What makes America a prosperous country? One answer is a strong middle class — blue- and white-collar workers with good jobs who spend money buying U.S. products and services.
If businesses and governments cut too many jobs, if the minimum wage is kept low and companies keep sending American jobs overseas, ordinary working people would have little money to spend, which seriously hurts the U.S. economy.
Most economists (and even Mitt Romney) believe that the time to cut state and federal spending is not during a recession. When the U.S. budget was balanced under former President Clinton, the top income tax rate was 39.6 percent. President Barack Obama wants to return to the 39.6 percent rate for those at the top of the scale, but with a lower rate for the middle class than the rate under Clinton.
Republican leaders at state and federal levels demand cuts to vital government programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, Pell Grants, Medicaid and Head Start, while voting for more tax cuts for the richest people in the country. They are so focused on their personal fortunes and power that they don’t know and don’t care what happens to the 99 percent — the rest of America.
Patriotism means more than flag-waving. Patriotism includes all Americans contributing their fair share and working together to promote the general welfare.
Ellen Field, New Gloucester