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Help the middle class
Help the middle class
Fetterman with wife, Erin; and three children, Maggie, Kate, and Henry
Patrick Fetterman, 44, software marketing executive, Rochester Hills, Mich.

I'm a married father of three young children, and I work at a software company based in Michigan. My salary has been rising through the years as I have been promoted, and I am now making about 7 times what I made when I first graduated from college (which wasn't much). However, my compensation is still well below the $250K cutoff that Obama has talked about for raising tax rates. Despite this, the tax calculators I've seen show that my taxes may go up slightly under Obama, by a few hundred dollars per year.

My financial justification for voting for Obama is not straightforward. I'm not such an altruist that I'm happy about paying higher taxes. Rather, I think that the focus on a prosperous middle class will be the best thing for the country. More importantly, I think a prosperous middle class will boost the success of my company, and cause my retirement savings and other investments to rise more than they have in the last eight years under a Republican administration (even discounting this horrid year for stocks). In other words, my choices were:

1) Lower taxes (good) but also lower overall prosperity, with a negative effect on my company's performance and my investments' performance.

2) Slightly higher taxes (bad) but overall higher prosperity, with a positive effect on my company's and investments' performance.

This is the opposite of the 'trickle-down policy' of the University of Chicago/Republican supply-siders, which I think has been discredited once and for all. In fact, you might think of this as a 'rising tide floats all boats' policy. So I still 'voted my pocketbook,' though it took me a while to think this through.

NEXT: Rein in predatory lenders

Last updated November 12 2008: 4:10 PM ET
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