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Letters to the editor 11/9

November 09, 2003

Builders being selfish



To the editor:

In response to "Builder says fee is 'too much.'" I read with great disbelief this article in which the builder feels that a $6,500 fee per dwelling is too much.

I have lived in Washington County my entire life, so here is my take on this topic. We have in this county a stellar school system, one in which we can take great pride.

When people wish to know why our school system is exemplary they need look no further than the professionals who keep it running on a daily basis. Teachers in my opinion fail to ever receive all the credit and praise due them.

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In most cases, they are forced to educate in an antiquated system with outdated media equipment and learning materials. To make matters worse, each and every year their budgets seem to stretch less than the prior year.

They face overcrowded classrooms and at times children lacking any and all respect. When one considers all these things teachers easily fit well into the category of hero, one deserving of more praise than they seem to receive.

As for the $6,500 per dwelling fee, this money although not enough can go a long way for an institution so much in need. Profits are made as a result of building and population growth is the end outcome. Why would anyone feel that our schools and teachers should absorb this without additional funds?

In closing, to the builder who feels the price is "too much," I say the price is small. A fee of $6,500 for a dwelling with one child would break down to $500 per year if that child was to spend 13 years in our school system. If that family had two or more children, what a bargain they would receive. My hat is off to each and every teacher for caring enough to make a real difference. They too are builders, the builders of hopes, dreams and the world of tomorrow. Accept the fee and know that the money will make a real difference.

Randy A. Breeden

Williamsport




Steps toward socialism



To the editor:

"It makes good economic and moral sense for the State of Maryland to have universal health care for our citizens," boldly proclaimed Peter Beilenson, the Baltimore health commissioner, in the front-page Associated Press story (Oct. 29) - a story the headline of which read "New study supports universal health plan."

The story might have been more informative had the AP, or The Morning Herald, noted that Beilenson is a founder of the group that developed the plan, the Maryland Citizen's Health Initiative.

This plan or one similar to it would continue the steady drift of the Free State toward a People's Republic of Maryland. It would make the state the first in the land to mandate (that beloved word of the left) universal health care.

But not to worry, the news story continued, it would be funded in part by a payroll tax on businesses, plus federal Medicaid matching funds and "enrollee premiums" - not further explained in the story.

The study on which the plan was based "found there would be little net change in employment in the state" despite the significant increase in the new employer payroll taxes. Oh, it might cost up "to 10,000 minimum wage" jobs - those workers that businesses would let go or not hire as their taxes to finance this dandy plan increased.

But these "would be offset by increased employment brought about by a $462 million jump in federal health-care spending." That sort of easy assumption is precisely the sort that has the federal Medicare program speeding toward insolvency. (When Medicare was created in 1965, its architects projected that by 1990 the costs of the program would be about $12 billion; by 1990 the actual cost was $110 billion, and it has been steadily rising in the decade-plus since.)

It would be useful if The Morning Herald would carefully examine who the "665,000 uninsured" are - a figure that includes many younger workers who choose not to pay for health insurance, as well as many other workers who are without coverage for a portion of the year, as they switch jobs, for instance.

Robert O.C. Worcester, president of the Maryland Business for Responsive Government, said, "This program is the creature from the 'Little Shop of Horrors' - no amount of food will feed it." Just so.

From an expanding welfare state to socialism is not a long hike. Do Americans really want to make that walk?

Woody West

Hagerstown




Patriot Act under fire



To the editor:

The last week of October marked the second anniversary of congressional passage of the USA Patriot Act. Enacted on October 26, 2001 the Patriot Act provided the federal government with expanded powers to fight terrorism.

Some of the expanded powers, however, run counter to constitutionally guaranteed freedoms For example, it includes an overly broad definition of terrorism so that government action could be directed against protesters and organizations that voice disagreement with the policies of the leadership of the United States.

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