LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Rich can pay a little more


Why is it just the poor who pay the price whenever budget cuts roll around? The programs that are cut are always the ones that serve the neediest.

How would Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers like it if her son were denied medical care? How would President Obama react if the heat in the White House got cut off in the middle of winter?

It's very easy for wealthy politicians to cut social services because it's not going to adversely affect their families. They already have medical insurance and can afford to pay their heating bill.

Rich -- or even middle class -- people have resources. They have savings, or investments they can liquefy. But people living in poverty just go deeper into the hole when they are denied government services.

If people are already in debt, already need food from the food bank, already go without medical care, how do we expect them to make up the difference when they lose necessary services?

As Father Horace McKenna said, "The poor can't lift themselves up by their own bootstraps because they have no boots."

People seem to think that the rich don't get services from the government and thus don't have to share in the budget cut sacrifices. But rich people still send their kids to public schools. They drive on the highways. They check the National Weather Service to see if it's going to rain. Their comfortable world is protected by the U.S. military.

In fact, rich people get the biggest "service" of all from the government: tax breaks and tax subsidies. The president's own bipartisan debt commission recently informed us that the wealthy save more than $1 trillion a year on their tax bills because of tax breaks. Why aren't they willing to sacrifice some of their "tax welfare?"

Asking rich folks to pay a little more in taxes every year is not going to send them to the poorhouse. And even Warren Buffet, one of the richest Americans of all time, thinks it's a good idea.

The rich demand sacrifices from the poor, but are not willing to make sacrifices themselves. Those who have the resources needed to get through the difficulties in life should be wiling to pay more taxes so that those who don't have boots, much less bootstraps, can survive. It's not that hard. It just takes a little compassion.

Annie Capestany
Walla Walla


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