April 17, 2009

Tax protesters just sore losers

The Baltimore Sun's editorial "Happy tax day" (April 15) tied in nicely with the news about the "tea party" tax protesters ("Mailed tea raises alarms," April 15).

Protesting against government policies perceived as offensive, unjust, unfair or just plain wrong, for whatever reason, is an honorable, even necessary, activity in any country. However, a prerequisite to engaging in such protests should be an understanding of the issues involved. In the case of the Fox News-inspired and Republican Party-encouraged "tea party" protests, such understanding seems to be lacking.

I would guess that most, if not all, of the tax protesters would agree that living in a civilized society is a good thing. Why, then, do they choose to ignore the obvious fact that living in a civilized society costs money?

Where does that money come from? It comes from taxes.

If you want to belong to the club of civil society, as opposed to anarchy, you must pay the dues. Those dues are taxes.

Arguing over the rates or amounts of the taxes is fine. Protesting against the principle of paying taxes is not.

So let's not dignify these "tea party" participants by making them seem to be responsible citizens protesting against an oppressive government. They're not.

They're simply sore losers who can't accept the results of the last election.

Harris Factor, Columbia

Big bonuses add to pain of bailouts

Every day we hear that the unemployment numbers are up, and that more companies are conducting layoffs. Employees are even agreeing to furloughs to save jobs. So why do Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac need to award millions in retention bonuses to workers as an incentive to stay in their jobs ("Mortgage giants plan $210 million in bonuses," April 4)?

Where would their workers be going in this economy? Who in his right mind would leave a steady job today?

You can make an argument for merit raises. But retention bonuses?

With this kind of behavior, the mortgage giants continue to make their bailouts unpalatable.

Lori Scarano, Arnold

One-party state has ruined racing

Peter Schmuck's brief news item in his column "Waiting on slots was gamble that didn't pay off for state" (April 12) was right on the money.

If the Maryland legislature had listened years ago, it would have heard, as many of us did, that horse racing in Maryland was doomed unless slots could be installed at the tracks.

But despite former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s push for slots, the legislature had to wait for a Democratic administration before allowing a referendum on slots.

However, Magna Entertainment Corp. wasn't kidding. It is now in bankruptcy, and the legislature is trying to backpedal to cover its inability to offer creative ideas years ago when the financial problems at the tracks first surfaced ("Preakness bill signed," April 14).

But what do you expect from a one-party state and a one-party legislature?

Wally Knapp, Ellicott City

Push for amnesty must be rejected

Be ready for the battle this summer and fall on illegal immigration as President Barack Obama plans to back efforts by radical Hispanic groups and legislators to open the borders and pass full amnesty for the millions of illegal immigrants in the United States.

Despite the recession, massive job losses and foreclosures now impacting American citizens, Mr. Obama seems to feel compelled to push for amnesty to repay radical groups for bringing out the Hispanic vote in his favor.

But there must be no amnesty for illegal immigrants ever.

Al Eisner, Wheaton

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