Americans are greater together

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In Mel Packer's March 28 letter, "Sestak Was Too Generous to the Rich," he makes the compelling point that the richest 1 percent of Americans have not paid their fair share lately. However, he concludes with the incendiary suggestion that we should "jail" the rich. This type of divisive and extremist attitude that exists on both sides of the aisle is what got us into the financial crisis in the first place and continues to plague our Congress today.

Mr. Packer obviously missed Adm. Joe Sestak's call for unity ("Stop Dividing Americans," March 26 Perspectives). By taking Sen. Pat Toomey to task for characterizing those who receive government benefits as too lazy to work or find housing, Mr. Sestak tried to raise the public discourse. Mr. Sestak's key point was that if Sen. Toomey were right, then the wealthiest 1 percent -- which has received a 300 percent increase in government benefits even as lower-income benefits have been slashed -- would have been motivated to work less.

Perhaps if we stopped maligning one another, we could come together as Americans to find practical solutions.

Although Mr. Packer and Sen. Toomey are on opposite sides of the spectrum, they share the same unhelpful, divisive mindset. What unites us is far greater than what divides us, and if we want to become greater, we must be united.

ERIC STERN
Squirrel Hill


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