Everyone in this country will be affected if Congress does not find a solution to the fiscal cliff and prevent sequestration. All of us have a stake in making sure that those who are most able to absorb the financial burden of a deal do so.

Our economy is still struggling. The middle class, what is left of it, does not have a penny remaining to give to the federal government. Many of us live paycheck to paycheck, worried about losing our homes, and skimp and save in our own households.

The federal government has steadily and consistently decreased funding to programs that help lift others out of poverty while giving tax breaks to the very wealthy. And those below that select group of a few individuals and corporations suffer for it.

As a recent college graduate who has dealt with unemployment and underemployment, I strongly urge Congress to prevent cuts from federal student aid, job training programs and education.

Businesses, small and large, need a well-educated workforce. The government needs a well educated workforce. Both groups benefit from smart, knowledgeable, savvy citizens who will work hard, help innovate and produce existing and new products and services.

A good American education leads to a good American job, with a decent wage and good American benefits, so we can achieve the American dream. Asking the top 2 percent or 5 percent to pay a little more is a minuscule tradeoff to keep America thriving.

Rachel Sukeforth

Litchfield