In one screaming sentence Katrina vanden Heuvel (commentary, Nov. 3) catches the core issue of the American dilemma, “Warfare waged by the upper class.”

The upper class represented by the rich so-called 1 percent and aptly personified by the likes of House Speaker John Boehner and the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who want the tax breaks for the rich awarded them by Bush in 2003 to be extended indefinitely.

Hypocrisy and insincerity become obvious when claims are made that the tax breaks for the rich will not affect the national deficit. The Bush tax cuts would add about $3.7 trillion to the national deficit over the next decade.

“Trickle-down Reaganomics” has not brought prosperity to the 99 percent. The rich used to pay more in taxes, a lot more. The publication “The Week,” Nov. 4, 2011, tells us the following:

The top marginal income tax rate was 91 percent during the 1950s, 70 percent during the 1970s, and 50 percent during all but the last two years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency when it fell as low as 28 percent.

The above-mentioned politicians are all too anxious to abolish or diminish entitlements (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) to secure their tax breaks. The common good does not count.

Howard N. Stewart

Manchester