Comments about ‘Gap widens between U.S. rich, poor as top 1 percent controls 25 percent of wealth’

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Published: Tuesday, Sept. 27 2011 9:00 a.m. MDT

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Salem, UT

We insist on voting like a rich person and then living poor- the great American paradox

West Valley, UT

@Rifleman: Please go tell the single mother holding down two jobs to support her kids that she's not working as hard as the CEO of a multi-million dollar company. Live a day in her shoes and you'll tell a different story.

Colorado Springs, CO

@Lost in DC: Now post the increase in jobs from 11/07 to 1/09. Or do you only want to use numbers that support your opinion?

ute alumni
Tengoku, UT

sounds like Bush's fault

Salt Lake City, UT

The problem with such analysis is two fold. One it fails to accurately depict what is the upper middle class. This group have increased their wealth significantly over the past thirty years. Second, it is an apple to oranges comparison in that it compares wealth of the wealthy to what is mostly income to the poor and low middle class. Income comparisons are much less skewed. But, given the most valuable wealth many acquire is their home, and the decline in those values and loss through the recession has greatly reduced wealth in the middle, low and poor economic classes. Income escalation on the asset rich wealthy will do almost nothing to reverse this. What is need is a wealth accumulation program for these classes. This could include forgiving their debt, ending all tax on any of their capital gains, and their meager savings in IRA's, saving accounts etc. And, promoting balanced lower public sector spending, with the funds made available from such focused on growth of private sector economic activiites here.

Anti Government
Alpine, UT

While there is little doubt about the rich getting rich I find it comical that the Dims/Libs incessantly whine about all the tax breaks the rich get.

Considering the bottom 40% of American taxpayers pay a combined negative 8% in federal income taxes (yes your read correctly..we give them money) it would be pretty difficult for people getting money back from the govt each year to use loopholes and deductions to reduce their tax bill....that they aren't paying to begin with.

Do you get it yet? Of course the rich use loopholes and deductions to try to reduce their tax bill because they are the ones paying taxes. Duh.

IRS statistics show that the bottom 80% of Americans pay 10.4% of all federal income tax collected.

The top .1% of Americans pay 16.4% of all federal income tax collected. This same .1% of top earners pay an average rate of 31% and their average tax bill is 1.1 million.

So the bottom pay nothing and get refunds to boot. The top .1% are paying 31% and yet they are "...not paying their fair share"? What?

Redistribution of wealth won't work. We need other solutions.

Salt Lake City, UT

'Only problem is that the poor aren't willing to put forth the same effort that the rich did who earned it.' - Rifleman | 10:52 a.m. Sept. 27, 2011


*'Education is key in helping low-income children move beyond poor' - By Elizabeth Stuart, Deseret News - 11/28/10

Utah state action?

*'Utah Legislature: Lawmaker proposes ending affirmative action in higher education' - By Josh Smith - DSNews - 02/12/10

'Rep. Curtis Oda, R-Clearfield, is proposing legislation that would forbid state agencies, contractors, universities and colleges from providing preference based on race....'

And yet:

*'Income gap between black, white families grows' - AP - 11/13/07

'Thirty-year study shows household income growing, but not at same rate's'

Rifleman, please explain how a minority in Utah makes, average, 30% LESS THAN a person of the majority...

and how they are 'not trying hard enough.'

Must be nice....

Good day.

Columbus, OH

"what right have you to someone else's wealth? What gives you the right to go to someone who has taken significant risks and by hard work and maybe a little good fortune..."

I always find it entertaining when the very same people who are trying to protect the wealthy's money defend it based on them having to take the "risks" to get it. Yet this is the same political side taking away benefits from Police officers, firefighters, and veterans (see: Wisconsin and Ohio). You tell me who takes more "risks." Most of those "risks" come at a direct cost to the country. Often they involve opening new markets, engaging in mergers, and slashing workforces. These people "risk" the wealth they acquired by the sweat of their workers' brows to find cheaper labor in another country and to leave those very same workers without jobs. Then they cry to Washington that it's "unfair" to them when those same workers need government assistance and ask to get some of the wealth they created back.

St. George, UT

How come the people who complain about "class warfare" are always the people who are winning it?

Bluffdale, UT

simple way out. get rid of income tax get fereral sales tax get rid of all right offs and corporate wellfare. like money for oil companies that wont build enough refineries for the fuel they have anyway. coporate farm subsidies, the list is huge. the rich get theses breaks for nothing other than pure coroption.

St. George, UT

There are two things that the Book of Mormon makes pretty clear:

1) King Benjamin says we are all poor beggars, and if we jump to judgment about the cause of someone's poverty, we're hypocrites as well.

2) One of the most consistent markers of a corrupt society is one in which wealth is valued above morality, in which the poor are exploited, and--most of all--in which the gap between the rich and the poor is widest.

Durham, NC

This bogus "wanting someone elses wealth" and "redistribution of wealth" argument is so old and tired - and frankly over used to the point of being just background noise.

Progressive tax systems have been a staple of capitalism since its dawn with Adam Smith. Stop pretending it hasn't. In fact, this is the least progressive the tax structure has been in a century.

The poor pay the same FICA everyone esle does. They pay the same property tax and sales\use taxes everyone does. Their employers pay the same employee taxes do on their higher paid employes. These are all flat taxes. To say the working poor doesn't pay taxes is just another line of fiction the conservatives like to spin trying to demonize those who they feel to been a drain on society.

No one is asking to "soak it to the rich". The only ones making those claims are the conservatives themselves, most of whom are no where near the income range to have this impact them, or anyone they know.

I am in the highest tax bracket, and trust me, I am not hurting because of my tax burden. Broken government is hurting far more.

Iowa City, IA

Pagan | 9:55 a.m. Sept. 27, 2011
"Where, are the jobs?"

This is an easy one. I'll just play the game the same way President Obama does:

Surely, unemployment would have been much worse if the tax cuts hadn't been extended. Even better, the unemployment rate has dropped nearly a half percentage point since the tax cuts were extended, so they must be doing what they were supposed to, right?

9.5%+ unemployment all of last year
9.8% in December 2010
(Bush Tax Cuts extended on Dec. 17, 2010)
9.4% in January 2011
8.8-9.2% since

I'm sure you'll have no trouble accepting this coincidence-based argument as quickly as you accept similar coincidence-based arguments from the President concerning his stimulus success.


Bluffdale, UT

we should call the really wealthy what they are robber barrons. look back at how bill gates made his fortune. force and theft. law suit lost to novell word stolen from word pefect. many soft ware companies forced out by them dont buy it or you cant have windows and many other things but big money buys courts and our elected. they were going to break up microsoft but a higher court threw it out. I wonder why? money. this whole country now says values instead of ideals, principles and morals. capitalistic propaganda just like communistic.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

The tea party wants to make it wider with the no new taxes on the top one percent. Obviously, the top one percent is funding the tea party.

Iowa City, IA

Also, Pagan,

I'm curious about your race and education arguments. You share an article that highlights how income is increasing at different rates for different demographics at a time when affirmative action plans are in place. You then assume that taking away affirmative action plans would have an adverse impact on those statistics. You fail to provide any sort of evidence that affirmative action plans are actually having their intended overall equalizing effect (or that they do not have any "learned helplessness" effects).

You also share an AP article that refers to national income trends, and then erroneously attribute the number to the state of Utah. National averages show effects across the nation as a whole, but you can't assume that every state experiences the same effects.

Of course, you would probably have known better if you had taken the time to read more than just headlines.

Farmington, UT

I could favor taxing the extreme wealthy at a higher rate.
But please, let's wait another year until we have a new president who isn't chomping at the bit to spend this additional "revenue."

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT


Your logic is terribly flawed. "A nation's resources belong to its people"

There are some resources that are the nation's resouces and there are others that are my resources. And your resources.

If the US has large oil deposits(which we do) those are the nation's resources.

If you go to work tomorrow and earn x number of dollars. Those are your resources.

You should then be charged taxes according what which of the nation's resources you use.

Why should you pay taxes to cover the resources you use and those I use?

Again -

Please tell me next time you're going shopping.

If you make more money than me I'm going to force you to pay for most of my groceries.

Please let me know.


I'm going to work less and contribute less to society because I know ultimately you will be responsible for buying my groceries.

Thank you

St. George, UT

Several people on here have claimed the wealthy should not pay taxes on money they put at "risk" through investments.

Aside from all the other sacrifices everyone else makes every day to do their job, this argument falls short because it fails to address the extremity of the current situation: when the rich reach a certain level of wealth, they have enough money to hedge every bet they make.

Who is taking the bigger "risk"? A billionaire hedge fund manager who decides to "risk" a fraction of his wealth by buying stock in this or that company, which risk does not endanger his quality of life in the least? Or an unemployed person who takes the "risk" of putting gas in the tank in order to get to a job interview, in hopes that by the end of the month he'll have a paycheck with which to buy groceries?

This heroicizing of the rich has gotten ridiculous. There's nothing heroic about clicking around on your E-Trade account. Nothing wrong with it, but it is no more virtuous or worthy of respect than any of the less glamorous jobs that poor people bust their butts to do every day.

Spanish Fork, UT

I would very much like to have a thumbs down button on this site.

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