Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 13, 2007

Cuts should come before tax increases

Our state government is working in reverse: After approving a package of tax increases, the House of Delegates has belatedly chosen to look backward at budgetary cuts ("House passes tax increases, now to look at budget cuts," Nov. 12).

As such, the foundation and purpose of these tax increases has yet to be laid. The more efficient, and less disingenuous, procedure would be to first look to what cuts may be made, and by doing so prove to all Marylanders that these tax increases are justified and necessary.

It is not for the legislators to first collect all the tax dollars, only to later voluntarily trim the excesses of a wish list. Rather, it is on the will of the people to decide that this increase in taxation is worthy of their endorsement in favor of worthwhile government spending.

Otherwise, the House is breaking the people's piggy bank before checking its own pockets for change.

Tom Coale

Columbia

Don't include sites in slots referendum

Gov. Martin O'Malley and the General Assembly want to think that slots proponents will be placated if slots are put to a referendum ("Senate OKs slots plan," Nov. 9). They are wrong.

Proponents know the Democrats' version of a referendum will not ask whether Marylanders want slots. They expect that it will fail because the Democrats will insert into the referendum the locations where slots would be. This would pit Marylanders against each other and would be detrimental to counties that want slots but aren't included..

What the slots referendum should ask is simply whether slots should be allowed in Maryland. Then the Democrats could earn their money by working out the details. But they won't do this, because, as this special session already illustrates, they do not listen to the will of the people who elected them.

Charles Herr

Baltimore

`Primitive' rockets still pose a danger

I wonder if the writer of the letter "Gaza's rockets do very little damage" (Nov. 8) would feel the same way if Mexico or Canada were lobbing bombs such as these into the United States. Would she think that it was OK just because the bombs were "primitive"?

If the Israelis kill innocent Palestinians, it is because they have been placed in danger by their own people.

Israel closes the borders because of Palestinians who cross into Israel with bombs attached to their bodies. How many innocent Israelis have been killed by suicide bombers?

Let the Palestinians declare peace and mean it, and the Israelis will be happy to live side by side with them.

Abby Richmond

Baltimore

Cowherd insensitive to writers, the poor

Kevin Cowherd's column on the writers' strike was truly shocking and in poor taste - both for its insensitivity to writers and for its attack on the poor ("See what effect strike has on us," Nov. 7).

This man who makes his living from the written word haughtily lampoons successful writers and their affluent lifestyles while ignoring the fact that the vast majority of members of the Writers Guild of America are not wealthy by any means and that a large percentage hardly works at all.

Then he has the nerve to use the term "trailer trash" in a snide reference to Dog the Bounty Hunter. While I am no fan of that show, I resent Mr. Cowherd's attack on people who live in trailers because they cannot afford comfortable homes in plush suburbs.

I believe Mr. Cowherd owes an apology to the writers and to anyone who calls a trailer home, be it ever so humble.

D. R. Longway

Towson

Benefits for illegals insult to law-abiding

I don't often agree with Kathleen Parker, but to her column Thursday ("Why don't we stop encouraging illegal immigration?" Opinion

Commentary), I say a hearty, "Preach it, sister!"

The elephant in the congressional room is the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants who have a chance to get driver's licenses in several states. This makes me angry.

After more than a year of jumping through all the hoops, my Russian immigrant wife still does not have a green card. We have done everything we have been told, sometimes in quadruplicate, and we are still waiting. We have spent a small fortune on fees, and the government agencies with which we have been dealing have offered us not a single benefit or service for our efforts.

The standard joke in our family is that we should have bypassed the legal process and simply gone to Mexico and entered across the border in Texas or Arizona. By now, she would probably be a citizen, or at least have a high-paying job. As it stands, the government tells us it will take at least another six months before a green card will be issued.

We have done everything by the book. The idea that so many who entered this country illegally stand not only to be allowed to stay but also to receive special treatment is insulting to the millions of law-abiding, legally entered immigrants who now claim American status and citizenship.

David Manning

Towson

City's female leaders could inspire others

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