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Letter: Government is inefficient

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  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 5:51 a.m.

    But in some cases its different. Many people who have lots of money hardly worked at all. I won't disagree that Government is inefficient. But to say all of our fore-fathers worked hard to get their money is a lie.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 1, 2012 6:18 a.m.

    Keith,

    Aren't all taxes a form of redistribution of wealth?

    Well, it is irrefutable that money is moving upward.

    Can someone prove to me that either
    1) the rich are getting smarter and working harder
    OR
    2) the poor and middle class are getting dumber and lazier

    Unless one or both of these are happening, then the system is rigged in favor of the wealthy.

    And that would constitute a "redistribution of wealth"

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 1, 2012 6:27 a.m.

    America has gone from being a nation of great achievers a decade ago and has become a nation where the majority of people are now entitlement receivers. We used to lead the world in accomplishments in every area; technology, medicine, education, engineering and philanthropy. Some politicians, clamoring for political power told us to despise the achievers and convinced voters that “economic justice” means that the receivers should obtain wealth they didn’t earn by income redistribution, healthcare they don’t pay for and entitlements they did not earn by any effort on their part. I have no doubt Obama will be re-elected by the majority of people in America who are on the receiving end. The real definition of justice means we ultimately will receive what we have earned, what we deserve not what someone else has earned. Double digit inflation awaits us and a total economic collapse (real economic justice) before the end of Obama’s second term. Why? Massive debt as the Obama administration continues to borrow our future to pay for the receiver’s entitlements.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 6:33 a.m.

    The actual "wealth creators" are those who actually make something, not those who never lift a finger except to push a "buy/sell" button for their stock portfolio.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Oct. 1, 2012 6:40 a.m.

    It's so nice to read this letter, I'm sure Mr. Rienholt will be the first to advocate eliminating the onerous property taxes that we pay in Utah for public schools. As a small business person I will use the extra $12,000. per year to continue my role as a job creator, and since we have never had children we can count on all parents to see to it that all of their children get a quality self funded education. All this socialist redistribution of my wealth, for public schools, is just killing my desire to improve our properties, and create more jobs.
    Let's show the rest of the country we mean business (pun intended), and get rid of SOCIALIZED EDUCATION!

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 7:04 a.m.

    This letter is absolute, total nonsense. It's all I can do to not user stronger language.

    "When government takes from those who create to redistribute the wealth, it is consumed without bettering either the creator or the recipient. "

    Are you seriously saying that roads, bridges, airports and waterways do not benefit American citizens? Or the myriad private contractors who build and maintain them?

    Food inspectors? Police? Fire fighters? Paramedics? Teachers? Libraries? National Parks? You're not "better" for these things?

    "Government is also inherently inefficient and wasteful."

    That's also absolute nonsense. Two points:

    First, most government functions operate under expectations of transparency and public accountability. You know what's really "efficient?" Corruption. I therefore expect transparency and accountability from government, and that of necessity slows them down a little. I'm OK with that.

    Second, "efficiency" is a tricky word where public sector services are concerned and how you define it and what you choose to measure makes a big different in the score. Ever heard of apples vs. oranges?

    Chest-thumping about "redistribution" is popular with conservatives these days, but it doesn't change the fact that it's still a ridiculous load of nonsense.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 7:43 a.m.

    I see another "Atlas Shrugged", Ayn Rand reader.

    BTW - The Paris Hiltons [and MOST wealthy people] inheirted their $$$, they are hardly job creators.

    Even Mitt Romney vulture capitalism, and his kids "trust funds" will never "work" to create wealth.

    Buying and selling stock, or collecting interest is called "money changing", it creates NOTHING.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 1, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    Govt. is neither efficient nor inefficient. Rather, it does some things poorly and and other things well - if it is correctly organized and incentivized.

    In my experience, when Govt. does poorly things that it should do well it is most often because politics has been injected into the process. An example might be when the military says cut A and B from our budget but congressmen say to instead cut X and Y (because A and B affect their districts).

    The concept that all taxation is bad argues for no govt. at all. In such a circumstance, there would be no wealth for anyone except the warlords. One of the first things settlers did in an area was to bring law and order to the area via govt. Why? Because it allows the farmers, merchants, and others to go about their business.

    For certain endeavors (highways, airports, dams, etc.) govt. is essential and becomes an indirect wealth creator for a region.

    If we wish to argue that this or that program is unnecessary or improper - fine. Let's have that discussion. Otherwise be VERY careful what you ask for.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    Government has authority to tax us for the specific things listed in the Constitution. ALL of us is required tp pay for those things. NONE of us is exempt. The STATES were accessed a portion of the cost of those things, based on their population, not on their wealth. The 16th Amendment changed that:

    "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

    That change in HOW we are taxed did not extend government's authority to create new projects to tax us for. Those "projects" are enumerated in Article 1, Section 8. Anything not listed there is to be left to the States or to the People:

    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    Redistribution of wealth is not found in the Constitution. It is a despicable tool used by people in power to retain their power. It transfers business building wealth from the people to the government - where it is wasted on pork projects.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    Just another letter designed to keep the liberals occupied while the real conservatives are off doing their dastardly deeds.

    In the words of that great philosopher Daffy Duck, “it’s dessspicable”.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 8:56 a.m.

    Our forefathers worked hard?

    Ahhh yes! You must mean, the folks who were captured in Africa, taken across the sea, and worked in the fields all day without any pay! Ah I would definitely agree with you.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 9:00 a.m.

    "Doing so will free up existing wealth to create new jobs, new small businesses and thus create wealth at all levels of society and enable the poor to raise their condition."

    You must have missed the Bush Administration. We lowered taxes. So where are the jobs?

    Furthermore, why would "job creators" create jobs when most of us don't have the wealth anymore to buy their products and services?

    We're already thousands of dollars in credit card and student loan debt just trying to make ends meet.

    We need to build America up from the bottom up. That way, folks will have the wealth enough to buy products and services thus causing the "job creators" a reason to create jobs.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    Keith, it's not government vs. the people, it's government by the people. Please join us.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 9:13 a.m.

    When 1% owns 80% of everything, they should pay 80% of the taxes.

    When a rich man builds his roads,
    builds his own infra-structure [water, sewr, power],
    has his own police force,
    has his own Fire & Ambulance,
    educates his own workforce,
    finds his own medical cures,
    and builds and maintains his own standing army,
    THEN and only then can cry about how unfair the redistibution of wealth is.

    A little history lesson,
    Read up on the French Revolution if you really believe the rich will take it upon themselves to do the right things for Society.

  • BRM Pleasant Grove, Utah
    Oct. 1, 2012 9:15 a.m.

    Excellent letter. People have to be continually reminded that government does not create wealth they get it from taxpayers. All of your critics want to argue that you do not want any taxes or any government. We want and need good government and reasonable taxes. We do not want big government and high taxes.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 9:22 a.m.

    TwinLights -- your comment was excellent. Thank you.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    J. Thompson, the Supreme Court and I disagree with your interpretation of the 16th amendment. I invite all who agree with you to continue exercising your freedom to persuade the rest of us to change our minds. Until then the redistribution of wealth is both legal and constitutional.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    re: Blue & LDS Liberal

    Mitt & his kind are all in favor of *redistribution*.

    *Socialism* for the 1% is par for the course. They feel *entitled* to compensation from Joe Average via DC when one of their ill conceived 21st century lower Manhattan equivalent of 3 card monte fails.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    @BRM -- I've asked this question before, but no conservative will ever answer it: How much is a "reasonable tax"? Conservatives think they are paying too much now. How much do you think you should pay? Tax rates are at an all time low (that's why so many do not pay taxes -- the tax rates have been reduced and reduced until there are many that fall below the line where taxes are paid). How low do they need to go before you will be happy? Or will you complain no matter what the rates are? That's why people say conservatives don't want to pay taxes and want something for nothing (government services for paying no taxes). Because if you complain at this point in history when taxes are so relatively low, when will you ever be satisfied? It truly seems like you don't want to pay any taxes at all, but you sure do want your benefits.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 1, 2012 9:41 a.m.

    Look,

    Truths - Not Left, Not Right, Just truths

    -Taxes, both individual and corporate (effective) are at historical lows
    -Spending is too high
    -Deficits are too high
    -current and projected entitlement spending is unsustainable
    -A budget with all spending cuts and entitlement reform with no tax increases will NEVER PASS in congress
    -A budget with all tax increased and small spending cuts or minor entitlement reform will NEVER PASS in congress
    -what we are doing today is a path to ruin.

    So, you have 2 choices.

    Tell you congressmen to hold out for everything you want or vote NO
    Tell your congressmen to get as much as they can but do better than what we have today.

    Disagree with me? Fine. Refute my "truths" with facts and provide a better (realistic) choice.
    Realistic = budget with broad bipartisan support

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    Keith and supporters claim government doesn't create wealth. If they are right, then neither do business owners, their managerial staff and service contractors. Only their laborers do.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    Another shallow, simplistic conservative argument for a fantasy world that would be an absolute hell to live in.

    "It would give hope and re-enable a path to the American dream."

    Many people, including this letter writer, worship the holy America Dream without understanding what it even is. Guess what? It is not a mansion, a million dollars, and 10 milligrams of Ambien before bedtime. Here's the dictionary definition: "An American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and esp. material prosperity." Yes, equality. When we can figure out a way to correct our corporation-dominated system so that it produces both equality and prosperity, then we may have a chance at achieving the American Dream.

    Making the tired old claim that government is the problem is both false and duplicitous.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    Our government's constitutional responsibility is to "...promote the general welfare...." not assure. Finding the correct role for government is determined by political philosophy. The socialists/communists (do everything) and libertarians/anarchists (do nothing) are at the extremes and seem to have captured the two major parties. Neither presidential candidate reassures me.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    As history recalls --

    Adolph Hitler ran his rise to power based on the cries of inefficient Government and the evil liberal Weimar Republic.

    He promised to make every facet of German society ultra-efficient, lean, running like clock work. He eliminated waste in Government and Society.
    You either produced to Society, or you were eliminated from Society -- Nobody got a Free lunch.

    Auschwitz was an example of even turning mass human genocide and extermination as efficient as modern factory.

    Remember the old adage: Hey, at least he made the trains run on time.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 12:22 p.m.

    Where are the jobs?

    We've seen lower taxes for almost 12 years.

    So where are the jobs?

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 2:12 p.m.

    When 1% owns 80% of everything, they should pay 80% of the taxes.

    When a rich man builds his roads,
    builds his own infra-structure [water, sewr, power],
    has his own police force,
    has his own Fire & Ambulance,
    educates his own workforce,
    finds his own medical cures,
    and builds and maintains his own standing army,
    THEN and only then can cry about how unfair the redistibution of wealth is.

    But the taxpayers including the 1% are the ones who paid to build all the infra-structure and pay for all the services that non tax payers get to enjoy and use. What a class warfare statement to say the non tax payers paid for all this.

    The CBO reported the top 1 percent earns 13.4 percent of all pre-tax income, but paid 22.3 percent of taxes in 2009. But because they have accumulated wealth you demand they pay more tax. In other words if I put money in a savings account you expect me to pay more taxes. You want to rob me of my savings. At what level of savings will you leave my savings alone.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 2:34 p.m.

    Re: "Tax rates are at an all time low"

    Ha!

    Taxes have never been higher -- but they're headed there.

    Before 1913, there were no federal direct taxes. That is not to say no taxes, but they were hidden away in the cost of goods and services. Back then, taxation for most Americans is estimated to have averaged 3-6%.

    Then "progressives" took power, and taxes exploded.

    Today, about 50% of middle class American incomes are filched in taxes.

    Visible taxes include -- state/federal/local income and social program taxes, real and personal property taxes, sales and use taxes [including gas and other transportation taxes and fees], and several excise taxes. Many are compound -- taxing previously taxed income.

    But, in addition to those, there are hundreds more. Most are hidden and compounding in the cost of goods and services. These include import duties, "corporate" income and transaction taxes [a misnomer; corporations don't pay taxes, consumers do], debt service/interest, and most insidious of all -- the Fed's inflationary thievery.

    Talk about grievous to be borne!

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 2:35 p.m.

    No As history recalls -- Adolph Hitler ran on the promise of equality for all.
    Points from the "Program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party"
    "We demand that the State shall above all undertake to ensure that every citizen shall have the possibility of living decently and earning a livelihood.
    All citizens must possess equal rights and duties.
    That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.
    We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle-class,
    The enactment of a law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.
    The State has the duty to help raise the standard of national health by …increasing physical fitness through the introduction of compulsory games and gymnastics, and by the greatest possible encouragement of associations concerned with the physical education of the young.
    COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD."

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 3:33 p.m.

    Re: "Remember the old adage: Hey, at least he made the trains run on time."

    Uh, that was Mussolini.

    But, set that aside for a minute -- I'm not following the argument. Why castigate a fellow socialist for the same principles liberals currently advocate? The "no free lunch" argument is the one the regime used to promote Obamacare's mandatory lock step. And its historically improbable government efficiencies were supposed to offset the thievery of Medicare funds.

    But, to an even more basic issue -- are liberals now insisting government SHOULD be inefficient? Or, that if Obama could ever get trains to run on-time, everything else he's done to destroy America must be forgiven?

    Hmmmmm.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 4:12 p.m.

    To "The Real Maverick" if you want to look at the recent history of jobs in the US, prior to your Democrats taking control we had around 5% unemployment. Since then it has crept up to over 8%, or higher if you look at the number of people who simply gave up. The jobs dried up during the Democrats watch, so why should we keep them around since they killed the employment rates?

    To "LDS Liberal" history also recalls that Hitler used extensive social welfare programs, such as old age pensions, they promised free education, free healthcare, mandated profit sharing in business, all was to be carried out through the central government. They had an extensive welfare system that was used in propaganda by Hitler.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 6:39 p.m.

    Banks, Wall Street and big business are even more inefficient than government. They are fueled by greed. Government didn't cause the financial collapse.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 7:28 p.m.

    So how do you organize a community without government? If you get two people together and develop some type of cooperative arrangement, don't you have a "government" with a governing set of rules?

    Anarchy isn't a viable option. The Old West see any civilizing force until "law and order" came to town and government was established to serve the interests of the community. However, to say that "government is inefficient" is an oxymoron. Any system has its inefficiencies just like any machine has its inefficiencies. Matter is neither created nor destroyed. It is only transformed.

    Usually it is not "government" that is inefficient; it is the people who make up "government" who are inefficient. Politicians learn how to take advantage of the inefficiencies for their personal benefit. Why else do they become politicians? The revolving door between higher office and lucrative private-sector jobs is revealing.

    Change within government is affected by inertia and the self-interest of those who serve and those who they depend upon for their election. Call it "inefficient" but recognize it for what it is.

  • Ali'ikai 'A'amakualenalena Provo, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 7:31 p.m.

    Mountanman Hayden, ID

    "Obama is responsible for everything bad in the world!"

    Is this a correct summary of your views?

  • Utah Businessman Sandy, UT
    Oct. 2, 2012 11:27 p.m.

    @ Ali'ikai 'A'amakualenalena

    "Obama is responsible for everything bad in the world!"
    Is this a correct summary of your views?

    I would put it this way--there is "more truth than poetry" in that statement. There certainly no question but that Mr. Obama is EXTREMELY liberal.
    I have asked this question of you liberals a number of times and have never gotten an answer:
    If conservatives are the "dunderheads" you claim, why does Utah, which is governed mostly by conservatives year after year, consistently have a very healthy economy and low unemployment? As they say, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". For the nation as a whole, we have conservatives in power, then liberals, then an even mix, etc., so it is hard to tell which does what and who is really doing a good job. However, when a state consistently has one or the other, such as Utah, you can get a much better indication of who is responsible for success or failure.