Gore's tax cuts seek to buy votes...


Gore's tax cuts seek to buy votes at public expense

The Sun's article "Gore targets college tuition" (Aug. 25), described Al Gore's "targeted tax rebate" of $2,800 for college tuition as having an estimated cost of $55 billion.

The total potential cost of his proposed tax rebate is closer to $36 billion (13 million college students times $2,800).

However, under Mr. Gore's plan, those families without students in college would be forced to subsidize those families with students in college -- at an average of about $360 per year per household.

My wife and I sacrificed to put six children through college with no government help -- not even student loans -- and I can't see why we should be expected to subsidize other families' children.

In fairness, Mr. Gore should extend this giveaway program to past graduates; I know this family could certainly use a rebate of $67,200 (six students times four years of college each, times $2,800).

Of all the "detailed and specific" programs Mr. Gore described in his speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, none was detailed and specific enough for me to price.

But I do know that any targeted tax cut or rebate, without a corresponding decrease in government expenditures, is just buying votes with the taxpayers' money.

Mr. Gore's laundry list of benefits for citizens stands in sharp contrast to President John F. Kennedy's phrase: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

If government money is to subsidize education, we would get much more return from subsidizing primary or secondary education, where the country does have serious problems.

Maybe Mr. Gore should consider school vouchers as an alternative.

Dick Tatlow


Manekin Corp. remains under local control

I read with great interest The Sun's wonderful article about Donald Manekin taking on the difficult but critically important task of helping improve the quality of Baltimore's schools ("Developer sets aside job to help city school system," Aug. 23).

The article accurately reflected Mr. Manekin's strong interest in education and his history of supporting community activities for more than 50 years.

However, I did want to correct the article's suggestion that our 1999 merger ended local control of the company.

In point of fact, while the San Francisco concern bought a 50 percent interest in Manekin Corp., the remaining 50 percent is owned by Manekin Associates and operating day-to-day control of the company rests with this group.

Making all operating, investment and community decisions at the local level, Manekin continues to be a strong force as one of the leading, full-time commercial real estate companies in the Baltimore-Washington area.

Richard Alter


The writer is president and CEO of Manekin Corp.

A Beatles reunion is now impossible

It is physically impossible for the Beatles to get back together ("Don't let it be: Bring back the Beatles," Opinion

Commentary, Aug. 25).

Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr can sing 'til the cows come home, but they will not be the Beatles.

Why? Because there can be no Beatles without The Great One.

And if you do not know who The Great One is, this subject is not for you -- and you may move on to the next letter.

Howard B. Caplan


Reforms decimated city fire department

Congratulations to the Greater Baltimore Committee and the mayor for their endeavors to restructure the Baltimore City Fire Department.

They have successfully abolished seven fire companies, created an excessive overtime situation because of the many vacant positions, driven many disgruntled veteran firefighters into early retirement and removed benefits the union fought many years to acquire.

Morale is now at its lowest level in the fire department's history.

Maybe a committee should be considered to evaluate the Greater Baltimore Committee.

William Hennick


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