The Baltimore Sun

Tax cuts do more to stimulate growth

Donald J. Boudreaux hits the economic nail on the head with his column "Forgo the foolishness of economic 'stimulus'" (Opinion

Commentary, Jan. 27).

He is totally correct that "government cannot create genuine spending power."

Short-term tax credits of $300 to $1,200 will do nothing but boost big-screen TV sales.

On the other hand, reductions in corporate tax rates would encourage foreign investment and allow domestic companies to hire more workers. An extension of personal tax rate reductions would allow citizens to better plan for their futures and save more money for their children's education and their retirement.

Proposing these tax strategies would take political guts and a vague understanding of how our private-sector economy really works. But these are attributes both our president and our congressional leadership apparently lack.

Thomas M. Neale


Fund tax rebates by ending earmarks

If the federal government wants to give American taxpayers rebates to stimulate the economy, I suggest that to avoid increasing the national debt (which is going to be our ruin), all the "earmark" spending our congressional leaders have stuck in the budget should be canceled and the money should be used to help finance these rebates ("House OKs rebates; Senate may modify," Jan. 30).

Also, I suggest that we eliminate the automatic pay raises for members of Congress and maybe even reduce their salaries and pensions.

After all, the members of Congress are working for us.

We should decide whether they deserve a salary increase.

James B. Gerkins Jr.


Wasteful war sours prosperity, stature

Gee. Do you think the country might not be headed toward a recession and in such terrible shape financially if the current administration hadn't led us into the invasion and occupation of Iraq ("House OKs rebates; Senate may modify," Jan. 30)?

This war hasn't done much except line the pockets of the friends of the administration and help President Bush trample our Constitution.

In addition to losing a lot of lives, we are spending billions each week to continue this absurd action - money that could have done tremendous good for our citizens, businesses and economy.

Not only haven't we brought democracy to the Middle East, but we also have alienated much of the rest of the world with this war.

Who would have thought that in just seven years, a president and his friends could almost destroy a nation that had taken more than 200 years to build to the place where we were at the beginning of Mr. Bush's first term?

David Gosey


Misplaced sculpture clashes with station

One of my good friends used to look at bad art and remark, "Another fraud perpetrated in the name of art."

Now, I would not go so far as to call the sculpture in front of Penn Station that The Sun calls a "silver elephant" ("A time for change," editorial, Jan. 24) a fraud, for I have few qualifications as an expert when it comes to art.

But I will go so far as to call it misplaced art.

A building as dominant and classically strong as Penn Station should be graced by sculpture that is equally dominant and classically strong - not by one that is only dominant.

If the approval ratings for Male/Female are minuscule, as the editorial suggests, wouldn't it be nice if the Municipal Art Society were to give us a real present by relocating the sculpture and replacing it with a piece more respectful of the station and its surroundings?

Albert M. Copp


No reason to wait to replace sculpture

Hats off to the staff for the editorial "A time for change" (Jan. 24).

The Male/Female "thing" outside Penn Station has drawn the ire of numerous Sun readers for all the years since it was first erected.

The editors' analogies between the Bush administration and the "thing" are priceless. But why wait until after the next presidential election to replace it?

Let's have a big Democratic and Republican bipartisan party and remove "that silver elephant" now.

Helene Breazeale


Breaking law leads to 'broken families'

I was moved by the stories in The Sun's article "Broken families" (Jan. 26) and by the unintended consequences for the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens after their parents were deported.

However, the children of illegal aliens are no different from the children born to U.S. citizens whose parents commit a crime and go to jail. In both examples, the children suffer for the crimes of their parents.

But the issue here is not about compassion; it is about obeying our laws.

Ron Wirsing

Havre de Grace

Bigger fish to fry than trans fats

I agree that trans fats can be harmful to health, but I would rather see our City Council focus on larger issues ("City targets trans fats," Jan. 26).

We have already had at least 10 murders in the city this year. Many students in our public schools are undereducated. The drug trade is flourishing.

If our city government can improve any of those situations, then time, energy and money can be spent on other important, but lesser, issues.

Annunziata Kurek


Is furor over foie gras compassion or folly?

Kudos to the Baltimore Animal Rights Coalition for exposing the hidden cruelties behind foie gras production ("From a delicacy, a delicate situation," Jan. 28).

Compassionate people everywhere agree that there is nothing refined about eating the grossly fattened liver of a tortured bird.

Many experts from around the world have also weighed in on this issue and conclude that the practice of force-feeding ducks and geese for foie gras is cruel and inhumane.

A study conducted by the European Union found that foie gras production is "detrimental to the welfare of birds."

Indeed, foie gras production is so cruel that it's been banned in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Israel and California.

Erica Meier


The writer is executive director of Compassion Over Killing.

Thank you for The Sun's continuing coverage of the fiery foie gras debate.

As the home to several ducks that are foie gras farm refugees, Farm Sanctuary has seen firsthand the suffering of birds raised for foie gras.

These birds came to us on the brink of death, suffering from such extreme liver disease that they could barely move, and they struggled just to breathe.

Fortunately, Marylanders have a chance to speak out against this animal abuse.

Sen. Joan Carter Conway and Del. Tanya Thornton Shewell have introduced bills to ban the sale and production of foie gras in Maryland.

We hope compassionate consumers will also take a stand against animal cruelty.

Julie Janovsky

Chevy Chase

The writer is director of campaigns for Farm Sanctuary.

What a crazy world we live in. With all of the things that need to be changed in the world, geese being stuffed to produce foie gras fall well down the list.

Too bad Aaron Ross and followers in Baltimore's Animal Rights Coalition are using their energies for something so inconsequential.

Shelby Strudwick


I found it absolutely amazing (and disheartening) that The Sun gave nearly a quarter of a page of space to a protest by "a dozen yelling, sign-wielding" animal rights activists right below the story about how lawmakers are working to improve the tracking of potential abusers in the wake of the Bryanna Harris case ("Child's death prompts action," Jan. 28).

A note to foie gras protesters: People are dying out there in the world. Why not spend some of your apparently boundless energy working to improve the lives of humans rather than fighting fatty goose liver?

Sean Carton


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