Disagrees with column

To the Valley News:

Keith Lobdell ("Rich and fat," Oct. 13), is guilty of what an attorney would label "assuming facts not in evidence." For example, he writes that ". . .being rich means that you have been successful in what you have decided to pursue . . ." Not necessarily. A great number of wealthy individuals have inherited that wealth and profit from it unjustly because of current tax policy while contributing relatively little (Think 14 percent) to the common good. Being "smart with money" might mean stashing it in untaxed offshore accounts (Ring a bell?). Actually, Mr. Lobdell argues a Democratic point when he says that once a person attains a certain high degree of wealth, ". . .it does not matter what the numbers are . . .that is a a ridiculous amount of money." Just what Warren Buffet says when urging a reform of tax laws that allow the rich to pay far less than what is fair and reasonable. In other words, how many Bentleys or mansions does one need?

Assuming another fact not in evidence, Mr. Lobdell blithely states that obesity is a"chosen lifestyle." Always? Does it not often result from inherited factors like an endocrine imbalance? Or, as in the cases of Ernie Johnson ( now-recovered famous sportscaster) and Kate Wolf (not-so-famous late folksinger), among others, from treatment for disease? "You can choose to diet or not to diet" is far too simplistic, possibly a result of the writer's own narrow life experience (Well, if Mr. Lobdell can assume facts not in evidence, so can I!).

As regards your own re-launch, Mr. Lobdell, I do wish you luck and fortitude. But I won't cluck if you don't reach your goal. Ms. Livingston won't, either.

Jeff Kleiman, Elizabethtown

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