negative option by making the procedure appear dangerous. But in fact abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed today. Legal abortion is safer than a tonsillectomy, an appendectomy or a shot of penicillin.

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