The Baltimore Sun

Huge national deficit fuels credit crunch

The current financial turmoil is not a financial crisis caused by troubled stocks but a credit crisis ("Credit crunch," Oct. 1). This mess has been decades in the making and is now very deep-seated.

For decades, credit been getting easier and easier, and everyone has been encouraged to borrow to the hilt.

Credit card offers pour into my mailbox. And banks started treating home mortgages much the same way - offering easy credit and questionable loans and allowing people to borrow well beyond their means.

And all of this mess is regulated and underpinned by a federal government that is the worst offender.

It regularly borrows, borrows, borrows - and now owes an astounding $10 trillion in national debt, with the rate of borrowing accelerating.

This is called "deficit spending," and it has become the expected norm.

Now some government officials want to fix the current mess by borrowing even more money and adding to the deficit to bail out overextended financial institutions.

But if the politicians in Washington do not rein in deficit spending now, our children and grandchildren will face even greater financial problems.

And what will happen when it becomes apparent that the biggest borrower in the history of the world, the U.S. government, cannot pay back all that money in real dollars (i.e., dollars not decimated by inflation)?

Who will be there to bail it out?

Iver Mindel, Cockeysville

Hunting does curb deer populations

Once again, the Humane Society of the United States is attempting to disparage scientific deer biology and question deer control measures adopted by local officials for Loch Raven Reservoir ("Trophy hunt will do little for watershed," letters, Sept. 28).

The Humane Society is a leader in protection of animal rights, not natural resource conservation.

Many animal rights supporters believe that hunting only increases the number of deer. Current scientific studies do not support this contention.

A recent National Park Service study comparing the hunted Frederick city watershed with the nearby non-hunted Catoctin Mountain National Park found up to 10 times fewer deer in the hunted watershed.

The hunted watershed contained more understory vegetative cover and biodiversity between 4 inches and 5 feet above the ground.

Other Maryland surveys also support deer hunting as a population control method. For example, aerial infrared surveys found fewer deer numbers in hunted portions of Montgomery County than in adjacent areas closed to deer hunting.

A managed deer hunting program has also reduced deer-vehicle collisions around Seneca Creek State Park.

Nonlethal deer management techniques do reduce deer damage on a small-landscape scale. Proper deer proof fencing can protect a backyard garden. Repellents sprayed on ornamental shrubs will reduce deer browsing damage. Planting ornamental shrubs that deer dislike as food can also reduce deer browsing.

But none of these methods is a feasible solution for the Loch Raven-area deer issue.

Douglas Hotton, Salisbury

The writer is a retired deer biologist for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Nurse practitioners offer critical service

I read with interest the comments about nurse practitioners by the writer of the letter "Nurses may not know what they don't know" (Sept. 18).

My medical practice is celebrating its 60th year of service, and for more than 20 years, we have employed nurse practitioners in the delivery of excellent pediatric care.

We have interviewed and chosen them carefully, and they have been a huge credit to their profession. We doctors see them as peers, and we learn from them as they learn from us.

There are good pilots and bad pilots, good chefs and bad chefs, good doctors and bad doctors, and good nurse practitioners and bad nurse practitioners.

I'm certain that there are some nurse practitioners who "don't know what they don't know." But we should be careful about lumping all the members of any profession together with such global statements.

To do so in this case is to discredit a very important group of health care providers.

Dr. Charles L. Parmele, Annapolis

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