Letters to the Editor

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ECONOMY: Middle class has sacrificed plenty

Letter by Robert L. Humphries, Puyallup on May 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm | 27 Comments »
May 9, 2012 10:17 am

Re: “Patriots willing to sacrifice” (letter, 5-9).

I wholeheartedly agree with the need to make more sacrifices in the name of patriotism. However, more sacrifice from most working-class Americans cannot be compared to the examples given of Greece and France.

European nations have long enjoyed peace and freedom under a common security blanket of NATO, largely bolstered by America. Many Europeans also have long enjoyed four-day work weeks (with two-month vacations not uncommon) and retirement in their 50s with pensions approaching 90 percent of full pay.

Even our most liberal politicians have never promised such a good deal for working-class Americans. Neither do most Americans believe that honest, hard work will make them all millionaires as preached by conservatives (with the carrot of “trickle-down” economics).

The sacrifices we need are mostly from our elected officials to ensure that fraud, waste and abuse are not robbing the public coffers entrusted to their oversight. Whether such expenditures are for “entitlement” social welfare programs or for big-ticket military hardware programs, most Americans believe a bit of belt-tightening would be good for our country.

Finally, asking the poor to sacrifice more would be squeezing blood from a beet; the working class is already burdened by a sluggish economy. Would one less vacation home or one less luxury car be too much to ask those making over $250,000 per year to be more patriotic by giving up those tax breaks they have enjoyed for the last few years (as none of that seems to have trickled down as promised)?

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