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posted: 11/27/2012 5:00 AM

Keep focus on jobs, fiscal crisis

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As a new subscriber, reading Susan Estrich's Nov. 15 column, "The mandate to raise taxes on so-called rich," gave me a frisson of schadenfreude. She voted for President Obama, but not because she thought she was paying too little in taxes? Where has she been for five years that she hadn't noticed Obama has convinced people that raising taxes on "rich" folks like her is the solution to the deficit, though it will produce enough cash to pay the deficit for only a week or two. And only if it doesn't further depress the economy, producing less revenue.

She was worried about gay marriage? Fine. I think the big threat is straight people not getting married. But I care more about a real unemployment rate of over 14 percent than I do that Mitt Romney might have cut back on unlimited abortions or free birth control for yuppie college students. I care more about the coming fiscal collapse due to a $16 trillion deficit, plus as much as $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public employee pensions and now Obamacare, than I do about getting coverage for pre-existing conditions. When we lose those social programs due to default or hyperinflation, she may care.

She is upset that Warren Buffett and Mitt Romney pay lower rates on investment income, which was already taxed once when the corporations earned it? Fine, raise capital gains taxes. And if that means less investment in companies so they don't have the funding to expand jobs, well, her vote for Obama already says that jobs are a low priority with her.

But she's right to be worried about a fiscal earthquake. And even the federal government isn't "too big to fail" when this bill comes due.

Robert A. Hall

Des Plaines

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