You recently carried an article describing the hardship that will be encountered by Maryland residents as a result of alcohol and gasoline tax increases and fee increases contemplated by the General Assembly ("With the state facing a $1.6 billion deficit, Marylanders are likely to feel the pinch," March 27).
You failed however to discuss the much greater hardship and hazards encountered by our most vulnerable citizens as a result of budget cuts contemplated this session and enacted in recent years. These cuts, numbering in the billions of dollars, have drastically cut into essential programs that benefit the mentally handicapped, sick, poor, elderly, children, homeless and others who desperately require assistance to survive and live in an acceptable manner. Failure to enact tax and fee increases will further cause cuts in programs essential for survival of many of our neighbors. I am reminded of the sage who said that the greatness of a nation is measured by how well it provides for its most vulnerable and needy.