8 percent of population on public payrolls
Depending upon how many people still are in the armed services, there are about 5 million (including some 3 million civilians) in the executive branch of the federal government.
About 40 percent of the career civilian bureaucrats work for some defense agency. Only about 12 percent of the 5 million employees work in the Washington area. The rest are scattered around the country and the rest of the world.
For every civilian on the federal payroll, there are three or four who earn their bread and cheese indirectly from the federal government (consultants, contractors, "experts," etc.).
In addition, since the federal government provides about one-fourth of total funds at state and local levels, estimates run as high as 5 million federally funded jobs at those levels (out of some 12 million state and local jobs).
Therefore, a little "grocery store" arithmetic, using conservative figures, shows a total of about 20 million people, or roughly 8 percent of our total population, in the bureaucratic system, or who at least are paid with taxpayers' money.
Meanwhile, President Clinton talks of cutting 100,000 federal spaces, most of which undoubtedly will be military jobs.
Whatever became, by the way, of the Grace Commission and civil service reform?
P. R. Politano
No wonder we see more people homeless, more properties deteriorating, longer lines at soup kitchens, men and women far more mentally and physically ill and our hospital and insurance costs getting higher.
The state of Maryland has cut programs serving the very basic needs of its citizens by almost $200 million. When poverty programs take such a massive blow, we all suffer.
Legislators can take a small step toward easing previous decisions. About 15 percent of the funding is restored for these programs in the governor's FY '94 state budget -- a mere $28 million.
As lawmakers debate the budget and look for areas to cut and trim, we assert that it is imperative to retain every penny budgeted for proven and effective prevention and safety net programs.
These programs boost employment, flow directly into the state's economy, help abate homelessness and hunger, promote health care for the sick and disabled and in some cases capture matching federal dollars.
The governor can help, too. He can provide $14 million in a supplemental budget that would be earmarked to help prevent homelessness, hunger and illness. Legislators should back this common sense effort.
Lynda E. Meade
The writer is a founder of the Maryland Alliance for the Poor.
Anti-Republican bias in The Baltimore Sun
Once in a while, your newspaper burns me to a slow boil. The March 4 Evening Sun editorial about the pitiful Republicans of Maryland marked such an occasion. The gist of it was that here we go again, Maryland Republicans are a sad lot and they have no one to run for governor in 1994.
In the last few campaigns, The Sun and The Evening Sun have been sadly out of tune as far as we Maryland Republicans are concerned. Here in Howard County, the GOP has fielded an outstanding slate in every election, only to have your papers overlook or dismiss some of our brightest stars who went on to victory. Slowly but surely, conservative Republicans are making headway.
At a recent gathering of the party faithful in Howard County, there was a line-up of 14 -- count-'em, 14 -- elected officials which would do any political party proud. It was a stunning reminder of what we have accomplished since 1982 and 1986.
In those years Bob Kittleman and Bob Flanagan took District 14B and have served honorably, capably and with distinction in the House of Delegates ever since. There was John Morgan (with his Ph.D. in physics from Johns Hopkins University) modestly sparkling in the knowledge that he is just about the best thing that could possibly happen to the House of Delegates. And he is only 27 years old.
What a future lies ahead for this outstanding young man who received a shrug of the shoulders from your editorial staff the year that he and Marty Madden won in 13B.
I was pretty mad at you then, too. Why can't you drop your bias and do a service to all the citizens of Maryland, who would be much better off with a true two-party system here? There are many thoughtful, hard-working souls in my party who are willing to give of themselves for better government for all the people, and you need to talk about them.
Quite often I have to defend my devoted readership of all the three Sunpapers to the good people of Howard County. Why do I beat myself over the head, they say, when other newspapers are more evenhanded?
To them I say, it's my hometown paper. We settled in Maryland in 1948, our kids all grew up and went to schools in the Baltimore area.
I want to know about the fate of Satyr Hill Farm, which our home overlooked when we lived in Baltimore County. I can keep up with whose children are getting married, and who has died of our large acquaintanceship there.
I like to know about Boys Latin, the Walters, the Orioles, the Baltimore Symphony. I want to know who is preaching what in which church. How can I give all that up?
To keep it, I admit, I have to endure the natterings of Liz Smith, Ellen Goodman, Anna Quindlen, although Mona Charen once is worth more than the three of them together.
George Will still graces your pages, for which I am thankful, but James Kilpatrick broke my heart when he bowed out as a regular.
My whole point is that there is another viewpoint that needs to be spoken. I think it is journalistic irresponsibility to weep crocodile tears over the "lack of leadership" in the Republican Party when a serious study of the matter will convince you that it is not true.
Grace L. Greenslit
Is Socks happy?
Lost in the debate about President Clinton's economic proposals is a question that demands an answer. It is, how is Socks, the first cat, adjusting to his new home in the White House?
Do not laugh. If Socks is not happy, Chelsea is not happy. If Chelsea is not happy, Hillary is not happy. And if Hillary is not happy, then the president is not happy.
Too many Americans today, especially the millions who are either unemployed or facing layoffs, are unhappy. We do not need the First Family to be miserable as well.
We know all we need to know about the president's economic proposals. We know we will pay more taxes, and we know we will feel patriotic about it.
Unfortunately, we do not know enough about Socks. We do not know what influence he will have on future presidential decisions about the economy and other issues, because we do not know if he is happy. Here lies the rhetorical fallacy.