It is obvious listening to the debt debate that the problem America faces is a reduction in revenue. This revenue shortfall is a major reason that both Medicare and Social Security have become budgetary issues.

In 2007, the IRS reported that the average income for the 400 wealthiest Americans was $344 million, which equates to $137.6 billion. That is equivalent to 3,057,778 Americans (about the population of Oregon) making $45,000 a year.

The 400 wealthiest Americans would pay into Social Security and Medicare on the first $106,000, or a total of $3.2 million. The equivalent 3,057,778 Americans making $45,000 would pay a total of $10.4 billion.

Forty-two percent of the money earned in America is earned by the top 10 percent of households. America has provided the opportunities that allowed the accumulation of wealth for all of us. Since this wealth is concentrated in a small percentage of Americans, those people should provide the concentrated source of revenues.

I admire the people who have succeeded in America, and I count myself as one, but we all have an obligation within that success to keep this country strong. — Tom Smith, Eagle Point

Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest men, in his article in the New York Times — www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html — and again on PBS' "Charlie Rose" — www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11845 — made two things explicitly clear:

1. During the recent debt limit debate, the Republicans — and members of the tea party in particular — were shamefully negligent of their obligation to put the welfare of our nation above that of their own partisan interests.

2. That if the 12 members of the congressional "super committee" also fail in their responsibility to come up with a coherent plan to reduce the deficit, which must include raising taxes on the rich, then not only will our nation's future prosperity be in doubt, but so, too, will be the very meaning of the word "democracy."

Warren Buffet is seen by some as a selfish and evil man. Others see him as a smart, intelligent and generous human being.

I see him as the very embodiment of a true and honest American patriot; one whom no member of Congress, nor any American citizen, regardless of their political views, loves and respects our country more than he. We are fortunate that he is one of us. — Mathew Lubic, Talent

"The rich create jobs." "Taxing the rich is socialism." Who's peddling this?

If tax cuts created jobs, then why do we have high unemployment? Rich people aren't rich because they're generous (sorry, Adam Smith fans). And history is rife with revolutions started by the imbalance of wealth. That's a fact, not rhetoric.

So why enlist conservatives to protect the rich? Conservatives are more gulli "… more open to their message and more likely to own guns. — Tom Espinosa, Medford

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