Letters to the Editor: If Americans reject Biden's agenda, it's because of warped GOP values

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Vice President Kamala Harris listens as President Joe Biden speaks during an event marking the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Vice President Kamala Harris listens as President Biden speaks at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington on Oct. 21. (Associated Press)

To the editor: Columnist Jonah Goldberg claims that President Biden's Build Back Better plan isn't as popular as people think. He's undoubtedly right if you consider that the United States fails to fall even in the top 10 countries worldwide on quality-of-life indicators, including education, income distribution and healthcare.

In the 2021 U.S. News & World Report ranking, our country comes in at No. 20. We are barely competitive.

Such quality-of-life measures are of little interest in Washington, especially among conservatives, who place a high priority on low taxes, small government and a strong national defense.

For them, it would appear to matter little that if quality of life were an international sporting event, another year would have passed without the U.S. even making the playoffs. And no, the answer is not to fire the coach.

Bernie Schaeffer, Goleta

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To the editor: I am frequently in opposition to Goldberg's opinions, but I will concede his points usually seem to be well researched and supported by facts.

But he slips in one claim that should not go unchallenged. He states, "Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may turn heads by scrawling 'tax the rich' on her ballgown, but the truth is we already do — at a remarkably progressive rate."

His research and facts seem to have been omitted. Did he run out of space ? Perhaps he will address the personal income tax rates for Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet and Donald Trump in a future column.

Jeff Wiley, Monrovia

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To the editor: Goldberg repeats two Republican talking points that mislead.

He says the rich are already taxed progressively in this country. Yes, some rich people pay high income tax rates.

For example, Bill Maher is paid to do his HBO program as well as make appearances at comedy shows. However, as a part owner of the New York Mets, he increases his wealth the way the truly wealthy do: by buying an asset that increases in value, on which you pay no taxes unless you sell it.

Wealthy people earn much of their money through capital gains, taxed at no more than 20%.

Goldberg also repeats the Republican mantra that even if we confiscated all the wealth of the top 1%, it still wouldn't pay for the Green New Deal or Medicare for all.

Forbes magazine says there are 2,755 billionaires in the world who control $13.1 trillion in assets. There are 724 American billionaires, who together are worth more than $4 trillion. That sure would pay for a lot.

Ronald Townsend, Los Angeles

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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