Readers Respond

August 19, 2009

Cardin's proposal indicative of state's wasteful ways

I don't know which is more frustrating, State Delegate Jon S. Cardin's use of law enforcement resources for his own pleasure, or the fact that he was, as a result of these actions, the "toast" of a convention of state government leaders at Ocean City. Shots are being fired at the Inner Harbor Pavilion, and everyday citizens are suffering through a recession, yet Mr. Cardin uses his authority to tie up law enforcement and tax dollar resources in this fashion. Possibly because of his connections, public officials are lining up to downplay the effects of the state delegate's actions, but he regardless has shown such poor judgment that his ability to serve in public office comes into question.

But maybe not, since senior state leadership, while enjoying a few days at the ocean on our badly stressed tax dollar, toasted Delegate Cardin for his little personal escapade. Their apparent immediate reaction is to praise his use of tax dollars and police resources as "imaginative." So perhaps Mr. Cardin's mindset is representative of our state government, begging the issue of whether our elected officials will ever accomplish anything other than leading us further into a bottomless abyss of government inefficiency.

Ron Boone, Timonium

Proposal proves citizens are secondary to Cardin's whims

Why should the recent actions of Del. Jon S. Cardin surprise anyone? This sort of pandering to public officials happens all of the time. Albeit on a lesser scale. With the budget concerns of Baltimore City daily front page news, for him to even consider an action such as this should be proof that he just doesn't care about the plight of the city. To read that he was the "toast" of the recent government convention in Ocean City is appalling. More proof that some politicians live in a different world. A world in which their constituency is secondary to their own whims. Unfortunately, citizens will continue to read about these types of actions until they wake up and vote these types of politicians out of office. I beg the citizens of Baltimore to remember this come election time. As restitution for his poor judgment, Del. Cardin should contribute funding to Baltimore City's mounted unit.

Brian Fitzpatrick, Catonsville

UMES solar project to save taxpayers money

UMES thanks Mr. Schumacher for his interest ("Solar project a waste," Aug. 15). He is correct that the system would have cost well over $12 million IF the university were to have bought it outright. UMES' solution is much more conservative in that it relies on experts in the private sector, not the taxpayer, to finance the investment and to operate the system. UMES saves taxpayers and tuition payers money by establishing a lower, fixed rate for electricity and allowing the business community to juggle the financial risks and rewards.

Ron Forsythe VP, Technology & Commercialization University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Public option would hold providers accountable

Eliminating the public option from health care legislation is a bad idea.

Formation of the Tennessee Valley Authority is perhaps the nearest thing to a public option in health care in our nation's history. That idea also was vigorously opposed by industry and the GOP in FDR's time.

TVA allowed government to manage and function previously operated exclusively by the private utility companies, leaving many poor and isolated communities without service and operating totally in secret, refusing to share cost information with regulators and the government. After TVA, the Tennessee valley began an era of relative prosperity. But more important, it allowed government regulators to understand the economics of electric utility operation and permitted them to regulate electric utilities successfully for the first time. Similarly, a public health care option will establish a benchmark with which to evaluate private health care providers and hold them accountable.

Jack Kinstlinger, Baltimore

Cost-cutting should be focus of health care reform

Now that the Obama administration apparently is willing to compromise on the creation of a public health care plan to compete with private insurers Washington can seriously consider other cost cutting options. Two come to mind.

Eliminated the prohibition on buying personal health insurance across state lines, that would inject new and powerful competition that would lower costs for everyone.

Tort reform: Our system of malpractice suits results in massive and random settlements that raise everyone's insurance premiums and creates an epidemic of defensive medicine that does no medical good, yet costs a fortune. But the Democratic Party's indebtedness to the trial lawyers has apparently taken malpractice reform off the table!

Benedict J. Frederick Jr., Pasadena.

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