What seems quite astonishing is that Mr. Begakis believes he is fighting lies with truth (“Buyer Beware: Obama’s Fiscal Plans Sell Public Big Lies,” Daily Nexus, Feb. 2), but he really is fighting truth with lies. Mr. Begakis attempted to score points by saying Obama is perpetuating a welfare state, but what would help Mr. Begakis is if he began with a rudimentary understanding of taxes. There are many studies that indicate as a proportion of total income, poor people almost pay the same percentage of their money on taxes as rich people do. For example, Mr. Begakis should read up on things called sales taxes, payroll taxes and property taxes. Many rich people earn most of their money through stock appreciation and options, which is only taxed at half the rate as normal income.
Then he went on to say that Obama promised to cut government spending, when Obama only mentioned “discretionary” government spending. Mr. Begakis did not like the health care bill, but it was meant to cut future debt and reform entrenched Medicare programs. I assume Mr. Begakis knows that military and veteran care costs fully half of our budget. To cut these benefits while embroiled in two wars would lead to budgetary and political disaster. Mr. Begakis cites budget statistics that assume the huge drop in tax receipts suffered by the government in our recession will persist. They might persist, but only if Obama decides to ignore John Maynard Keynes and cut the entire federal budget.
I tend to think Mr. Begakis is following in the footsteps of Sean Hannity, who started out on radio right here at UCSB. How sweet.