[Marxism] Richard Greener letter to Alexander Cockburn

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Oct 3 18:33:31 MDT 2009

This appeared on the latest Counterpunch. Greener is a very old friend 
of mine from Bard College, a heart transplant recipient, and successful 
novelist who blogs at http://papadablogger.blogspot.com/.

     From: Richard Greener
     Subject: Obama's "Ghost" Ayers...

     (This was prompted by an item in last week’s Diary noting a claim 
made in Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage by 
Christopher Andersen, that in preparing Dreams from My Father Obama had 
made taped interviews with relatives about his family history, and, 
according to Andersen, those "oral histories, along with a partial 
manuscript and a truckload of notes, were given to Ayers".)

     As an author and novelist (The Knowland Retribution, The Lacey 
Confession), I know the process for deducting a writer's expenses when 
figuring taxable income rather than simply paying tax on gross advances 
and royalties. Obama's tax returns have been made public and they show 
no deduction for a "ghostwriter" and no future royalty payments to one 
either. Since Obama has now reported more than $8 million in book 
earnings, one would have to believe he has either paid his accused ghost 
- Ayers - nothing whatsoever, or that he has paid taxes on 100% of his 
earnings when he had a perfectly legal deduction for whatever he paid to 
a "ghostwriter."

     As a point of comparison, look to John McCain who deducts 50% of 
his book earnings — the money he paid to Mark Salter - and Hillary 
Clinton who also reports deductions of more $2.5 million for her 

     It's more than just silly to say William Ayers wrote Obama's books. 
It's absurd. In addition to the financial evidence, I can tell you for 
certain that if Ayers was that good — he'd be cashing in to the tune of 
millions writing similar books for others. I'm sure my agent would love 
to have such a successful "ghost" on her client list.

     If the "Birthers" are idiots and morons... the "Bookers" are so 
stupid maybe they neglected to deduct things as simple as mortgage 
interest on their own IRS tax returns.

     Richard Greener
     Roswell, GA

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