March 13, 2009

How can tax hikes inspire investment?

As a businessman in Baltimore, I wonder how the various federal stimulus packages could possibly encourage me to make greater investments that would lead to more jobs ("Obama lauds stimulus effect," March 7).

In this period of reduced demand and great uncertainty in the financial markets, I am being prudent and exercising extreme caution, just as so many other business people are. The value of my liquid assets, like those everyone else holds, has taken a beating, and this reduces my ability to secure new loans.

So I ask: How in this world could higher personal income taxes, higher taxes on dividends and capital gains, and lower deductions for interest and charitable contributions possibly be seen as encouraging business investment?

Would such changes, if approved by Congress, speed up or slow down the business recovery?

The answer should be obvious to everyone.

I urge my business colleagues to raise their voices to stop such negative fiscal actions.

David F. Tufaro, Baltimore

The writer is a developer and a former Republican nominee for mayor of Baltimore.

Ultimate earmark is aid to Israel

There has been so much talk recently about congressional and presidential earmarks ("Earmarked for Maryland," March 5). But I would suggest that the ultimate earmark is our unqualified support for Israel, which is scheduled to receive, along with $3 billion a year in foreign assistance, an additional $30 billion over the next 10 years in U.S. military assistance.

I can think of nothing that Israel does that benefits this country; why then does our government seem to place Israel's interest above our own?

Doris Rausch, Ellicott City

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