Tax cuts for the rich

February 14, 2010

I was not surprised in theory that Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said recently that "a million dollars was not a lot of money" in a disucssion at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He was responding to President Obama's plan to let Bush tax cuts expire for families making over $250,000 a year.

I am surprised, however, that Mr. Steele had the nerve to say this out loud. Given that so many people are out of work, how could he say "a million dollars is not a lot of money?" Perhaps, not to you, Mr. Steele, but to the rest of the people of Maryland and the nation, this is not the case. Only 2 percent of American families earn over $250,000.

How can the Republican Party continue to support tax cuts for the rich and oppose regulating Wall Street while turning their backs on Main Street? While families are choosing between buying food and paying for needed medications and going bankrupt because of their high health care bills, how can the chairman of the RNC support tax cuts for familiies making over $250,000? Are we back to "trickle down" economics?

As our great senator from Maryland, Paul Sarbanes, who chaired the Joint Economic Committee in Congress, said in his book, "The Changing American Ecomony," "...the ability of individuals to realize their plans and dreams is very much dependent upon an environment which those individuals do not -- by themselves -- make."

So, Mr. Steele, America depends on those we elect and those in power to go beyond the sterile gross national product numbers to the real issues facing families. And we expect you to understand those issues. Apparently, since you believe $1 million is not a lot of money, you, and the Republican Party, have lost touch with the most basic issues affecting most Americans.

LeeAnn Steinberg, Derwood

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