Letters to the Editor

In response to Victoria San Pedro

In response to Ms. San Pedro’s piece, I find her reasoning to be both flawed and absurd. Under Obama’s plan, taxes will not increase for families making less than $250,000. The average college graduate makes around $46,000. In fact, the average physician with less than 10 years experience will make less than $153,000. The majority of well educated people will not be affected under Obama’s plan. Her example of the hypothetical doctor is clearly inappropriate and inadequate to describe the concerns of the average American.

On the other hand, the after-tax income of those in the top 1% has increased nearly 176% since 1979, while the middle fifth of the country has only seen an increase of 21% for the same time period. At the same time, Bush’s tax cuts have served to benefit only the richest Americans, while deepening the income inequality found in our country. Why should we be shifting the tax burden even more to the middle class, which is already struggling in the current economic crisis? And while Ms. San Pedro and others may be quick to attribute this widening gap to more educated people joining the workforce, the wages of highly educated workers (including college graduates) have fallen way behind those at the very top.

Our country is besieged by a host of problems, in addition to tax reform, that threaten the “American Dream,” ranging from the affordability of healthcare to the accessibility to education. It is true that programs such as Medicare and the Federal Pell Grant Program benefit from the taxes paid by hardworking Americans of all income levels. But since when did seniors and college students, people who benefit from these federal programs, become “loafers and free-riders” of the government, as she so tactfully described in her piece? Maybe Ms. San Pedro is too preoccupied with hunting “socialists” that she fails to acknowledge the gravity of the situation facing our country. Her argument reflects a lack of research on her part.

This nation needs change, the change to face these issues, and it won’t come in the form of the same eight-year-old policies that got us here in the first place.

-Melvin La
Junior, Biochemistry/Microbiology

October 29, 2008

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Hurricane Reader

Letter to the Editor


4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “In response to Victoria San Pedro”

  1. Joseph says:

    First,I have to thank Melvin La for the most thoughful and cogent letter i have read in the miami hurricane paper by a student. It was refreshing to read that response in a student paper that is often consumed by extreme bias and little substance.

    Victoria,

    I think your second letter was a dramatic improvement to your first.(In my humble opinion)

    Since Melvin hit the nail on your first letter; I will respond to your second.

    You raise some interesting and important points about Obama’s record. For instance, His “changing the numbers,” your reference to his apparent switch from 250k to a 200k tax cut.I believe this switch corresponds to the reality of our economic situation and Senator Obama attempting to confront it.

    The political pundits on both wings are pressing both candidiates about what changes they will make to their proposals in light of the 750BILLION bailout which was a result of the collapse of the subprime mortage industry.

    You say that Obama voted to raise taxes on those making more then $42,000, a claim that has been circling fox news and rightwing radio for some time now. Here is a more accurate statement about that vote:”The resolution does not contain a specific provision to raise tax rates, but rather assumes that most of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire as scheduled in 2011. (According to FactCheck.org)

    Extract what you will from the above statement. Im not suggesting your completely wrong, I m just making the observation that the accusations that are made on cable news are often simplified and misleading and are made by both democrats and republicans.

    I hope you dont think Im just jumping on the band wagon on criticizing your piece.In fact, I wouldnt had bothered if it werent for your second letter. Your obviosly rational and intelligient, and willing to praise Melvin’s response despite his critique of you. Its obvious you welcome a rational debate.

    I dont think Obama is a socialist who will destroy this country anymore then I believe that Mccain would be another George W Bush.

    Also, I dont think Obama’s plan will stifle productivity or make it harder for people to pursue their dreams.

    He simply wants to level the playing field between the strong and the weak a little more, because it IS true that the middle class is shrinking. To return to Melvin’s point, the rich are getting richer while the poorer are getting poorer.

    The gap between the rich and poor has not been this big since the days of John D. Rockafeller and Andrew Carnegie.

    Seven out of ten economists state that “The distribution of income in the United States should be more equal” (MicroEconomics, Parkin 8th Ed.)

    We are in a second Gilded Age!

    Some of the wealthest people on earth today admit that notion. For example, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Dont you think they have alot to lose in an Obama administration, and yet they support him.

    Mccain is a patriot and a dedicated public servant and anyone who denies that is both confused and foolish.

    But, I think Obama has the more compelling and uniting vision for the country on how to improve it. For example, his plan to advocate community service for tuition reimburement is what this country needs now more then ever.

    Many people will tell you that helping others, whether it be the peace core, community organizing, or military service was their best education.

    Why?

    Because it taught them humilty. It helped them learn empathy–to actually recognize and understand the plight and struggles of people less fortunate.

    These people who under their circumstances and misfortune dont have the oppurtunity to attend a fine school like us. I grew up in a working class family and consider myself lucky to be at UM. Yes, i did work hard to get here, but that doesn t mean i have a market on the working man’s struggle for upward mobility. Some werent as lucky, due to factors that are exclusive to the lower socio/economic class.

    Dont these hard working people (many of whom work 60+hrs weekly) deserve a leg up? To have a chance to live a moderatly more comfortable life?

    Thats all Barack Obama wants to do. He doesn t want a welfare nation. He just wants to make life a little more bearable for hardworkers who are struggling to pay the bills

  2. E says:

    Obama’s tax plan:

    Under $200,000 – lower taxes
    $200,000-$250,000 – taxes stay the same (thats where the 2 numbers come into play)
    $250,000 and above – higher taxes. i think they can handle it.

    We have like a trillion dollar debt. how is that going to get taken care of if we cut ALL taxes? and giving the top percent tax cuts does NOT “trickle down.” (Even Bush 1 was against it before he was before it… flip flopper?) A healthy economy has lots of money changing hands all the time. Giving extra money to a wealthy few may stimulate a few investments, but giving money to poor people gets things moving. When you give rich people money, they don’t invest in small business, they invest it in factories in Asia. Those tax breaks are sucking money right out of the country.

    Do we want to continue down the path of pumping our money, through tax cuts to the rich, out of the country so they can get even richer?
    Or do we want to rebuild our economy through asking the rich to contribute their fair share and work on rebuilding our manufacturing infrastructure HERE? hmm… tough choice.

  3. Victoria San Pedro says:

    Hi there! You’ve written a great response! Cudos on the research, I can tell you are Microbiology/ Biochem major! Actually, I’m planning on becoming a lawyer. And I was pointing out hypothetical examples, just to demonstrate that many hardworking, high-ranking, well-paid professionals will be affected greatly by Obama’s Tax Hike. When I said, consider a recently graduated doctor making $255,000, it was for the purpose of exemplifying how the tax increases would affect that individual and not ALL doctors. Since the average is $153,000, clearly there may be several who make this much money. Or if two of those doctors making $153,000 were to marry, they would certainly be affected by Obama’s Tax Plan.

    New Research for you: Yesterday Obama began to say that he will not raise taxes on anyone making less than $200,000, lowered signifcantly from the “quarter of a million dollars” he was using before. And Joe Biden this week said the tax cuts would not affect anyone making over $100,000— Then again changing the numbers.

    Obama has TOLD you that his tax plans will not raise your taxes, yet he voted to raise taxes for those making more than $42,000— see that is what I cannot follow. Also, in reference to his reductions in the cost of healthcare, The Associated Press released the following analysis of Obama’s Health Care Credit: Last night obama said, “That’s why my health care plan includes improving information technology, requires coverage for preventive care and pre-existing conditions and lowers health care costs for the typical family by $2,500 a year.”

    THE FACTS: His plan does not lower premiums by $2,500, or any set amount. Obama hopes that by spending $50 billion over five years on electronic medical records and by improving access to proven disease management programs, among other steps, consumers will end up saving money. He uses an optimistic analysis to suggest cost reductions in national health care spending could amount to the equivalent of $2,500 for a family of four. Many economists are skeptical those savings can be achieved, but even if they are, it’s not a certainty that every dollar would be passed on to consumers in the form of lower premiums.”

    Moreover the article states: “His program is aimed at making insurance more affordable by offering the choice of government-subsidized coverage similar to that in a plan for federal employees and other steps, including requiring larger employers to share costs of insuring workers.”

    All of his newly proposed plans would according to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates Obama’s policy proposals would add a net $428 billion to the deficit over four years — and that analysis accepts the savings he claims from spending cuts– sadly there is no way he can generate this kind of revenue by increasing taxes on the upper 1% of the population, by “a couple” percent. This is why I am fearful of his policies and plans and wrote that article.

  4. Jamie says:

    I was actually signing on to write a response, but Melvin did a very good job.

    I do want to point out, however, that if Ms. San Pedro herself is interested in becoming a doctor for the money, she should consider choosing a different career path.

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