Letters To The Editor


December 12, 2007

Bailout rewards profligate spenders

With President Bush's proposed bailout for many of those who fell victim to rampant greed in the subprime mortgage debacle, he displays his ignorance not only of world politics but also of the free-market financial world ("Mortgage aid plan puts limit on relief," Dec. 7).

I'm sorry, but I find it hard to sympathize with the mortgage companies and all the others who logged huge profits while property values soared.

They, in turn, lured more greedy financial victims into this house of cards by offering investment packages that bundled all these mortgage securities together.

Yet our president now feels many of these parties should be offered some relief.

I've been financially conservative all my life. I live in a home no larger than I can comfortably afford. I paid off my mortgage several years ago, and have resisted the temptation to refinance and use my home equity to buy the many creature comforts I see others purchasing.

But I have now decided to purchase the 50-inch, plasma screen, high-definition television I have always wanted, along with an awesome 7.1 channel surround-sound stereo system.

After all, how could I possibly resist the two-year free financing offered?

Not to worry; next year, Mr. Bush will probably offer financial relief to all us witless souls who fell victim to this insidious home theater conspiracy.

Now I just need a plan for that luxury car I can't do without.

Kenneth Packard

Bel Air

President protects predatory bankers

President Bush has stepped into the limelight to announce an agreement to protect irresponsible lenders and borrowers ("Mortgage aid plan puts limit on relief," Dec. 7).

It is difficult to believe that this is the same administration that got the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 passed.

This bill was written to protect financial institutions from Americans who might default on credit card bills and have to file for bankruptcy.

The bill made no distinction between those driven into bankruptcy through irresponsible spending and those driven into bankruptcy as a result of unforeseen medical expenses caused by illness.

This bankruptcy law is one more example of government for the corporations and by the corporations.

So don't be hoodwinked into believing this administration is doing anything for these poor folks who might have to file for bankruptcy as a result of escalating mortgage rates.

The big picture here is that the administration is trying to protect those corporations that sold these bad loans.

But what price will these companies pay for their part in this Ponzi scheme?

Mary P. Remington


Democrats seek to soak taxpayers

If ever one needed proof that congressional Democrats are nothing more than modern-day robber barons, one only need look at their handling of the "AMT fix" legislation ("Senate passes limited AMT fix," Dec. 7).

They insisted that legislation preventing millions of taxpayers from falling victim to the expanding reach of the alternative minimum tax be "paid for" through other tax increases.

However, the tax revenue this legislation would eliminate has never been collected by the Internal Revenue Service.

In other words, Democrats want to create new taxes to replace money they never had in the first place. This is absurd.

But no more absurd than one of Maryland's own Democratic congressmen, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, insisting that legislation blocking tax revenue never seen would add to the national debt.

If he's so concerned with the debt, how about introducing legislation to cut spending?

Oh, that's right - he's a Democrat.

Craig Schleunes


Using speed cameras saves workers' lives

I'm in the paving business, and I strongly support the use of speed cameras in work zones ("Cameras proposed to catch speeders," Dec. 1).

Every night during the paving season, my company's crews work to repave our major highways. Nothing stands between our crews and the traffic except a row of orange cones.

Our workers' safety depends entirely on the ability of drivers to stay in their lane and avoid hitting the workers. And people are much better able to control their vehicles at 50 miles per hour than at 80 miles per hour.

In recent years, two highway workers have been killed by speeders while working on the Beltway in the Towson area. Several others suffered permanent injuries.

At least six highway workers have been killed in Maryland this construction season by out-of-control drivers.

Concrete barrier protection is not practical on a repaving operation that moves several miles a night.

Closing the road entirely or closing additional lanes can protect workers but can also produce massive traffic jams, which make it impossible to deliver materials to the site.

Speed cameras cause an emotional reaction, but they are the only effective way to provide safety to highway workers and the traveling public.

Pierce Flanigan III


The writer is president of a highway construction and asphalt paving firm.

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