Sunday, October 26, 2008

Paying your share.

I would like to send this to the farmer in question, but I don't know his name or address. And I would send it as a letter to the editor, but the S.B. News Press is a ruthlessly anti-union company, and a journalistic embarrassment. So I'll just post it here, instead.

At the Saturday farmers’ market, one stand was selling “McCain tomatoes” at $1.50 per pound, and Obama tomatoes for $3.00. The man behind the table seemed to enjoy riling up the liberal Santa Barbara crowd, calling out, “Spread the wealth! Buy Obama tomatoes!” The woman by his side was engaged in damage control. “They’re all the same tomatoes,” she said, “and they’re all the same price.”

At first I laughed, appreciating the man’s willingness to talk politics with a crowd that was likely to disagree, and his sense of humor.

“So does that mean you make more than $250,000 a year?” I jabbed back.

“No,” he responded, “more like $47,000.” Then he continued yelling, “Spread the wealth!”

As I walked away, my smile faded. His message really bothered me. If he supported McCain because of his stance on abortion, or the Iraq War, I could simply agree to disagree. But the tomato joke was repeating perhaps the biggest lie of this presidential campaign: that Obama wants to raise taxes for people like the farmer and his customers.

The Washington Post, not a liberal paper, tells the truth of the matter: “Obama's plan gives the biggest cuts to those who make the least, while McCain would give the largest cuts to the very wealthy.” (That’s from 6/9/08.)

More specifically, under Obama’s tax plan, the average taxes would be the same or lower in 2009 for anyone making less than $603,000 per year. Anyone making less than $112,000 per year would receive a larger tax cut under Obama’s plan, compared with McCain’s. Only people making more than $603,000 would see an increase in taxes.

Have you seen these details, Mr. Farmer? McCain is twisting the truth, terribly.

In order to pay for essential services, such as schools, Medicare, bridges and roads, we all have to pay taxes. In our tough economic times, I strongly support Obama’s plan to give the majority of us a tax break, and to tax the richest among us a bit more.
It’s called “paying your fair share.”

On second thought, I'll submit this to the Daily Sound and the UCSB Daily Nexus.

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