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Letters to the Editor 4/14

April 13, 2001

Letters to the Editor 4/14



Baltimore hogs the cash



To the editor:

I haven't written for quite a while because the situation seemed hopeless, what with The Herald-Mail, its illustrious columnist and the local politicians advocating new taxes and more spending, calling people who advocate prioritized spending and living within our means taxophobes. What a monumental insult. The paper and the politicians should apologize for it. Taxes and the duty of the citizens to behave in a civilized manner are essential to a democratic society.

Your paper appears to live in its own, very parochial, world. Doesn't anybody down there look at another paper? I also get The Baltimore Sun. I began to notice that practically every Sunday there were opinions, politicians and columnists advocating more spending on "revitalization projects" (read stadiums etc.) fixing the court system ad nauseam, solely to benefit Baltimore. All such plans seek to spend money sought raised outside Baltimore. So I decided to look into it.

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The truth is that Baltimore would not be able to provide government services at present levels if it had to raise its funds from those living within the city limits. Even more appalling is the size of the subsidies already given to it. The city schools get 75 percent of total expenses from the state, feds and other sources ($625 million). The city general fund gets $290.25 million from these same sources. This is roughly $465 per capita excluding schools ($1,500 including schools). The general fund of Hagerstown gets about $16 and the county gets $117 from those same sources on a per capita basis. The per-capita personal income of Baltimore exceeds that of Washington County, but the state claims our "Wealth-O-Meter" registers much higher than that of Baltimore, thus these ridiculously large subsidies are justified.

The City of Baltimore claims 60,000 drug addicts, an absurdly high crime rate, approximately 42,000 non-revenue producing real properties and a society that cannot seem to correct any of this despite these ever larger subsidies. Does this sound like a civilized society to you? It sounds like a city whose name should be changed to Gimmiemore. These subsidies are so large that they can only be characterized as nothing more than politicians buying votes. Gimmiemore's property tax would have to more than double if it paid it's own way.

All of Gimmiemore's problems are the direct result of the policies advanced by the local politicians including subsidized bad citizen behavior. We have to pay the bills when its most uncivilized people misbehave in Gimmiemore or at the prisons here. Its drug dealers come here to sell their wares. Its thieves come here to steal. When are your paper and the local politicians going to stop enabling this madness and demand proper redress? Forget "fair share." How about a reasonable share? It seems to me that the courts are our only venue to stop this, given the absolute power the governor has over the budget. Politics will never get it done.

Tom Immer

Hagerstown




Abusing the kids



To the editor:

It is always gratifying to hear that our community agencies are so concerned about the "social ills" that plague our modern society. The recent child abuse-investigation grant is the result of the community and agencies working together for funding the investigation of a difficult problem -child abuse. Congratulations for such good teamwork!

I would like to point out that abuse of a child goes beyond just the physical blows and injuries. Yelling, screaming, hollering and using profanity towards children also constitutes abuse, that of verbal, emotional and mental abuse.

Unfortunately, in Washington County, Social Services pursues only complaints of actual physical violence towards children. The hundreds of children who are daily subjected to their parents' ranting, degrading verbiage and angry outbursts are the untreated victims who will either suffer silently with damaged self-worth, self-concept and probable depression or will model their parents' belligerent behavior and become bullies and abusers themselves.

Harm results not just from physical blows but from the repeated demolition of a child's self-esteem through anger and hurtful words.

A majority of clients that I see for regular pastoral counseling are those who are victims of mental, emotional and verbal abuse. The toll that this form of abuse takes on a child growing into adulthood is a trauma in itself. Let's open our eyes to the untreated forms of abuse, and stand up for our community's children. Ignorance of these forms of abuse yield hundreds of victimized children.

Judith McLean

LCPC Family Life Counseling Hagerstown

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