Our lawmakers are part-time employees working 60 days a year, but we cover them with health care coverage for 365 days a year. Not a bad deal. Let's pass legislation that lawmakers will no longer be covered by free health care by the taxpayers. Call your lawmaker and request that he or she propose cutting taxes, eliminating fraud and stopping all abuse.
Tobacco tax hurts veterans
To the editor:
It's bad enough that our legislators in Charleston are considering tripling the state's cigarette tax.
Now some other groups want to raise the tax to more than $1.17 a pack!
Just who will this hurt? Veterans on fixed incomes, that's who. These are the same veterans who our government first introduced to "smokes" during their military service when free cigarettes were handed out with their rations.
Now government will take more of our veterans' limited income just to make liberal elitist groups in Charleston happy and pay for new spending programs.
I know many veterans who smoke. They aren't going to quit just because the cigarette tax is increased.
They will still smoke because, for many in their older age, smoking is one of their few remaining joys in life. They are retired, many are widowed, and they have worked hard their entire lives and paid many taxes.
If our legislators need more money, surely they can find it somewhere else. Our state budget should never be balanced on the backs of veterans. The food tax is bad enough.
I say to our legislators: Please leave our veterans alone and tell the liberal groups to find a more responsible way to fund state government.
Would Jesus be bombing Iraq?
To the editor:
I recently came across an article in the news that posed a most unusual question: if Jesus were alive today, what kind of vehicle would he drive? Although I only briefly reviewed the article, its intention was to reveal car buying as not only a personal choice but an ethical one as well, due to the fact that some vehicles are less environmentally friendly than others.
Although I chuckled somewhat at the prospect of Jesus shopping for a ride, it later struck me that, in lieu of more serious matters in the world, the question should have been: If Jesus were alive today would he be for or against our waging war against Iraq?
Although we are a predominantly Christian nation I have neither read nor heard much of anything from religious leaders on this decidedly ethical matter.
Yet the answer seems obvious when you consider just a few of his teachings: If struck on the cheek offer the other; love your enemies and do good to those who hate you. And remember, he was no wimp as the money changers in the synagogue came to realize. He could be brought to anger, but not to violence. It is his final act that is the most telling; he gave his own life for the sake of others.
Interestingly enough, he was concerned about those who followed him but did not obey him: "'Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and not do what I tell you?" (Luke 6,46) From a Christian standpoint the message is clear concerning the pending war in Iraq: Vengeance is not ours.
Tax law unfair
To the editor:
Current Maryland tax law unfairly penalizes 65-year-old taxpayers. Legislation in recent years intended to reduce the state income tax for all Marylanders has unfortunately created an increasing disparity in the personal exemption that can be claimed for Maryland residents at 65.