I would like to express my disappointment with President George W. Bush’s choice to give massive tax cuts to the wealthy at a time when our country and its economy were burdened with the cost of the Iraq war. I believe this directly contributed to the collapse of our economic system.

Because of the economic and job market collapse, the masses are suffering and the wealthy are getting wealthier. It would be an atrocity to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest at the cost of those who are suffering so much.

We have an option here to either help those suffering, or to give tax breaks to the wealthy. It is unconscionable to choose the latter, giving tax cuts at the expense of those who are suffering the most.

Our society will judged by the way we treat the most vulnerable.

Jacquie Murphy

Westbrook

I would like to thank Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins for standing their ground and supporting an extension of the Bush tax cuts for all. Maine should be thankful that our two senators realize that the economy is still fragile and tax increases of any type will just cause a delay in any sort recovery.

I take offense with the way some of your readers and this newspaper use the extension of tax cuts for a game of class warfare. The extensions are not an additional tax break for anyone, but their expiration would amount to a tax increase for many small businesses and hurt many charitable organizations.

If we as a country expect any type of lasting recovery, the last thing needed is tax increases.

Richard Deister

Buxton

The next few years will be tough for Democrats. But even tea party members should be outraged by congressional Republicans. All 42 Republican senators signed a letter threatening to block every piece of legislation that comes before them, unless the Bush tax cuts are extended for the super-rich.

Maybe you aren’t among the more than 44 million Americans who now live in poverty – the largest number in half a century. Maybe you’ve still got a job, while around you the real rate of joblessness – counting people who are underemployed or have given up looking – is approaching the staggering levels of the Great Depression.

Maybe you’re young enough to recover from the devastation caused by this recession to your savings for retirement. And maybe your home equity hasn’t disappeared because you rent instead of own. But whoever you are, the chances are slim to none that you are among the tiny number of Americans who stand to benefit from a tax cut for the super-rich.

Don’t believe the hype that small businessmen will be hurt if the tax cuts for the rich are not extended.

Any businessman who gets burned should have seen a tax accountant. No, this $700 billion break will benefit only the 1 percent of Americans whose obscene wealth has enabled them to buy the Congress.

Maine has a heritage of distinguished senators. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins should be among them. But they have chosen instead to toady to the privileged few.

Scott Gould

Cape Elizabeth

I’m writing to express my support for the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 of taxable income every year. Not only do we need to invest in public services like health care and education for our youth, it is imperative to reinstate unemployment benefits for the 2 million folks struggling to have a decent holiday season.

The deficit and economic collapse are just two direct results of handing a free ride to the wealthiest 2 percent. The gap between commoners and the wealthy is continuing to grow. America needs to be put back to work. As we have waited, these jobs have not appeared. I personally talk to 40 (jobless) people every day.

I am an organizer and have seen with my own eyes the horrors of hard-working people losing everything. Please do the right thing and help spread awareness concerning this issue.

Bryan Dow

Portland

Being very frustrated with the current tax-cut debate in Congress, I submit the following points as fact:

1) The Bush-era tax cuts failed.

2) Tax cuts for the wealthy do not create the kind of jobs needed for a healthy economy, as corroborated by Warren Buffett.

3) The popular conservative mantra “a recession is no time to raise taxes on anyone” is spoken either naively or is deceptively false.

4) A great recession is the best time to have large tax increases on only the wealthy.

5) A great recession is the best time to have tax cuts for only the middle class.

6) The reckless wealthy caused the current financial crisis and should be made to bear the greatest burden of the recovery.

The only fair, responsible and righteous way out of the current financial mess is to raise taxes on only the wealthy until the books are balanced. Then, and only then, can we resume the normal rules of an economic policy.

Hopefully at that time we will have learned our lesson and no longer let the puppeteers run our government, while holding our elected officials responsible to properly tax and regulate the wealthy so as not to repeat this crisis.

Mark Forsyth

South Berwick

When are good working folks in this country going to join their allies in France, England and Ireland and demand that their pay, benefits and jobs not be cut or eliminated?

The latest blow is to federal civilian workers, who now face a pay freeze for the next two years as the Obama administration refuses to stand up and fight for higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

Each day I witness more good things falling away from more people in this country as the likes of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck continue to spout their lies and misinformation about what is really happening.

People of good will must stand together, organize, open our big mouths and exercise our constitutional rights before we lose them all.

Barbara Doughty

Portland