Comments about ‘Letter: Don't overtax the rich’

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Published: Thursday, May 17 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Tooele, UT

Re: "Don't overtax the rich"

Too late -- we're already doing it.

The rich already pay a grossly disproportionate share of the taxes in the US, particularly the federal income tax. And Obama regime scams to increase taxes on those already paying the lion's share of the federal income tax are not just needlessly punitive, they're completely ineffectual and will have only a tiny impact on the federal revenue deficit.

It's nothing more than a divisive socialist scam to divert attention away from the real problem -- deranged liberal fiscal pandering to the most ignorant and vulnerable American voters.

Exactly the same as they're doing in the failing eurosocialist "workers' paradises."

Huntsville, UT


Don't you think that it shows a certain degree of unpatriotism to abandon your country because you are being taxed?

What it shows to me is that greed is more valuable than social responsibility; which goes back to Jesus' comments as to why it is so hard for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Hayden, ID

During a recent trip to France, American actor Will Smith was being interviewed on local TV with a translator and was asked about the Obama wanting the “rich” to pay higher taxes. Mr. Smith said he wouldn’t mind paying higher taxes. The interviewer told him that in France he would be paying 75% of his income to the government. The look of shock and horror on Mr. Smith’s face was priceless! He then said, “God bless America”. If Obama is re-elected, America will become just like France, bankrupted economically and morally!

Springville, UT

Over taxed? Romney's less than 15% tax rate which is far lower than the average blue collar worker is over taxation? What flavor of Kool-aid are you drinking? Unless you are in this group, I am astounded you are so gullible.

Salt Lake, UT

All of you need to look at what tax rate the rich were paying during the Eisenhower administration. Remember those 1950's that you all want to return to? Well, it was about 70%!

I didn't hear the moaning and groaning from them like I do now. Now those people (of the greatest generation) were patriots. We have a bunch of greedy wimps in America right now. I would have my taxes raised if Obama gets his 3% hike passed, but, believe it or not, I can afford it and would pay it willingly to help us out of our crunch.

Anyone else?

Hayden, ID

For the 16 trillionth time, the wealthiest Americans pay nearly 80% of all federal income taxes paid while nearly 50% of Americas pay no federal income taxes at all. What’s the “riches” fair share? And even we the “rich” paid 100% of all their income to the government; it wouldn’t come close to paying for the deficit. Could it be possible that the government is SPENDING too much?

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

There is no major developed country in the world in which the rich would pay lower taxes than they do here. There are only a few small tax havens like Monaco, Cayman Islands, Singapore, etc.

The rich mainly pay such a high percentage of the taxes in this country because the rich have gotten almost all the economic gains of the past thirty years. If the national income distribution was the same today as it was in 1980, the average family would be making $12,000 a year more, and I'm sure they would be happy to spend a portion of that on higher taxes.

  • 8:47 a.m. May 17, 2012
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Columbus, OH

re: Mountanman

You throw out the stat that the wealthy pay a high proportion of the taxes in this country, as if it's proof they are overtaxed. Take this into account. If they are paying most of the taxes, and they are taxed at a lower rate than the average worker (Romney's 15%, for example), what does that tell you? It means they are taking in a disproportionate amount of the money in the first place.

In the 50s...our strongest economic years...the average CEO made about 20 times as much as their average full-time employee. Now that number is over 400 times. Is the work they put in really worth 400 times as much to society as their average FULL-TIME employee? I'm not arguing that everyone should have the exact same pay--taking the risks and paying your dues to get to the top should be rewarded. But I think a rate of 20 times as much is plenty.

A CEO and two of his workers are sitting around a table. He takes 11 cookies and says to the one worker, "Watch out, the other guy's going to take your cookie."

Phoenix, AZ

Jared Brown's view about Don't over tax the rich is too similar to the story of abused wives who are told not to ask their husbands to stop beating them or their darling husbands may leave them. If that is the kind of people the rich are then who needs them and who wants them.

Thinkin\' Man
Rexburg, ID

Investment income is taxed at a lower rate than salary for good reason -- to encourage investment. Without that tax advantage, a LOT of money would move out of private companies, including banks, and our economy would suffer tremendously.

Where in the constitution is the federal government allowed to tax (penalize) one citizen at a higher rate than another? Progressive tax is fundamentally unfair by definition. What is unfair is the 47% of citizens who pay no federal income tax and yet reap benefits. If a politician wants "fairness," they would logically have everyone pay federal taxes at the same rate.

Salt Lake City, UT

"...they [the rich]will take their substantial entrepreneurial talent and money and will flee to places that respect their ability and wealth." Yes the wealthy have an advantage in that they can move whereas labor like myself cannot. This question of equity for the wealthy cannot be addressed without the Marxian analysis which sees labor as never being fully compensated for the value it adds to the production process. This is Marx's famous surplus value and it IS VERY REAL. Since most economists lack this perspective liberals (and labor like me) are doomed to lose. BTW, the wealthy did just fine when the top marginal rate was 93% in the 50's.

Happy Valley, UT

To quote Mountainman, "for the 16 trillionth time," the problem with our system is not the redistribution of income, it is the current distribution of ownership. Those who actually produce the products do not own a fair share of the businesses they work for. If we want to talk fair, let's get to the heart of the matter. The real issue is that in our corporate system, most people do not own capital. (And don't give me the ridiculous argument about owning stock through my 401k. That doesn't make me a capitalist, and anyway 80 percent of the stock is still owned by 10 percent of the people.)

Just to put Jared's letter in some sort of context, consider that after World War II, when debt was a larger percentage of GDP than it is now, the top marginal tax rate was 91 percent. With this progressive rate system in place, we were able to jumpstart an economic boom, rebuild Europe, educate a whole generation of returning GIs, pay our debt down, and guess what, the rich still got richer!

Springville, UT

@ Thinkin\' Man, Romney holds offshore bank (and other) accounts. How does that money help create jobs or other economic activity in the U.S.? Not at all. Therefore, why should income derived from such investments be given preferential tax treatment? We have a system gone crazy, and between the lobbying to protect these practices and apologists of the system (who then turn around and call for reform to the tax system when the discussion changes), how will we ever clean up the mess we have? Nobody wants their goodies touched, and the power lies mostly with those who already have. Who are the Republicans in the House targeting for cuts? The poor and middle class. Whose programs do they refuse to touch? Those that benefit the wealthy and powerful. Like it or not, the Occupy Wall Street folks have it figured out. Why doesn't the rest of middle America?

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

As a number of posters have pointed out, the greatest period of economic growth in the history of our country coincided with a much higher tax rate than we currently have. What those posters have not mentioned is that rich people in the 50's mostly didn't whine about it. They were patriots, and they knew their country needed them.

Let me also point out that Europe's problems have arisen from their foolish attempts to solve a demand side recession with austerity measures. That's precisely what the Paul Ryan plan attempts to do. It's the Right that wants to copy failed European policies.

Mcallen, TX

France wants to tax their rich seventy five percent. Watch for an exit there.

Heber City, UT

"One of the great evils with which our own nation is menaced at the present time is the wonderful growth of wealth in the hands of a comparatively few individuals. The very liberties for which our fathers contended so steadfastly and courageously, and which they bequeathed to us as a priceless legacy, are endangered by the monstrous power which this accumulation of wealth gives to a few individuals and a few powerful corporations." -- LDS First Preszidency 1875

Cedar Hills, UT

wait - you mean to suggest that a 75% tax of those making 1 million or more in France is too much?? Come now - France does allow those nasty rich folks to keep a whopping 25% and isn't that fair? I'm certain taxing at the 75% rate will encourage investment and incent those darn rich folks to create new business and expand existing business... right? If someone takes 75% of your pay check doesn't that make you want to go and buy a new car? Of course it does. Those good socialist folks in France are so darn smart aren't they. It warms the heart to know we too have a good socialist minded president who is cut from the same cloth as those in France. Remember - it's all about fairness. It think it is fair to say that those who make more than a million in France will take their money elsewhere. Ya think?? But never fear - the government will always come to the rescue!!!

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

what's funny, is that this letter writer destroys his own argument.

He writes about how higher taxes would send the rich packing.

He states how rich folks are already leaving.

Yet, we have the lowest tax rates on the rich that we've had in decades right now.

So what this person seems to advocate is even LOWER taxes on the rich.

Ummmm what????

Is there a single reputable economist that believes that LOWER taxes on the rich will do anything positive?

We've seen what lower taxes did over the past decade. They did not promote economic growth. Instead, they prompted even further debt and helped to give us the largest economic disaster since the 20s.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

To Thinkn Man: We actually have an easy way to test your hypothesis that lower tax rates on investment will produce more investment. Up until fairly recently, capital gains taxes were double what they are now. So what was the result of cutting the rate in half? The percentage of GDP being invested in the economy stayed the same.

Salt Lake City, UT

Patriot: "wait - you mean to suggest that a 75% tax of those making 1 million or more in France is too much?? Come now - France does allow those nasty rich folks to keep a whopping 25% and isn't that fair? I'm certain taxing at the 75% rate will encourage investment and incent those darn rich folks to create new business and expand existing business... right?" Please correct me if I'm wrong but I think the 75% refers to the rate ON THE TOP BRACKET. It does not mean that 75% of French fat cats' income would be taxed.

For example in the United States I think the top maringal rate is about 35% - this just refers to the top bracket in a graduated income tax system. The actual overal rate of taxation of the wealthy is about 15%.

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