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Readers' forum: Blame our tax laws

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  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    Feb. 2, 2012 6:39 p.m.

    Anyone who believes that Romney ONLY pays 15 or 14 percent income tax is a complete moron. As he needlessly disclosed, much of his money is held in investments of Stocks or shares of ownership in other companies. Those companies pay income taxes using the profits made with HIS money. Thus HIS money is paying additional taxes within other companies. I believe that is part of the reason that capital gains taxes are lower.
    This whole argument is just going round and round about class envy. Joes Blow talks a good game, but put your money where your mouth is. Always the first thing out of your mouth is tax increases and then tax cuts. Tax increases are easy, and they have been tried over and over and over. None of your fearless leftist leaders congress are talking spending cuts. NONE of them. Get them on board and get it started, then Republicans will come part way with some specific limited tas increases. The leftists need to get real for once.

  • Uncle Charles Where freedom and liberty reign, utah
    Feb. 2, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    ---

    @LDS Lib: that's great that you keep a list of your good works. I don't.

    I also thought you were a Registered Libertarian, not a BleedingHeart Liberal. How you confuse those 2 ideologies is amazing. So you are a Ron Paul fan -- I never knew.

    No one ever said charity is money except the Left. Charity is a state of being.

    Pride and Greed by the Right? As usual you are confused on the facts. Who steals from their neighbors to make things equal? Who runs around the country telling each group of Americans they are in front of what government has and can do for them?

    It's not greed to want to reap what one sows without government stealing from me. It's commonsense. I get to choose who I assist with my extra funds, not you or the government. Government does it to buy votes. Why do you think Blacks continue to vote Democratic for so many decades? They are promised all sorts of freebies by Democratic politicians.

    Don't worry though, my volunteerism and assistance given rivals yours --- I just don't put it forward to thump my chest. All I asked is what you pay in taxes.

  • Utah Soldier Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 1, 2012 5:58 p.m.

    @ LDS Liberal

    If you paid 23-27% of your income in taxes, your are either pretty rich, or you have a bad accountant.

    I made just shy of 200K last year and paid just under 18K in taxes, or less than 10%. I think that Mitt paying almost 15% is paying his fair share.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 1, 2012 5:26 p.m.

    @Alfred

    "A distinction without a difference."

    really? one includes involuntary enlistment during a time when the draft was being enforced when the military required more men, meaning that due to Romney's draft dodging someone else had to go unwillingly in his place. The second is during a time when there was no draft and is purely a volunteer transaction meaning no one had to go unwillingly in Obama's place. I would call that a distinction with a pretty significant difference.

  • Alfred Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2012 12:46 p.m.

    LDS Liberal:

    "There is a difference between not enlisting, and Draft Dodging. Gingrich and Obama didn't enlist -- Romney Dodged the Draft."

    A distinction without a difference.

    If you didn't serve, you didn't serve... regardless of the reasons.

    If Romney didn't serve he got deferments in accordance with federal law. He likely got a church mission deferment followed by a marriage deferment (married in 1969) then a family deferment (son born in 1970).

    Newt? He likely got a marriage deferment, then an age exemption.

    Obama? Had no draft law to dodge.

    Guys like you would have Romney pay tax rates not in accordance with the law and serve in the military regardless of federal deferment/exemption laws.

    "It was an article in yesterday's Deseret News - blame them for the garbage."

    DNews doesn't always get it right.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 1, 2012 10:21 a.m.

    @Uncle Charles | 9:32 a.m. Feb. 1, 2012

    OK - you asked.
    Normally I don't share this, but I'm tired of the whacky Rightaccusing us BleedingHeartLiberals of being less giving.

    For 2011 I have both Obama AND Romney beat --

    My tax "rat" rate was about 23% (the year before was closer to 27%)
    My charitible contibutions was 17% --
    10+% tithing,
    2% Humanitarian,
    1% Perpetual Education,
    1% Japanese Tsunami relief
    2% UnitedWay,
    and
    1% Boy Scouts of America.

    Not to mention helping support my elderly parents and divorced sister,
    Deseret Industries donations,
    the 100+ hours at the Bishop's Store House,
    The 4 BoysScout camps I attened [and it's NOT my Churchcalling],
    Sheetrocking my HomeTeaching family's entire basement,
    The Blessings I did atthe VA hospital,
    helping transients get off the street helping find food&shelter at local homeless shelters [I wish the Church sponsored our own, instead we help by supporting others],
    the weekoff cleaning up after the wind Storm,
    Helping
    and the 1/2 dozentimes I cleaned theBountiful Temple and our StakeCenter.

    FYI - Charity isn't $$$

    The Pride & Greed by the Right has no limits. It's actually quite sickening to witness.

    OK - now, it's your turn.
    And be HONEST.

  • Uncle Charles Where freedom and liberty reign, utah
    Feb. 1, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    ----

    hutterite asks, "Jim, do you voluntarily pay more to reduce the national debt? Not that 'riled' eh?"

    Thank you for exposing the hypocrisy of the Left on this issue. Has anyone on the Left who is clamoring for higher taxes on the rich to make things fair, pulled out their checkbook and sent a check to the IRS of their own accord?

    Gates? Buffet? Obama? Pelosi? Schumer? Frank? Durbin? Reid?

    Any of them? Have they told their CPA to stop using the current tax laws so they can pay more? Nope.

    @LDS Lib: Obama paid a higher percent of AGI than Mitt did last year and that is the only time that has happened. Go look at Obama's returns for the past 8 years or so and you find minuscule amounts donated to charity. Look at Biden's and I can give $10 today and beat him in charitable donations.

    Don't go thumping your chest too much because as soon as Obama is out of office he'll go back to his minuscule donation amounts.

    btw, what were your tax rats and donation amounts?

    The coveting by the Left has no limits. It's actually quite sickening to witness.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Feb. 1, 2012 8:15 a.m.

    "the fact is not mentioned that before Romney gets his chunk of his pie, the corporate taxes have to be paid at 35%, then he gets paid his chunk and pays 15%... so that is already 50%"

    Possible, but not likely.

    If I buy a stock at $10 and sell it for $100, There is no corporate tax involved. Only the 15% that I pay.

    Now, admittedly, one may have paid earned tax on the $10.

    But, if I then go buy more stock with the $90 gain, and make $900, I effectively have a $990 gain and the ONLY tax paid is 15 %.

    So, I may have paid 35% on $10, but the only tax paid on the $990 was 15%. No corp tax involved.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 1, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    Alfred | 1:07 a.m. Feb. 1, 2012
    Salt Lake City, UT

    Mitt was a draft dodger. That's gonna come up later in the campaign to haunt him, you can count on it."

    Was Gingrich in the military? Obama?

    [There is a difference between not enlisting, and Draft Dodging. Gingrich and Obama didn't enlist -- Romney Dodged the Draft.]

    ---------------

    "And I read last night that Obama donated more than Mitt did to charity, Ouch!"

    Then, you read wrong. Stop reading the Democrat talking point garbage.

    [It was an article in yesterday's Deseret News - blame them for the garbage.]

  • Alfred Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2012 1:07 a.m.

    @Esquire:

    "They are just using him as an example of your point, that the tax system is messed up and unfair."

    Indeed it is. Taxes are too high for the middle class. And almost 50 percent of the American population pays no income taxes whatever. In fact some not only pay no taxes, they get refunds under the Earned Income Credit provisions of the tax code.

    "Even $374,000 isn't very much money. Talk about tone deaf!"

    Did you say the same thing about John Edwards of John Kerry when they were running for president?

    @LDS Liberal:

    "Mitt was a draft dodger. That's gonna come up later in the campaign to haunt him, you can count on it."

    Was Gingrich in the military? Obama?

    "And I read last night that Obama donated more than Mitt did to charity, Ouch!"

    Then, you read wrong. Stop reading the Democrat talking point garbage.

  • Mr. Bean Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2012 12:40 a.m.

    @embarrassed Utahn!:

    "I realized this prevaricator has no integrity and no business thinking he's fit to lead our country."

    I suppose you would think an admitted adulterer who served divorce papers on his wives on their sick beds should be the leader of our country.

    Or, perhaps you prefer the 'hope and change' guy who can't seem to manage his way out of a paper bag let alone run a country. So far, he's added over $5 trillion to our national debt in just three years, and raised our unemployment to over nine percent.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2012 12:33 a.m.

    "It riles me to see the media and other sources chastise Mitt Romney for paying 15 percent of his income on his tax return."

    It riles me as well.

    Romney should not be expected to pay more taxes than the IRS code requires... nor is anyone else. The tax rate he pays is the capital gains and corporate dividend rates.

    As for corporate dividends, the corporation pays taxes on net profit before dividend distribution to stockholders. So, technically the corporate gain is double taxed... once before distribution and once after distribution.

    "The real culprits are the current tax laws that we have in this country."

    The real culprit, if there is one, is the US Congress who develops and enacts tax law.

    And, speaking of culprits... Americans who pay no tax falls in that category. And that amounts to nearly 50 percent of the American population. We can't have half the country not paying their way. Everyone should pay some income taxes.

  • MiddleRight Orem, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 11:32 p.m.

    Interesting the fact is not mentioned that before Romney gets his chunk of his pie, the corporate taxes have to be paid at 35%, then he gets paid his chunk and pays 15%... so that is already 50%, You want to raise that up 15% more to35% corporate and 30% personal so it is an additive tax of 65% on that same money.

    At least when those "Dirty rich guys" have it they like to pay people to supply them with goods and services, while when Uncle Sam gets it it mostly gets sucked into a black hole.

  • George Bronx, NY
    Jan. 31, 2012 10:07 p.m.

    @mike richards

    once again mike he has clearly stated more then once that he thinks taxes should return to what they where just prior to Bush's "temporary" tax cuts and that capital gains taxes should be at 30% which is only 2% higher then they where under reagan. I hope you understand that you are just reinforcing my original point about your inability to have an honest discussion.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 9:38 p.m.

    To "George" you are wrong. The top 10% of earners get 50% of the wages, yet pay 70% of all taxes. If you look at the average spent by various tax brackets, the system is already working so that the top income brackets pay the most. The question is how much is enough? How many times do you want to tax a person's money before you have taken enough to satisfy yourself?

    To "Truthseeker" prove it. When you do that, also include any government benefits into that person's income. Then tell me just how much income is lost to taxes.

    The moderates are the ones who are causing the problems. We need a Congress that is willing to GIVE UP power and remove useless laws that impede businesses.

    To "JoeBlow" the top 10% already pay enough in taxes. Ideally a flat tax or else a progressive tax system that is significantly less complex would be great.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 6:32 p.m.

    Jim, do you voluntarily pay more to reduce the national debt? Not that 'riled' eh?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 31, 2012 3:48 p.m.

    George,

    At what point is "enough" really enough? Is 95% "fair" to you? It was to FDR. Who's to say that Obama would stop at 35% or 50% or 75%. When has he ever told us what "enough" means to him.

    If a man will take another man's property, disproportionately, he cannot be trusted. When 50% of the people either pay no income tax or get back more than they paid, everyone except the non-observant can see that Washington is buying votes and promising that proverbial "chicken in every pot". Just what does "redistribution of wealth" mean to you? We know what it meant to Karl Marx: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need".

    You can defend a President who continually tells us the sky is falling and that Congress must act without due deliberation, but then when he is asked to act, he claims that he couldn't possibly make a decision on the pipeline without more time - presumably after the election. I choose to criticize him. When he's serious about that pipeline, perhaps a few people might think he serious about promoting job creation.

    Until then, he's just blowing smoke.

  • Jl Sandy, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 3:22 p.m.

    If one listens to our good conservative friends you would get the impression that adjusting tax rates would put Romney and his band of renowns in the poor house. If it does I'll save him a chair. He'll be with real Americans for a change.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Jan. 31, 2012 2:58 p.m.

    Redshirt writes

    "You realize that the top 10% (people earning $110,000 or more) pay 70% of all income taxes"

    Well, do you realize that the top 10% possess about 75% of the wealth in the US?

    And the number is climbing.

    Why do you think that it is unfair?

    What percentage of the taxes SHOULD those that control 75% of the wealth pay?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 2:21 p.m.

    I only make the case toward Mitt Romney because,
    instead of saying something like --
    "You know what, the tax code ISN'T fair -- and I'm gonna do something aobut it", like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, or Jon Huntsman have all said...

    Romney says "I paid my taxes, legally - and not ONE dollar more!"

    What he refuses to admit [like those other responsilbe uber-rich] is that the tax code is wrong, unfair, and that he is going to do anything about...other than never increase them, while in fact, trying to reduce them even further.

    I find it ironic that in an election full of make believe campaign promises, he won't even touch this one for the "little people", as the uber-rich like to refer to the us, the 99%.

    Historically, "Let them eat cake" policies don't end very well.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 31, 2012 1:36 p.m.

    Redshirt

    Yup, we have a progressive tax system, where higher is taxed at a higher rate. It has always been so.

    But when one considers ALL the taxes paid-- excise, sales, FICA etc, it is much more regressive and lower income earners pay more as a percentage of income.

    The economy will not flourish if the majority are living paycheck-to-paycheck and the wealth is concentrated in a few hands.

    Ideally we need wholesale tax reform. But that just isn't going to happen with the pledge-signer, party of "no compromise" Republicans.

    Vote for moderates!

  • George Bronx, NY
    Jan. 31, 2012 1:06 p.m.

    @redshirt

    you realize that the top 10% also make 85% of the income while the bottom 50% make 0.5% of the income? its easy to talk percentages when you only look at half the picture redshirt.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 12:59 p.m.

    Ok liberals please explain your reasoning for wanting to increase the capital gains taxes on the segment of the population that already pay most of the income taxes collected by the Federal Government. You realize that the top 10% (people earning $110,000 or more) pay 70% of all income taxes, while the bottom 50% pay nothing or have negative rates (they get back more than they pay). You should also realize that Romney is an exception.

    If you go to the Tax Foundation's website you will see that the average US citizen pay 11% in taxes. The top 1% averages 24%, and every other group below that pays a lower tax rate. See "Summary of Latest Federal Individual Income Tax Data" a the Tax Foundation web site. Looking at the information there, the system is not fair, the wealthy are already paying twice the average income tax rate.

    To "LDS Liberal" and what percentage of your income did you pay in income taxes? Do you pay 15% or more in income taxes? If you are paying less than Romney does, why do you let it bother you so much? Why do you, and your ilk want to "stick it" to the rich?

  • George Bronx, NY
    Jan. 31, 2012 12:51 p.m.

    @mike richards

    Apparently you have "no understanding" of what it means to have an honest debate. Obama at no time has proposed taking all of Romney or anyone else's money. What he has done is propose returning the wealthiest americans (which means his tax go up) tax rate to what it was before Bush jr took office and return capital gain taxes to roughly what they where under reagan. When you make wild statements it really speaks poorly of your position and your ability to have an honest discussion about the issues mike.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 12:22 p.m.

    this letter once again illustrates what happens if you simply string a bunch of sound bites together. you get a mixed up bag of reasoning that does not support each other.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 11:57 a.m.

    Irony Guy | 10:06 a.m. Jan. 31, 2012
    Bountiful, Utah
    If the GOP had their way, cap gains tax would go to zero and Mitt and his billionaire buddies would pay NOTHING. No tax at all, zip, nada, zilch. How do Republicans sleep at night?

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

    Add that to the fact they send only the poor and the underpriveledged people's kids to fight and die for them and their corporations.

    poster boy of WallStreet,
    uber Rich and out of touch,
    Mitt was a draft dodger.
    That's gonna come up later in the campaign to haunt him, you can count on it.

    And I read last night that Obama donated more than Mitt did to charity, Ouch!
    This is gonna be like watching a slow train-wreck.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 31, 2012 10:06 a.m.

    If the GOP had their way, cap gains tax would go to zero and Mitt and his billionaire buddies would pay NOTHING. No tax at all, zip, nada, zilch. How do Republicans sleep at night?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 9:48 a.m.

    It is sometimes strange to hear people blame inanimate objects for their ills. I recall my young son blaming the door when he bumped into it and giving it a good kick.

    Jim, much of the encouragement given to entrepreneurs by the government is the favored tax treatment given to them. And in truth given to them by themselves. The entrepreneurs are the same people who created the tax laws.

    It would be interesting to know the result of a complete study of the effects on jobs of the Romney business operations. I think the net effect would be a great loss of jobs.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 31, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    KDave
    401Ks and IRAs are taxed as ordinary income, not the capital gains tax rate, 15%, that Romney enjoys.

    People also confuse venture capital with what private equity firms do.

    Company Types: PE firms buy companies across all industries, whereas VCs are focused on technology, bio-tech, and clean-tech.
    % Acquired: PE firms almost always buy 100% of a company in an LBO, whereas VCs only acquire a minority stake â less than 50%.
    Size: PE firms make large investments â at least $100 million up into the tens of billions for large companies. VC investments are much smaller â often below $10 million for early-stage companies.
    Structure: VC firms use only equity whereas PE firms use a combination of equity and debt.
    Stage: PE firms buy mature, public companies whereas VCs invest mostly in early-stage â sometimes pre-revenue â companies.
    Side note: âEquityâ above refers to using cash rather than debt, not to shareholdersâ equity, equity value, or anything else (the terminology can get confusing).

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 9:17 a.m.

    How about blaming the wealthy Congressmen who write the tax laws?

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    I don't want to hear about how many jobs Willard created when he was a Master of the Universe at Bain Capital. I want to know how many jobs his $250 million net worth and/or his $21.7 million income is creating today? The Republican party argument is that he and his plutocratic cohort are "entitled" to a lower tax rate since they are creating jobs. Great. Since Willard has claimed that he created 100,000 jobs at Bain, he should be able to trace just how many his wealth is creating today. The only ones we know for sure are those in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland watching over his accounts there.

    Finally, if the minimum rate is 15%, how did he pay less than that? Isn't it this same party that screams about the poor paying less than their fare share of the tax burden?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 31, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    "Mr. Obama has no understanding of economics. He wants to seize anything that he considers to be excessive. " Absolutely false. He proposes rasising taxes on capital gains to 30% still less than rates on income from work. Income from work goes to the rates back in the good old days when this country was prospering.

  • KDave Moab, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 8:48 a.m.

    Do you realize that raising the tax rate on Romneys' income would also raise the rate on our IRAs and 401ks? there goes your retirement plans. But just keep working, that will show those millionares.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Jan. 31, 2012 8:20 a.m.

    "What would happen to the economy if Romney's $100 million was taken by the government?"

    As usual Mike, you take an ALL-or-NOTHING approach.

    Let me give you a sensible approach.

    How about if we didn't take all of Romneys money.

    How about if we Taxed him a bit more on the money he made in exchange for some substantial cuts in some of our spending programs.

    How about the Dems agree to additional spending cuts and the Republicans agree to modest tax increases on people like Romney.

    That way, less cuts are needed and less tax increases are needed. Both sides give and get.

    And if we truly feel that tax increases on job creators will affect hiring, we address that in the tax code.

    We are at historical low taxes and historical high spending.

    How about we compromise? Novel approach.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 31, 2012 8:00 a.m.

    What would happen to the economy if Romney's $100 million was taken by the government? How many businesses would close? How many people would be put out of work? How long would that seizure of private assets last if the government used it to pay welfare to the people who lost their businesses and their jobs?

    The short-sighted and ignorant assume that the "super rich" have their money in a piggy bank. Those who understand even a little bit about finance and the use of money realize that those funds are working hard for you and for me to provide the goods and services that we need.

    Mr. Obama has no understanding of economics. He wants to seize anything that he considers to be excessive. How many people were denied help because the government "redistributed" tax dollars TO Mr. Obama for protection while he was on the golf-course or for protection while he vacationed or for the cost of his "private" Air Force One?

    He cares nothing about the needs of the poor. He lives like a Pharaoh at the expense of tax payers.

    Stop paying for Obama's lavish life-style FIRST.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 31, 2012 7:58 a.m.

    It riles me that the Republicans continue to make up false arguments, and mythical boogey men. They distort the tax argument to claim that it's a complaint about people being successful, they claim that it's an attack on capitalism...when the coomplint simply is justice (I don't think it's fairness..two different things). The complaint is that work and non work incomes are taxed differently. The complaint is that work and non work taxes are taxed differently simply because of the power the rich have.

    Romney continual characterized the President as having failed policies..then in the face of overwhelming evidence he's had to change his tune to well yes the economy is getting better it just could have gotten better faster with my policies.

    New compares the President to Saul Alinsky..if you know anything about rules for radicals the President is a very poor Alinsky radical. He pretty much does the opposite from Alinskys recommendations. Guess who does follow the rules for radicals...yup Gingrich, and the other GOP candidates.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 7:24 a.m.

    It riles me that people like the senator do not advocate a change in the tax law but rather implies its all in the "tax law" like nothing can be done about it.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 6:57 a.m.

    No one is really blaming Romney for paying taxes at below 15%. No one is saying he is violating the law. They are just using him as an example of your point, that the tax system is messed up and unfair.

    On top of that, though, Romney has no clue the world that is not filthy rich. Even $374,000 isn't very much money. Talk about tone deaf!

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Jan. 31, 2012 6:44 a.m.

    Again I will say that Romney has done nothing wrong.

    BUT, the questions we must ask ourselves is

    Are these tax laws fair?
    Do we want to elect people who want to lower taxes even further for the very wealthy?

    To me, that is the biggest issue in this years elections.

    I believe that Romney would make a good president. But his desire to further lower taxes on the very wealthy is a deal breaker for me. It is not good for our country.

    And yes, I believe that we need to substantially cut spending while bringing tax rates up from their lowest levels in my lifetime.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 5:18 a.m.

    I don't care one bit about Romney and his precious riches. But when I did a cursory fact-check on the outrageous claims Romney has made, I realized this prevaricator has no integrity and no business thinking he's fit to lead our country.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 31, 2012 12:22 a.m.

    The hyper wealthy have made millions upon millions of dollars of "donations" to members of congress to ensure that they get the tax laws they want. If you want tax laws to benefit you, pay up.