Your article on the impending across-the-board spending cuts points out the harm to the nation's economy that will result and the inability of Washington interest groups to come together to find a solution ("Budget-cut blame escalates," Feb. 26).

Republicans are unwilling to compromise on a sequester that will worsen our economy and throw countless Americans out of work in order to protect tax benefits for millionaires.

Their objective is to force deep cuts to government spending, entitlements and programs benefiting working- and middle-class families. They want to continue the situation where wealthy investors pay a maximum tax rate of 15 percent on investment income while wage earners pay rates twice that much.

The irony is that our unsustainable budget deficits have not been driven by entitlements or public spending but rather by deep tax cuts for the wealthy that began under Ronald Reagan and were worsened by George W. Bush through two costly, unnecessary wars and a deep recession that required large government expenditures to avert an even deeper depression.

What is needed now is not cuts in entitlements but undoing the causes of the deficits — getting out of Afghanistan and other foreign military adventures, bringing tax rates for millionaires back to where they were under Presidents Reagan and Clinton and stimulating the economy to create millions of new jobs.

Uncontrollable expenditures do exist but not in government programs. They are to be found in a broken health care system gamed by hospitals, the insurance industry, pharmaceutical companies and some physicians. Those are the areas where true economies can be realized.

Jack Kinstlinger, Baltimore

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