There is absolutely nothing bold about forcing the working class to pay for the sins of rent seekers and predatory capitalists. The mayor has once more proven, in her State of the City address, that her only concern is protecting and advancing the interests of developers, corporations and financiers ("Mayor calls for trash pickup fee, 10 percent cut in city workforce" Feb. 11).

The focus of the mayor's comments on the city's economy reflect a neo-liberal fixation on privatization, erosion of the middle class, and depriving city residents of services all in the name of "fiscal responsibility" and solving a "crisis" which is, at best, a possibility.

The mayor wants to deprive public servants of the guarantee of a secure retirement and instead leave their golden years in the hands of the Wall Street casino. The mayor wants to force public safety employees to work longer hours for the same pay, and again, while decreasing the security these brave men and women have when their time of service to the city is done.

The city gives away mountains and mountains of free money to for-profit developers and out of state corporations, but the mayor only singles out non-profit entities for a "discussion" of asking them to pay their tax bills.

Meanwhile the mayor wants all city residents to pay (yet another) fee for trash collection (in addition to high income taxes) while providing the 49 percent of citizens who can afford to own their home with a tax cut.

That a conservative think tank immediately praised the savage cuts proposed by our "Democrat" mayor speaks volumes. The failed 1980s precepts of trickle down economics and prosperity through abandonment of the needy are alive in the Baltimore Democratic Party.

The mayor's prescription of austerity is impressive in that it manages to be both outrageous and shameful. The only remedy is for the people of the city to remind the mayor and her allies on the City Council who they work for.

Assuming we're not all collectively banned from City Hall, of course.

Travis DuCote, Baltimore

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