Joseph Reisert’s hypocrisy (“Obama’s policies undermine honor of working poor’s sacrifice,” Sept. 7) illustrates the Republican Party’s rationale for destroying Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other programs designed to keep Americans from abject poverty.

According to Reisert’s column, the poor (and middle class) should want to “work through physical pain” and “sacrifice” because it’s the “moral” and “honorable” thing to do. “Affluent progressives” are mocked because they want all Americans to have a “decent living.”

Republicans can’t wait to squeeze even more sacrifices from the poor and middle class … for their own good, of course.

A glaring omission in Reisert’s piece is any application of the terms “moral,” “honor” or “sacrifice” to wealthy Americans.

Is it honorable to cut promised retirement benefits or threaten Medicare with a voucher system? Is it moral for Mitt Romney to have his Bain Capital compensation laundered through foreign banks so that he can claim its capital gains, with a much lower tax rate?

We’ll never see 10 years of Romney’s tax returns because he doesn’t want voters to focus on how very little work he’s done for all his millions. Calling most of his income “capital gains” allows Romney to pay a lot less in Social Security and Medicare taxes: In 2011, his taxable income was more than $15 million, yet he paid Social Security and Medicare taxes on only $110,500.

Wealthy Americans have access to the best medical care. They can afford car elevators, dancing horses and buying elections. Military service? They have other priorities.

Honor? Morality? Sacrifice? Those are for suckers in the poor and middle classes.

Reisert has chosen to shill for the monied interests who back the Romney/Ryan team, to the detriment of America’s poor and middle classes. Where’s the honor in that?

John R. Merrill


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