What do you think?

February 15, 2009

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

Last week there were three poll questions. The first question was: What do you plan to do with your income tax refund?

"I answered something else because I am actually going to split it up. I am putting some in the bank and putting some toward the payments on furniture we ordered recently. (Yes, we made sure it's made in the USA.) While we could put it all toward the payments, I feel better making payments and leaving some for a rainy day, especially in these uncertain times."

"I am self-employed and pay taxes quarterly, as does my wife. I usually get some back from the government, but not much. With all the fees I have to pay to just run my business, it is a wonder that the government isn't here with me every week to do the books, just to make sure they get what they think is their fair share. They already get nearly half what I make. Now with Barack Obama in office, I bet they want more!"


"Mine is going to help pay for my daughter's wedding."

"I am going to fly to Disney World from Hagerstown."

"I'm saving it. I haven't done my taxes yet, but I know it won't be too much. Saving it is the responsible thing to do, though."

The second question was: Do you think it's important that Congress quickly reach an agreement on a stimulus package?

"No! The key word is 'quickly.' They should start over and craft something that actually has something to do with real stimulus."

"No ... we should have never bailed out in the first place. Where is it going to stop? I think we, as greedy Americans, should think about our children and our grandchildren. We are now spending their money. It is time for some hard times and pay off what we have borrowed. We, as a material American, put ourselves in this position, and we should have to pay the price, not our children ... Shame on all of us!"

"Yes ... Let's set aside the partisan bickering and get something accomplished. We need to support President Obama."

"We have a Congress where most of the members have no more economic knowledge than most of us. They are the cause of the economic problems that this country has and now we expect them to solve it. I don't think so. I am observing nothing more than pure party politics now. The stimulus package will pass and they know not what they do. Sad!"

"I don't know if it needs to be fast, but it needs to be efficient."

The third question was: Should states that face huge budget deficits require their counties and/or municipalities to pick up the cost for programs the states no longer can afford to fund?

"I voted 'No.' Most county budgets cannot handle the extra burden, thus forcing local officials to raise property taxes."

"A very easy no vote! Just another example of the big-spending legislature trying to balance the budget by sending it to the counties ... Spend, spend, spend, and then lay it off on the counties, typical of our Maryland legislature!"

"Considering how low on the totem pole Washington County is anyway, if they did do something like this, we wouldn't have any programs at all! You know they'd find a way to keep financing their 'little darlings' in Baltimore and Montgomery County. Such a plan ends up sticking it to everyone that isn't in the very wealthy counties."

"I voted yes on this one. We hear about how tough things are around Hagerstown. However, when we go out to eat at a local restaurant, it is full. Last night, a Tuesday, my wife and I had to wait for a table. People do not seem to have a problem spending money in this area. We also spend millions of dollars on tip jars in Washington County. I don't see a problem with raising taxes to pay for services that we need since it appears we have the money to spend in the Hagerstown area. I just have not noticed people changing their lifestyles. If need be, maybe we could cut out some services that we could do without in order to pay for the necessary services."

"I voted no because the state government needs to be held responsible for their expenses. If they start putting it back on the counties and local governments, then the next thing you know, they will be putting everything back to the local level and still be collecting taxes from us and wanting to increase those taxes."

"Everyone in the state should be made to pay the difference so the state can balance its budget."

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