No Cheers Here
Editor: We take exception to your comment in the Jan. 29 editorial that everyone should at least approve of the $500 deduction per child that President Bush presented in his speech the previous day.
Our president is apparently now a true believer in the voodoo economics practiced by President Reagan: If you give the rich enough money, some will trickle down, although it has never happened.
The $500 deduction per child will save a family with one child $75 in the 15-percent bracket, $140 in the 28-percent bracket and $155 in the 31-percent bracket per year. As usual, the rich get richer and the poor and middle-income people get less. This will help any family or stimulate the economy?
The president's "pay less weekly" proposal will save $154 for those in the 15-percent bracket, $289 for the 28-percent bracket and $287 for the 31-percent bracket. I hope people realize that they still have to pay their taxes April of '93 and perhaps even a penality.
The $5,000 deduction for first-time home buyers will save $750 for those in the 15-percent bracket, $1,400 for the 28-percent bracket and $1,550 for the 31-percent bracket.
We wonder how many young average-income people have $10,000 IRAs and are buying their first homes.
We also hope the people without health insurance can afford to buy it and that their tax credit will not be based on a percentage of those earnings.
This kind of thinking by the Republicans has been going on for 12 years and has put the poor and the middle class in the straits they are in today.
We hope all people, instead of just the rich, will vote self-interest issues instead of nonsense issues next November and put this
country on a stable economic track.
Joan and Bill Roemer.
Editor: We love children, but are discouraged by the example set by your coverage of Maryland's first baby of 1992.
This baby was born to a 25-year-old, divorced, unemployed mother of four. Knowing no more than what was presented in the article, we wonder what kind of life this baby will have, born into a home of such unstable conditions.
Babies need stability, planning and personal resources. With the increasing state deficit and increasing rates of child abuse and neglect, the state could greatly benefit from far better access to, and promotion of, family planning.
Deirdre M. Smith.
Douglas G. Carroll.
Life and Football
Editor: I am not a football fan. So call me un-American. It really shows where this country's priorities are, though, when one compares the hoopla surrounding the Super Bowl with the apathy when Election Day rolls around.
I'd like to see businesses close early during Election Day to give their "associates" time to vote. The outcome of football games doesn't affect our lives one bit. We can see what happens to our country when we participate (or do not) in the election of leaders and representatives.
Imagine how politics -- and therefore our lives -- would change if the media created the same kind of excitement over elections that football PR does.
editor: In response to the letter from the biker who says helmets cannot withstand impacts over 15 mph:
I have been racing cars for eight years. In that time, I never once considered driving without a helmet.
Only an idiot would risk taking a rock in the mouth at 60 mph. Even a flying insect could put out an eye at highway speed. the point of wearing a helmet is to protect your head, not your ego.
This biker should watch some footage of Indy car crashes.
Maybe he would like to tell Pancho Carter that his helmet did not save his life when his car flipped over and slid for several hundred feet with his head wedged between the car and the ground.
The 200-mph slide ground most of the way through the top of the helmet, but the driver survived.
Editor: It never ceases to amaze me how certain candidates and their ideas are effectively ignored in the mainstream news media, while other candidates, issues and topics are chosen for in-depth coverage.
Case in point, the media, though not a vote has been cast, have declared the candidacies of Jerry Brown, Larry Agran and Sen. Tom Harkin irrelevant. In the meantime Bill Clinton was all but nominated by the press as the Democratic candidate and then trashed because of allegations about his private life by a supermarket tabloid.
The point is that Brown, Agran, Harkin all legitimate candidates -- should have their ideas aired and discussed by a wide spectrum of political analysts, and this should be done through public funding.
The issues are urgent. People are without jobs, without homes, without health care and George Bush offers warmed-over Reaganomics as a solution.
Tom Harkin, as a tough Democratic congressman who was elected and re-elected four times in a heavily Republican district, stands out as a proven winner who can beat Bush in November. It should be remembered that once nominated, Dukakis was ahead of Bush in the polls until he threw the election away.
Harkin has consistently stood up for working Americans by sponsoring tough legislation in Congress.
Harkin has consistently been an advocate of fair taxation a progressive tax structure where the rich pay their fair share of the tax load.
Harkin has consistently fought for quality, affordable health car for all Americans.
The "major" Democratic candidates are all advocating increased social spending.
Harkin alone is proposing to finance massive federal investment in infrastructure, education and housing all of which will create jobs with money saved from cuts in the military side of the budget.
VTC Tom Harkin is the candidate who, if given the chance, can become the next president of the United States.
E. Lee Lears.
Editor: The president's effort to spur spending by changing the tax withholding tables is a lot like trying to make a blanket longer by cutting a piece off one end and sewing it to the other.
Mary Sloan Roby.
Jesse Helms with Brains
Editor: As a faculty member and administrator at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, I took more than a passing interest in George Will's sly attack on modern art (The Sun, Jan. 20).
Will is Jesse Helms with brains, clearly a more eloquent and skillful conservative apologist than the senator from North Carolina. Yet underneath the trenchant prose, Will's message is essentially the same as that of his less intellectually nimble comrade-in-arms: Modern art and artists are worthless (at best) and vile (at least). He even takes a swipe at my constituency -- art college students -- suggesting that art schools are guilty of littering the American landscape with human refuse. I suppose it is difficult for Will to imagine a student deciding to train herself to make art rather than money.
Will's essay drips with sarcasm -- irony intended to wound -- and that's a sure sign of his latent anger. How dare an artist appropriate a urinal, transmogrify it into art! What's a man left to trust? But running deeper than the anger is a current of fear -- fear of change, of complexity, of uncertainty, and, ultimately, of human freedom. If we encourage people to be truly free, Lord knows what they'll do. Perhaps stretch a curtain across a Colorado valley or find happiness as a painter rather than as a stockbroker. Such folks might even dare to make art that forces people to re-evaluate rather than re-conform themselves.
By rejecting modern art, Will rejects the art of his lifetime, preferring, no, longing for the ostensibly safer, more predictable, less threatening art of the past. But Will yearns for a past that never existed. All great art, regardless of period, challenged the prevailing perceptions of reality, of truth and beauty, and it upset those who looked to the past for their standards of excellence and value. Will's repudiation of the art of his own time is telling, as is his nostalgia for a mythic past and its "golden" art. It suggests his own inability or unwillingness to face up to the world as it now is. How can the ideas of such a man, however intelligent, do us any good?
Will is not alone in his devotion to a strategy of desperate %J intellectual retrenchment. Voices raised against such fearful modern notions as multiculturalism, feminism and pluralism have swollen to a noisy chorus. We would be wise not to heed their call to arms, and wiser still to understand and accept their anxiety and fear.