Spin shouldn't win the election

This is a response to "The complete idiot's guide to Obama's tax policy proposal." The author serves his party well and aptly deploys the Republican's art of spin to misrepresent the Obama tax proposal. He has decided to compare the Obama plan to cut taxes for any individual earning less than $250,000 per year to trimming the GPA of any student earning higher than a 3.7. In doing this he makes two false assumptions that completely undermine his entire argument. First he suggests that anyone who achieves a high GPA or earns a large income has done so by working hard, and second he implies that anyone who has a low GPA or is not wealthy has not been working hard. Both of these assumptions do hold true for many individuals who fit into either of these categories, but to ignore the fact the some affluent Americans, or some high-achieving students, have attained their status either by dishonest misconduct or a natural intelligence is wrong and misleading, and to ignore the fact that some, if not many, of the impoverished Americans or the low-achieving students do not work hard is an irresponsible assessment of the issue at hand.

The whole point of Obama's tax plan is to shift the heavy burden of high federal taxes to those who can afford to bear it. This is not, as the author and the McCain campaign have stressed, "spreading the wealth around." On the contrary, it's a plan that will attempt to decrease the gap between the wealthy and the poor and create a large, robust middle class. In educational terms, the plan wouldn't decrease the intelligence or prestige of those with a high GPA: instead, it would attempt to help those not achieving what they want to reach in their goals with limited external hindrance. The idea that the government would simply be stealing from the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans and redistributing to the other 95 percent to create a homogeneous class of citizens is absurd. The rich will always be rich, and whether they truly earned it really isn't the issue, but, either way, is it wrong to ask them to give back to the country that gave them so much? With proper reform and oversight, the increased taxes collected from these lucrative individuals would ultimately go to benefit them, whether it be through improving roads, tunnels and bridges, funding programs to promote good health, researching cancer, AIDs, autism, diabetes, and other health problems, taking care of our veterans, or battling climate change. The wealthy people of this country should be elated by the notion that part of their hard work could go right back to helping not just themselves, but the American people as a whole. Just as a student who is doing well should be eager to help those who are struggling, there is something to be said about the Republican Party's unwillingness to improve the lives of those that need improving instead of trying to tutor the A student.

Of course, many students who have a low GPA are the heavy-drinking, class-skipping hooligans that the author described. But to ignore those students who attend every lecture, go to the teacher's office hours, maybe even study with a tutor, yet still struggle to grasp the concepts, resulting in poor grades, is to ignore our right to equality in this great country. Because just as some Americans work two or three jobs, yet struggle to pay the rent or feed their kids, these hard-working students and citizens shouldn't be cast aside to fight on their own. Rather, they deserve every opportunity as someone who was born into a rich family, or is naturally good at math, and yes, of course, they deserve exactly the same opportunity as the person who works hard his or her whole life to become wealthy. Once given that opportunity, it is up to the individual to do with it what he wants, but in the "land of opportunity" we should all at least have a chance. That's all the Obama plan is, a chance for every American to succeed. For we all know that cutting someone's taxes or helping them with their studies won't automatically produce a winner, but it gives them a fighting chance. That is what is wrong with the author's letter and the McCain campaign in general: there is never any mention of the good that Obama wants to do for America. There is only spin, and spin shouldn't win.


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