Mon, Feb. 24

Letter: Of war and wealth


In response to Jim Barber's letter regarding the "necessity" of invading and occupying Iraq, I would point out that intelligence and military experts around the world contradicted Bush's assertions that Saddam had WMD. But I believe one of my relatives put it best. A highly-decorated veteran who accumulated 7 battle stars while serving in WWII from North Africa to Belgium, and a lifelong Republican, he voted for Kerry in 2004 stating, "No one who has ever been to war would start one so hastily."

Unlike Bush, it's clear that President Obama understands the grave consequences of sending troops to war.

As for Mr. Barber's claim that Obama is committed to redistribution of wealth, let's hope he's correct. Over the past 30 years, our nation's wealth has been dramatically redistributed upward. According to Nobel Prize-winning economist, Paul Krugman, real incomes of the top .01 percent of Americans rose sevenfold between 1980 and 2007 while real income of the median family rose only 22 percent. (And Krugman points out that most of the gains for ordinary Americans came during Clinton's terms.) 10 percent of U.S. citizens now own nearly 71 percent of all U.S. assets and 5 percent own more than half! At the same, the highest income tax rate for wealthy Americans has dropped from 50 percent to 35 percent.

During a recent appearance on Fareed Zakaria's GPS, economists Martin Wolf and Robert Shiller warned that one of the greatest dangers facing our nation is the growing economic disparity between the rich and poor stating, "This could create a country in which not even those with a great deal of money will want to live."

Gary LaMaster


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