Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 13, 2005

Health care tax will limit growth of new business

Once again, Maryland's progressive legislators have distinguished our state with a classic piece of anti-business legislation. Indeed, the proposed monetary penalty on companies deemed to be spending too little on health care benefits takes state government in America to an all-time low ("Health care tax to target big employers," April 6).

This bill is punitive in nature, and is an ambitious attempt to extend the micro-management of state government into business affairs.

Whatever you subsidize, you will increase in scope and size. Whatever you penalize, you will reduce.

This bill would succeed in increasing overall health care costs by mandating employer subsidies to health care.

It would reduce business incentive as well, because it would put a financial penalty on all large companies that are cost-efficient.

If I were the CEO of Wal-Mart, I would already be canceling plans for any further expansion in Maryland.

The scariest part of all is the future potential for expansion of such bills. Such legislative intrusions into the private sector are almost always broadened quietly over time.

If you want higher benefit levels in the private sector, you must provide business expansion incentives, not penalties.

All tax increases inhibit economic activity, no matter what their rationale.

Any governor who would not instinctively veto this legislation should return to fourth-grade mathematics.

Frank O'Keefe

Baltimore

Force Wal-Mart to pay its way

The Fair Share Health Care Act should not be vetoed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. ("Lawmakers OK health bill, setting up veto showdown," April 10).

It is important that as many Marylanders as possible have health insurance. Wal-Mart makes a practice of having the local community subsidize its employees' health care.

By offering limited benefits and paying ridiculously low wages, Wal-Mart often makes its employees Medicaid-eligible, and we taxpayers are stuck paying for their health care.

This is completely unfair. Wal-Mart is taking advantage of us, and using our money to enrich its stockholders.

This bill would force Wal-Mart to pay its own way.

Mr. Ehrlich must not veto it.

Lorelle Anderson

Silver Spring

Limbaugh's barbs do state an honor

According to a Sunday article, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. opposes recently passed health care legislation in part because it caused radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh to slam the state of Maryland ("Lawmakers OK health bill, setting up veto showdown," April 10).

I respectfully disagree with the views of the governor. Criticism from Mr. Limbaugh should be viewed as a badge of honor.

Mr. Limbaugh is a foul-mouthed and mean-spirited spokesman for right-wing extremism.

I would be far more concerned if he had praised Maryland's actions.

Jack Kinstlinger

Baltimore

Employer mandates undermine freedom

What right does the government have to tell an employer what part of the company's budget he or she has to spend on benefits ("Lawmakers OK health bill, setting up veto showdown," April 10)?

The government is supposed to be the government of a free people. This doesn't mean only free to act as they say but free to make our own decisions.

Telling employers how they must run their businesses is not freedom.

John Bittner

Street

Health care tax would be evaded

Set aside for a moment the argument about whether the so-called Wal-Mart health tax is socially responsible or spiteful ("Lawmakers OK health bill, setting up veto showdown," April 10). Only one thing is assured, and that is that the captains of industry will find a way around it - they always do.

The reason is that those smart enough for industry enter it, while those who aren't pass legislation.

Tim Marshallsay

Baltimore

Media must question the official accounts

Bravo to The Sun for publishing the excellent column by Amy and David Goodman concerning the media's general capitulation to the official line pushed relentlessly by the Bush administration ("Americans deserve media that won't bow to Bush," Opinion * Commentary, April 7).

From its declaration of "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq, followed by the deaths of hundreds of more soldiers, to its dishonest attempt to "fix" a Social Security system that doesn't need its kind of corrosive solution, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and company clearly believe that falsehoods told often enough will become a perverse kind of truth.

With Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now!" radio and television program on the air in more than 300 markets, that dangerous and un-American goal has gotten a little bit harder to achieve.

For that, and for The Sun publishing the Goodmans' call for the media to resume its obligation to question authority, I am thankful.

James M. Causey

Reston, Va.

Pope revered all life; president does not

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