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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Deep Space 9, Ut

To those whining about what is the richs fair share? They already pay 80% or more of all income taxes, while the bottom 50% pay either $0 in income taxes or have negative tax rates so they get more than they pay.

You should find the parenting article titled Thats not Fair. It used to be on MSN, but is available at other websites now too. You sound just like the kids they describe. The author says "Whose kids havent at one point hollered, Thats not FAIR! when they felt cheated out of their supposed share of something?" That sounds like you and others like you.

They go on by stating "Early on, fairness is typically defined in one of two ways: with everyone getting exactly the same thing, or the child getting everything he or she wants....Fairness is a perception about what is deserved or agreed upon, Rode says. It is sometimes very unfair to make things equal."

So, do we need to help you learn that life isn't "fair", and that you cannot ever have a "fair" system of taxation.

Deep Space 9, Ut

Here is something else to think about. With 44% of congress being classified as millionaires, do you honestly think that they are going to allow anything to pass that will cut into their own wealth, and the wealth of the people who fund their political endeavors?

Kaysville, Utah

It is important to remember when we are discussing the rich and poor that there are two different figures at play.

The first is wealth, or the amount of money and assets that a person has. This article was about a study that looked at the distribution of wealth in this country, which is skewed heavily due to the the lack of substantial savings in the majority of households.

The second is income, or the amount of money you earn in a given year. This is the amount that is usually taxed.

So, when we say that we are taxing the wealthy, we're really taxing the high earners (regardless of their assets), and when we are talking about the huge disparity in wealth then we're not addressing the amount of money that these people are making.

That means that, after all this hand-wringing, the only fact that matters is that the percent of total wealth owned by the top quartile doubled. And that probably means that the savings in the middle and bottom were significantly reduced.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

Drop the current corporate tax rate to zero.

Make all of those who pay no tax now pay half of their income (including all entitlement income) as a tax.

This should make corporations happy, because they are people too.

re-Publicans should be happy as well, although you never can be sure.

Salt Lake City, Utah

The tax system has been restructured by virtually every president since Ronald Reagan including President Obama to give the wealthy further advantages in exchange for them being the "job creators". What has that led to? It certainly hasn't led to jobs. But it has led to the rich controlling a significantly greater portion of the wealth while at the same time the poor have gotten poorer, and the middle class is quickly becoming the lower class. We can "spin" it anyway we want, we can blame anyone we want, but the rich have been advantaged, and they have taken advantage. Is it morally right or wrong, we can argue that, but we cannot argue that the idea of trickle down economics that has been and is still the mainstay of the republican party has been an utter failure, for everyone but those at the top.

Columbus, OH

Chris B,

You name me one thing a US corporation has produced that doesn't initially come out of the nation's resources. You can't make something from nothing. The only things our companies make that don't come from this nation's resources were purchased from another nation, using this nation's resources. What do you think the money you earn at work represents, but a portion of the nation's resources.

Railroad barons used the nation's lumber, mined the nation's ore, and exploited cheap labor to build their fortunes. Their great-grandchildren fall into the category of people you are defending. Other disparities in our social contract: Our system allows for an inequitable education system. Allocating many of the funds locally leads to affluent neighborhoods providing the best education which leads to acceptance into the best universities which leads to more money. What if all school children got equal educations and the actual smartest got into the best universities and jobs?

Our nation's economy is weak. Who should we be seeking to reward and encourage...those who have money, or those that do the most to get the economy to rebound?

Cedar Hills, UT

time to re-distribute that wealth.. and of course those that support BO get the biggest piece of the pie... after all it's the socialist way!!

Fred Vader
Oklahoma City, OK

Republicans don't want to increase the tax rate to the wealthy 1%; in other words forcefully taking money from those that have, to give that those who don't. Got it.

Democrats do want to increase the tax rate to the wealthy 1%; in other words, requiring those who have more to give to those who have less. Got it.

How about this as a compromise: Change the tax code to allow those wealthy 1% who want to redistribute their wealth through more taxes to voluntarily be able to do so. Problem solved, no?

Sounds like there are plenty of wealthy 1 percenters who are just chomping at the bit (i.e. Warren Buffet, President Obama, etc) to be able to pay more in taxes. Let's change the tax code to allow them to do it.

If it doesn't generate enough government revenue, we can always revisit the forcefully taking it idea later.

Cedar Hills, UT

I'm starting to hear another talking point from the DNC media and the lemmings on left are parroting it..."the tea party republicans." Pass it on.

Now lets get back to punishing people for getting a good education, working harder than the rest and making a good living. They cannot deserve wealth! Can they?

Fred Vader
Oklahoma City, OK

I think I read somewhere once that even if we took every penny held by the wealthy 1%, added it all together, and put it into the goverment coffers, that at the rate we are spending today, it wouldn't even put a small dent into the actual debt the we have currently.

Anyone know if that is valid? If so, how is taxing more going to make any difference if our spending habits are going to remain the same or worse?

Salt Lake City, UT

If there is such a thing as class warfare... the rich started it and they intent to continue it, whining about their supposedly burdensome tax levels while insisting we need to "expand the tax base".

"this article had a nice twist that is very deceptive. "

Facts are an inconvenient thing and the fact is the income and wealth gaps are widening.

"I see nothing in the article nor any of the comments that say how taxing the rich more will help the handy-man raise himself out of the working poor and into the middle class."

It won't, but wealthy people hoarding wealth hasn't done a thing to help create jobs the past decade, and since they're gaining in wealth they seem to be doing well, with our massive deficits being an issue of concern, the least harmful place to cut or tax to help reduce debt is to get rid of the bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

"BO chased them offshore with the EPA, Obamacare, and the NLRB. "

How did obama do that? When he got into office it was -700k/month, now we have an 18 month streak of gaining or not losing jobs.

safety dictates, ID

Fred Vader | 1:02 p.m. Sept. 27, 2011
Oklahoma City, OK
"I think I read somewhere once that even if we took every penny held by the wealthy 1%, added it all together, and put it into the goverment coffers, that at the rate we are spending today, it wouldn't even put a small dent into the actual debt the we have currently."

Lets try it and see.

Salt Lake City, UT

"I recall an economics professor telling me one cause of the great depression was too much money was concentrated in too few hands. And those who had money could not spend it fast enough to sustain economic growth. "

I agree with him. In 1928 the top 20% owned 50% of the wealth. After WWII that fell to ~30% and stayed there until 1980. Then it went up until 2007 it hit 47% of wealth owned by the top 20%. Coincidence? Doubtful.

"One point that won't leave my mind is a large contributing factor to the wealth distribution came with the bail-outs. "

I think you're right to some extent. Since it was 47% in 2007 the condition of too much wealth in too few was present before the bailouts. Over the past couple years I think wealth concentration at the top has actually fallen to something like 43-45%. I think your point with the bailouts is that without them the wealth concentration at the top would have fallen even farther.

Columbus, OH

Fred Vader,

Certainly taxing the most wealthy cannot be the only solution. There's no way that the money generated by raising their tax level (at least to the rates instituted by Reagan) could possibly offset the spending this nation incurred in Iraq. Spending needs to be reigned in...that much is clear. Particularly within the defense department, which has essentially enjoyed a blank check.

But the taxes on the rich could go to programs that might actually help the economy...small business loans that actually create jobs (unlike the myth of the millionaire just chomping at the bit to free up some money to create some jobs), education grants to help our working class compete on a global scale, or other similar projects.

If Republicans really are serious about fixing the economy, why did they balk at Obama's proposal to create a 100% tax writeoff for expenditures directly related to job creation (new hiring, equipment modernization, etc)?

Salt Lake City, UT

"How is the capital gains tax double taxation when you only pay tax on the GAIN? "

That's exactly what I thought when I read Stu's (Glenn Beck's producer or whatever) list of reasons why Buffett was wrong. He claimed it was double taxation when I don't see how that could be true.

@lost in DC
"what right have you to someone else's wealth?"

I think that's what future generations are asking ALL of us. You're not innocent in this either, you're stealing from them. I on the other hand want the bush tax cuts repealed for everyone, including myself. Then I want to end the wars, cut defense spending by a third, and then balance the budget with other spending cuts.

Kearns, UT

Clearly, the way to fix this is to cut taxes, especially for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. Not to mention unregulate the financial markets allowing the wealthiest Americans free rein again to pillage and plunder with our money.

It was to work, this time around. Right Republicans?

Under Clinton, the middle class was extremely strong, actually gaining ground on the rich. All while the rich were still rich, and still increased their net worth.

Once Republicans got control back, the rich continued to get richer, while the middle class has become poor.

Those are just the facts. No matter how much Republicans don't want to accept them.

The rich will always be rich. What actually benefits the rich even more, and makes them even richer, is a strong middle class.

  • 1:26 p.m. Sept. 27, 2011
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Springville, UT

And yet the right wing and the tea party continue the trend, blindly supporting those who are slowing squeezing the life out of them.

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

How does taxing the rich more bring those people in poverty, out of poverty?

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

"For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.
Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment."
(Doctrine & Covenants 104:17-18)

It's interesting how the political right claims the moral high ground and then picks and chooses which one of God's commandments they will follow. I know, some will say that this scripture was intended for the united order only. There is the spirit and the letter of the law, however, and we are not to be commanded in all things. There is a widening gap between rich and poor. The pride cycle is alive and well in America. We all know how that story ends.

Centerville, UT

If I earn two dollars an hour and spend only one dollar, and save the other dollar, and you earn two dollars an hour and spend two dollars, then by common logic, I will be wealthier than you. After a year of this, you now want to tax me at a higher tax rate, because I am earning interest on what I didn't spend and have more wealth than you. As a marxist you claim I have used the nations resources and you are entitled to my wealth. And you complain about the corporations taking money.

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