The Sun's article "State leaders look at Md. income taxes" (July 19) was a good start at engaging the attention of taxpayers in the discussion about how to address the state's $1.5 billion structural deficit.
And, yes, Maryland's income tax could be made more progressive. But the role of business in carrying the tax burden also needs to be brought into the discussion.
According to a February report from the Council on State Taxation comparing the tax burdens of business among the states for fiscal 2006, Maryland ranks No. 48 (tied with Oregon) in the share of state and local taxes paid by business - at 36.1 percent.
The national average is 44.9 percent.
The COST report says that business paid $9.3 billion in state and local taxes in Maryland in fiscal 2006.
If the total taxes paid by individuals had remained the same and Maryland businesses had paid the same share as the national average, they would have paid about $13.4 billion - or $4.1 billion more.
That fact is enough to warrant giving serious attention to how we can restructure corporate income taxes and business taxes to help erase Maryland's structural deficit.
Wealthy may leave if tax rates rise
It seems that our governor feels that everyone paying the same tax rate is somehow patently unfair.
I hope that he takes the time to explain to those who have worked very hard to succeed how fair it is that their hard work may be rewarded with a higher tax rate ("State leaders look at Md. income taxes," July 19).
There is an old saying: "Don't bite the hand that feeds you."
If Gov. Martin O'Malley tries to punish the rich with taxes, he may find that they can afford very nice homes right across the state line.
Opportunity creates chance for security
Thomas F. Schaller writes that "working people value `economic security' over `economic opportunity'" ("Bush also earns low marks for economic policy," Opinion
Commentary, July 18).
If so, working people believe in a false choice - one that foolishly forgets the source of the very things that they want to make secure.
Access to almost everything that workers today fear losing - good housing, automobiles, abundant food, scientifically sound health care, WiFi, you name it - is the result of economic opportunity.
Such opportunity created these goods and services and ensures their continued abundance.
If we kill economic opportunity in the quest to create more economic security, we'll be left with neither one.
Donald J. Boudreaux
The writer is chairman of the economics department at George Mason University.
Let Ripken resolve stadium situation
The tone of The Sun's article on Aberdeen's financial problems involving Ripken Stadium was unfortunate ("Minor league, major troubles," July 14).
This is a beautiful facility that should not be dragged down by petty bickering over how best to solve these financial problems.
Cal Ripken has to step in and resolve these issues.
I'm sure that this is a situation that he can deal with in his usual friendly, conciliatory way.
Troubled schools need more staff
Do we really need the No Child Left Behind law to tell us that poor kids need more money in their schools ("Despite widespread grumbling, don't leave this law behind," Opinion
Commentary, July 15)?
School districts need to be free to employ an expensive solution to underachievement: Hire more people.
Troubled students usually have insufficient adult mentoring and oversight. But given enough caring attention, any child can learn.
The tragedy is that many students sit in the shadows and become forever lost.
You get what you pay for.
Move Taney statue away from capital
Here are some reasons former Chief Justice Roger B. Taney's statue should be removed from its current location in Annapolis, directly in front of the State House ("Taney's tainted legacy," July 17).
First, the statue's proximity to Maryland's seat of government lends far more prestige to Taney's memory than is warranted.
Second, out-of-state visitors who happen to recall Taney's major claim to fame, the infamous Dred Scott decision, naturally ask themselves, "Why is the progressive state of Maryland still honoring this man?"
Third, although men such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson held slaves, they were troubled by this fact. And historical figures also made major positive contributions that are far superior to any accomplishments in Taney's legal and political career.
Fourth, Maryland's children deserve better than a statue of Taney at the State House.
With even Southern states now officially apologizing for slavery, it is time to remove the statue from its supremely prestigious location.
Confederate leaders merit no memorial