Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

November 28, 2012

In Your View

ASHLAND — McConnell must reach compromise

Sen. Mitch McConnell has the power to prevent the passage of a budget that would avoid a “fiscal cliff. “ Mr. McConnell, now it is time for a compromise.  

A compromise should include the end of the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of the American population. In this economic climate (a $13 trillion budget deficit), it’s fair to ask those who are making $250,000 or more a year to pay more.

An article titled “The Lost Decade of the Middle Class” published by the Pew Research Center documents a shrinking middle class. “In 2011, this middle-income tier included 51 percent of all adults; back in 1971, using the same income boundaries, it had included 61 percent.

“Over the same period, only the upper-income tier increased its share in the nation’s household income pie. It now takes in 46 percent, up from 29 percent four decades ago. The middle tier now takes in 45 percent, down from 62 percent four decades ago. The lower tier takes in 9 percent, down from 10 percent four decades ago.”

It’s also time for cuts in the defense budget. A chart published by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, supported by data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in the Oct. 23, 2012, Los Angeles Times shows our country now spends more on its military than the next 13 countries combined. Total defense spending for fiscal year 2011 was $711 billion compared to the $695 billion spent by the combined military budgets of the 13 countries.

With federal budget deficits in the trillions, we can afford to make reasonable cuts in our bloated military budget. We no longer need a military outlay designed to fight two conventional wars simultaneously. Even the Pentagon agrees that strategy is outdated and cuts can be made.

Please let McConnell know it is time for a compromise.

Jim Johnson, Louisville

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