Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Rep. Steny Hoyer are trying their best to give our civilian federal workers another big pay raise, along with the stupid give-away "locality pay raise adjustment," while more of our military personnel go on food stamps, and there is no livable wage in the private sector.
Which group is more important, our military or civilian federal personnel, who already are the highest paid workers in the world.
In the 25 years I worked for the federal government, I never saw anybody leave for the green grass of private industry because the pay is higher. These people never get laid-off, never get fired unless they kill their boss, and most are overpaid for the amount and quality of work performed.
A simple file clerk (GS-5) starts at $20,000 a year. Try to get anywhere near that in private industry.
Since I retired from federal service four years ago, my old salary position has increased over $7,000. And they are underpaid? This is nonsense and a rip-off of the American taxpayer.
The only people making higher wages than civilian federal workers are the Alaska pipeline oil workers, and most of them have been laid off.
Mikulski/Hoyer are buying future votes using your tax dollars. They should hang their heads in shame. But, then again, you know the Democrats. As long as it's your money, they will find a way to spend it.
As Mason said to Dixon, "We have to draw the line somewhere." I am referring to the latest in what has become a series of actions by our nation against other nations around the world, such as the freezing of the assets of wealthy Haitians in American banks.
Unfortunately, the wealthy in any nation are the ones who call the political shots in their nation, and Haiti is their nation.
George Washington, our first president, advised us to avoid foreign entanglements, and although it's quite a different world today, it seems to me that we should give his advice serious consideration.
By continuing a policy of impounding assets of the leaders of nations around the world, we set into motion a policy that could one day find us the recipients of such an action. A sense of proportion needs to guide us as we deal with other nations. If such an action were taken against the assets of wealthy Americans by some foreign country's banks, we would at the very least consider it an act of the most blatant provocation.
We sail so close to the wind when we take these kinds of actions. Even a conventional war might escalate to the use of nukes. Americans are the most intelligent and resourceful people in the world. I, for one, have faith that we can come up with some conciliation and negotiation besides the use of force.
Thanks to all
Recently Penn-Mar Organization was able to raise in excess of $14,000 through two special fund raising events: the Annual Black Tie Gala at the Milton Inn and the Annual Golf-Tennis Tournament at Heritage Hills Golf Resort.
We would like to thank all who had a part in the wonderful success of these events. You know who you are and the paper would not give us room to recognize each and every one of you.
Our volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure all details were just right. Everyone participated in buying tickets and donating door prizes and silent auction items. Thanks too to the newspaper that generously carried our press releases and announcements.
We are proud of the wonderful community support Penn-Mar receives throughout northern Baltimore and southern York counties. Because of your help we are able to provide a better place to live and work for individuals with disabilities.
Thanks again to everyone for all your support.
Michael F. Shriver
The writer is chief executive officer of the Penn-Mar Organization, Inc.
The Baltimore City Council has scalped the citizens with its bills to prohibit resale of Oriole tickets anywhere around the stadium.
What business is it of council members Joseph DiBlasi, Rikki Spector and the rest of the gang if a ticket holder resells to a willing buyer? What loss have the Orioles suffered? How has anyone been harmed?
It's deplorable that council members waste the people's time and money on frivolous legislation, while Baltimore's very serious and long-standing problems go unabated.
The council's action certainly does nothing to serve the general public. It only placates a few whiners at the cost of making outlaws of good citizens. No wonder Baltimore sports one of the highest crime rates in the country.
The City Council's time would be better spent improving its own ethics (more respect for our legal process and elected judges would be a good start) and waking up to the challenge of Baltimore's real problems.
If Nancy Grasmick and her state Department of Education staff eventually decide to intervene in the day-to-day administration of Patterson High School (or any other public school), two things may occur.
First, some of Patterson's staff may experience layoffs or other hardships, which is likely to be unfair and undeserved to many of them. Second, the education department staff may be forced to divulge their secret formula which will "reverse years of worsening student performance, attendance and dropout rates."
Could it be that student performance is determined mostly by student effort and that student effort is determined mostly by the home environment?
And how does a school's staff force the student to come to school? And perhaps some of the students who drop out do so because some of the teachers are trying to slow the erosion of standards.
How long must we wait to get our tax refund?
How long do taxpayers in Maryland have to wait until they receive a tax refund from the state for the past tax year?
Our state and federal returns, both of which commanded refunds, were filed early in March. The federal check was received approximately six weeks after filing. So far, nothing from the state.
At the end of April, we telephoned the Maryland State Tax Refund office. A clerk informed us that there was a problem with a new computer system and that there was a considerable backlog as far as refunds were concerned. She also said that she would take our return "to another department to see if it could be expedited."
If you believe that one, there's a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you. She said that if we did not receive our refund by May 16, we should call back.
In attempting to do so, we found the line to be continually busy, even as early as 6:30 a.m., which indicates to me that the phone had been taken off the hook.
On May 19, I wrote a letter to the comptroller of the treasury in Annapolis and explained the situation. I have not received a reply, nor did I expect one. But neither have we gotten our refund.
Surely it is not unreasonable for taxpayers in Maryland to expect a refund within a reasonable length of time. I feel that four months is more than long enough to wait, computer problems or not.
Barbara J. Malina
Cheers for Mobility
The city and state take a bad beating for what they allegedly don't do and get very little credit for the fine things.
The MTA has a program called Mobility which arranges transportation for the handicapped regardless of age, financial condition or location within the beltway. I have been doing volunteer work for about three years and am confined to an electric cart, but Mobility buses pick me up every weekday morning and take me home in the evening.
They also take me to the market and most any place that is accessible -- for $1.55 per ride.
I doubt there are many state governments that care for those unable to get around as does ours. That's what I call good government.