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Herald-Mail Forums

May 14, 2007

Last week's question:

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller recently said the state must raise taxes and cut budgets to avoid a $1.5 billion deficit. To avoid a tax increase, which state services could you do without?

· Quit VEIPing us. (Vehicle Emissions Inspections Program.) The big trucks on the road put out more smoke in one gear shift than my little Nissan pickup has put out in 10,000 miles. This is a useless program that is sucking money out of our pockets with no results. I feel that the state needs to look at this program.

· Can someone give me a list of what we have now?

· How about the Motor Vehicle Administration. I hate the lines.

· Didn't we have a question very similar to this about a month ago? Anyhow, I agree that VEIP is just a cash cow and has no real value to anyone.

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It would be nice if they'd stop shoveling money onto these road construction jobs that once they're done, they're shoveling money out again for them to just dig the road back up again. Do it all at one shot, get it done and save a bunch of money! Honestly, half an ounce of common sense could go a long way toward fiscal responsibility.

· VEIP auto testing in Western Maryland. Using two tags on an automobile. Everyone in Annapolis take a pay cut for two years.

· Legislators need to cut themselves for a change. They recently completed a four-year run where their pay increased 38 percent over that time. Someone needs to calculate how much would be saved if all 195 of them worked a 90-day session on furlough and they had to pay for their own meals and gas to get there. Wouldn't be $1.5 billion, but a nice chunk of change nonetheless. Certainly they could still manage on their contractor incomes and other jobs.

· Illegal immigration assistance.

· Maybe someone can explain this to me, but if someone's an "illegal," how do they get public assistance? Seems to me that the Department of Social Services would be mandated to contact the Immigraion and Naturalization Service any time they had an illegal seeking aid. If someone's illegal and they get busted for anything, it becomes an INS matter. One phone call should be all it takes to start the deportation process.

· Honestly, you start treating illegals like illegals and stop rolling out the red carpet, you'd save plenty of money. I'm not against refugees (they have political asylum from situations that you couldn't imagine in your worst nightmares) and I'm not against anyone that comes here legally and is willing to earn their keep - but come on, already, if it's illegal to be here, then start sending them back!

· How about this: "Everyone in Annapolis take a pay cut."

· It is time to bring all of the state pensions in line with what is being provided by private industries. The old fixed-benefit pension that our parents had is a thing of the past unless you work for the government.

We have to save more now to provide for our own retirement since we no longer have this type of pension. Not only that, we are taxed more so that the state can continue to provide these first-class pensions to the state employees. It is time to convert all state pensions plans from fixed benefit to fixed contribution. It's the best we can get in our jobs, so why should we pay more taxes to provide better benefits to state employees?

· The VEIP program in Washington County should be a prime target for a cut. If I remember correctly, this program was put in place by the federal government to control air pollution from cars in urban areas. If the states did not comply, they did not receive their federal highway funds. When the program started years ago, Washington County was somehow designated as an urban area. Since then, this classification has changed, and we are no longer considered to be in an urban area. With this change, we no longer need to participate in the VEIP program to get federal funds. Further, from what the state says, it is losing $5 for each test.

· It might be a good idea if the paper could list some of the odd services that the state does provide. We most likely have no idea of how much money is being spent for services or positions that really aren't needed.

· We can do without state support of tobacco and horse racing industry, paying farmers to "not" farm and multiple layers of bureaucrats who far too often don't even communicate within their own agency, pensions to legislators who always qualify on federal level, etc.

· Love these flag-draped anti- immigrant comments. Will you who made them be the first to help topple the Statue of Liberty and her poem welcoming the poor and the unwanted of the world to our shores?

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