Md. budget shortfalls need balanced approach

Re: "Md. faces years of hefty budget gaps," Nov. 21

Rachel Baye correctly reports that while Maryland has used a balanced approach to solve budget shortfalls totaling billions of dollars over the past five years, significant budget challenges remain in the future.

But she also reported that I supported increases in Maryland's corporation tax, so I would like to make my position clear: I am not in favor of increasing our corporate tax rate. I support a combination of reducing Maryland's tax rate on corporate profits while broadening the baseby reforming the tax code to make it harder for multistate corporations to use accounting maneuvers to escape Maryland's tax.

This could modestly increase state revenues and reduce taxes for small Maryland businesses while making sure that large multistate corporations pay their fair share.

To assure that we help those who have suffered in the weak economy and build a strong future, Maryland should continue to address its budget shortfalls with a smart and balanced approach. We should not slash funding for schools, health care and public infrastructure.

Neil Bergsman


Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute


Cable news improves our democracy

Re: "Ted Koppel doesn't want to hear Rachel Maddow's opinions," Yeas & Nays, Nov. 21

Marvin Kalb's fantasy that our democracy would be "improved" without cable news is both chilling and sad.

Mr. Kalb, should we also bar Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh from the airwaves? Locally,The Washington Examinerandthe Washington Timeswould have to go. Who needs the other side of the story?

If Kalb and some of his liberal media buddies had just entertained the idea of being objective back when CBS, NBC and ABC ruled the roost, perhaps the networks would not have lost their audience to cable.

Rob Paine


Obama masquerades as an environmentalist

At least seven Yellowstone National Park wolves have been shot and killed just outside the park's borders. Five of these animals were wearing radio collars and were the subjects of an intensive conservation study.

Can any Democrat explain why, when presidents of both parties protected the wolves for decades under the Endangered Species Act, President Obama and the current Democrats have lifted their protections and are allowing them to be slaughtered in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming?

The Democrats claim to be a pro-environment party, but that is not true. It's well known that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is allowing the wolves to be killed to keep his rancher friends happy. Less then a quarter of a percent of all cattle deaths are caused by predators, yet Obama and Salazar have wiped out years of conservation efforts by allowing these wolves to be slaughtered. How can Obama claim he's an environmentalist when he's clearly for sale to the ranchers?

This is a national disgrace and speaks volumes about what Obama's true goal as president is: enriching himself for the future.

Kerry Kent

Santa Fe, N.M.