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Your Opinion: Concentration of wealth

Your Opinion: Concentration of wealth

October 5th, 2011 by Tony Smith, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

Speaking at a Missouri fundraising event New Jersey Governor Christie tells the crowd, "Everyone has the right to be rich in America. That's what (Republicans) believe." Is that an issue?

Most of us would feel rich if we felt our homes were secure, we had a decent retirement when we were ready and we could fund our children's college education. Do I need multiple homes? Do I need a yacht, a Lamborghini or a Gulfstream Commander to fly about for foreign excursions? Do I need 10,000 square feet of house with servants? Well, you get the picture. If you needed those things, you might be a Republican.

Can we speak? The problem is the extreme concentration of wealth in America. The 400 richest citizens have more wealth than 150 million Americans. This is from a Forbes report based on U.S. tax records. When conservatives coyly say the rich pay 70 percent of all taxes it is because they have America's wealth. Tax policy has massively shifted wealth to the rich over the last 30 years. Conservatives want to increase that further.

By pushing a fake crisis of government debt and working relentlessly to shrink taxes to pay those debts America is in a downward spiral. Social Security and Medicare are the basic programs that have reduced poverty for seniors. The Tea Party is pushing the government to reduce these programs. By attacking government and tax revenues the initial victims are policemen and teachers. Shrinking government means taking more from grandma's Social Security income.

The rich benefit greatly by our system. Our military and police protect their wealth. The rich use our public assets of land, roads and airways for their businesses. Yet too many of them want to pay less in taxes. Reagan quipped about the nine most terrifying words, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." Since then it's been open season on our government. The Tea Party is the latest bunch of terrorists to assault us.

One TP writer asked me to scare you about a Muslim Caliphate coming to Cole County. I see a worse enemy of the people, the Tea Party. They are the party for the rich.

"This country will not be a permanently good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a reasonably good place for all of us to live in." - Theodore Roosevelt.