True Patriotism Defined

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Editor:

True patriotism isn’t cheap. It’s about taking on a fair share of the burdens of keeping America going.

What true patriotism is not:

• Those who earn tens of millions of dollars a year but pay less than 14 percent of their income in taxes, and argue the rich should pay even less, are not true patriots.

• Those who defend indefensible tax loopholes — such as the “carried interest” loophole that allows private-equity managers to treat their incomes as capital gains even if they risk no income of their own — are not true patriots.

• Those who avoid taxes by putting huge amounts of their earnings into IRAs via foreign tax shelters are not true patriots.

• Those who want to cut programs that benefit the poor — Food Stamps, child nutrition, Pell grants, Medicaid — so that they can get a tax cut for themselves and their affluent friends — are not true patriots.

Here’s what a few famous Americans said true patriotism is:

• “Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.” — Calvin Coolidge

• “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” — Mark Twain

• “True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.” — Clarence Darrow

• “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” — John F. Kennedy

Larry Brophy

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