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Letter: Republicans and Democrats are both committed to redistributing wealth.

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  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    Oct. 1, 2012 7:06 a.m.

    As a conservative, I believe it falls to the government to provide some form of safety net for the poor, because no one else has stepped up to fill that role completely and reliably. I don't look at that as redistribution, I look at that as a necessary government service.

    But Social Security was not intended to be a full-fledged retirement plan. It was a safety net, for those who lived beyond the average life expectancy into those years where it became very difficult to work any longer.

    Most conservatives would love to rework Social Security, but they don't dare because people have come to expect this retirement assistance from the Federal government, and would vote out of office anyone who tries to fix SS. It has gone from being a safety net to redistribution of wealth, at least for many of its recipients.

    Full disclosure - my father and step-mother receive SS, as does my step-brother (fully handicapped). My step-father receives vet benefits for his service in Vietnam, for which he received a few medals and a lifetime of PTSD and Agent Orange disabilities.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 30, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    If income were distributed more appropriately in the first place, the need to redistribute it would lessen.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 29, 2012 1:13 p.m.

    If wealth were distributed such that the top 1% didn't end up with 1/3 of the income before taxes, the need for government to redistribute it would be reduced.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Sept. 29, 2012 11:03 a.m.

    Tax cuts need to go to the middle class. Bother parties like stealing from the middle class. the GOP and DNC should be considered enemies of the middle class.

  • Joe Moe Logan, UT
    Sept. 29, 2012 8:37 a.m.

    wrz, you ask who is doing the funneling to the top? For a more complete description, I'll refer you to the book The Price of Inequality. The gist, which is obvious once you think about it, and once you see the data on the wealth the 1% are raking in EVEN in a huge recession, is this: those with the gold make the rules, and they fashion the rules such that they can rake in more wealth. In other words, our political system is complicit, being bought and manipulated by big money, to hold up a broken form of capitalism.

    Biggest poster child: the finance industry. All wealth must necessarily be originally created from natural resources and building of products. The finance industry, for the most part, has simply sucked money into itself without producing an iota of wealth itself. Net loss on our economy. When capitalism is a healthy zero-sum game, and we add in the wealth from resources, there is net gain. But when capitalism is manipulated and becomes broken like it has in recent years, it is a negative-sum game. Net loss...while those at the top walk away with the golden goose.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 8:51 p.m.

    It's as if some Americans can't understand English. They either refuse to read the Constitution or they treat is as if it were written in a foreign language and that they have lost the dictionary.

    General Welfare does not equal personal welfare.

    Article 1, Section 8 enumerates the GENERAL WELFARE duties of Congress and limits Congress to ONLY act on those duties. All other duties are left to the States or to the people.

    Section 8 is one sentence long. It ends by giving Congress the authority to perform those foregoing duties AUTHORIZED listed in Section 8.

    When we can't even agree on WHAT authority Congress has, how can we ever agree on HOW to perform those duties?

    Some totally ignore the Constitution as they try to convince us that somehow we have given them authority to define for us some other constitution and that we have allowed them to bind us to their corrupted thinking.

    Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, student loans, and most of the other nonsense being foisted on us are not enumerated duties of Congress.

    The pied piper may sing his tune and dance his jig, but that doesn't change the Constitution.

  • boxerdog915 Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 6:23 p.m.

    Everyone needs to read The Communist Manafesto...

    Karl Marx said his manifesto was "ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism, and then eventually communism."

    Capitalism = freedom to wealth

    Redistribution of wealth = Communism

    That should be enough said!

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 4:32 p.m.

    @The Real Maverick:

    "Because working folks don't have access to computers or the Internet on their phones?"

    They do... but how can you work a computer when you're busy working a job? Furthermore, when money's tight they have to cancel the internet including access on a phone to have money to pay bills. Democrats keep there YIFI so they can access GPS to locate the welfare office, check the weather o maybe come on a sunny day, and do some texting while standing in the welfare line.

    "Gaining access to the Dnews is quite simple."

    Not when you're using both hands picking apples.

    "How many handouts are you taking for your farm subsidy? Just curious."

    There's alotta poor farmers who'd be broke if not for farm subsidies.

    "Really? then why is his base, the deep south, contain the top consumers in welfare and food stamps?"

    Because Obama has failed them miserably with job creation.

    "Consistency is what's severely lacking in the far right. That, and being in touch with constituents."

    Well, it's certainly true, that, if you hand out alotta welfare you'll get more constituents. Democrats have this angle down pat.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 4:27 p.m.

    L White.

    Being an American is not forced upon any adult. If you choose to be an American (your choice) you are expected to pay the dues.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 4:22 p.m.

    L White.

    As a liberal American I also do not want the government to pay for CHARITY.

    STOP the tax deduction for CHARITY, religion and such.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 3:54 p.m.

    "Ditto... about Democrats. Notice the number of 'like' gold stars for 'anti-Romney' posts. My guess is, these guys sit home in front of their computers making/agreeing to snide comments about Romney while waiting for the postman to deliver their welfare checks."

    Right. Because working folks don't have access to computers or the Internet on their phones? Another example of repubs completely out of touch. Gaining access to the Dnews is quite simple. How many handouts are you taking for your farm subsidy? Just curious.

    "The pro-Romney's are mostly out trying to earn a living."

    Really? then why is his base, the deep south, contain the top consumers in welfare and food stamps? Clearly they aren't busy trying to earn a living. Again, another example of your clueless state.

    "It says 'promote' the general welfare, it does not say 'provide' the general welfare"

    Hilarious how repubs are all concerned over the definition of domestic welfare yet are completely careless when handing out billions of my hard earned taxpayer money to "spreading Democracy" throughout the ME!

    Consistency is what's severely lacking in the far right. That, and being in touch with constituents.

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 3:33 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal:

    "It provides WELFARE - the same term used by our Church."

    If the Church provides welfare, it asks recipients do something in return to pay for it, such as help with janitorial services, etc.

    "And - General Welfare IS in the Constitution."

    It says 'promote' the general welfare, it does not say 'provide' the general welfare.
    The way you 'promote' is to encourage entrepreneurship, provide roads, bridges, airports so entrepreneurs can get their goods to and from market, enact fairness laws, test drugs and food products, keep the dollar solvent, and on and on. It does not say take the profits from the producers and write a welfare check each month to the lazy and indolent.

    "So you and your sweet hubby will recieve Social Security and Medicare under General Welfare, not Charity from the mean old nasty Government."

    SS and Medicare are paid for mostly by the recipient either in the form of payroll taxes during working years or premiums at retirement.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 3:23 p.m.

    "Liberals always want somebody else to pay for their 'great' ideas."

    No. Liberals merely want freedom in the context of reason, not freedom from government, which is the recurring conservative mantra. Has anyone noticed how the Republican Party in recent years has complained that government is stealing their freedoms but at the same time has become rabid about preserving the most widespread authoritarian system ever created: the network of capitalist corporations? Seems like a philosophically untenable position.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 2:10 p.m.

    L White
    Springville, UT
    Why do liberals want the government to pay for CHARITY? Where in the Constitution is government charged with being a church and giving to the POOR?

    ===========

    Government does not provide Charity.
    It provides WELFARE - the same term used by our Church.

    And - General Welfare IS in the Constitution.

    So you and your sweet hubby will recieve Social Security and Medicare under General Welfare, not Charity from the mean old nasty Government.
    And you aren't FORCED to take it.
    You can always not apply for that "sin" money.

    Oh and BTW - Tithing is NOT Charity, there's other little boxes like "Humanitarian Aid", "Fast Offerings" and "Pertetual Education" - those are Charity....and I know most LDS are not paying 10% to any of hose.

  • L White Springville, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 1:36 p.m.

    Why do liberals want the government to pay for CHARITY? Where in the Constitution is government charged with being a church and giving to the POOR?

    Liberals always want somebody else to pay for their "great" ideas. If those ideas are so great, why aren't they willing to pay for them out of their own pockets. God invited us to be charitable. Lucifer demanded, by using force, that his idea of "charity" would control our lives.

    Does the government invite or does it force? The Obamacare TAX is NOT an invitation. Those who refuse that "summons" will be fined or jailed.

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 1:25 p.m.

    @The Real Maverick:

    "Look at how the repubs rush like flies onto garbage..."

    Ditto... about Democrats. Notice the number of 'like' gold stars for 'anti-Romney' posts. My guess is, these guys sit home in front of their computers making/agreeing to snide comments about Romney while waiting for the postman to deliver their welfare checks. The pro-Romney's are mostly out trying to earn a living.

    @Wanda B. Rich:

    "... even though we have a long track record now to prove that funnel-up economics never really quite turns into trickle-down economics."

    Have you tried trickle-up economics? Did you ever get a job from a poor person?

    "The corporate system we have embraced is designed to pool all wealth at the top."

    The corporate system is designed to maximize profits for shareholders.

    "Government's job is to prevent this so as to preserve a civilized society."

    The government's job is to provide the atmosphere for entrepreneurship (jobs creation) to succeed.

    "Amazing that Utah Mormons, with their history of communitarian economics..."

    They discovered early on that concepts like the United Order don't work. Encourages free-loading, looking for handouts without contributing to their upkeep.

  • Wanda B. Rich Provo, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 12:10 p.m.

    It's funny how the doctrine of market triumphalism was declared dead in 2008, but somehow the Republicans just didn't get the memo. They keep trying to resurrect it, even though we have a long track record now to prove that funnel-up economics never really quite turns into trickle-down economics.

    The corporate system we have embraced is designed to pool all wealth at the top. Government's job is to prevent this so as to preserve a civilized society. One party today sort of wants to slow down this pooling. The other party wants to make sure government speeds up the pooling process.

    Amazing that Utah Mormons, with their history of communitarian economics and scriptural commands to achieve economic equality, are more devoted than any group this side of Wall Street in their efforts to achieve the exact opposite. They have enshrined economic freedom and turned their backs on economic equality.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 11:02 a.m.

    One party wants to tax to benefit society as a whole. The other party wants to decrease taxes for the wealthy so they can decide if and where to spend their money.

    The difficulty for the former is in seeking the proper balance between generating revenue and the developing/maintaining the programs considered a "benefit" to society. The latter see only the need to keep the upper class "upper". Of course, these "upper" people love certain government programs as long as they themselves benefit the most. There are those programs they like, but they prefer to employ the credit card since they don't like taxes on themselves. They want the "little people" to pay for it because there are more of them and, therefore, benefit more.

    It's the old, medieval mindset of the landowning class and the peasants. Since peasants worked the land, paid taxes and supported the landowning class, it is clear to all that that is the way it should be. The privledged are "entitled" by historical precedent.

    In one case, wealth is supposedly "redistributed" to where it does the maximum good for the society. In the other, wealth is "redistributed" upwardward as God "intended".

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    Redistribution of Wealth:

    Democrats vs.
    Republicans
    ----------------------------

    $ to Military Veterans Hospital Complex,
    $ to Military Industrial Complex,

    Striving to alleviate the Poor, Sick, Needy & elderly.
    Striving to eliminate the Poor, Sick, Needy, & elderly

    Aid for American Nation Building
    Aid for Foreign Nation Building

    Giving Heating Oil $ to the poor
    Giving Billions $ to Oil Companies just because

    Protecting the Earth for future generations benefit
    Exploiting the Earth to benefit profit generations.

    Food Stamps for the hungry
    Food Subsidizes for the Farmers

    Hand outs to actual Persons
    Hand outs to Corporate Personhoods

    Take from the haves, give to the have-nots.
    Take from the haves, give to the have-mores

    I could go on and on, but therein lies the difference.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    Money is simply the media that we use to exchange the wealth that we create for the wealth that others create. Money is to the economy of a society as blood is to our bodies. Our blood picks up things from some organs and gives it to other organs. If we stop the circulation (redistribution) of either the blood or the money, the entity will die.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 10:24 a.m.

    "Socialism was not built in a day... It takes years, and more people such as Obama."

    And by folks like Bush and Mike Lee.

    Who signed TARP?

    Who insists on tax cuts for the rich?

    Who is protecting banks, wall street, and big oil?

    Who is insisting on an increase of defense spending as a way to "stimulate the economy?" Lee won't let us shut down Hill Air Force Base. That's Socialism. Shut down that base and let the workers find jobs in the private sector. IF they can't find jobs, then go back to school. OR start your own business.

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 10:00 a.m.

    @JoeBlow:

    "In reality, the wealth has been steadily funneling to the top."

    And just who's doing the funneling?

    "But, unless you think it is just not happening fast enough, the numbers don't support the GOP redistribution claims."

    Socialism was not built in a day... It takes years, and more people such as Obama.

    "Tell me, when the system is structured so that the wealth moves to the top, is THAT considered 'redistribution?'"

    No. It's called hard work... It's considered getting off your duff, getting out the door, and getting to work, instead of waiting for the mailman to deliver your welfare check. That's how wealth is created. That's what this country is all about. That's what our Founding Fathers had in mind. Everyone pulls their weight. Of course there's a need for a safety net for the less fortunate such as the sick and otherwise incapacitated. But, we need to have folks quit complaining and quit expecting the government to take care of them from cradle to grave by taking from those who work and giving it to those who play.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    Haha!

    Look at how the repubs rush like flies onto garbage when one of their base philosophies, redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich, is attacked.

    Great letter.

    Anything that stirs repubs to attack you and your views is a good thing for America in my view. Under repub rule we've seen the disappearance of the middle-class, trillions of dollars racked up in failed tax cut policies which haven't created jobs, and we've seen the record profits for the 1 % while the rest of us suffer.

    Can't wait for Obama to win once again in November. And for a message to be sent to the GOP. CHANGE if you WISH to remain relevant in America.

    Come back in touch with your REAL constituents, not just big banks, oil companies, and CEOs with Swiss Bank Accounts.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    Where did the idea that we should only have to pay tax based on what we, and we alone, recieved from government come from? We one society of 300 million, not 300 million societies of one.

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 9:38 a.m.

    @Mike R.
    Unless you receive an equal benefit from the taxes you pay isn't that a redistribution of wealth? Let's be fair, neither the D's and the R's are trying to totally eliminate taxes. Regardless of who implemented SS and Medicare it's not like the republicans are trying to eliminate these programs. Neither party will cut tax breaks to farm and oil companies. Unless you believe that all services should be paid by usage meaning no public roads, pay a fee to utilize fire and police services, pay the military to defend your home, etc. Then you also believe in redistribution of wealth.

  • Mick Stupp Happy Valley, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    Mike,

    Please stay on topic. What on earth does the Utah War have to do with this letter or the notion that Republicans also support a certain amount of redistribution? Your constitutional rants are getting more and more irrational.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 28, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    Yes Mike,

    We know that you think that if only we would elect all republicans the US would be in perfect harmony again. The deficit would be non-existent and we would have full employment. Gays would have never been "invented" and government could be run by the church.

    Dang democrats.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 28, 2012 8:56 a.m.

    To hear liberals tell it, the government paved the golden highway travelled by Mormon Pioneers. Obama thinks that the government planted the fields and built the cities for the Mormons and that the government erected the temples. Liberals would have us think that the government furnished the wagons and handcarts and that the government eradicated the crickets. According to that fanciful "history", James Buchanan, a Democrat, never sent troops into "Mexican territory" to handle the "Mormon Problem".

    The truth is that liberals twist facts to suit their needs. Redistribution is a Democrat philosophy. It is not allowed by the Constitution, but that didn't stop FDR, LBJ and Obama. It doesn't matter that redistribution destroys jobs, as long as it puts more people on welfare so that they know to look to Washington for their sustenance.

    Anyone who has ever started a business knows that redistribution is STEALING from the workers and giving to the idle. What a great business concept. Pay people to NOT work. Pay them to be idle. Destroy all initiative. Destroy all incentive.

    No wonder Obama has increased the deficit by $5 TRILLION dollars. His plan for idleness is working.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 8:35 a.m.

    Republicans favor redistribution of wealth from the poor to the wealthy.

    That's evidenced by their evisceration of consumer protection laws, letting credit card companies charge exhorbitant interest rates and making it practically impossible to discharge that debt through bankruptcy. All the while, letting the "people", that means corporations, restructure any time they want.

    The poor can just suffer. It's the GOP way.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    What is happening in the campaigns now is simply nauseating. On both sides. But the influence of big money from those corporate "people" funneling it through their PACS is beyond nauseating. It's criminal.

    Repeal Citizens United!

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 28, 2012 8:28 a.m.

    What is the value of an education if one doesn't USE it?

    Veterans have EARNED their services by serving this country. Those authorized costs are paid by a grateful America, just as we willingly pay for defense.

    FDR started Social Security. FDR started the "food stamp program" (Food Surplus Commodities Corporation). (In 1959, Eisenhower opposed it. In 1961, Kennedy reimplimented it with vouchers.) He was a Democrat.

    Unemployment benefits were forced on the states in 1935 as part of the Social Security Act. (FDR again.) Obama doesn't count anyone unemployed whose benefits have run out.

    LBJ started Medicare. He was a Democrat.

    Obama levied the largest tax increase in America's history on the lower and middle class with Obamacare. He is a Democrat.

    Reid refused to allow the Senate consider an Republican budget. He is a Democrat.

    Even a 5th grader can search out the facts and clearly see that all major unauthorized programs were initiated by Democrats. That same 5th grader can also clearly see that the current Democrat administration has doubled the deficit in just four years.

    The Democrats OWN redistribution. Of course, they will try to pass the blame - as usual.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 5:56 a.m.

    It's pretty simple, really. Conservatives favor redistribution of wealth from the bottom up, while liberals favor redistribution from the top down. What's disingenuous is that the Republicans try to disguise their brand of redistribution as trickle DOWN economics that's good for the lower classes, when it is just the opposite. What's unfortunate is that their preferred direction of flow has won out over the last three decades. Just ask Warren Buffett. Just look at the growing gap in wealth distribution between the Mitt Romneys of the world and the rest of us.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 28, 2012 4:20 a.m.

    I am really sick of hearing the term "redistribution of wealth"

    If one is to listen to the GOP talking points, you would think that the wealth just haven't got a chance.

    In reality, the wealth has been steadily funneling to the top. That is undeniable. And it has been happening for a long time. And it has continued to happen during Obamas term.

    If the money was steadily moving the opposite way, you may have a case.

    But, unless you think it is just not happening fast enough, the numbers don't support the GOP redistribution claims.

    Tell me, when the system is structured so that the wealth moves to the top, is THAT considered "redistribution"?