February 6, 2012

The Feb. 1 editorial “Maryland steps on the gas” asks of opponents of increasing the taxes on gasoline: “But then where would they find the hundreds of millions of dollars annually that no one disputes is needed to build and maintain an adequate transportation network . . . ? If they don’t like a sales tax on gas, what do they prefer?”  

Such shortfalls could be prevented by diligent and effective negotiation by our government officials with our public-sector unions, rather than the normal rolling-over, which continues to abuse taxpayers. An example: Counties negotiate teacher salaries while state government and taxpayers are responsible for paying for their retirements. There is nothing wrong with collective bargaining — except when one side chooses to appease rather than bargain. 

Better procurement and oversight would be another source of funds. Next time you pass a road construction site, count how many people are standing around.

Dennis F. Prather, Silver Spring