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Letter: The better tax argument

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  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 22, 2013 5:03 a.m.

    "The tax increase levied as part of the "fiscal cliff" deal helped give tax breaks to distillers ($222 million), NASCAR track owners ($78 million), Hollywood producers ($430 million), wind energy producers ($12 billion) and similar pork."

    Yes Greg. It costs lots of money to get elected. So, our politicians, Both GOP and DEM have their hands out. All the time.

    Money corrupts our system. If both GOP and Dem electorate would stand together and unite behind this single issue (get the big money out) everything else would fall into place.

    Lets FORCE our politicians to pass laws limiting the money influence. They wont want to do it as it butters their bread. But, will do so grudgingly if enough people scream loud enough.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 6:01 a.m.

    It's pork if it's going somewhere else, and bacon if it's coming home.
    It's a subsidy if it's going to somebody else, and a stimulus if it comes to me.
    It's an unnecessary, unconstitutional freebie if it helps somebody else's industry, and a vital lifeline promoting the general welfare if it helps my industry.
    And so it goes.
    Politicians are very adept at rationalizing and spinning provisions of the tax code to their own and their favored constituents' benefit.
    If only there were some way to make their machinations transparent, so we could hold them accountable.
    If only we could remember how they voted on tax policy when the next election rolls around.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 6:27 a.m.

    So where are the jobs Greg? richies have made a killing this decade so where are all the jobs?

    Somehow... I doubt any answer would satisfy Greg and his ilk as being a worhwhile expenditure of his tax dollars. his motives arent charitable or patrotic but selfish. And if you hate the tax rate now, you would have really hated living under Reagan or Eisenhower!

    Sorry richies, time to pay your fair share. We can't keep spending $700 billion annually in defense and invading countries. If you don't like it then please move to a different country. We ain't goin to a flat tax as that only hurts small business, the poor, and middle class while only helping he rich. Sorry richies, time to pay up. You'll have to settle for 40 foot yachts and not 44.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 22, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    The "richies" paying their fair share when 47% of Americans do not pay any federal income taxes? What's fair about nearly half of the people in America getting a free ride?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 22, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    "What's fair about nearly half of the people in America getting a free ride?"

    How much income tax SHOULD retired people with no income pay?

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    So the letter writer complains about increased taxes and tax breaks in the same letter?

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    Tax and spend liberals love to pretend that every dollar collected in taxes means one less cocktail some rich dude sips on his big yaucht and that every dollar spent by government means a healthy meal for some starving child.

    The reality is that money spent by those who actually earned it is put to far better use than money spent by a government bureaucrat. Waste, fraud, abuse, and throwing money down a rat hole is the norm instead of the exception in government spending.

    Higher taxes hurt the economy simply because it transfers a ton of money from more efficient systems to less efficient systems. In the private sector, money is used to create more wealth and everyone benefits. In the public sector, money is used to buy votes.

    I know that liberals hate wealth creation simply because that wealth is not perfectly distributed to everyone, but tends to be concentrated around the most productive. But efforts to "fix" that result in less wealth for everyone, not just the millionaires. Unfortunately, too many people are willing to cut off their nose to spite their face.

  • booshway Woods Cross, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    Here is a simple question - who created the so-called"fiscal cliff"? It was 536 people in Washington, who created programs that are failing, going bankrupt and otherwise wasteful? Those same 536 people. And who does everyone want to fix these problems? Those same 536 people. What's wrong with this picture?

    The tax increase against the rich will amount to about less than 10 days worth of Federal spending. Warren Buffett (an extremely rich man) recommends raising his taxes. There is no law that prevents him from making a donation to the Treasury. Has he made any such donation?

    Did you know that the 16th Amendment (the income tax ) was passed with the proponents telling everyone that it was only for "the rich"? And it would only be a very small amount? Who is paying income taxes now?

    Has anyone figured out that the progressive tax system we have is unconstitutional and targeting the “rich” is an egregious violation of the equal treatment clause of the Constitution? The fairest tax would be everyone pays the same same percentage, then the "rich" would pay more. Ten percent of $250,000 is ten times larger than 10% of $25,000, voila, the "rich" automatically pay more.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    Weren't the tax breaks he mentions included in the Sandy Relief Bill and not the fiscal cliff?

    And weren't most of them inserted by GOP members to benefit their red states?

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    I have yet to hear a Republican, even a hard-line tea partier, claim that increasing inequality is actually good for the economy. When the consumer classes have no disposable income to buy all the stuff corporations need to sell in order to survive, who loses? Well, everybody.

    So, the question for Republicans is, Why do you continue to support economic policies that not only increase the wealth gap but increase the rate at which the gap is widening? Please explain this to me. And don't try to sell me any nonsense about economic growth putting more wealth in the hands of those in the lower 90 percent of earners. The lion's share of profits earned during periods of growth go to the already wealthy.

  • omni scent taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    Booshway: the progressive tax system is not against the equal treatment clause of the constution: the "poor man", the "rich man", and me ALL have to pay 3% more on the income we get above $400k/yr ($450k if married and filing jointly). See how we are all getting treated equally?

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    Good letter. Whatever the "rich" do with their money (as long as it's legal and moral) helps the rest of us. They deserve our respect and gratitude, not our snide derision. Many of the rest of us would someday like to be rich as well. Our destructive class warfare rhetoric and resentment only makes it harder for people to improve their lives and move up in the world.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    In the United States today, the top 20% of wage earners pay 70% of all income taxes. The top 5% of incomes pay 40% of income taxes. These figures have been rising for the last 30 years, i.e. the rich have been paying more & more. Over the same period, the bottom half of wage earners have been paying a steadily decreasing share of income taxes until today - as Romney correctly pointed out - the bottom 47% pay NO income taxes whatsoever. There is absolutely no way to logically or persuasively argue that the rich aren't yet paying their "fair share." If you want to raise taxes on only the rich, fine - but make an honest argument for it.

    One final question: What is the empirical standard you are using to support the statement "the rich aren't paying their fair share"? At what point would the rich FINALLY be paying their fair share?

    "The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation." -Vladimir Lenin

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    Mountainman (I prefer not to misspell)
    Ah yes, the 47% canard. Love it when you guys bring that one up. How about the large percentage of people, including Governor Romney, who pay absolutely no payroll taxes? Not a nickel to Social Security or Medicare, because their income is entirely in investments. How irresponsible of them!

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    Many of the rich generously give to charity, expand businesses, create jobs and do other worthwhile things with their money.

    =============

    And if they continue to do so,
    They will continue to get those tax breaks.

    Taxes only went up on NON-deductaible earnings.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    booshway
    Woods Cross, UT
    9:27 a.m. Jan. 22, 2013

    Did you know that the 16th Amendment (the income tax ) was passed with the proponents telling everyone that it was only for "the rich"? And it would only be a very small amount? Who is paying income taxes now?

    -----

    Well --
    According to Mountanman,
    Only the rich, just as was promised.

    Even the rich themselves [Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and even Mitt Romney agree they pay far too little.]

    ======================

    Voice of Reason
    Layton, UT
    In the United States today, the top 20% of wage earners pay 70% of all income taxes. The top 5% of incomes pay 40% of income taxes. These figures have been rising for the last 30 years, i.e. the rich have been paying more & more.

    ----------

    Because that 1% owns 80% of everything.
    It's called an INCOME tax.
    a 7 year old can understand the rise is because the 1% is getting expotentionally richer, and the 99% have been getting expotentionally poorer.
    It's based on income.

    BTW - As far as I know, the rich didn't loose a single tax-loop-hole....so I seriously doubt they will be paying any higher taxes than now.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    Voice of Reason, your stats are soooo misleading. Did you know that over 50% of those collecting government assistance have jobs? Why are these people in need? Could it be that more and more of their income has been gobbled up by those 20% that are paying more Federal income taxes? Could it be that these 20% have received almost all of the increase in national wealth while the 80% continue to pay a bigger share of their income for gas for their car, fuel to heat their home, and have seen Congress look the other way to reinstate the old social security taxes? A person making a million in wages pays the same social security taxes as someone making 1 tenth of that. If wages had kept up with the cost of living over the past 30 years the minimum wage would be over $15 an hour. Never in your lifetime has the disparity of rich and poor been so great. You need to understand that the so called job creators cannot save the nations economic woes without empowering the working class, even by sending them to one of our perpetual wars.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 11:44 a.m.

    LDS Liberal,

    I'm not sure where to begin on your response. So...the top 1% (of incomes, not net worth, I presume) owe 80% of "everything"...everything of what? Real estate? Land? Capital? Liquid bank deposits? Lazy Boy recliners? This really means nothing unless it's well-defined.

    Actually, in the last few years during the Obama Recession, the top income ranges have generally seen their share of income taxes drop in opposition to the long-term trend. And the rich have most certainly not become "exponentially" richer, nor the poor "exponentially" more poor. If that were literally true, we'd reach near-zero incomes for the poor in very little time. Even aside from that, during the Obama bad years the rich have become less rich...but alas, the poor have also become more poor. I guess Obama's getting his wish of "spreading it around" more. Problem is, the only thing he's spreading around is economic misery.

    And you neglected to answer my questions: What is the empirical standard you are using to support the statement "the rich aren't paying their fair share"? At what point would the rich FINALLY be paying their fair share?

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    Here's what I resent. I grew up as white trash in 1960s San Diego. Single working mom. No car. No television.

    First in my family tree to go to college (only enough money for one year). Six years in the Navy (enlisted).

    After service, first civilian job at $16.5K/yr. Worked 48 hrs/wk graveyard shift. Carried 18 credit hours in engineering at the same time. Subsequently got MBA at U while working and raising six children. We had very little. Eating out at Ponderosa steakhouse (much cheaper than Sizzler) was a twice a year big deal for us. Wife took in babysitting kids. Every nickel was a big deal. Neighbors on state aid had boats and cable vision. We had a lawn hose and small television.

    Things got better. After 8 years we left Magna for a safer location. But we were house-poor. No extras. Only vacations my kids experienced was to relatives homes. What few extra-curricular activities my kids pursued involved intense budgeting.

    Now we are empty nesters. My income at 59 years old has climbed to $170K/yr. I made the sacrifices across decades. What gives you the right to my earnings?

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    joe5: Welcome to the liberal mindset. It doesn't matter what sacrifices you have made in the past or what you have personally done to improve your education, skills, or investments.

    The ONLY thing that matters is that you now make $170K per year and that puts you in someone's definition of "rich" and you deserve to "pay your fair share" by forking over more to the government than you receive yourself.

    It wouldn't matter if you were a doctor who just finished 12 years of post high school education and training and find yourself $200,000 in student loan debt. If you made $300K this year, you are rich and you "owe" everybody a huge chunk of it.

    That is just the way liberals think and now they are running the show.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 22, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    To "Kent C. DeForrest" um....it is the democrats that want to increase the inequality in our economic system. They are doing it in the name of "fairness".

    If you want equality, look to the countries that have a simple flat tax. That is 100% equal. All citizens pay the same percent of income taxes.

    Now, look at the liberals and their ilk. They want to end racism by giving minorities advantages over the majority, increasing the inequality. What sense does that make?

    To "LDS Liberal" again with the lies and distortions.

    The fact is that we are discussing income taxes. Here are some facts that you have yet to accept. The top 1% earn 19% of all salaries, yet pay 37% of all income taxes.

    Since you are so obsessed with wealth and who owns what. Why do you only complain about the top? The bottom 50% own 1.1% of all wealth yet pay nothing. Is that fair? If we tax as you propose, then the bottom 50% need to pay more taxes to pay "their fair share".

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    joe5
    South Jordan, UT
    Here's what I resent. I grew up as white trash in 1960s...

    Now we are empty nesters. My income at 59 years old has climbed to $170K/yr. I made the sacrifices across decades. What gives you the right to my earnings?

    11:49 a.m. Jan. 22, 2013

    -----

    Your story is a mirror imagine of mine, except;
    I grew-up in Utah,
    served in the USAF,
    I don't even make 1/2 what you do currently,
    and I lost nearly 1/2 Million dollars in the Bush housing bubble.

    Now - I ask --
    How much income tax DID you pay during all those lean years? {my guess, if you had children was Zero].

    Who paid for your education - public schools, California Jr. College is free, the Navy gave you an an education enlist bonus, Montgomery G.I., Guaranteed Student Loan re-payments, and Pell Grants -- all from "Government" funding, ect.

    And yet given all that you have been blessed with --
    You are the one that is bitter and hates our Government and our country.

    Here's some advise -

    Because I have been given much, I too must give...

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 22, 2013 1:19 p.m.

    Those who think that someone else should pay for their freedom don't deserve to be free.

    We do not have 47% of the people in America on SS. Those who have not earned the right to receive SS by paying into that Ponzi scheme are not entitled to take money from SS. They're not entitled to receive anything from the federal government because the federal government has no authority to provide personal welfare to anyone. The words in the Constitution are "general welfare".

    You are responsible for the sidewalk leading to your house. The local government is not responsible to shovel the snow off your walk and the federal government is not responsible to put milk in your fridge.

    Those who demand that others be forced to transfer wealth to pay for the personal welfare of anyone know nothing about the duties and the authority of the federal government. All they know is that Obama is beating that drum and they are dancing to the beat. They don't care whether something is legal or lawful, all they care about is that they like to dance and Obama likes to drum.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 22, 2013 1:26 p.m.

    @redshirt
    "If you want equality, look to the countries that have a simple flat tax. That is 100% equal. All citizens pay the same percent of income taxes."

    You seem to know what you're talking about, Redshirt, so please tell us which countries you are talking about (please name 3 or 4 whose "citizens" pay only a simple "flat tax").

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 22, 2013 1:39 p.m.

    @joe5
    South Jordan, UT
    Here's what I resent. I grew up as white trash in 1960s...

    "Now we are empty nesters. My income at 59 years old has climbed to $170K/yr. I made the sacrifices across decades. What gives you the right to my earnings?"

    I'm assuming, Joe, that you haven't done much traveling in the 3rd world, because if you had you would feel like you hit the jackpot growing up as white trash in the United States in the 1960s. Your "story" is my story (and millions of others' too). But every time I leave the country and return I feel so greatful to live here and to do my part (by payina a lot more tax than you do).

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    LDS Liberal: (sigh) You aren't like some of those who don't get it. You're too smart for that. Instead, you have determined that you won't get it which give you no advantage of those who aren't very smart.

    I paid income tax all those years. It wasn't much but it wasn't zero.

    I didn't go to college in California. I went on academic scholarship (earned, not gifted) to BYU. I gave up my scholarship to serve an LDS mission.

    I receive GI Bill funds while earning my engineering degree. That was part of the terms of my employment in the Navy. It was earned through my six years of service just as much as my paltry salary; it was not a gift.

    The one who brought up the words "bitter" and "hate" is you. I've learned that people tend to view others as they would act or feel themselves in the same situation. I'm sure the emotions you ascribe to me are a reflection of how you would feel and you assume all others are like you.

    In short, you missed on every salient point you tried to make.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 2:17 p.m.

    Taxman: Why is it that people like you and LDS Liberal insist on making wild, unfounded, and inaccurate assumptions?

    - Does Tijuana count as 3rd World? How about Subic Bay in the Philippines? How about the Indian reservations of British Columbia?

    - How would you have any idea how much I pay in taxes?

    Would it surprise you to know I take very few deductions (standard, mortgage, charitable donations)? Or that I have no shelters, investment portfolios, and off-shore accounts?

    Do you even know why I want access to my own income? In the last two years, I've made gifts or interest free loans to help my children.
    - $50K to my second oldest (home purchase)
    - $11K to my third oldest (home purchase)
    - $13K to my fourth oldest (debt consolidation)
    - $6K to my fifth oldest (home purchase)
    - $6K to my youngest (debt consolidation, unexpected medical bills, car purchase)

    Are you aware that my elderly parents are living in my home at no cost; that I've moved into the basement so they could have the master bedroom and wheelchair access?

    All these things are reducing your tax burden since my family is not taking anything from the government.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    joe5
    South Jordan, UT

    In short, you missed on every salient point you tried to make.

    1:42 p.m. Jan. 22, 2013

    ==========

    Really?

    I'm thankful for my hard upbringing. I made me who I am today -- no handouts.
    I earned everything I have becasue I didn't have a rich Mommy or Daddy to pay things.

    I had an Uncle - Uncle Sam, who gave me a had UP, not a hand out to get my Engineering Degrees.
    and I feel indebted and obligated to my Country for giving me a chance.

    Like the LDS pertetual immigration and pertetual education funds.
    Just like the Military and LDS Missions, - it's a form of Socialism and I'm proud of that fact.

    I proud to be an American, and I'm LEFT of Center.
    My country has given me more than my mortal parents ever did,
    So I get really upset when people trash talk it.
    To me, it's like something talking smack about your own Mother.

    but I get even more upset when citizens care more about their wallets than they do about our Country.

    God Bless America!

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 2:46 p.m.

    joe5,
    Congratulations on your career trajectory, it's commendable, but the proposal was a 4% tax hike on income over $250K. Someone who earns 170K has little to fear from that. Heck, someone earning $1 million doesn't have much to fear.

    JoeCapitalist,
    I would agree with a surprising amount of what you wrote, except you are inflating the scale of your arguments to the point of making them irrelevant. First, the current proposals don't involve taking all of your wealth to make you equal with others, but your rhetoric suggests they do. We're talking a 4% increase and restoration to Clinton-era levels. Hardly extreme. Second, you have in mind only one type of wealthy individual; the creative hard-worker who pulled in a generous income from their own initiative. What of those living off of capital gains, unearned income that primarily rich people can access and pay a paltry ~15% tax on? What of those born into comparative wealth who work no harder than anyone else but reap huge rewards due to privileged circumstances that most Americans don't have? Your argument would be stronger if you didn't have to oversimply and distort to prove it.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 22, 2013 2:50 p.m.

    To "The Taxman" here is a list of countries with flat income taxes:

    Abkhazia
    Albania
    Andorra
    Anguilla
    Belarus
    Belize
    Bolivia
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bulgaria
    East Timor
    Estonia
    Georgia
    Grenada
    Guernsey
    Guyana
    Hungary
    Jamaica
    Jersey
    Kazakhstan
    Kyrgyzstan
    Latvia
    Lithuania
    Macedonia
    Madagascar
    Mauritius
    Mongolia
    Montenegro
    Nagorno-Karabakh
    Romania
    Russia
    Saint Helena
    Serbia
    Seychelles
    South Ossetia
    Transnistria
    Trinidad and Tobago
    Turkmenistan
    Tuvalu
    Ukraine

    All those countries have flat income tax rates. Yes some have other taxes that they add onn, but the issue is income taxes.

    To "LDS Liberal" the LDS pertetual immigration and pertetual education funds are not like socialism. They are like capitalism based charity. They are low interest loans that make profits and have strict guidlines for their use.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    Redshirt:

    A flat tax is not equality. A flat tax simply does what I said Republican economic policies do--it increases the rate at which the wealth accumulates at the top. I'm still waiting for an intelligent Republican reply to my question. Good luck.

    For those of you who are so upset that 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax, here's the real question: Why are 47 percent of Americans unable to earn enough to qualify to pay income tax? Answer that and you'll be getting closer to the real issue here. You might also stop and consider that many (perhaps a majority) of that 47 percent are Republicans. What do you say to that? How does it make you feel that Democrats care more about poor Republicans than ideologically pure Republicans do?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 22, 2013 3:55 p.m.

    To "Kent C. DeForrest" how is a flat tax not equality. Everybody pays the same percentage of their income. Would you rather have everybody pay the same amount? That would be equal.

    Who cares about Republican economic policies are. Most of the current Republcian party has the same economic policies as the Democrats, the only difference is the magnitude.

    If you want to better understand where the predominant economic policies are taking us, look at China, North Korea, and Cuba. They have destroyed the middleclass and created a polarized system where you have the uber wealthy and the poor. China is working of fixing that problem by loosening economic policies to allow for CAPITALISM and the middleclass that comes with it.

    What do you think an equal tax burden is?

    If you want to see who cares for the poor, look to the Coservatives, they are the ones who actually care.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    The only way to stop businessmen from robbing the taxpayer is to get business interests out of government.

    Government should not subsidize business operations. However as long as we allow only businessmen to run our government they will use government to compete with other businesses at the expense of the tax payer.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 22, 2013 4:16 p.m.

    @ Redshirt

    Thank you for your list... which says it all. Abkhazia?! Not one industrialized country in the world is included on your list. No country on your list appears in the top 30 of any "quality of life" survey or study (like for example, Newsweek's the World's Best Countries Index).

    The fact is, your 'fair' countries, like Russia, tend to be backward, underdeveloped places who will enact progressive individual taxation someday when they get ready to join the "first" world.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 22, 2013 5:44 p.m.

    "Not one industrialized country in the world is included on your list."

    Exactly. You can find countries with lower taxes. But would you have wanted to live there growing up? To get an education? To make your way in the world?

    Yes, you can probably find some, but the vast majority of the list are not places that you would choose.

    The point is that the US is the greatest country in the world. It has the most opportunity.
    And the tax rates, while higher than many, are currently lower than under President Reagan.

    It is a pretty good place to live. Feel free to cherry pick things that other countries have, but look at those countries in the whole. Take the good with the bad. The individual tax rates AND the corporate tax rates. The standard of living and the opportunities.

    I will pick the US and be darn happy about it.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 22, 2013 5:56 p.m.

    re:RedShirt

    Romania has a VAT (value added tax ie. consumption tax) on goods and services.
    The standard V.A.T. rate in Romania is 24%. There are reduced V.A.T. rates of 9% and 5%.
    The reduced 9% VAT rate applies to hotel services, books, newspapers and medicines. The reduced 5% rate applies to buildings supply.

    Other countries with VAT taxes:
    Russia-18%
    Lithuania-21%
    Bulgaria-20%
    Latvia-22%
    Ukraine-20%

    and most other countries.....

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 7:41 p.m.

    If a rich person is not buying a yacht...

    Then a person selling yachts is out of a job.

    a person building yachts is out of a job,

    a person designing yachts is out of a job,

    a person selling components for yachts is out of a job

    a person working for any businsness building desiging engineering selling servicing yatchs or their components may be out of a job,

    a person designing those components is out of job,

    a person engineering yachts or their components is out of a job,

    a person detailing yachts is out of a job.

    a person painting, doing electrical or plumbing or whatever for yachts is out of a job

    an accountant for any business servicing or selling yachts is out of a job,

    receptionists, salesman, janitors, warehouse workers, and many many others etc related to the yacht business or industry may be out of a job.

    A captain, cook, or any worker on a yacht would be out of a job.

    This works for any for business, or industry, or service, product makers and sellers, that rich would need or want.

    Why the left can not understand this is comprehensible.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 22, 2013 7:52 p.m.

    @Joe C

    "Waste, fraud, abuse, and throwing money down a rat hole is the norm instead of the exception in government spending."

    Are you referring to Walmart's dealings in Mexico? Or perhaps the billions the banks had to pay recently when they admitted they foreclosed on homes they had no right to? Are those the pure saintly actions you are referring to?

    "The ONLY thing that matters is that you now make $170K per year and that puts you in someone's definition of "rich" and you deserve to "pay your fair share" by forking over more to the government than you receive yourself."

    What in the heck is that supposed to mean? "more to the government than you receive yourself". How do you calculate that?

    "It wouldn't matter if you were a doctor who just finished 12 years of post high school education and training and find yourself $200,000 in student loan debt."

    Do you have any idea how much the state subsidized Med students at the U? Trust me, their 200K doesn't come close to covering the cost to educate them. Their debt may be a lot, but we all paid for more for their Medical degrees..

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 22, 2013 8:16 p.m.

    re:Joe C

    "Waste, fraud, abuse, and throwing money down a rat hole is the norm instead of the exception in government spending."

    The GAO most recent report cited the Dept of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as having problems so significant that it was impossible for investigators to audit it. The DHS got a qualified audit for fiscal year 2012, and is seeking an unqualified audit for 2013.

    The report released by the GAO on Friday indicates serious accounting problems at two of the largest government agencies: the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Defense has a net cost of $799.1 billion to the federal budget, while the Department of Homeland Security has a net cost of $48.7 billion.

    "The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) cannot render an opinion on the 2012 consolidated financial statements of the federal government because of widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations," the agency said.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 10:22 p.m.

    The obvious answer is to cut all taxes on the wealthy. Increase taxes on those making less than $20K a year.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 6:48 a.m.

    Many of the middle class and even the poor work hard and generously give to charity. Working hard and giving to charity isn't the exclusive domain of the wealthy.

    In fact the lower middle class typically have to work a job and a half doing, work that is more difficult than the typical middle class or rich person.

    The question isn't how much taxes are paid, the question is, Is a person ending up with more than their contribution to society, after taxes are paid?

    In other words, does the typical CEO who gets 200 times what their workers get after taxes really contribute 200 times as much as their workers? If not they are over paid. Therefore if their taxes are raised this isn't unfair.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 7:01 a.m.

    Mr. Bass, that is not hyperbole either, that is exactly what the conservative argument is.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    EMajor: "Second, you have in mind only one type of wealthy individual; the creative hard-worker who pulled in a generous income from their own initiative. What of those living off of capital gains, unearned income that primarily rich people can access and pay a paltry ~15% tax on?"

    The problem with tax and spend liberals is that they want to pretend that most rich people are hedge fund managers or people like Mitt Romney, so they come up with general tax policies to "punish" them.

    I think the opposite is true. For every "fat cat" that pays a low tax rate, there are 10 or more of those creative hard-workers that I describe. They are the ones caught in that "one size fits all" net of punitive tax rates. The vast majority of people making over $250K are small business owners and professionals who work their fingers to the bone to get ahead.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 7:45 a.m.

    "Waste, Fraud and Abuse" are words thrown out by both parties when asked where they would cut spending. Those words don't get you "unelected" since they are something we all agree on. Going further than that is politically suicide. Every item in the budget has a constituency or it wouldn't be there in the first place. The closest any candidate got to pointing to cuts during the campaign was "Department of Education, the EPA and Whoops" and "Sesame Street". No one is serious and they just opt to blame the other party for not suggesting cuts. This is a big reason we are still talking about cutting and not cutting. It is the same la-la land that those who won't ever vote to raise taxes...like that makes sense when at the same time they cry about the unbalanced budget.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    There was another man, in another time, who also thought that if you just took enough money from those that have, make them have-nots, and (claim to) ensure that everyone has about the same equal income & wealth, then poverty would evaporate and class envy would disappear. As those that followed him found out all too late, their plan just spread misery around to everyone, and there STILL was a wealthy class...they just had the power of dictators in addition to their wealth.

    The man?
    Vladimir Lenin.

    The system?
    The ultimate culmination of socialism: communism.

    In light of the ominous history of making the rich “pay their fair share,” I repeat my all-important question:

    Exactly when will the rich finally be paying their fair share?

    If you can’t answer that, then your claim is not based on measurable real-world fairness, but on pure class envy – i.e. the rich have it coming to ‘em because they have more than me, and I want it. Philosophically, that’s the same road as the revolutionaries who threw the bourgeoisie & their families out of their homes in 1917.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    cjb: "The question isn't how much taxes are paid, the question is, Is a person ending up with more than their contribution to society, after taxes are paid?... If not they are over paid. Therefore if their taxes are raised this isn't unfair."

    Thank you for illustrating so beautifully the mentality of the far-left - that it is the governments job to decide who is overpaid and who is not and redistribute when necessary. Market forces are not fair so it is up to the government to take more from you if you make too much.

    If you make $50 million playing golf, it is government's duty to take most of it so your wealth is more in line with some assembly worker who works just as hard as you do.

    Nevermind that almost all that money will go straight into the pockets of Obama's friends who work even less than you do, but it is only about being fair, right?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 23, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    To "The Taxman" really, Russia is not industrialized? Since when?

    But I should thank you for agreeing with me that there are many countries with flat taxes.

    Also, FYI, I never said that it was "fair", just equal. There is a difference.

    To "Truthseeker" so then you agree that those countries are tax their people equally. They have a flat income tax and a VAT that is applied equally to all people.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 23, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    Voice of Reason
    Layton, UT
    There was another man, in another time, who also thought that if you just took enough money from those that have, make them have-nots,...

    The man?
    Vladimir Lenin.

    ========

    I thought you were going say "Enoch", or "Moses", "Jesus Christ", or "Joseph Smith".

    Whatever VoR.

    I'm all in favor of having "all things in common",
    you are opposed it.

    Let's see you gets it right, and who gets it wrong...

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    re JoeCapitalist2
    Orem, UT

    Our nation is deeply in debt, and we have obligations that need to be met.

    Question is who pays?

    Assuming taxes need to be increased, do we increase them on those most able to pay or least able? Do we increase taxes on those taking more than their contribution or less than their contribution?

    Just because a CEO is able to golf and is buddies with the board of directors, does this entitle them to take more of the pie than they have contributed, making it necessary that other must take less of the pie than they have contributed?

    These are questions I ask myself and I have my answers, and its clear you have yours.

    So far as the free market is concerned. It is a wonderful invention. I see no reason however to not improve it if/when it needs improvement. That same logic applies to anything that exists.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    So...Moses also practiced polygamy and the old Mosaic law - I guess that means you support those too. That's a common, albeit lazy, comparative argument put forth by liberals who are arguing against passages they don't like in the scriptures (homosexuality, etc.), but I thought I'd throw it out there to see if a good Open Minded Mormon was open minded enough to let the other side use it as well.

    Jesus Christ was certainly no Socialist or Communist; he commanded us to share with our neighbors as a PERSONAL decision, not a government-imposed mandate. You may have noticed that Communism always - without exception - leads to corruption with power being concentrated in the hands of unaccountable dictators...excuse me, "custodians for the people". Joseph Smith taught the same principle regarding the real common good that Jesus did. In short, the United Order, which I assume you're referring to, was based on inspired guidance and personal choice; no government or central coercion was ever intended to be enforced. That is a big, big difference often lost on modern collectivists.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 23, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    Voice of Reason
    Layton, UT

    I know were I stand.
    I know what God's intent is.
    Even FAMILIES are Socialist/Communist.
    I've lived the principles under different circumstances [the U.S. Military, LDS Mission, a Family, and in other countries.]
    I have no problem with it.

    You have your choice, You have your agency.
    I'm just stating I have NO prolem, and NO reservations living it.

    And If you seriously believe it will be "the Church" that authorizes the United Order in the Millenium - you might want to re-read prophecy.

    There will still be a seperation between Church and State.
    However, they will be more in-synch -- inclduing Socialial/Economic re-distrubtion of Wealth, and Having All-Things-in-common.
    180 degrees and diametrically opposed to your Ultra-Conservative dog-eat-dog, only the strong survive, Capitalism.

    Once again I ask:

    Let's see you gets it right, and who gets it wrong...

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" again with the iles. Familes are not Socialist/Communist, nor is the Military, or LDS missions.

    DO your children have equal access and ownership of your property? Is all money held equally with all members of the family?

    The Military is not communist, just look at the pay scales and the difference in how high ranking officers are treated vs. enlisted.

    Do missionaries own personal property? If you answer yes, then they cannot be socialist or communist. Are missionaries and their families forced to pay for their mission.

    If that isn't enough proof, we know for certain that communism/socialism cannot ever be part of the LDS church or part of God's plan for families because the Prophets have denounced it.

    The Prophet Heber J. Grant, in 1936 declared "Communism is not the United Order, and bears only the most superficial resemblance thereto....Communism being thus hostile to loyal American citizenship and incompatible with true Church membership, of necessity no loyal American citizen and no faithful Church member can be a Communist."

    Seems quite clear that Communism not compatible with LDS church membership.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    My last post on this topic due to the DesNews four submission policy.

    Empty Minded Mormon: I think you misunderstand the United Order. The "all things common" principle was an abject failure. For example, people sometimes went into other people's homes and took things they needed or wanted. They thought they had just as much right to it as the possessor. Because of this common problem, United Orders started to include rules prohibiting this. (An example of that rule is at the Church History Museum in the ZCMI store.)

    Under Joseph Smith, the guiding principles were consecration and stewardship. Possessions were DEEDED and if someone left the church, they took their deeded property with them because they owned it.

    Industry was a key part of the equation. Multiple times, the D&C chastises people who will not work. It says they are not entitled to the fruits of others' labors.

    I suggest instead of cherry picking scripture that supports your existing biases, you study with an open mind and accept all input, even if it contradicts your current paradigm. Maybe then you will be humble enough to doubt your own rightness just a little bit.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    "The real difference between democracy and oligarchy is poverty and wealth. Wherever men rule by reason of their wealth, whether they be few or many, that is an oligarchy, and where the poor rule, that is democracy."
    Aristotle

    "An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics."
    Plato

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    It was interesting over the weekend to hear pro golfer Phil Mickelson complain about the new 60% tax in California. Yes 60% of his tax category goes to socialist Governor Jerry Brown and the rest of the Marxists in California. Can you imagine having 60% of your pay check evaporating before your eyes!!! Yes Phil still has a lot left over but that isn't the point. The point is Phil earned the money (ALL OF IT) but communist wealth redistribution in California has decided that Phil has made enough and some other lazy loafer deserves Phil's money. This is Obama-nomics in action. The American dream is up in smoke!!!

  • jmort SLO, CA
    Jan. 23, 2013 1:29 p.m.

    @redshirt "Seems quite clear that Communism not compatible with LDS church membership."

    Hmm... then why are we building Temples in communist countries (like in East Germany in 1985) and encouraging communists to become members (and also encouraging them to follow their communistic laws after joining)? I'm guessing the church has thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of members who practice communism. Please let us know if you know of any rule that disallows communists from becoming members, receiving a temple recommend, etc.

    I invite you to retract your false statement and join the real world.

    @Patriot
    Successful people like Phil Mickelson and Mitt Romney can live anywhere they choose, so why do they choose Communist California over Utah? Why do zero no billionaires retire to Utah?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    To "jmort" communism is not compatible with church membership. Temple building is. How hard is that to figure out?

    What do you mean by "members who practice communism"? Are you implying that they are full believers in communism or that they simply live in communist countries? If it is the simple fact that they live in communist countries, read the Articles of Faith to understand why they live under communist rule.

    How about this rule. If you sympathize with or affiliate with organizations that are contrary to LDS teachings you cannot get a temple recommend. You can lie during your temple recommend interview if you want, but I don't like it.

    What was false? You have your opinion, and I am only stating the words of prophets and official church doctrine.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    2 Curmudgeon

    When exactly is it Ham? And does it come w/ a side of Potato Salad?

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    "If you sympathize with or affiliate with organizations that are contrary to LDS teachings you cannot get a temple recommend."

    Oh please. You can be a member of the communist party and still get an LDS temple recommend.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 23, 2013 2:43 p.m.

    re:Patriot
    Mickelson exaggerated.

    "Phil Mickelson has apologized for saying Sunday that he would be making "drastic changes" in his life due to new federal and state tax laws that he said would take away more than 60% of his income
    Mickelson said in a statement to Fox News on Monday that he was sorry if he "upset or insulted" anyone with his comments and that he is currently trying to learn more about the new tax laws in order to make informed decisions."
    (LA Times 1/22/2013)

    Millionaires pay higher taxes in NY and Hawaii than in CA.
    (Rates for those making over $1M increased recently from 10.3% to 13.3%, and for those making over $250,000 from 9.3% to 10.3%).

    re:Redshirt
    When a flat tax is instituted it means the lower and middle class will have to pay higher taxes, such as paying a 24% "sales/VAT" tax on purchases, in order to maintain the same revenue. Some countries also have federal property taxes. Already the lower and middle class pay a greater percentage of income in taxes (taking into account payroll, excise, sales taxes) than do the wealthy.

  • jmort SLO, CA
    Jan. 23, 2013 2:50 p.m.

    @redshirt

    "What do you mean by "members who practice communism"? Are you implying that they are full believers in communism or that they simply live in communist countries?"

    I' m talking about full-on communists who belong to the communist party and think it's great. And while were at it, let's add socialists who live in all those socialist Northern European countries and love socialism. Can all these communists and socialists be be members or not?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 2:53 p.m.

    To "Truthseeker" wow are you grasping at straws.

    The issue is equality in taxation.

    If you pay a flat income tax and have a VAT tax are you being taxed equally? Why or why not?

    If you say that it is not equal taxation, please describe a system that would represent equal taxation.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 23, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    re:RedShirt
    "The issue is equality in taxation."

    Define equality.
    Is equality everybody pays the same amount on the same level of income?

    Theoretically (absent the loopholes etc that have crept into the tax code) that is what we have with a progressive tax system. You, I, millionaires, pay x amount on $50,000 of income, y amount on the next $100,000 etc.

    Or is equality defined by the percentage of income paid in taxes? If payroll, excise, sales taxes aren't taken into account in determining total taxes as a percent of income that doesn't seem equal does it?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 4:34 p.m.

    To "Truthseeker" there is no truely equal taxation. A flat tax comes the closest. Progressive tax systems are not equal because some pay a higher percent of their income than others.

    You still have not defined equality in taxation. Equality is treating everybody the same. Now how do you do that with taxes?

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 8:13 p.m.

    re: RedShirt 4:34 p.m. Jan. 23, 2013

    Tax Equality? Tax consumption not income i.e. the sales tax on food.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 23, 2013 10:07 p.m.

    As Redshirt concedes, there is "no truly equal taxation". And as we established yesterday on this board, nobody in the industrialized 'first' world uses a flat tax. Our progressive tax system is fair enough (it taxes the same amounts of income at the same rates and is no respecter of persons), but more importantly, it raises the necessary revenue (if rates are set high enough) to fund modern governments operating in modern economies.
    As much as Redshirt lauds the regressive flat tax, I am confident he will not convince us to dismantle our successful economy and return with him to the middle ages in thought or lifestyle.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 12:34 a.m.

    Many of the rich stach their money in the Caymans and laugh at you.