The Baltimore Sun

Past time to pass the stimulus bill

In June, I quit a high-paying job and turned down an equally good offer because I wanted my career to take a new direction. With a master's degree and 10 years of experience, I was not at all worried about my choice. Then, in August, the economy tanked, I lost half my savings in a single week and my job prospects dried up.

When November rolled around, I was still out of work. It was clear that President George W. Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy had helped to destroy our economy, so I voted for the new guy. I was not alone - the majority of Americans voted for change in both the White House and in Congress.

Well, here it is February, and guess what? I'm still out of work. And again, I'm not alone. Even Sen. John McCain's chief economic adviser worries that if we don't take action soon, unemployment may soon top 10 percent. So what are we waiting for ("Senate delays final vote on recovery bill," Feb. 6)?

The stimulus bill as it stands could create 4 million jobs - hundreds of thousands of which are in the green sector. It also provides immediate relief for those who are unemployed and suddenly find ourselves without health care. This is an emergency, and every day we aren't getting the stimulus we need, our nation grows more vulnerable than ever.

Congressional Republicans need to stop stalling and hand the reins over - it's time for something new.

Laila Hirschfeld, Havre de Grace

The days of living like royalty are done

President Barack Obama's order for a cap for salaries of executives at banks that received federal bailout money should be commended ("Execs face $500,000 salary limit," Feb. 5).

The previous administration should have done this last September when it began doling out taxpayers' money to financial firms.

The days of living like royalty are over, and there is a price to be paid for incompetence.

Richard L. Lelonek, Baltimore

Neighborhoods resist fever for expansion

As a resident of Roland Park, I can sympathize with the homeowners in Rodgers Forge ("Rodgers Forge residents, university debate arena," Feb. 4). Both communities are facing largely unwanted developments that would vastly change their character.

It seems "expansion fever" is rampant. Perhaps neighborhoods should unite and take a stand to keep it from spreading.

Sally Foster, Baltimore

The writer is a member of the Roland Park Civic League.

Steele is simply best man for job

When I was at The Kent News on the Eastern Shore, it was my privilege to meet and speak with Michael S. Steele during his campaign for and tenure as Maryland's lieutenant governor. Although we were not a nationally recognized publication, Mr. Steele spent a great deal of time with me outlining issues facing the state and addressing our local problems ("Steele's upbeat image may be his best weapon in reshaping GOP," Feb. 1).

After his election, Mr. Steele came to Kent County to visit every single town, hosting meetings with local officials and residents.

He is one of the most intelligent, genuinely nice people in or out of politics, and Maryland was fortunate to have had him (and former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.) at the helm.

He is a charismatic, extremely savvy, bright man who was clearly the best choice to take over the reins of the Republican Party.

Mr. Steele's race was not emphasized during his run for lieutenant governor and it shouldn't be underscored in his victory in the race for Republican national chairman; he is simply the best man for the job, bar none.

Cooky McClung, Elverson, Pa.

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