Another paranoid, delusional letter to the editor (“President Obama’s evil agenda,” by Lawrence J. McLennan III, AFN, Jan. 9) was a comedic recital of untruths and hyperbole without a single fact to back them up, but plenty of bombastic opinions masquerading as truth.

The letter writer states that the President “wanted to tumble over the fiscal cliff, or rather, could have cared less if we went over.” Which of course is why he fought so hard, compromised with the intransigent Republican leadership, and signed the agreement that prevented it.

McLennan states that Obama has “a personal crusade to criminalize the personal achievements of the financially responsible Americans.”

Well Bernie Madoff was arrested and convicted during the current administration, but I certainly don’t see prisons being filled up with business owners, entrepreneurs, or millionaires.

Then McLennan talks about “arbitrary markers” being set for tax rates, as if this is some new and astonishingly different way of measuring who pays which taxes (all part, no doubt, of the Obama “evil agenda”), ignoring the fact that tax rates have been set to arbitrary markers ever since ... well, ever since tax rates were invented.

And yes, the president believes taxes for the richest Americans should go up a bit — back to those business-crippling rates under the Clinton administration. Remember, when the economy suffered so much that we had one of the greatest periods of sustained economic growth in our history?

You might think the letter writer feared returning to the nominal tax rates we had back in the 1950s, during the Eisenhower administration, when it was 91 percent, a far cry from today even with the slight increase for those earning over $400,000 annually.

Finally, McLennan states that “a large segment of our population has an infatuation with the wealth of others,” and a president who apparently wants to take action to redistribute this wealth.

Of course this ignores the fact that for the last 30 years we have had the greatest redistribution of wealth in our country’s history, from the lower and middle classes to the extremely wealthy.

My point is we have real issues to solve in our country, but it becomes nearly impossible to do when so many on the right live in a world not of facts but of talk-radio inspired hatred and delusional thinking regarding anything the President says or does.

Honestly, if Ronald Reagan advocated his positions in today’s politically charged atmosphere (remember he raised taxes numerous times and provided amnesty to illegal aliens), he would be considered a socialist traitor by the current crop of conservatives.

Next step, the debt ceiling fight. Here’s a quote that we should all reference: “Unfortunately, Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinkmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest markets would skyrocket. Instability would occur in financial markets and the federal deficit would soar. The United States has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. It means we have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility — two things that set us apart in much of the world.”

Who said that? President Obama? Nope, that was President Reagan on Sept. 26, 1987.

Pete Gitlin

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