On March 9, in the story concerning the additional $55 billion in cuts to the federal budget, reporter Karen Hosler referred to the $3.4 billion extension of unemployment benefits as part of President Clinton's economic stimulus package.
Extending the benefits of someone who has been unemployed beyond the normal benefit period will not stimulate the economy.
Extending these benefits will only burden the businesses that supply the unemployment fund with its tax dollars and insurances.
Businesses that are further burdened during these hard economic times -- unemployment insurance taxes were increased one year ago to enable the government to extend unemployment benefits -- do not hire new employees.
In fact, most cut back their payroll. This creates a swell in the ranks of the unemployed, which reinforces a sluggish economy.
Putting people back to work is the best way to stimulate the economy. Employed persons spend more money than unemployed persons because they have more money to spend.
The more wage earners there are means the more revenues the government can collect. The more revenues the government collects means less tax burden on businesses. The less burden on businesses means the more employees they can hire.
It is simple logic: Create a financial strain on businesses that is too heavy, and they will lay off workers (see Boeing and Westinghouse).
Ease the financial strain on businesses and they can hire more workers.
It is true, business owners may profit more, but if they are hiring more people, isn't that what's important?
Our government today is not going to create one job by extending unemployment benefits. I think they just don't get it.
Three Times Taxed
Everything has been written about Social Security except as it applies to the self-employed, of which I am one.
I have been a Social Security payer since its inception. I was the secretary-treasurer of a local company when it first came into being in 1935. Hence, I paid my half and the employer paid the other. During the war years I did not contribute.
On my return from the war, lawyers were included in the program. I was self-employed and paid almost twice as much as an employer-employee.
At first, the tax was not so bad. But as the years passed and my practice increased, I paid the maximum, which is now 15.3 percent. I am still paying that.
Being over 65, I now collect Social Security. My earnings are decreasing, but they are still a part of my income, and my Social Security payment increases. The 50 percent of my Social Security payments are now included in my adjusted gross income on which my income tax is computed after deductions.
Thus I am paying three taxes. First, I have to make enough to pay income tax. In addition to that tax, I pay a second tax on my business income. Moreover half -- or possibly 85 percent, if President Clinton and his Congress have their say -- will be added to my self-employed income and taxed again.
I hesitate to say so, but I sometimes feel I should simply stop work, put all my savings in tax-exempt securities and not pay any taxes at all.
Edwin J. Wolf
Several decades ago, there was an outburst of horror about children getting trapped in abandoned refrigerators with snap locks that could not be opened from the inside. As a result, all refrigerators now have doors that can be pushed open from the inside.
I read recently how one of the victims of the Dontay Carter crime spree knew enough to fiddle with the electric wire to the trunk lock to get it to open. Others were not so fortunate The question is: Why don't car manufacturers install trunk locks with a clearly visible internal release lever? Where is the public outcry? Where are the leaders of public opinion?
We're all carrying a coffin around in the back of our cars, ready for the bad guys to imprison us in, perhaps to the death. And the number of bad guys seems to be increasing.
Gerald B. Johnston
Truth of Unity
I am responding to an article Feb. 14, "Led By An Inner Voice," by Angela Ney. The information and image Ms. Ney presented was as erroneous as one can get.
I had to read the article several times to be sure that she was referring to the Unity denomination to which I belong.
Unity was established 100 years ago as a publication ministry and is known today throughout the world as the "Home of the Daily Word." The Daily Word is a small monthly publication that is read by millions worldwide.
The article mentioned a "miracles manual" and made it sound as if we could conjure up secret potions and possibly even spells, and that we have no control whatsoever over our lives.
Our manual is the Holy Bible, and the miracles here are teachings of Jesus Christ. And yes, we do believe in a personal God.
Some Unity churches teach a writing called "The Course in Miracles." This, however, is not the basis of the Unity philosophy. It appears that Ms. Ney has based her conclusions about Unity on this one book, one of many which are read, and has assumed that this is Unity.
It is unfortunate that Ms. Ney has made such assumptions and had painted such an uncanny picture for the public.
As for being a cult, Webster states that a cult "is a small circle of persons united by devotion or allegiance to an artistic or intellectual movement or figure." If this is the case, you might consider my sewing circle a cult.
Tamera J. Swan
The writer is past president of the board of United Center oChristianity, Baltimore.
The Susan B. Anthony dollar was a failure 13 years ago. Now more than 100 members of the House of Representatives are to sponsor a repeat of the same costly error.
Is this an omen?
Are our new legislators going to repeat all the stupidity of the past? Will they try to reinvent the wheel?
Robert E. Stahl
Shooting Too Much, Reading Too Little
I would like to address a letter relating to gun control by Gary S. Marbut, the president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association.
He refers to "the dramatic lesson of Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, where the Jews lacked the will or wherewithal to defend themselves against a tyrannous government." This statement is
a miscarriage of history, designed to lend credence to the argument that to be unarmed is to be in peril against future acts of aggression from one's own government.
Is Mr. Marbut truly asserting that the possession of firearms by ordinary citizens will prevent the rise of a tyrannous government or aid in its downfall? Apparently, Mr. Marbut has spent much of his life shooting and too little of it reading.
As anyone who has even an elementary understanding of Nazi Germany should realize, the owning of guns by the Jewish population would have done nothing to save them from Nazi domination.
The Jews were a minority in a state whose leader, bent upon their destruction, controlled the armies, the militia and the secret police. The assertion that the Jews "paid a heavy price for this lack of will and/or ability to defend themselves" is one of the greatest and most ignorant blunders that this writer has ever seen in print.
To say that "the heavy price" of 6 million murdered Jews could have been averted if they had only attempted to defend themselves is blasphemy against those who lost their lives trying to save their parents or their children from the seemingly unconquerable force that was the Nazi empire.
If the armies of Russia, England and France could not defeat Hitler without the loss of tens of thousands, how could a minority living within the Nazi state ever hope to save themselves with firearms? Would not they have needed tanks, fighter planes, missiles?
It is true I know nothing of guns, never having pulled a trigger or aimed at a life, but I would hope that we as Americans still believe in a solution other than force, that we have learned from the bloody mistakes of our past. Must we all live by the sword? I was taught that the pen is mightier.
In conclusion, it is my hope that we educate ourselves and defend our freedom with our minds and our words for the simple reason that if it comes to the point where citizens need guns in order to defend themselves against their own government turned hostile, the war is already lost.
Danielle N. Nicholson