October 23, 2011
In response to the recent letter from William Smith ("Gas tax brings out whiners," Oct. 19), let me first state that I am one of those "freeloading" conservatives Mr. Smith complains about in his letter. My employer pays me twice a month, and each and every time I look at my pay stub, I have deductions for state and federal withholding so I must be a taxpaying "freeloader. " I trust I have your permission to use my car to drive on our roads, use police and fire services if I need them, and put my trash out on pick-up day. After all, Mr. Smith implies in his letter that conservatives don't pay taxes and "whine" about tax increases.
September 20, 2011
The most consequential national tax policy change during the past three decades has been the steady shift of the nation's tax burden from wealth to work. This shift in tax priorities is connected to stagnant growth, unemployment, economic inequality, societal stress and, of course, our national deficit and debt problems. It wasn't always this way. The 25 years following World War II were a time of great American prosperity, growth and expansion of the middle class. I can't tell you how many Americans old enough to remember have told me America was a better country then, and economically speaking, they're right.
July 5, 2011
Dan Rodricks has admonished those who oppose Maryland's new law providing in-state college tuition rates to illegal immigrants ("Immigrants: We detest them – and need them," June 30). He points out that the hard, cheap labor provided by illegal immigrants saves citizens money on fruit and vegetable prices. But has Mr. Rodricks considered the ballooning tax burden on citizens in order to pay for the social service programs that have swelled because of this huge influx of illegal immigrants?
June 30, 2011
A "Readers Respond" letter in The Sun ("Living in Maryland is far superior to living in Texas," June 28) contained some significant factual inaccuracies. The writer contends that the cost-of-living is less in Maryland than in Texas. According to CNBC, Texas ranks 8th on the list of states with the lowest cost-of-living. On the same list, Maryland is tied with Connecticut at 45th. The writer continues on to suggest that the personal tax burden is higher in Texas than in Maryland.
June 21, 2011
(Clarification: Although the ONE foundation's $15 million in funding in 2008 is listed in tax documents as “contributions,” the organization does not solicit funding from the general public but from foundations and board members, according to ONE’s website and a statement from a spokeswoman.) Tonight, U2 bring their enormously successful 360 Tour to Baltimore, and if previous U2 shows are any guide (trust me, I've seen them 11 times), the show will feature not only the soaring anthems for which they are rightly known but also a healthy dose of promotion for the band's many charitable causes.
April 18, 2011
I guess Ron Smith believes that taxing the poor that will get us out of the mess we're in ("Don't think taxing 'the rich' can get us out of this bind," April 15). Why do conservatives like Ron Smith like use figures describing the "tax burden" to support their ideas? Because if they used net worth figures it wouldn't look like such a problem. In 2007, the total net worth of the top 1 percent of this country was about 34.6 percent of the country's total wealth. The net worth of the next 19 percent totaled 50.5 percent.
April 7, 2011
In Tom Schaller's recent Op-Ed article ("Taxing the rich: good policy, good politics," April 6), he makes the case that the cure for our economic ills is more taxes on the rich. Tom argues that (1) increasing government spending stimulates the economy, (2) reducing income taxes retards economic growth, (3) the tax burden in the US too low, and (4) increasing taxes on the wealthy is justified because it's popular. Let's see, Obama and the governments of Greece, Ireland, and now Portugal have all spent trillions with little or no economic growth to show.
January 14, 2011
From the Real Estate Wonk blog: Wonk reader Jim, a Boston resident who bought a home in Baltimore recently for visiting his daughter on weekends, got a taste of the "bewildering" Maryland property-tax rules as he was searching for a place. Here's what struck him: --It's not always apparent to buyers how much they'll be paying in taxes. He found that many listings had incorrect tax amounts, either calculated on the wrong year of the three-year phase-in or noting the seller's (lower)
December 6, 2010
I take strong exception to Dan Rodricks' Dec. 2 column regarding "indefensible tax cuts" ( "Tea party and GOP: Defending indefensible tax cuts" . His anger over income disparity and wealth accumulation is not founded in fact. When we subsidize the poor, we get more poor people. We will never raise up the poor by penalizing the successful. We should celebrate those who have been successful — not demonize them. Most of them got there through education, hard work and risk-taking.