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Help Obama, help yourself

The so-called fiscal cliff is getting a lot of attention. If Congress does nothing come January, the consequences are many: income tax rates rise nearly 5 percent; millions more will pay the alternative minimum tax; social security will take another 2 percent from paychecks; it will take longer to collect unemployment benefits; pay to Medicare doctors will be cut by a third; $55 billion annually comes out of the defense budget while another $55 billion comes from what the Republicans like to call “entitlements.” If no action is taken, a $500 billion contraction of the federal budget could push the nation further into its economic crisis.

President Barack Obama is out campaigning for extending the middle class tax breaks, while raising the tax rate of the country’s richest. It appears that the unwillingness of America’s richest citizens to pay a fair share of taxes has constructed the cliff. The Republican members of Congress opposing Obama are demanding cuts to “entitlements” before agreeing to taxing the rich even a bit.

Obama argues that the economy has to be grown and that requires government investment; that growth can’t come from cutting. Republicans keep insisting that the failed trickle-down theory works and taxing the richest will cripple the economy because, they say, the “rich create jobs” with their wealth.

We can’t leave this job to just the president. This explains the disappointment so many voters felt with Obama in his first term. This time around, let’s take responsibility for the change we want. Voters must take action if they not only believe in taxing the wealthiest, but also want government jobs programs.

President Obama cannot do it by himself. The last four years demonstrate that. Call the chief culprit in Congress, Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, and demand the richest 10 percent pay a fair share of taxes and that jobs programs get implemented now.

Contact Boehner at 202.225.6205 or visit his Web site, boehner.house.gov, to leave an e-mail.

 

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