The Baltimore Sun

Make the wealthy pay more FICA tax

Given the current economic meltdown, is there any rational reason to keep the FICA income tax cap at the current maximum of $106,800?

As it stands, tax revenue from FICA, some $838 billion in 2006, represents approximately 35 percent of federal tax revenue.

Eliminating or altering the cap could go a long way toward reducing the horrific deficits with which we risk saddling our children and their children, and probably their children.

President Barack Obama, who indicated he might reconsider the cap during his campaign, could keep his promise not to increase taxes for those earning less than $200,000 by leaving things as they are for people with incomes from $106,800 to $200,000 and dropping the cap for those above the higher figure.

The rich, as is their wont, would scream bloody murder about this tax increase, but I, for one, couldn't care less.

Let them replace their corporate jets with used prop planes and thank their lucky stars guillotines are hard to find on eBay.

J. Wistar Huey III, Ellicott City

Community colleges offer open access

As I read Stephen Kiehl's article about Maryland state universities receiving and rejecting more applicants as a result of the bad economy, I wondered why it made no mention of the growing interest in Maryland's community colleges ("Families turn to public colleges," Feb. 20).

Community colleges educate about half the undergraduates in Maryland at less than half the cost of most public universities. And their mission is all about open access, so no one is turned away.

As a college student, I believe I'm making not only the smart choice but also the most economical choice in attending a local community college.

Regardless of the nation's economic state, you can't beat the quality of community college education for the price, and you're guaranteed not to get a rejection letter in the mail.

Jordan G. Bethea, Baltimore

The writer is president of the Student Government Association for the Community College of Baltimore County, Dundalk.

How can church ignore real wrongs?

There is no question that the Catholic Church does much good for the community, and it should be lauded for that ("Lawsuits over abuse could ruin the church," letters, Feb. 23).

That said, does one set of good deeds balance another set of bad ones?

If it is proved that there has been abuse by a clergyman, albeit many years ago, should that be negated and ignored because of the good things the church has done? And why should there be a time limit on such cases?

If the church truly believes in justice, how can it ignore those who were wronged?

We all must be accountable for our actions and behavior; those who are representatives of the church should be no exception.

Arlene Gordon, Baltimore

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