Republican cries of “Fiscal crisis! Fiscal crisis!” are the equivalent of yelling “Fire! Fire!” in a crowded theater.

They create a state of panic among Americans to call attention to the plight of the rich, whose demands for tax breaks do not seem to get enough priority from Barack Obama.

Extreme wealth inequality historically has led to explosive, revolutionary and catastrophic events. Marie-Antoinette, who, legend has it, said, “Let them eat cake,” and was then beheaded, is a good example of the dire consequences that result from a huge gap in wealth between the extravagant rich and the suffering poor.

Twenty million Americans are unemployed, essentially because of the U.S. companies transferring (outsourcing) manufacturing to foreign companies.

The priority should not be conquering the deficit, but bringing skills and manufacturing back home. Import tariffs could be applied where foreign governments (oh, so frequently) have violated the rules of a fair or level playing field.

Howard N. Stewart

Manchester