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Letter: Abominable tax rates for the half who supports the half that doesn't pay taxes

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  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 12:22 a.m.

    I'm a veteran who loves this country too.
    and I've got NEWS for you -- Everybody pays taxes.

    Even a homeless begger pays taxes,
    even it's just on that $1 cup of coffee.
    So this letter is wrong from the git-'go.

    If you are referring for Mitt Romney's 47% not paying Federal Income tax.
    Then say, "Mitt Romney's 47% who do not pay Federal Income tax."
    Be Specific.

    Saying nearly half of Americans don't pay ANY tax is a flat-out lie.
    Why does the DN publish such factless non-sense?

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 7, 2013 5:58 a.m.

    There are a lot of problems with this letter, but I just point out one significant factual error. Half of the contry do not pay any taxes. First you have to exclude all the children then you have to understand that there are all kinds of taxes that are paid by the proverbial 47%. They pay sales taxes, property taxes, State Income Taxes, Social Security witholding taxes, and many others. What the author fails to mention is that this discussion is really about Federal income taxes. And yes, there are many who under the law don't make enough money to be above the poverty level as adjusted for their personal situation like the number of dependants they must support, or that they have a disability like blindess.

    And if you want to get after "persons" who pay no federal income taxes, perhaps you should mention the giant corporations who employ a bevy of accountants just to avoid paying any taxes at all.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 6:38 a.m.

    Mr. Lundgreen, please share your successful techniques for squeezing blood from turnips. Then go have your Mercedes detailed while you agonize over the utter injustice of les miserables, who struggle to live on less than you make in interest on your investments, being free from the oppressive burden of income taxation that you bear on their behalf.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 7, 2013 6:41 a.m.

    Welcome to socialism America, where the majority can vote the minority out of their money until no one has any money, especially those not born yet!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 7:21 a.m.

    Please turn off the hate radio and try to learn something that is true.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 7:45 a.m.

    Mountanman, if this is "socialist America," then when you consider that corporate profits are at an all-time record high, unions are being decimated, and the accelerating concentration of wealth into the hands of the nation's top 1%, you'd have to conclude that we're actually really bad at being socialists.

  • William Gronberg Payson, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 7:58 a.m.

    A basically good man lost the presidency of the United States of America stating similar 47 percent nonsense. Most lumberjacks and sheepherders pay taxes.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 7, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    @ Blue. Corporate profits are at an all time high? Name one, please without making up your facts.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 7, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    I would love to find this mythical non-tax paying American. I have yet to meet one. From the sounds of it, they must all be hiding in Utah and Idaho.

    I think most reasonable people understand we have a spending problem, but there are those who think telling fantasy stories about mythical people who are living off the hard work of others, not paying any taxes, is a scary statement of where real honesty and values rest.

    We can argue about how to get to where need to go.... but to pretend that my mom (a 47%er) who now lives with me and my family is a freeloader on society because she pays no income tax ANYMORE, although she pays all kids of other taxes, is worthy of demonization really show how base some fractions of the conservative movement has become.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 7, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    July 26, 2012

    "NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Exxon Mobil reported a quarterly profit of nearly $16 billion Thursday -- the highest ever for a U.S. corporation."

    December 4, 2012 (CNNMoney)

    Corporate profits hit record as wages get squeezed

    "In the third quarter, corporate earnings were $1.75 trillion, up 18.6% from a year ago, according to last week'si gross domestic product report. That took after-tax profits to their greatest percentage of GDP in history.

    But the record profits come at the same time that workers' wages have fallen to their lowest-ever share of GDP. "

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    Mountanman: "@ Blue. Corporate profits are at an all time high? Name one, please without making up your facts.@

    Forbes, December 4, 2012.

    "3rd Quarter Corporate Profits Reach Record High - Worker Pay Hits Record Low"

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    "Corporate profits are at an all time high? Name one, please without making up your facts."

    Uh, okay, can you provide anything to back this statement? There are dozens of reliable sources out there. Hate radio commentators are not reliable sources.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    Get a grip. The top marginal tax rate is less than half of what it was when Eisenhower was president. The very rich and Corporate America paid a larger share of taxes then than they do now.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 7, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    @mountainman... you asked....

    "As a share of gross domestic product, corporate profits also have been increasing, and they now represent 11.2 percent of total output. That is the highest share since the fourth quarter of 2006, when they accounted for 11.7 percent of output." - Commerce Department.

    Now I am sure you will not consider that a reliable source so lets try another... Disney from their own press release;

    "Walt Disney Company Finishes Fiscal 2012 With Record Revenue And Profit"

    "Chairman and CEO Bob Iger summed up Disney’s fiscal year 2012 as , “a great year for Disney by every measure — creatively, financially and strategically.”

    The Disney theme parks and resorts led among all of the company’s divisions in terms of percentage gains for profit and revenue. With it’s 4th quarter profit a pleasingly 18% above last year and a whopping 22% increase from the year before as well!"

    There lots more of these... not enough room to put them all

    So Mountainman - it wasn't hard at all for fine "one" example - which begs the question of where in the heck do you get your information?

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    We should totally simplify the tax code. What is your income? Pay x percent. No deductions, period. Flat tax. We would eliminate a lot of useless jobs at the IRS and for sneaky accountants. We would get the rich to actually pay the rate instead of deducting it all. Same for corporations. 75% of the people would understand the sacrifice that paying income tax really is, and they would demand that elected folks be more careful with where the money goes. It would solve a multitude of problems.

    I really think a progressive tax would be better for the workers of our country EXCEPT that it breeds a whole class of people who think that if someone has more than another person, they should be obligated to give them the difference. In fact it has come down to more of a kamikaze attitude that some of the lower class have, that if they are poor, they want to take the whole country down with them.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 7, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    Old man; Hate speech, what's that? Anything you don't agree with? That is very irrational.

    Blue. OK, you win, oil companies are doing well. Some examples of many that are not are; Eastman Kodak lost 85% of their stock value last year, Office Max lost 75%, Bank of America (even after the bailout) lost 61%, Sears lost 34%, Best Buy lost 32%,Hewlett-Packard lost 38%, Washington Post lost 20% and the list goes on. "Green Energy" companies are dropping like flies, even after getting massive cash infusions from the government.
    Clearly, all American corporations are not doing well. And then there are the coal companies.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    Part II

    We should require our congress and president to agree on a budget which is no larger than the previous year's revenue, period. They may only spend money we actually have, up to the amount of the previous year's revenue. Once it is used, any additional money that comes in that year pays down the debt. If we go to war, we better have a budget for it, or decide where to take it from, in advance.

    We have many money savvy leaders in our nation, but they are held hostage by a class of voters who will only vote for them if they spend beyond our means, and make it look like they are punishing the successful. It is lunacy.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    "It is unfortunate because roughly half the people who pay no taxes expect to be supported by the roughly half who do pay taxes."

    The fantasy world inhabited by Republicans and the outrageous spin-cycle they have fallen into are a significant cause of concern for our country.

    What this sort of nonsense masks is the real question we should all be asking: Why are there so many Americans who cannot earn enough to qualify to pay federal income tax?

    If the Republicans could put all their creative energies into answering that question instead of making stuff up so that they can bolster their dysfunctional ideology, perhaps I would vote for one of them. But until they start recognizing the root causes of the symptoms they so arrogantly detest, they will become increasingly irrelevant to solving any problems except extracting lint from their own navels.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    I completely agree. I think it's horrible that people whose income is entirely from investments pay nothing towards Social Security or Medicare. Payroll taxes should cover, not just people who receive a paycheck, but everyone.
    Oh, you're talking about federal income tax. Yeah, that's a tax that's not intended for poor people. That's how it was designed. So the fact that some people don't pay it is no big deal.
    That's kind of how taxes work. Different taxes for people in different categories. For example, I did not pay a dime in estate taxes last year. I managed that by not dying.

  • Liberal Today Murray, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    ""It is unfortunate because roughly half the people who pay no taxes expect to be supported by the roughly half who do pay taxes."

    The fantasy world inhabited by Republicans and the outrageous spin-cycle they have fallen into are a significant cause of concern for our country."

    Wrong!! this is reality. I meet these people all the time. I hear them on TV. I am one of them. No one pays income tax who isn't really rich. The rich half of the country really does need to support us. We can't do it on our own. They rich have taken sooo much away from the poor and they are just sitting on all that money. The only way to get it is to tax it out of them. Then it can go back into circulation and be spent again and stimulate the economy.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    Except that Romney won 8 out of 10 states with the highest concentration of 47%ers, a large part of the reason why we have so many people paying taxes is that when republicans instituted welfare reform they focused more on giving tax cuts (earned income tax credit) instead of larger welfare checks as a means of encouraging people to work, and these "abominable tax rates" are the same rates (for the rich) that they paid during the Clinton era. I don't know much about the letter writer, but given how little we pay our troops I'd say he's not in the highest income bracket and thus has lower taxes (at least at the federal level) than he did under Clinton.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Except that Romney won 8 out of 10 states with the highest concentration of 47%ers, a large part of the reason why we have so many people paying taxes is that when republicans instituted welfare reform they focused more on giving tax cuts (earned income tax credit) instead of larger welfare checks as a means of encouraging people to work, and these "abominable tax rates" are the same rates (for the rich) that they paid during the Clinton era. I don't know much about the letter writer, but given how little we pay our troops I'd say he's not in the highest income bracket and thus has lower taxes (at least at the federal level) than he did under Clinton.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 7, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    @mountinaman.... you just listed a bunch of companies that have been in decline for over d decade. Why didn't you at some telegraph and horse and buggy companies in there. Yes, companies whose primary business are things like photographic film... have been desiccated. You forgot Poloroid. too

    The you go on "reen Energy" companies are dropping like flies, even after getting massive cash infusions from the government. "

    Lets talk high tech, companies in the 70's and 80's in silicon valley. What percentage of the startups, even with some government aide do you think survived? What percent of emerging technology companies do you expect to survive? What percent of car companies that were started survived. What a weak argument..... it's a bad industry because startups fail in the industries early days?

    Life is a bit more complex than pithy little political rhetoric talking points... for every failing company you state I can give you 50 doing well. For every Sears, there is an Amazon. For every Kodak there is a Google. If stock value is your measure... the market has doubled in the last 4 years.... so be carefully which KPI you choose.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    MM, I didn't say "hate speech." I said "hate radio" from which a lot of hate speech originates. Most of that hate speech from hate radio is completely false. What I don't like is lying by people who are doing it only to pad their own pockets.

    But fans of Rush and his friends will never understand that will they?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 7, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    Old Man; I would say that right wing talk radio gets about the same Pinocchio ratings as MSNBC, maybe even better, but I don't take the time to listen to either.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    "It is unfortunate because roughly half the people who pay no taxes expect to be supported by the roughly half who do pay taxes." ~ letter

    ==========

    As I said earlier -- this letter is an out-right lie.

    We ALL pay taxes.
    Sales tax,
    Gas tax,
    Sate Tax,
    Hunting and Fishing License taxes,
    Public Utilities tax,
    Property tax,
    Income tax,
    Social Secuirty tax,
    ect., ect. there are at least 95 types of taxes.

    Some I pay, some I don't.

    But to somehow single out Federal Income Tax as the ONLY tax is a Republican Mitt Romney lie.

    FYI - MOST Corporations and the uber-wealthy 1% don't pay ANY of the taxes the rest of us do.
    Because thet are either Tax Exempt,
    and/or Tax Deductible.
    Most of the "tax-loop-holes" only work in THEIR favor, not ours.
    And Mitt couldn't even name ONE of them he'd try to close.

    BTW - Ironic how Republicans blame Obama for class warfare?

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    My next door neighbor has 8 kids and probably makes in the $50-$60k salary range. He pays no FIT because of all the dependent deductions he gets.

    So step number 1 is to eliminate the federal and state deductions for dependents. It's not fair for the 50% who do pay FIT to carry the burden of the 50% who pay not FIT, including those who pay no FIT because they willingly choose to have very large families.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 4:13 p.m.

    "At $1.75 trillion, U.S. corporate profits hit an all-time high in the third quarter, accounting for 11.1 percent of the country’s GDP." -Lauren Hepler, Economic Development Reporter- Silicon Valley Business Journal, Dec 3, 2012

    "Corporate profit margins just hit an all-time high. Companies are making more per dollar of sales than they ever have before. . . . In short, our current system and philosophy is creating a country of a few million overlords and 300+ million serfs." -Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low, Henry Blodget, Business Insider, June 22, 2012

    "In the third quarter, corporate earnings were $1.75 trillion, up 18.6% from a year ago, according to last week'si gross domestic product report. That took after-tax profits to their greatest percentage of GDP in history. But the record profits come at the same time that workers' wages have fallen to their lowest-ever share of GDP." -Corporate profits hit record as wages get squeezed, Chris Isidore, CNNMoney, Dec, 4, 2012

    Mountanman, how can you not be embarrassed by consistently being so badly informed?

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    "The numbers are in for Q3 and big business has $1.75 trillion worth of reasons to celebrate as these record-breaking results improved on last year’s numbers by a stunning 18.6 percent—the largest after-tax profit quarter in the nation’s history.

    And that’s just for openers as total Q3 profits broke another record by accounting for a huge 11.1 percent of the U.S. economy.

    To understand just how big these numbers are, consider that the last period of economic expansion in America produced profits averaging 8 percent of the economy, significantly below their current percentage of GDP.

    But do you know who doesn’t have it quite so grand?

    The American worker—that hard working employee who, according to CNN Money, citing newly published government reports, has seen his or her wages dip to an all-time low as a percentage of GDP during the most recent quarter." -3rd Quarter Corporate Profits Reach Record High-Worker Pay Hits Record Low:So How Exactly Is Obama The 'Anti-Business' President? Rick Unger, Forbes, Dec 4, 2012

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 5:50 p.m.

    If we are so over-taxing the most wealthy in this country, how is it that their percentage of the country's total wealth keeps getting larger? The argument from the right seems to be that we are taxing the wealth right out of their hands. But the actual numbers don't bear that out.

    The wealthy are going to continue to accumulate a larger piece of the pie. Increasing their tax rates a bit will only serve to slow down the rate at which their wealth increases. Increased tax rates certainly aren't going to send them all to the poor house.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 8:08 p.m.

    @Christian 24-7

    "We should totally simplify the tax code. What is your income? Pay x percent. No deductions, period."

    How would "income" be defined above? For example, let's say an electrician works for a company (who provides his truck, tools, etc.) and earns wages of $100k. Another electrician has his own business, hires a scheduler (whom he pays $30k), leases a truck (for $3k), and pays for his tools and materials ($15k). He bills his customers a total of $100k during the year. Assuming the tax rate is 15%, how much tax does each pay under your proposed system?

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 9:48 p.m.

    "I recognize the root cause."

    Really? Do you?

    "Liberals tax the wealthy. . ."

    Liberals tax the wealthy. That is one of your "root causes"? Taxing the wealthy. So in other words the wealthy should not be taxed? Just the poor? Interesting.

    "They impose minimum wage laws"

    Can you tell us what the federal minimum wage is? Just off the top of your head? And you are saying that employers should pay people less then this? Even when they are making historical profits?

    "They support welfare policies. . ." Can you intelligently discuss welfare in this country? In other words, how much does a divorced mother of two receive a month in "welfare"? And for how long?

    ". . . prevents them from having to ask for help. . ."

    And who would you have this divorced mother begging from? The "wealthy community member", as you say? Do you think she would ever be allowed an audience to beg from this "wealthy community member"? And when they say no? Friends, family, neighbors. You go knock on your neighbors door and beg for money. And when they say no? Friends and family. And if they say no? Or they don't have the money?

    No wonder conservatives are losing.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 10:27 p.m.

    dwayne's comments above illustrate the basic ignorance most of us have regarding U.S. social programs versus the social programs of other successful industrialized countries.

    First of all, U.S. social policy is anything but "liberal". It is in-fact extremely conservative; much more conservative than all OECD countries, including our neighbor to the north.

    For example, an excellent paper titled "Responding to Need: A Comparison of Social Safety Nets in Canada and the U.S., authored by Rebecca M. Blank and Maria J. Hanratty (of Northwestern University), describes the two systems and examines why the much more liberal Canadian system has been far more effective in reducing and eliminating poverty than the more conservative U.S. system.

    dwayne's assertions do not hold up when compared to real-world data and experience.

  • One of a Few Layton, UT
    Jan. 8, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    Eastman Kodak lost 85% of its stock value - people aren't buying film due to availability of digital imaging. Similarly buggy manufactures have fallen on hard times. Obama is responsible. Sears is shedding customers faster than my dog looses hair - clearly Obama is to blame for Sear's merchandising failure. Start up companies are dropping like flies, again Obama's fault. Start up companies never used to fail. Finally, let us shed a tear for coal. Faced with record low prices on natural gas, coal is loosing its luster with whiny Americans who prefer mercury free water and fish. I remember before Obama ruined everything, good folks everywhere couldn't get enough mercury. We put it in our rectal thermometers, our teeth and our vaccines - just loved the stuff. We should have mercury supplements for our children. Instead, Obama is killing coal along with everything else he touches. How the Almighty could let the White Horse Candidate loose to that uppity renter in the White House is just a mystery.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Jan. 9, 2013 11:01 a.m.

    One of a Few
    Layton, UT

    Hahaha!

    Best comment I've read on MONTHS!

    Thanks!

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    Those at the lower end of the income scale are the ones at risk to join the military and have their children join, and be killed or physically or mentally damaged.

    Risk is not free, my insurance company will not assume my risk unless I pay them money.

    Therefore those at the lower end of the income scale DO pay their share.

    ----

    The poor do pay taxes, they pay state and local taxes. They shouldn't pay as much taxes as the rich, why ... because they are poor.

  • The Sensible Middle Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    Republicans fought tooth and nail to keep taxes from going up on the wealthy.

    Too bad they do just the opposite with those with low income.

    Is it any wonder more more Americans now align with the democratic party than the republican party?