The Baltimore Sun

Taxes must be raised to meet our needs

It is disheartening to see The Baltimore Sun give editorial space to a repetition of a tired old claim Republicans have been using for as long as I can remember ("Maryland's high taxes stifle economic growth," Opinion, Sept. 15).

Yes, Democrats are often forced to raise taxes, but only after Republican tax cuts have eliminated or reduced vital services or put funding for critical needs in jeopardy.

What many appear to be unwilling to recognize is that we are not taxed nearly enough.

Having been tagged the "tax-and-spend party" for so long, Democrats dare not propose the level of tax increases that will be needed to deal with the pending collapse of the infrastructure across the nation, with cleaning up our rivers, lakes and oceans, educating our children, tackling global warming, providing essential services to the poor, hiring more police officers, etc.

No candidate can afford to propose the level of taxation that is inevitable because if that person did, he or she could never be elected.

Our children are going to have to do some major belt-tightening if this once-great country is going to survive.

John S. White, Stewartstown, Pa.

Break up behemoths government bails out

The unbridled greed and predatory behavior of American companies is what has caused our current economic collapse ("U.S. giving AIG $85 billion loan," Sept. 17).

They have slowly bled the nation and world dry with their risky investment and lending practices, and sugar-coated the situation to make us willing to swallow it.

Now our other cheek is being slapped - hard - with federal government bailouts for some of these companies.

Companies such as this should be used as object lessons: the government should force such firms to sell themselves off piece by piece, and once they are small enough to no longer pose a risk to the nation's or world's economy, pull the plug.

We must never again allow a situation like this to occur.

Richard Caserta, Baltimore

Free markets create unacceptable chaos

I hope that after the lessons of the past few months, from the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the bailout of AIG, the myth of "free market" enterprise is finally put to rest ("U.S. giving AIG $85 billion loan," Sept. 17).

There has not been a free market in the United States since the 1930s, and with more government regulation on the horizon in the wake of the recent financial meltdown, the continued perpetuation of that myth is laughable.

I hope that now, once and for all, the free marketers will realize this type of system cannot exist given the excesses the market allows.

Claude Wright, Glen Burnie

Pratt St. boondoggle will do little for city

I am wondering who would benefit from the proposed plan for the Inner Harbor area outlined in "Pratt St. plan gets mixed reviews" (Sept. 15).

The plan clearly would not benefit our crime-ridden neighborhoods, or senior citizens like me who can't afford the prices in the ritzy shops we already have downtown, or the city schools that desperately need more counselors, tutors, supplies and countless other necessities to help our children.

The congestion in the Inner Harbor area already makes it nearly impossible to get from North Charles Street where I live across Pratt Street to Federal Hill when there's a downtown event or even just normal workday traffic.

To begin a 10-year construction project to produce a high-end shopping experience for tourists is pure lunacy.

Nancy Williamson, Baltimore

Hunt could imperil users of NCR Trail

The article "Bowhunters descend to thin Loch Raven herd" (Sept. 16), which describes the start of deer hunting season in the Loch Raven Reservoir area in Baltimore County, leaves out one important fact.

The North Central Railroad Trail - which is frequented by pedestrians and bike riders of all ages - runs directly through the center of the designated hunting area.

Do we have to wait until an accident happens until public officials realize this is a public safety issue?

Patricia Sullivan, Phoenix

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