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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 5 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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ECR
Burke, VA

"Democrats have got to accept significant spending cuts, including reductions in the entitlements they prize so much."

Thank you Mr. Fillerup for enlightening the readers of the Deseret News. Or am I the only one who didn't know that it is only Democrats who cherish Social Security and Medicaid. And all this time I thought citizens across the country, regardless of thier political leanings, were taking advantage of those programs.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Programs cost money. As citizens we ALL have the responsibility to pay for those programs. No one is exempt. When ALL citizens are equally taxed to pay for ALL federal programs, they will stop demanding that the federal government do something "just for them". If they had to pay an equal percent of their resources to fund those programs, they would think long and hard about each and every program.

Because they think that some "rich guy" will pay for those programs, some Americans see no problem in demanding that the government take that money from the "rich guy" to pay for their favorite programs. If someone took their assets at a higher rate than they took the assets of others, those people would cry "foul", but since they are the receivers and not the givers, they think that redistribution of wealth is "fair and equitable".

51% of the country voted to make the other 49% pay higher taxes so that the 51% could get "free" services. 51% saw nothing wrong with picking the pockets of the other 49% - as long as Obama was the one "picking" the pockets.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Well, at least you're willing to raise taxes. But this ridiculous 47% nonsense has got to stop.

one old man
Ogden, UT

There are a few shreds of good sense in this letter. I can agree that EVERY American should be paying a share of taxes. But when the "wealth gap" has been allowed to become so wide, what is a fair and sensible way to not only close the gap, but return to a country in which every citizen has a responsibility to pay for services we receive?

For some possible answers, read "Who Stole the American Dream," by Hedrick Smith.

And for that matter, start reading everything you can get your hands on by as wide a variety of authors as possible. John Stossel's "No, We Can't" is another excellent book written from a more conservative side.

The more we can learn about all sides of the discussion, the better our decisions may be.

Just one word of caution -- avoid anything written by extremists. Maddow, Limbaugh, Beck and others who base their rants not on facts but on shaky opinions intended to inflame rather than inform.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Entitlements?

I didn't know the Democrats were huge supporters of oil and agriculture subsidies and defense spending!

And here I thought it was really Mitt Romney and his ilk who wanted to increase defense spending while it was that mean Obama who wanted to decrease it?

I mean, we only spend 5x as much as #2 China and 10x as much as #3 Russia.

Is there any way we could spend 10x as much as China and 20x as much as Russia?

Only then will we all be safe!!!

Of course, Democrats won't let us touch those entitlements... They love their subsidies and defense spending! They just won't compromise with the poor rational thinking republicans!

Oh wait...

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

"Democrats have got to accept significant spending cuts, including reductions in the entitlements they prize so much."

First, however, Republicans need to offer specifics on what they want to cut from these "entitlement" programs. How can Democrats accept spending cuts, when the Republicans fail to specify what they might be? As Paul Krugman pointed out this week, Obama has refused to go along with their game anymore. He's asking them to come up with specifics. And guess what, they can't (or won't). Republicans are great at demanding spending cuts in the abstract, but when asked for specifics, they get strangely silent. Remember Romney and Ryan and their plan to balance the budget?

I think what we are discovering is that the Republicans just like to talk about cutting entitlements, because it scores political points with the Tea Party. But actually spelling out what they are going to cut would be political suicide, because the GOP is basically the party of the rich and the elderly. Grover is protecting the rich. But will the GOP really dare chop Social Security and Medicare? It should be fun to watch this play out.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

"Geithner said Republicans have to stop using fuzzy “political math” and say how much they are willing to raise tax rates on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans and then specify the spending cuts they want."

Yes, I think that it would be good for the Republicans to say how much they will raise tax rates on the rich. I would like to hear that. But, I would really, really like the Democrats to say how they are going to means test for social security and medicare and how they will raise the retirement age. That is where the real savings will come from. Raising taxes on the rich is so meager it is almost ceremonial. They should do it anyway. But once they do, will the Democrats, FINALLY get serious and stop forking over lots of money to wealthy retirees?

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

Fact Check, Fact Check. The so called 47% pays a higher percentage of their income in taxes than the 53%. Just because they are not paying Federal Income Taxes does not mean diddley. You need to become a bit more informed. The "entitlements" which you are so quick to condemn are insurance payouts to people who have paid into them for their entire working career, such as SS, Medicare and even unemployment insurance. Since we were presented with the greatest profits in history last quarter and as a %of GNP, the lowest wages in history, something tells me that there is money missing somewhere along the line that should be going into the public coffers since the biggest "welfare queens" are the Walmarts and Exxon's of the country.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

@Mike Richards, the last line of your comments "51% of the country voted to make the other 49% pay higher taxes so that the 51% could get "free" services. 51% saw nothing wrong with picking the pockets of the other 49% - as long as Obama was the one "picking" the pockets" are some of the most offensive you have stated over the course of time. To say that 51% voted for free stuff is nothing more that a complete fabrication. The 51% voted to save what little dignity the 49% has left them. The 49% sent their children to war to fight for multinational corporations under false pretenses. The 49% has continually made excuses for the 2% in keeping wages stagnant while profits get continually sent to places unknown. No Richards, you are the one that voted for free stuff, under guise that you would no longer have to contribute your share in taxes.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The soldiers who fight for freedom are ALL voluntiers. No one serves against his/her will.

Anyone who believes that someone else should pay for his favorite government program while he reaps the benefits believes in a form of slavery where someome else is forced to pay more simply because that person belongs to a different class.

No one forces an American to invest his savings into an untried business, but many want to force that person to pay a premium if that business succeeds. Any "worker" can invest via the stock market. No "worker" is excluded from the ranks of the "owners", no matter how Obama preaches class warfare, ANYONE in America can be an "owner" if he/sbe is willing to invest.

Frankly,I'm getting realy tired of posters who are proposing a "two-tiered system" wsqhere they get to ride on the coat-tails of those who took tbe risks.

Ford DeTreese
Provo, UT

Okay, Mike. For your information, I'm not part of Mitt's 47 percent. I'm not a taker. I don't even have a mortgage interest deduction or a child tax credit on my 1040. I earn a decent living, give generously to charity, and am glad to pay taxes to fund government, which provides many needed services.

But I am part of your 51 percent. I voted for Obama because Mitt's math and his honesty came up short. I voted for the incumbent, hoping that my own tax rate would go up. Unfortunately, it won't. Under Obama's proposal, I would have to quadruple my income to pay that extra 3 percent he's asking the marginally wealthy to pay. The 4.6 percent on the top bracket is completely out of sight.

Just for kicks, I calculated the total of my federal and state income taxes and my payroll taxes. It came to 18 percent of my adjusted gross income. I should be paying more. And so should Mitt. And so should you, without whining.

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

Math lesson parody, in 2 parts:

Rob the builder runs a business. This year his business makes $600,000. The federal income tax rate for him is now 36% so he pays $216,000 in taxes.

Multibillionaire Walter Bukket earns $200million this year. But as a multibillionaire he has access to many special tax deductions, many of which he has purchased through funding various campaigns. He can deduct 127million. At 36% tax rate on the remaining 73million he pays $26.3million, which is an effective tax rate of 13% of his total income, (less than his secretary's effective tax rate).

Now look at Colonel Electric (CE for short), a huge corporation. They made $700,000,000 last year and they are able to deduct all their income down to $0. The tax rate is 36%, so 36% X 0 = $0. They pay no federal income tax.

Government needs more money. If we raise the rate to 39%, Rob pays $18000 more, a lot to Rob, but not much to the government. Mr. Bukket will pay 2.17million more, and CE will still pay $0. The government gets 2.188million more in taxes and it hits the smallest business the hardest.

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

Part 2

By eliminating deductions instead of raising the rate Rob pays no more, Mr Bukket will pay 45.7million more, and CE will pay 252million more in taxes, making all effective tax rates 36%. Now they pay a higher rate than their secretaries. The government would get 297.7million more in revenue and the rich pay their share and have less ability to buy influence in government.

I think most everyone is smart enough to see that eliminating deductions will give a lot more money to the government, (2million versus almost 298million) and I would hope they can see that if rich folks can’t buy deductions with large campaign contributions, they will have less power over government.

Personally I am more interested in the fairness than the revenue but for those of you who want to squeeze the most you can from the rich guys, you should be going after the deductions. That is where the money is.

Our president and his rich buddies don't want you to know this, but it is true.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

So long as 1% owns 80% of the wealth,
they should carry 80% of the tax burden.

BTW --
Stashing and hording it away in Swiss or Cayman Island bank accounts is hardly "Trickle Down" economics.
In fact - it's economic treason.

Q: Why do you think the Feds need to keep inject money to float the economy?
A: Becasue the 1% keep hording it, and taking it out of circulation and straving the economy.

The money is there -
The RICH just keep it out of circulation.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

What a bigoted opinion when a poster tells us that because someone has worked hard that he should pay 80% of the taxes. The Constitution clearly tells us that taxes are to be "apportioned" equally. We are to share the burden of citizenship equally. Some people still think that we we have "slaves"do in America who should pay more.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Mike Richards
"51% of the country voted to make the other 49% pay higher taxes so that the 51% could get "free" services. "

Romney won 9 of the 10 states with the highest state percentage of 47%ers (Obama won Florida).

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

The top 1% pay 37% of the Federal income taxes. The idea that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is a communist idea. If you had a business and you had a depression your business would likely have fewer customers and you would make less money. When the tide goes out all ships sink. Of course there are a few billionaires. If the tax hike is placed on the "rich" it will pay 8 days of our national budget. However if you want to tax entertainers, and those not in small business it is ok with me. The big problem is not tax revenue it is simply spending more than you earn.

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