While the current political campaigns include debates about tax cuts for the nation’s wealthiest population—the top 1 percent—writes Dartmouth President Emeritus James Wright, there is another 1 percent being ignored—veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Less noticed, this same ratio of privilege also describes, although reversed, those who fight our wars. Ninety-nine percent of us, the privileged 99 percent, have been untouched by these wars,” says Wright. “Historically an election during wartime has debated the issues of that war. There is little political debate in 2012 over the war in Afghanistan.”
Wright, the author of Those Who Have Borne the Battle: A History of America’s Wars and Those Who Fought Them, continues, “Over the next month we will continue to debate whether to renew tax cuts for the top 1 percent of the economic pyramid. And we will neglect to acknowledge, except in the most stereotyped slogans, the heavy, heavy taxes we have imposed on that 1 percent who have volunteered and who fight our wars.”
Read the full opinion piece, published 10/4/12 in the Huffington Post’s “Beyond the Battlefield” blog.