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Jim Worth Headshot

The Selfish Rich of the 21st Century

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The debate over the Bush Tax Cuts has centered on the Wealthiest Americans!

As the far left and far right wage battle over the sun-setting Bush Tax Cuts, the middle-class is held hostage.

Despite the failure of 10 years of low taxes to produce jobs and stimulate the economy, Republicans insist that continued tax breaks for the rich will tinkle down.

The middle-class continues to struggle under the weight of 12 years of Republican policies; policies that transferred wealth from ninety-eight percent (98%) of the American population -- hard-working Americans -- to the two percent (2%) wealthiest Americans.

In the last 30 years, incomes for the wealthiest one percent of Americans rose 281% while middle-class wages have remained flat. Yet Republicans argue that letting the tax breaks for wealthy Americans expire would dramatically slow the economy and prevent job creation.

What the argument should highlight is the dispassionate position of the American rich and their UnPatriotic silence.

The silence has been both deafening and damaging to the country as the partisan dialogue escalates and becomes more divisive. Wealthy citizens could end the vitriolic debate allowing the country to move forward.

This should be front page news with journalists exposing the hypocrisy of the arguments against higher taxes when we are currently enjoying the lowest overall tax rates in 50 years while watching the deficit soar due, in part, to unfunded wars and Medicare Part D.

But shining a spotlight on the wealthiest in this nation is not in the purview of the duplicitous 21st century media. The media relegates stories like this to the back pages.

The current battle over the tax cuts that plunged us into deficits as far as the eye can see is a microcosm of the brewing culture wars -- the filthy rich vs. hard-working Americans who have been forced to endure the burdens of a failing economy.

Wealthy Americans, in receiving the gift of tax cuts during a time war, have paid virtually nothing for a war they advocated and supported. A war that cost the nation thousands of young lives and billions in national treasure.

In fact, many have actually made money from the wars while millions of Americans and Iraqis have paid the ultimate price for Bush's presidential folly.

The rich have paid nothing for the destruction their advocacy has caused.

Nor have they paid a cent for this nation's deteriorating infrastructure or the hand-out to Insurance companies through the passage of Medicare Part D.

Most sit idly by, letting the Republicans fight their UnPatriotic battles.

But there is hope. A group of more than 80 "loyal citizens" who now or in the past have earned an income of $1,000,000 per year or more' have signed a letter to the President. Members of Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength are urging President Obama to let the tax cuts expire for those earning over a million dollars.

There are 375,000 Americans who have incomes over $1,000,000, and these 80 patriotic citizens are urging more wealthy Americans to sign the letter.

Senator Schumer offered a compromise that would raise the level from the proposed $250,000 to $1,000,000 last week. This would eliminate 99% of small businesses from the dreaded tax increases that Republicans are fighting so hard to keep. This would end the argument that raising the top two tax rates would hurt small businesses and job growth.

Truth be told, raising it from $350,000 to $500,000 would have the same effect, excluding nearly every small business from the increase.

It's time to break the silence. Patriotic Millionaires is a great start and these patriotic Americans need to be commended for stepping forward and doing the right thing for America and for democracy. It's time for the rest to step forward, sign the letter, call their congressional representatives and encourage them to do the right thing.

It's also time the Republicans quit holding hard-working and unemployed Americans hostage to perpetuate the greedy decline in this country.

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