Md. should consider tax increases

I disagree with the basic premise of The Sun's editorial of Dec. 23, "Budget sanity," that systemic relief from Maryland's budget deficit can only be achieved primarily through budget cuts. We hear over and over again that there isn't any money. That statement is false, particularly in Maryland, the wealthiest state in the nation.

In addition, every state should receive much more funding back from the federal government, which could consist of funds from reductions in defense spending, increasing the federal gas tax by a few cents, and restoring the inheritance tax to its former levels on high-income estates. A cut in defense spending alone of 20 percent in just one year would give every state in the nation about $2.8 billion dollars. Every governor of every state should demand greater effort from the federal government to assist them — the psychological "firewall" between federal spending and local needs must come down.

A nation that will be spending nearly $2 billion a day next year on defense yet has nearly one seventh of its population living on food stamps is doomed. We have money, but we do not spend it wisely.

Laurie Taylor-Mitchell, Towson

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