Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 11, 2004

Comptroller has contested tax giveaways, The Sun's editorial "Mr. Ehrlich's giveaway" (Oct. 6) says to me, "Welcome back to consciousness," for vowing to fight the administration's plans to reopen the Delaware holding company tax loopholes we successfully closed during the last legislative session. The editorial writers at The Sun should stop sleeping on the job and read their own newspaper.

The Sun states that I "was strangely silent this spring when Mr. Ehrlich signed legislation" establishing a settlement for the holding company issue.

That's an odd thing to say when a March 26 article in The Sun stated that "Comptroller William Donald Schaefer is battling a legislative measure that he estimates would cost the state $88 million by providing an amnesty period for companies that have sent profits to Delaware in order to avoid Maryland taxes" ("Schaefer enters into $88 million battle," March 26).

An April 11 article called me "a vocal opponent of amnesty" ("Lawmakers compromise on `flush tax'"). Later that month, in a Q&A feature with Sun reporters covering the legislative session, one reporter stated that "Comptroller William Donald Schaefer opposes the amnesty provision" ("Sun reporters answer your questions on the 2004 legislative session," April 15).

"Welcome back to consciousness," eh?

The taxpayers of Maryland should be aware that they have a vigilant comptroller who looks out for their interests by making sure that everyone pays his or her fair share.

If only they had a newspaper that was equally vigilant or conscious.

William Donald Schaefer

Annapolis

The writer is Maryland's comptroller.

Investing in sports does little for city

Baltimore and the rest of the state gave up millions of dollars to build a new stadium for the Orioles. What did they get in return? A mismanaged, losing team ("Sliding into second," Opinion Commentary, Oct. 5).

When Brooks Robinson and Boog Powell played at Memorial Stadium, I could afford to take my family to ball games, and we had a team we could be proud of. I can't afford to take my grandchildren to Camden Yards. And it's especially disheartening to spend so much to watch them lose.

Today, if businesses are moving their headquarters out of Baltimore, it is because they have to take their employees into consideration.

People want to be in an area with affordable places to live, good public transportation systems and good schools.

For years, when Baltimore teachers begged the legislature to repair school buildings and make sure there were enough books and supplies to go around, they were told there was no money.

Yet somehow, the millions for baseball and football stadiums magically appeared.

If the schools had been adequately funded, Baltimore would not have such a high dropout rate, and the city would look far more attractive to companies looking for a place to locate.

And, by the way, making snide comments about our mayor certainly does nothing to help Baltimore.

Carol Stachura

Baltimore

Another star athlete coddled by courts?

Isn't it interesting that Martha Stewart is just starting a five-month sentence for misconduct in selling stock, while The Sun reports that Jamal Lewis will serve only four months for his admitted role in a drug deal ("Raven pleads guilty in drug case," Oct. 8)?

What is wrong with this picture?

Richard Hyers

Catonsville

There's no negotiating with terrorist fanatics

The basic premise of The Sun's editorial "Off the map" (Oct. 4) is that once the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, all the crazy Islamic terrorists will be happy and no longer hate Israel and America. Give me a break.

These lunatic terrorists want to kill us and the Israelis because of the way we live -- our open and democratic societies, which are a threat to their autocratic, theocratic control of their people.

The Palestinians are just pawns in their game -- they have been refugees for decades. Why haven't the Muslim countries accepted and incorporated their brethren into their societies after all these years?

You can't negotiate with terrorists. That is why the only way to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict is to defeat all the terrorists, then help the Palestinians develop a peaceful society that does not raise its children based on hatred but on peace and democratic societal growth.

Allan Kaufman

Owings Mills

Terrorists seek ruin of Israel and U.S.

The Sun's editorial "Off the map" raised a number of vital issues, including the nonproductive and self-destructive nature of the 4-year-old Palestinian uprising and the fact that a "discredited" Palestinian leadership has failed to counter Palestinian terrorist groups, especially Hamas.

But where the editorial is misguided is in its apparent agreement with al-Qaida's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, who has asserted that his group's attacks are, in part, the product of the continued stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians.

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