• Related
  •  Society shouldn't reward panhandlers' bad behavior Society shouldn't reward panhandlers' bad behavior

I am appalled that certain high and mighty Baltimore City Council members want to outlaw panhandling ("City Council members push to crack down on panhandling," Oct. 22). This is how the political class thrives. Not a day passes when I don't get an online come on from a politician. I strongly suspect I'm not the only one and that it doesn't seem to matter if you give or not or which side of the political spectrum you favor.

Begging is clearly a bipartisan phenomenon. And while no one with half a soul left wants to make the plight of the homeless any more miserable than it is already, professional politicians already have approval ratings on par with communists and the Ku Klux Klan — particularly Congress in light of their recent shutdown. And the Supreme Court in it's worst decision since Dred Scott in Citizens United guarantees not only that politics will get even nastier than it is already but that political begging will become even more subtle and ubiquitous.

And suppose some poor soul panhandling is not a scam artist or addicted to substances but truly in need? I can't for the life of me distinguish between the deserving and the undeserving poor. But I think it's better to give to the undeserving poor than to a deserving politician.

Paul R. Schlitz Jr., Baltimore