Bereano not the best spokesman for Bissett
I read the newspaper's coverage of ex-Delegate and lobbyist Phil Bissett's announcement to enter the Anne Arundel county executive's race ("Bissett enters race for executive," April 14). One of his supports said he is "sharp." Maybe he is; however, I've got to question his choice for a spokesperson to validate his candidacy.
Lobbyist Bruce Bereano, who is backing Mr. Bissett, was quoted as saying Bissett "doesn't talk out of both sides of his mouth." This is dubious testimony, at best, considering it's coming from a convicted felon and disbarred lawyer.
Maybe we just gained some insight as to why the voters in District 30 rejected Mr. Bissett's bid for re-election as a delegate four years ago.
Smokers already paid their tax share
Just about a year ago Gov. Glendening ignored repeated warnings that revenue intake was on the decline; instead he pushed his spending priorities. As a consequence, our General Assembly is now faced with a fiscal calamity and for a time there was discussion that taxpayers might not get the last tax reduction installment they were promised. The governor and Democrat legislators are therefore frantically looking for ways to bring in additional money. But first, they gave themselves a raise before dealing with that pesky $775 million deficit.
Under the guise of "saving the kids," cigarettes will be taxed an additional 34 cents a pack. However, since cigarette taxes were just increased two years ago, isn't it time to pick on another group of citizens? Under the powers of eminent domain couldn't the State of Maryland take a greater share of lottery, lotto or scratch-off winnings? Why not a tax of 50 or 60 percent of all winnings? If not this as a new revenue source, why can't our legislators adopt a law like that adopted in Arkansas. In that state the governor signed a bill that opened up the door for citizens to voluntarily pay additional taxes if they want.
Economic security bill should be developed
Months ago, the president asked our representatives in Congress to pass an economic security bill. The House acted quickly but the Senate did not.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their jobs. This trend could continue unless something is done soon.
America's wage-earning workers are the source of economic growth that created surpluses in the first place, not tax increases. The Federal Reserve Chairman has stressed this point on more than one occasion. More money in my family's budget is what fuels this economy.
Last year's tax cut is what saved us from a full-blown recession; it came not a moment too soon, pumping millions back into our economy. Were it not for September 11th, the economy would have already fully recovered.
Many Democrats have blamed the recession on the tax cut, but the recession began in March, two months before the tax cut even went into effect, and months more before we started receiving our rebates.
Although it is the war and the recession that reduced the surplus estimates, many want to blame the tax cut we received. After the September 11th attacks, the government quite rightly passed substantial increases in spending for the war, homeland and airline security, as well as emergency response. Clearly, this was an appropriate use for the surplus.
Unemployment rose significantly after September 11. The airline industry suffered huge losses. The tourism industry also suffered, as did our financial markets. The Anthrax attacks that followed 9/11 shut down commercial mail and transportation. Yet, despite all this, the budget remains effectively in balance; the present budget shortfalls only represent about 1 percent of GDP.
Our Maryland Senate Democrats should work with the administration to develop a real, effective economic security package. Now.
Military families make the best of it
Karen Hughes is leaving her position because her family "will be happier in Texas" ("Senior Bush adviser Hughes calls it quits at White House," April 24). Mrs. Hughes also mentions her son's unhappiness with his school and the family's loss of community as reasons to return to Texas. That is an admirable family choice, but I object to all of the media coverage of this event. As the child of a military father, and the wife of a retired military husband, I respectfully urge some perspective in this matter. Forty years of going where ordered, 17 moves, many schools, all of these actions were accomplished without the power, prestige and financial wherewithal of the Hughes family. Our sons could not complain about their new schools; we went where and when we were ordered. Mrs. Hughes, I hope, was aware when she joined the campaign that the final stop would be in Washington. We were constantly assured by professionals and government alike that a strong family unit is more important than geographic location.
I find it insulting that the Hughes family could not find a "sense of community" in this area. Believe it or not, there are churches, baseball, and families do manage to remain together in this richly diverse area. As a military family, we are told to adapt and make our own community ties to each area; we always do.
I respectfully suggest less whining and complaining about a situation experienced daily by hundreds of thousands of service members, who also manage it with less money and resources.