LETTERS

The Baltimore Sun

GOP's partisanship just more of the same

The Republican Party's united opposition (save for the support of three moderate senators) to President Barack Obama's stimulus package was a shocking and unjust repudiation not only of this president but of our 16th president, whose 200th birthday the nation celebrated this week ("Stimulus poised for Obama's OK," Feb. 14).

Rather than heed the "better angels of their nature" and act in the nation's interests by voting for a bill that, although far from perfect, will provide immediate relief for those most in need (i.e., extended unemployment benefits and increased funding for food stamps and education), the Republicans dishonored themselves and their patron saint (Abraham Lincoln) by adhering to a failed ideology that suggests only tax cuts can revive the economy.

That type of thinking, as Mr. Obama has often pointed out, is what got us into this mess in the first place.

In these harsh economic times, people do not need a few extra dollars taken off their tax bills as much as they need a job or a safety net to help keep them from losing their homes and continue to put food on the table.

If only the GOP were as concerned with helping those most in need as it has been in helping those who need the least, then our times would not be so tough.

Eric Dale Smith, Baltimore

I have been watching how the Republican Party has not come around to reality by supporting the president's effort to save our country from falling into a full-blown depression.

And let's face it, many of these Republicans are the same Republicans who rubber-stamped everything the Bush-Cheney cabal wanted.

These are the same Republicans who put our country into the horrible shape it is in. All they have to show for this now is anger at the election results.

But what's that old adage? "You can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all the people all of the time."

I. Distenfeld, Baltimore

Tax cuts let people keep their own money

I couldn't disagree more with the writer of the letter "House bill does more to revive economy" (Feb. 11).

His suggestion that public spending should be preferred over tax cuts because people would just put the tax cut money under their mattresses indicates a disconnect from reality.

I have no doubt that the vast majority of Americans could spend their own money better than the government can and that few people are in a position to sock the proceeds of a tax cut away without spending it.

I would also point out that while Republicans in general and talk-radio hosts in particular have been called every name in the book for opposing the almost trillion-dollar porkfest passed off as a stimulus package, it is precisely because of the vigilance of the Republican Party that some really objectionable components of the package were eliminated.

Michael DeCicco, Severn

GOP lets far right determine its votes

If moderates always give in to the intolerant, then what you end up with is a U.S. House of Representatives where not even one Republican had the courage or the independence to vote for the stimulus package ("Stimulus poised for Obama's OK," Feb. 14).

This is not because there was nothing in the bill that many Republicans liked but because Republicans are intimidated by their party's ever-narrower base.

It all flows from letting the extremes define the agenda. I'm afraid that someday, all the moderates will wake up and see that they have been pushed out and that there is no one left but ideologues.

Leonard Oberstein, Baltimore

Commissioner handles council's grandstanding

Sunday's Crime Beat column by Peter Hermann was a real hoot: There is nothing like a good laugh with the morning coffee, especially when it's at the deserved expense of the boobs who people our City Council ("Apologies all around on cops' anonymous gun use," Feb. 15).

City Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III handles himself pretty well downwind of grandstanding politicians, but he needs unwavering support from the rest of us.

And kudos to Mr. Hermann for his obvious concern for city citizens.

Bruce T. Beasman, Baltimore

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