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Debatable Opinions; Letters to the Editor

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Today’s brilliant opinion comes from my very own Contra Costa Times in the San Francisco Bay Area.


My reference to the brilliance of the letter is not a glib statement.  I mean that sincerely, but you judge.


The writer is confused.  He writes that he’s heard Obama say he’ll cut taxes for the lowest 95% of American wage earners.  What confuses the writer is that the bottom third of wage earners don’t pay taxes, so what kind of math is Obama using?   

What Obama said was, “There is a relationship between economic stimulus that I think needs to take place right now and long term-tax cuts for the middle class.”    

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“The more that we’ve got broad-based prosperity and families have higher wages and incomes -- the better off the economy’s gonna be as a whole, and that’s especially true at a time when we’ve got recessionary tendencies. So I think now more than ever, we’ve gotta have the kind of broad-based middle class tax cut that I talked about for 95% of working families.” 

Admittedly, Obama did not qualify the statement with “95% of working families that pay taxes.”  It’s possible that he went out on a limb and hoped that those listening to his speech or those who may read the statement would assume he’d not cut taxes on people who don’t pay them.


I can only guess that the writer is a wealthy person or a top executive of a large global corporation.  Confusing readers about Obama’s tax plan in such a way to make it sound silly may convince them that Obama doesn’t know much about the tax system or economics in general.  The writer, consequently, is hoping that his letter will cause some Obama supporters to say to themselves, “Hey, he’s right.  What a liar Obama is.  I’m not voting for him.”  Obama loses and this greed head gets to continue getting tax breaks from the non government.

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Possibly this person is a middle class person, someone within that 95% group who just doesn’t want a tax break.  Maybe he’s a real patriot and believes that it’s his patriotic duty to continue to pay a greater percentage of his income than those who get – I hesitate to use the word “earn” – more income per year than he receives.


Possibly this person is in the 95% to which Obama is referring and has been frightened into believing the myth of Reagonomics.  Maybe he thinks if we stop giving tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations, they’ll take their jobs to those who live in third world countries, people who will appreciate the promotion from squalor to poverty.  Maybe he doesn’t want to lose his job.  Maybe he’s not aware of how many global corporations have already taken jobs from Americans and sent them to those very same people in those very same third world countries.


Possibly the writer belongs to the bottom third of wage earners and is just pissed off that he won’t get a tax cut because he doesn’t pay any taxes.  “No fair,” he might be thinking.  “It’s not fair that people who pay taxes get a tax cut but those of us who don’t pay taxes don’t get one.”


If you think that this man’s letter, which is entitled “Obama math”, is about Obama’s tax plan, then the brilliance of the letter has been realized.  The writer is reaching, and I mean reaching out about as far a one can reach, to smear the man, not disagree with his potential tax policies.


Is it possible that this man is in that 95 percentile but just doesn’t like Obama or, possibly, one or another characteristic of Barrack Obama?  Is it possible that this absurd letter is more about hue than about taxes?


I’m just saying, you know?

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Michael Bonanno is an associate editor for OpEdNews.

He is also a published poet, essayist and musician who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bonanno is a political progressive, not a Democratic Party apologist. He believes it's (more...)

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