The Baltimore Sun

Sea of red ink unfair to future generations

Nothing breeds more contempt and cynicism toward our government than politicians misrepresenting their policies and spending programs. A case in point is the current "stimulus" bill pending before Congress ("House OKs stimulus bill," Jan. 30).

President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress maintain that the $825 billion (and ever-growing) "stimulus" bill is needed to help energize our troubled economy and create jobs.

At the same time, Gov. Martin O'Malley and Maryland Democratic legislative leaders are telling us they are holding off on necessary spending cuts caused by our own deficit because Maryland is in line to receive $3.5 billion as its share of this stimulus package ("Budget cuts held as state awaits stimulus," Jan. 27).

Left unsaid by our state and national leaders is why Illinois or Delaware taxpayers should pay for Maryland's budget problems, much less why Maryland taxpayers should pay to balance California's budget.

We have seen bailout bills for banks and insurance companies, and we now apparently need a bailout bill for politicians.

The problem, however, is that greatly expanding the already heavy burden on future generations of our seemingly never-ending sea of red ink in the name of "fairness" and "compassion" is neither fair nor compassionate.

We do not need a stimulus bill that merely stimulates more irresponsible spending from our current governor and legislature.

Robert C. Erlandson, Lutherville

Ensure state film office spends funds wisely

A properly run business would be sure that money it spends would result in a profit. Otherwise, it will spend itself out of business. The state film bureaucracy needs to be just as sure that its investments will benefit the state ("Lights, camera ... what?" Jan. 28).

It should not rely on data from the film industry, which is seeking the handouts, and its evaluation process needs oversight.

Until it can be proved that each dollar doled out returns a positive yield, I think it would be best to let states like Louisiana spend themselves into the red on film subsidies.

Jim Astrachan, Baltimore

Right to celebrate Bush's departure

I both agree and disagree with the sentiments expressed by the letter writer who complained about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "unnecessary" comment about her relief in seeing former President George W. Bush being hauled away from Washington by helicopter on Inauguration Day ("Pelosi's response was merely mean," letters, Jan. 26).

The reader said that comment showed a "complete lack of humanity" and was "mean-spirited, uncompassionate and intolerant." That's where she's wrong. Those words, in fact, succinctly describe the administration that was departing in the helicopter, not the words that left Ms. Pelosi's mouth.

The letter writer is right, however, in disputing Ms. Pelosi's description of the feeling as being "like a 10-pound anvil was lifted off my head."

I'd say it was much more like hearing millions of happy voices singing, "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead."

David M. Johnson, Baltimore

Proof of warming is well-established

A recent letter to the editor claimed there is "No proof man is causing Earth's warming trend" (Jan. 13). But despite holding a doctorate in chemical physics from Johns Hopkins, the writer appears not to have bothered to educate himself on the case that man is causing global warming.

Here is a simple distillation of part of that case: 1) Concentrations of carbon dioxide are greatest over areas of highest human habitation. 2) Isotopic studies of the carbon dioxide show that the source is plant material that has been out of contact with the atmosphere for millions of years.

It sure sounds like the carbon is coming from burning fossil fuels to me.

The debate over man-made global warming is no longer scientific. The scientific debate is over.

I applaud The Baltimore Sun's editorial "A New Year's resolution" (Jan. 2) for urging us to get our heads out of the sand and deal with the problem.

To do otherwise would amount to journalistic malpractice.

William Jenkins, Bel Air

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