Thomas misses the point on welfareLet me...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Thomas misses the point on welfare

Let me begin by saying I am a fan of Cal Thomas and usually enjoy and agree with his columns. His Aug. 27 Opinion Commentary piece, "Unshackling welfare," was a distressing exception.

Not for one moment does the Christian Coalition think the answer to America's problems lies totally in government. Our goal is to elect men and women whose "hearts have been changed" to make the laws under which we live.

The Christian Coalition has received much criticism in the past few months from people who do not understand. To receive a swipe from "family" was most disheartening.

Phyllis Leach

Baltimore

The writer is coordinator of Baltimore County Christian Coalition

Lasting bridges have a history

I heard with my own ears how our president diminishes the value of "bridges to the past."

Thus diminished is the advice offered by, among others, George Washington: "If to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterward defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hands of God."

Turning a deaf ear to the standards our heritage demands, our president choo-choos into the 21st century over "bridges to the future" engineered by pollsters, hucksters and strategists, the likes of Dick Morris.

All aboard!

Robert V. Barton Jr.

Baltimore

Afraid Dole will gut Medicare

As a senior citizen, I am afraid many senior citizens will be voting for Bob Dole in November's upcoming presidential elections.

After all, he is at 73 years old also a senior citizen. He is part of our generation, fought in a world war and shares with us an understanding of the past. What's more, he remembers the good old days and pledges to return us to the American morals and family values of our yesteryears.

Sounds great, right? So why am I so afraid? I'll tell you in one word: Medicare.

In his eagerness to get the senior vote, Bob Dole pretends to care about Medicare, but the real Bob Dole doesn't care. He repeatedly tells the American public he wants to save Medicare, but in 1996 the real Bob Dole supported a $275 billion cut in Medicare.

He continues to say that Medicare is important, but on the floor of the Senate the real Bob Dole boasted that he voted against the Medicare law in 1965 because he knew it was doomed to fail. Luckily for us senior citizens, Bob Dole was wrong.

According to the National Council of Senior Citizens, Medicare has worked fabulously well over the past 30 years. As the primary health care insurance system, for every American above the age of 65, Medicare provides quality care at affordable prices to millions.

Perhaps, Bob Dole, with a $2 million pension from the U.S. government, isn't one of the millions of Americans dependent upon Medicare, but I am.

As a senior citizen, I believe I've paid my dues and have earned the right to receive the Medicare benefits my generation worked hard to secure. The NCSC believes Medicare is a program of vital concern to American families, and that the current generation has an obligation to preserve the Medicare program.

But what does Bob Dole believe? In his eagerness to cut taxes and reform the welfare system, the real Bob Dole believes Medicare is just another poverty program that should be put on the federal chopping block.

Jim Burke

Timonium

County Council waste of public funds

A community publication reported that a recent Baltimore County Council meeting approved an expenditure of $121,056 from state funds and $30,264 from county funds to encourage county employees to reduce single-occupancy auto usage to and from work.

It would seem most people who can afford to drive will probably continue to do so and, conversely, those who cannot afford it would probably consider car-pooling to save some money.

So, really, what in the world does the council think it can accomplish by spending $150,000 to tell people something they already know?

Perhaps the council should merely pay the money to some county employees to stay home, thereby reducing traffic. Only in America.

Frank A. Strzelczk

Cockeysville

Applaud Glendening for achievements

Michael Olesker's Aug. 27 column ("Glendening's tap dance doesn't endear voters") was outrageous. Not only was his blatant (and tiresome) cynicism uncalled for, but his accusations were erroneous at best.

When Mr. Glendening found out that Pimlico owner Joe De Francis had secretly (and illegally) contributed money to his campaign by using folks from Buffalo, the governor was publicly outraged and immediately returned the funds.

Enduring tremendous pressures from the racing and gaming industries, the governor held firm to his conviction that there would be no slots in our state until an appropriate study was done to see what damage the Delaware tracks were causing.

If Mr. Olesker read his own paper once in a while, he would have realized that Maryland race tracks are doing pretty well, and Delaware doesn't seem to have a justifiable advantage.

Mr. Olesker also wrote of the political debt owed to Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and how the mayor "catapulted" the governor into office. Many would argue that it was Baltimore City that almost caused the governor to lose the election, with such a poor voter turnout.

It just so happens that there are a couple of counties in the Washington area that deserve a little credit for Mr. Glendening's election (both Montgomery and Prince George's have more votes).

Furthermore, instead of insinuating that Mr. Glendening definitely made a deal with the mayor about slots and schools, Mr. Olesker should have criticized his colleagues at The Sun for breaking the story too quickly, in lieu of sufficiently researching the facts.

Just because Mayor Schmoke decided to blind-side the governor doesn't make it true. What is fact, is that Governor Glendening has committed more to Baltimore City while in office than any of his predecessors, and it just might be possible that Mr. Glendening is keeping Mr. Schmoke afloat in his decaying city.

Finally, it is very clear that Governor Glendening has strong core beliefs about the role of state government. This governor, for the first time since the Great Depression, submitted a budget this year that was smaller than the previous. He's downsized the state bureaucracy and made it more efficient. He's targeted growth and tax credits to needy areas such as Baltimore City. He's wooed businesses by providing 10 separate tax incentives to locate and create jobs in the state (something his predecessor wasn't famous for). And he has pumped more money into the education of Maryland's children than ever before.

It is unfortunate that parochial biases and cynicism affect the otherwise competent criticism that Mr. Olesker can display. It is hoped that he will try to be more objective in the future.

Erica F. Rothstein

Bethesda

Pub Date: 9/16/96

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