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Letters to the Editor - Dec. 31

December 30, 2010

Voters had short memory in Bartlett re-election

To the editor:

I was dismayed and disappointed in Maryland voters for having a short memory. Two years ago, it was discovered that U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett was less than forthcoming on his financial disclosure and taxes and then proceeded to blame his staff for getting it wrong. Bartlett blamed that error on staff not reading his handwritten notes correctly.

If a "normal" person had done something similar, they would be audited by the IRS and fined, but we all know how it really works in the USA so people like Bartlett "apologize" and get off clean.

Why are you re-electing a man who cannot even properly file his own taxes? Why do you re-elect a man who is apparently really a property developer, not a congressman, who has sold $1 million in property in four years? The average cost of a house in Washington County is what —175,000? Think about it — this man is not representing you, he is out to make himself money under the guise of a congressman.

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When probed about his activities, Bartlett said, "... my wife wrote the checks ..." 

My proposition is this: If Bartlett's wife runs his household and property portfolio, maybe she would like to run for Congress.

Robert Dohn

Hagerstown

Rich don't want equality when it comes to taxes

To the editor:

Thanks to John M. Crisp for stating why wealthy people should, indeed, pay taxes at a higher rate ("Rich should pay proportionately more in taxes," Thursday, Dec. 23, page A4).

But he did not include what are some of the most important considerations — beyond a modest amount, wealth is not, could not possibly be, earned or deserved. It is, at best, the product of fortuitous factors, if not (as it often is) simply stolen, in one way or another.

For example, people who lost thousands of millions or billions from the Madoff schemes no more deserved to lose than do others deserve to gain from their more fortunate investments. For the most part (not entirely), such gains and losses are games of the rich, papered over by the laws the rich make for their own benefit, far removed from anything one could appropriately regard as earning by one's intelligence or skill or effort or sheer persistence. 

Moreover, if the laws were anywhere close to what individuals or families deserved, there would be no inheritance (much less inheritance with zero or minimal tax). Everyone should start off even. 

But the rich sure wouldn't stand for any such equality. They want at least equal (usually far better) protection by the laws without anything close to equal burdens.

Joe Morton

Towson, Md.

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