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Maryland Public Policy Institute again shows its myopia

Cato Corporation

Sean Kennedy of the ever-voluble Maryland Policy Institute attempts in "Annapolis dines at federal expense" (June 13) to indict two governments simultaneously. If ever anyone finds oneself on a side with government, do please watch-out; you may be under constant and consistently false attack.

Here we find both the feds and Gov.Martin O'Malleysupposedly pulling another fast one past the insufficiently alert public. Well, if anyone is trying to pull a fast one, Mr. Kennedy is the real offender. He'd have you believing slow is fast, that up is down, that sweet is sour.

We are by now fully conscious that the Maryland Public Policy Institute, as well as its kissing cousin, the Cato Institute inWashington, D.C., is opposed to government and taxes in general, giving the impression that our public welfare rests almost entirely with the private sector (no one in a correct mind truly doubts its enormously vital role) and that public officials, unless lying largely dead (after all, why should taxes be paid for them?) are the biggest of cheats and neer-do-wells.

The truth actually is rather different; some, but by no means all, of our wisest, best informed, most inspired and conscientious people happen to be employed in or by the public sector; one wants to make the same assertion of the private sector as well. We should be reaching a point in our lives these days when denunciation of government, in virtually total respects, is but howling nonsense and not likely to accomplish what needs to be said. But this is just a response to our latest outburst from the superbly conservative, libertarian, and, shall we say, blind, policy insensible communicators.

What Mr. Kennedy describes applies not just to federal taxation discounts and advantages available to the likes of Mr. O'Malley and his kin but to every taxpaying citizen, however and wherever employed. The deduction in federal returns for other governmental taxes, state or local, relates as well to the incomes of private sector workers. The rest of his comparisons vis-à-vis Washington and Maryland are questionable too. Such numbers as he employs are never alone sufficient nor sacrosanct; you can't just ignore the meat and go directly to the sugar!

Neil W. Curran, Baltimore

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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