The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Spread the logic

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I am proud of Sean Lyttle (“We need socialism,” Oct. 29) and his future “lucrative career” as a trial lawyer. I’m sorry, however, that he feels guilty for everything from his upbringing to his race to his potentially successful future. There is no reason he should.

It does, however, represent a key difference between the thinking of liberals and conservatives. Lyttle suggests that it is some kind of destiny that puts people in the life situations they are in, and there is really nothing good or bad that they can do to reverse the course. That’s where the government must come in to “even out the playing field.” In a debate with Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries, Charles Gibson asked Senator Obama why he would propose raising the capital-gains tax from 15 percent to as high as 28 percent, when it has been shown in recent years that raising the rate has actually decreased the revenues to the treasury. Obama, stunned that a mainstream reporter asked him a legitimate, tough question, responded: “Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital-gains tax for purposes of fairness.”

Now we understand his true motive. It has nothing to do with the adopting the best policy or growing the economic pie, but rather deciding himself how best to divide up the pieces. Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, said recently that paying taxes is patriotic. I can’t see how, given the fact that taxes are involuntary.

But if guilty upper-class liberals or trial-lawyers-to-be feel that they are not contributing a fair amount to the treasury, they should take the lead and voluntarily write checks to the government whenever they feel like not enough kids have the proper textbooks. Rather than let Obama decide the “fairest” allocation of the people’s resources, why not decide for our guilty selves?

Moreover, Lyttle claims that the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in this country is “catastrophic medical bills.” This very well may be true, and it reminds one of P.J. O’Rourke’s quote: “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”

Lyttle is right that the recent bailouts on Wall Street were ludicrous, and it’s forcing an already broke U.S. Government to print money to finance basic operations. Given all this, how can any reasonable person expect Obama to deliver on any of his never-ending promises, such as a health care utopia, when inheriting this astronomical debt?

Lyttle writes that “perhaps according to Webster’s dictionary, it is proper to label Barack Obama a ‘socialist.’ But to do so misses the point.” I’m not sure which dictionary he would prefer to use, but I’d trust Webster’s. And it doesn’t miss the point at all.

Lyttle accuses Pesavento (“Barack the socialist,” Oct. 28) of a “classist bias,” but it is he, not Pesavento, who wants different rules applied to people strictly based on class. Progressive taxation was not introduced in this country until 1913, and since that time it has spun progressively out of control. This class discrimination is not what America was founded on, though Barack Obama has made it clear that it is one of his guiding principles.

Bradley Duffy


Class of 2008

Oct. 29