Instead of gas tax, control Maryland's runaway budget

Re: "Va. roads plan puts pressure on Md. to reach deal," Feb. 26

So Maryland Democrats will let the poor and middle class "eat cake" by raising regressive gasoline taxes in 2013 even after a payroll tax increase, sequestration and gasoline headed to $5 a gallon?

From FY 2000 to FY 2013, Maryland's operating budget increased from $18 billion to $35 billion -- or 97 percent. Health and Mental Hygiene expenses increased 165 percent, the budget for Housing and Community Development increased 203 percent, and public debt went up 151.3 percent!

Transportation funding increased 48.4 percent, from $2.5 billion to $3.7 billion, but decreased as a percentage of the budget from 14 percent to 10.5 percent.

Why haven't Maryland legislators controlled those runaway parts of the budget, or dedicated new gambling money, alcohol income, or the 20 percent increases in the state sales tax to transportation instead of trying to burden hardworking Marylanders with a new commuter gas tax?

Robin Ficker

Boyds, Md.

Obama's race has nothing to do with sequestration

Re: "Sequestration scare tactics are Washington lies," Feb. 25

The Examiner again disses black folk intentionally. The last three paragraphs of Mark Tapscott's op-ed were pointlessly provocative. He should have just dispensed with the facile analysis and said what he means: "The President is getting a pass because he's black."

Tapscott's politically correct race-baiting continues. Except this time, race had nothing to do with sequestration, the topic at hand.

This is a story about how politicians distend the truth. Partisanship and personal circumstances explain why individuals approve or disapprove of the president's job on any given day or week. What does race have to do with it?

Terrence Briggs


Gun liability

I would like gun owners to be required to carry liability insurance.

Those of us who own automobiles are required to carry liability insurance. Shouldn't the same apply to those who insist on owning guns? Why do victims and society have to bear all the cost of the irresponsible use of firearms?

Compulsory liability insurance would appropriately shift much of this terrible cost to gun owners and insurance companies, with the added benefit that insurers will (in their own financial self-interest) limit gun ownership to responsible parties.

Daniel Meijer

Silver Spring