Monday, July 5, 2004

E. J. Dionne

In WaPo:

Whose lives, whose fortunes, whose sacred honor are now on the line for our country?

Our Founders were unequivocal. They didn't count on others to take the risks for them. They didn't call for sacrifice from all except their favored constituencies. The Founders came in large part from privileged backgrounds and were willing to lose it all.

. . .

God forbid that Americans earning, say, more than $1 million a year be asked to pony up a little more in taxes to support a larger military at a time when, we are told over and over, the country is in the middle of a war on terrorism. Millionaires can't be asked to sacrifice even a little bit. No, they deserve to have their taxes cut while others fight and die. And anyone who speaks up in opposition to this injustice risks being called unpatriotic by those who give up absolutely nothing themselves. Patriotism is defined as a solicitude for tidy incomes, a belief in anything Rush Limbaugh says on the radio and a demand that those in charge of the country never be held accountable for their mistakes.

. . .

If our current leaders are unwilling to ask themselves and other privileged Americans to risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, they at least owe us some candor about the costs of their grand enterprises and greater justice in how those burdens are apportioned.

After 9/11 we were all willing to sacrifice. Now it seems it's the poor who have to sacrifice so the rich can maintain their standard of living. Read E.J.'s column.

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