Once again, our elected representatives in Annapolis have ended the General Assembly session with nothing of substance to show the citizens of Maryland ("Session leaves some big issues in limbo," April 10).
While in the world outside of Annapolis, putting off major decisions until next year won't fly, it is becoming evident that the General Assembly and the governor hope we either will forget their campaign promises or will be so distraught next year over the state's budget woes that we will beg them to raise our taxes.
It is also evident that the new governor will raise our taxes, if not this year then next.
And that the General Assembly will help fulfill this agenda, because we all know which party controls both houses of that body.
While I have studied the political landscape of this state for many years and can usually predict what will occur, it still pains me how our one-party state always finds more ways to tax us.
Taxpayers grateful tuition bill blocked
Although the Democratic-controlled House of Delegates wrongly passed the bill that would have offered in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants, thank goodness the Republican minority was able to defeat the bill in the Senate ("Immigrant tuition bill put off until next year," April 10).
With the state facing a budget deficit of more than $1 billion next year ("Session leaves some big issues in limbo," April 10), it makes no sense to me - and I suspect to the majority of Maryland residents - that the House of Delegates would want the legal residents of Maryland to pay for illegal aliens to get in-state tuition rates for college.
Havre de Grace
A modest proposal to cut state deficit
After reading "Miller shows he is firmly in control" (April 8), I thought of a way to save a lot of money to help deal with the state's projected $1.5 billion budget shortfall: Don't go through the expense and effort of electing state senators.
Each year, at the start of a legislative session, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller could just tell the House of Delegates what he would allow and what he wouldn't.
This could also shorten the legislative session by a couple of months, as he apparently doesn't want to hear about anything unless it involves passing a slots bill, blocking a tax loophole for developers, blocking initiatives to clean the Chesapeake Bay and stopping expanded health care coverage.
Mr. Miller also says, "I don't believe I caused the predicament, but at the same time I'm the person in charge who needs to help us get out of the predicament."
If he's in charge, perhaps we don't even need the House of Delegates. Or, for that matter, Gov. Martin O'Malley.
'Living-wage' bill rooted in a myth
On the heels of the Wal-Mart bill, which was ruled illegal and garnered international ridicule from the business community, now comes the equally preposterous "living-wage" bill ("Pay bill shows labor's power," April 6).
Notwithstanding The Sun's suggestion that this bill leaves the state poised "to lead," in fact it shows Maryland clutching onto an outdated union ideology that is clearly waning.
This legislation perpetuates the myth that one's salary can rise without any relationship to the value of the work performed. However, at some point, employers will be unwilling to pay more than what a service is worth.
To really help the working poor, we should emphasize the need to improve one's skills so that one does not remain in an entry-level job for life.
If, as proponents of the bill indicate, there is no economic downside to a living wage, why restrict it to $11.30 per hour? Why not $50 an hour? Wouldn't that help the poor even more?
Any government-prescribed pay rate is arbitrary and absurd.
Welcome to Moscow on the Chesapeake.
Bruce W. Didier
Living wages boost everyone's welfare
In The Sun's article "Pay bill shows labor's power" (April 6), opponents of the living-wage bill claim that it is a payoff to unions. But although unions might have been the dominant force in promoting the bill, they will not be the sole beneficiaries.
This bill will help ensure that all workers are paid a fair wage for their labors.
Another short item in the same day's paper was titled "McDonald's, KFC working with China" (April 6).
It says that the two companies are working with Chinese authorities to resolve allegations that they underpay their part-time workers.
China is one of the lowest-wage countries a company can find. But even so, companies still find ways to pay their employees even less than local laws allow - so they can line their coffers at the expense of human labor.
That is a good example of why "living wages" and unions are still needed.
Frederick C. Lohn
A simpler solution to golf pace woes
As a frequent patron of Baltimore County- and city-owned golf courses, I was amused by the article "Courses' handicap: pace of the players" (April 7).
Behaving much like other government agencies, such as school systems and planning departments, it appears that the county recreation department will conduct a major study to see how the government-operated golf courses can improve playtime.
From my observations, I think that if golf courses would simply stick to players' assigned tee times instead of letting golfers go out willy-nilly or when the preceding foursome is just out of range of the first tee, most of the pace problem would be solved.
Instead, a review process will be initiated, complete with a "summit" at which everyone will posit ideas and suggestions - when the best idea would be to simply use their current resources and follow the rules.
But apparently that solution is simply too easy and therefore was never considered.
Make Imus resign for racist remark
I am totally disgusted with the bigotry displayed by radio host Don Imus and producer Bernard McGuirk ("Imus gets two-week suspension," April 10).
It makes me sick to my stomach to know that these people are becoming famous and wealthy by degrading others.
Mr. Imus' on-air apology is not and will not be enough. He has insulted women without cause. In an attempt to be humorous, he insulted a race of people as well as a gender.
I know that we live in the great United States of America, where free speech reigns. However, racism and sexism must not be endorsed by major networks.
Mr. Imus and his producer have proved, by their on-air comments, that they have some deep-rooted issues with people who are not like them.
A slap on the wrist is not and will not be enough.
In my opinion, the only appropriate course would be to call for the resignation of Mr. Imus and Mr. McGuirk, effective immediately.
Anita L. Taylor