I applaud Idema’s call for a clear acknowledgment by our political leaders of the need for sacrifice in the face of our huge national deficit. Assertions that the Bush era tax cuts should be extended indefinitely or that only the top 1 percent need pay more income taxes are unrealistic. We cannot expect to correct our existing problems without substantial and widespread sacrifice.
However, I object to Idema’s claim that all Americans should sacrifice more to reduce the deficit. Many Americans have already had great sacrifices imposed upon them by the recession: unemployment or underemployment, underwater mortgages, tiny interest rates on savings, and so on. Measures to reduce the deficit should take into account the burdens that citizens are already bearing.