Dear President Obama,
In the aftermath of your reelection, all of the talk is turning to the so-called fiscal cliff, and almost all politicians are saying we need to reach a compromise. Please, as you again try to get the Republican house to be slightly reasonable, keep the important things in mind. Our fiscal problems are not primarily that government is too big and doing things it should be doing; they are primarily caused because we're not collecting enough taxes to pay for them. The money has to come from the people who have it, and we are in the hole we're in now because the Republicans somehow mesmerized the rest of Congress into accepting the idea that the rich shouldn't pay taxes. We can't fix the budget without ending the favorable treatment of dividends and capital gains. Additionally, much of the social division tearing our country apart is caused by growing inequality of wealth, which flows directly from the fact that people with less money pay higher tax rates than people with more money.
Yes, talk to the Republicans. Keep trying to bring them to a sane compromise. But don't agree to anything that taxes divdends and capital gains -- also known as rich people's money -- significantly less than wages. Going over the fiscal cliff now may make things a little tougher for a couple of years, but making the tax holiday for the rich permanent will make sure that things continue getting worse for ordinary people forever.