Pols can't be trusted

with higher gas tax

The March 16 editorial - "Gas-tax increase/You'd rather borrow?" - overlooked the reason why all drivers should reject your position and that of the pols who would love to get their hands on additional gas-tax revenue.

That reason is the two raids made on the Transportation "Trust" Fund in recent years by the Trenton gang to finance the light rail projects linking Camden with Trenton and a similar project in Hudson County.

If drivers pay more taxes, there is no assurance the money will be spent on road improvements. The "trustees" will find more "transportation" projects for the car users to finance.

ROBERT A. SIMMS JR.

Smithville

Ferry, NJ Transit

discourage walk-ons

Regarding the Feb. 21 story, "Leaner ferry looks to next generation/Cape May-Lewes Ferry turns 50":

The ferry and New Jersey Transit have been discouraging people for years from using the ferry as walk-ons.

Many of us would love to spend the day at the discount outlets in Lewes, but the bus does not stop at the ferry. It stops in North Cape May and then we must take a cab the few blocks to the ferry. They do provide a shuttle in the summer from Cape May, but it would be a lot easier and simpler to just stop at the ferry. The increase in walk-on passengers would be amazing.

MILTON STEIN

Atlantic City

Former IRS official

has reason to be scared

The Internal Revenue Service is the most feared and heavy-handed domestic agency in our country. The Internet is rife with stories about IRS oppression of businesses and political groups. It knows how to get blood from a stone, usually by threats to our lifestyle.

So imagine my delight when former IRS executive Lois Lerner's lawyer said she fears for her life if she testifies before the House and Government Reform Committee on IRS abuses. Having gone through a horrible IRS audit in the 1990s, when I had to prove my son existed because he didn't have a Social Security number at the time, I know where she's coming from. Welcome to the club, Lois.

Lerner retired with an annual pension of more than $100,000 soon after she cited the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify. I think she fears more for her lifestyle than she does for her life. She could lose that cushy pension if she's convicted of anything.

BILL PURDY

Mount Ephraim

Margate resident

deserved honor

I was happy to see that Margate Mayor Mike Becker and Commissioner Brenda Taube decided to name the Margate Dog Park in memory of recently deceased resident Anne Pancoast. She was a tireless advocate for animals, a founder of the dog park and a tireless advocate for Margate taxpayers. This is a well-deserved honor, something everyone should support.

Strangely though, Commissioner Maury Blumberg disagreed. According to Blumberg, if Pancoast is honored, then many other people who died in Margate should be honored. But is that really it?

I think Blumberg is upset that Pancoast spoke out against the city borrowing $2.25 million to upgrade the ballfield, which he was in favor of. Five years later, the Little League only has two teams, and there is no longer a girls' softball league. But we still have the debt.

And who could forget that Blumberg was a passionate advocate for two firehouse renovations that would have cost the taxpayers more than $6 million? Pancoast and others had to go to court to stop him there. Becker and Taube were able to get the work done for $2.5 million.

Really, that was the whole problem between Blumberg and Pancoast. He recklessly borrowed and spent tax dollars, and she called him on it.

Pancoast taught us that citizens can make a difference in city government. We must stay involved and vigilant. Spending other people's money is easy; earning money to pay taxes is hard. Thank you so much, Mayor Becker and Commissioner Taube, for voting to honor Anne's memory.

STEVE WOERNER

Margate

U.S. polarization

is fueled by race

Regarding the March 9 Peter Goldmark column, "How can we move past polarization?":

Polarization in this country is due primarily to racism. As long as we don't engage in an open debate concerning race in this country, polarization will exist.

Currently, the disrespectful, ugly, name-calling attack on our president just fuels the polarization. Despite an opposition party committed to rejecting every policy, program, etc., President Barack Obama has done many good things - health reform, cutting the deficit, lowering unemployment, improving trade, Wall Street going through the ceiling, etc. And he has done these things with one hand tied behind his back.

This country was built on the backs of slaves when cotton was king. A continuing dialogue concerning race in this country would help some people see the true value of black citizens and would help improve the polarization problem.

ALVIN WASHINGTON

Atlantic City

Obama critics should

consider Bush's record

Regarding the March 14 letter, "Obama can't relate to Europe's problems," which said President Barack Obama doesn't understand Europe because he is part Kenyan:

I had to read it twice - but, yes, that was the conclusion the ill-advised writer had the audacity to reach. I wonder if he understands that such a statement is not only misguided (Obama has had great relations with Europe), but also racist.

Where were these letter writers who scold Obama during George W. Bush's eight years?

Let's look at the record of our 43rd president: 9/11 happened on Bush's watch, and he was warned by Richard Clark. Bush inherited a surplus from Bill Clinton that he quickly turned into the biggest deficit in American history. He reacted late to Hurricane Katrina. He outed CIA agents. He started two wars, finding neither weapons of mass destruction (the reason for attacking Iraq) or Osama bin Laden. He sanctioned torture. He gave record-setting tax breaks to the richest, then cut funding to stem-cell research that could save us all - and all while taking more vacation time than any president in modern history.

So tell me. Did Bush understand Europe or how to be a president better than Obama?

GREG MICHAEL-IGNATIUS

Atlantic City