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Our view: Taxes for rich a key 2012 issue

THE FIRST AMENDMENT

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Updated: October 14, 2012 12:58PM



When all is said and done, one touchy disagreement lies at the heart of this presidential election and the dysfunction in Washington: Should the wealthiest Americans pay more in taxes to help fix a country that is in desperate need of fixing?

President Barack Obama said as much in a TV interview. He said he would be “more than happy to work with the Republicans” to fix the big problems that threaten the nation with financial ruin, such as the unsustainable growth of Medicare costs and the swelling national deficit, if only they would drop their opposition to raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

That’s it.

That’s the whole ballgame.

Yes, the president said, “some adjustments” have to be made to Medicare and Medicaid — code words for saying that middle-class and poor Americans will have to take a hit in all sorts of ways to balance the budget — but it is unconscionable to do so without first asking more of the wealthiest Americans.

Or is every last dollar in the pocket of a billionaire “jobs creator” more precious than a dollar in the purse of an elderly Medicare recipient who barely can pay her rent?

In the meantime, Mitt Romney continues to double down on a tax-and-spending plan that doesn’t add up. An independent analysis says he simply can’t end enough tax deductions and close enough loopholes on high-income Americans to make up for the lost income from a promised 20 percent tax cut for all Americans.

And when asked again which specific loopholes he would close and which programs he would cut, he again refused to say.

Mum’s the word.

It is enough for now, Romney said on “Meet the Press,” for the voters to know the “principles” of his plan.

But should the wealthy pay more in taxes as part of any fair deficit-reduction plan?

That’s the question of the moment.

Romney says no, but won’t say who’s going to feel the pain instead.

Sun-Times Media



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