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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 29, 2008 at 3:16 PM

Presidential politics

Think radically

Sen. John McCain’s last-ditch strategy is to brand Sen. Barack Obama a socialist for deigning to require the top 2 percent of the economy to pay its fair share of the tax burden, thus — and this is the operative phrase — spreading the wealth.

Clearly, McCain is counting on voters being stupid enough to equate “spreading the wealth” with some sort of pernicious left-wing coda. And he may have something there, at least about the stupid part: We are the ones who granted President George W. Bush two terms in office.

But isn’t spreading the wealth, minimally, what taxes are all about? You give your money to the government, they spread it around to pay for roads, parks, Medicare and all manner of federal programs designed to benefit the taxpayer.

The false principle of taxes as socialism goes back to the founding of the republic.

On the other hand, it can be argued that slavery was the ultimate form of “spreading the wealth.” The slaves surrendered the fruit of their labor in exchange for being allowed to live long enough to keep making their killers and torturers richer.

Spreading the wealth, from the bottom up at least, is as American as the belief in our own exceptionalism.

Obama is simply asking that those most capable of bearing the brunt do so, instead of unfairly tasking the poor and middle class. A truly radical agenda.

— Rhett Gambol, Seattle

Good riddance

It has become obvious to all of us independent voters that what our country truly needs is a viable third party with a really good candidate.

In a country with about 2 million possible candidates, the two major parties have given us two lousy candidates. It’s a choice of voting for the candidate with one foot in the grave, or the great speaker who is unqualified.

Both parties are equally corrupt and hypocritical. We’re tired of the pure hatred from each party toward the other, particularly when there is so little separating them.

Our governor’s race is an example of distortions and smears.

What’s saddest is the brainwashed people on both sides of the aisle who automatically hate the other side and believe any rumor said about them.

I’m washing my hands of both parties.

Perhaps someone will start a party to represent the majority of the country in the middle, neither right wing nor left wing. If so, I’ll be first in line. God help us all.

— Craig Anderson, Issaquah

Say goodbye to civil rights

David Sirota spends an entire column criticizing the McClaim that Sen. Barack Obama’s tax plan “redistributes wealth” [“Here’s hoping ‘White House Cribs’ never makes it on the air,” syndicated column, Oct. 27].

Lets face it, federal taxes are a part of life. Each of us must devote a certain percentage of our time at work every day to the federal government. For most Americans working 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, one must work from 8 a.m. to 9:40 a.m. (if you are in the 20 percent tax bracket) just to pay the federal government before you can keep what you earn after that.

Some of us, who are in the 33 percent tax bracket, have to work from 8 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. before we can keep the moneys we earn.

This is simply the current state of tax affairs, and Obama proposes to increase the time the latter group is required to work for the government each day.

I ask Sirota, how is it fair to have some people work longer for the federal government than other people?

I would suggest that Sen. John McCain’s “cynical calculation” is at best a redistribution of wealth, and at worst, a violation of civil rights.

— Brian Hart, Seattle

We live in a material world

It appears that doing nothing discernible his entire adult life but campaigning for president is paying off for Sen. Barack Obama, as the vast majority of voters in the following groups will likely vote for him:

The 40 percent-plus of Americans who already pay no income tax, but demand more handouts; union members who want absolute job security as their employers go bankrupt; government employees and anyone else who benefits from higher taxes through earmarks or whatever; Hollywood, academia, the media and other fictitious places; those who want all kinds of things added to the Bill of Rights that (unlike the 10 that belong there) can only be satisfied by forcing someone else to pay for them; and those who don’t recognize the danger of no checks and balances in the government.

About all that leaves is us taxpayers who have supported ourselves by working in the private sector to help create the wealth Obama wants to redistribute. Some of us have even been bamboozled into thinking that government can solve problems, rather than just subsidize them. It’s amazing that Sen. John McCain gets over 10 percent in the polls.

— Gary McGavran, Bellevue

Comments | More in Politics, Presidential race

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