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ECONOMY: Don’t make deal that hurts middle class

Letter by Alexander H. Stone, Tacoma on Dec. 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm with No Comments »
December 18, 2012 2:11 pm

All Americans – from the extreme left to the extreme right – will suffer from a bad fiscal cliff deal. How do I know? Just look at some recent history.

TARP and the bailout handed public money to private corporations, rewarding them for playing fast and loose with the rules. America got involved in two wars, and we’ve paid a high price in blood and treasure. Tax cuts that heavily favored the wealthy were ruinous to our budget surplus.

These were all bad deals, but cutting Social Security and Medicare is the line in the sand. And we should all thank the “extreme left” for standing up for the American people.

Middle-class Americans, who largely played by the rules, should not have their future retirement put in jeopardy by extremists who want to raise the retirement age beyond 67. People who have paid into the Medicare system their entire lives should not have the rug yanked out from under their feet just as they are preparing to retire.

The choice here is not between bad and worse. It’s between acceptable and terrible. Asking people earning more than $250,000 to pay a little more in taxes is acceptable. Cutting retirement and health care benefits for millions of Americans who have no other recourse is terrible.

Middle-class Americans should not pay for the hedonism of Wall Street with our retirement and health care. That’s no compromise at all.

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