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Comments about ‘Letter: Republicans are wrong — the wealthy must pay more in taxes’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 7 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

Mike Richards,

I'm just curious about something. Where, in your view of a free and perfectly capitalistic America does the worker fit in, who works in an authoritarian business (which includes almost all businesses) and is not allowed to reap the share of profits he has created by his work? And don't give me any nonsense about being paid a fair market wage. I'm talking about receiving a share of the profit that is commensurate with his actual input into the productive process. Please enlighten me.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Slavery! Oh my heck, Mike Richards, you think a four percent raise in marginal tax rates reduces millionaires to slavery! I'm weeping, I'm laughing so hard.

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

In an effort to find common ground, why not raise revenue in a way that will actually make the very wealthy pay more? Rate hikes won't do it. The wealthy earn most their money through capital gains, which is not on the table for a raise in rates. The rest of the money they make they deduct away so they don't pay taxes on it no matter the rate.

The real way to take money from the rich and remove a large portion of money influence in Washington is to eliminate all deductions on income over the magical $250K level and to tax capital gains as income ie same progressive rates.

Why doesn't either side want to do that? They must like the perks they get from the rich. I think they are pretending to fight, but really they are all in on this together.

Common ground #2. The president offered $2 in cuts for every dollar of new revenue. Republicans want cuts too. But no one is talking about cuts. Now Harry Reid refuses to bring to the floor any discussion of cuts in spending? Both sides say they want them. Let's get some spending cuts, PLEASE!

Anti Bush-Obama
Washington, DC

I propose a national no work day. Maybe then these materialistic lazy people will understand just how important work is.

one old man
Ogden, UT

In his book, Hedrick Smith points out that a recent survey found that 55% of Americans report they are struggling financially, while 45% said they were doing okay.

He then points out that this sharp divide in our country is why we can still see American families eating out at restaurants and spending as if there is no recession. It's apparent that those in the more fortunate side of the economic coin are almost oblivious to what's happening to many of their neighbors.

I submit that for a lot of us, the only thing protecting us from becoming the less fortunate is nothing more than luck.

All of us should examine carefully and honestly what would happen to us if we were suddenly "downsized" by our employers, or suffered a sudden and serious and very expensive medical problem. When you think about it, those 45% who are currently able to spend without much worry could be only a hairsbreadth away from financial disaster.

Although I wouldn't wish such disaster on anyone, it might be a good exercise in humility if some of the more vocal posters here suddenly found themselves on the other side of the coin.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Eric,

With all due respect, why are you so special that you should pay a lower tax rate rhan any other American? Do you believe in a "class system"? Do you believe that it costs less for the military to protect you than Obama's mythical "rich guy"? Do you think that someone should "serve" you?

Just why should you pay a lower rate than anyone else?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Mike Richards, it's simple.

We gotta find a way to pay for your repub wars, Medicare part D, and repub bank bailouts.

Only way to do that? Raise taxes.

Sorry.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

J Thompson,

Just to be clear about rates. The very wealthy do not pay a higher rate despite the nominal rate. As seen in Mitt's taxes (and no, I am not criticizing) he paid a lower rate than most middle class families. Same for Warren Buffet. Same for my old boss. Same for a lot of folks.

No, it is not just about lower rates on capital gains. They use the available loopholes (again, no criticism, I would too) and the result is a lower tax rate than most middle class families.

And reference different tax rates. We have had progressive tax rates for as long as nearly any American has been alive. So I doubt it causes slavery (real or metaphorical).

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Newell" What is the rich’s "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 "That’s 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 haven’t at one point hollered, “That’s 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.

Wanda B. Rich
Provo, UT

I would like to hear from the LDS conservatives who are so intent on protecting the wealthy class from paying a larger share of the tax burden how they interpret the following:

"But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin." (D&C 49:20)

How can you believe this is scripture and yet support an economic philosophy so diametrically opposed to this principle? Just curious.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

J Thompson,
What makes me so special? Nothing. I should pay the tax rate that makes sense for people with my income and expenses. So should you, so should everyone.
My youngest child is college-age. When we take her out to dinner, we pay. What makes her so special? She can't afford to go out to dinner, and my wife and I can. A progressive tax rate makes sense, because some people can afford to pay more than others do.
May I suggest that you consider tax policy from an economic lens, and not a moralistic one?

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Wanda B. Rich" I will play your game.

D&C 56:16-17
16 Wo unto you rich men, that will not give your substance to the poor, for your riches will canker your souls; and this shall be your lamentation in the day of visitation, and of judgment, and of indignation: The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved!

17 Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!

Jacob 2:19
19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

Redshirt,
Interesting that 2 of your 3 quotes do not support the accumulation of wealth for any purpose except helping those with less. And the third only deals with people who don't want to work for anything. What of the working poor who struggle daily yet still have difficulty making a living?

It is difficult to find any passage in scripture that advocates the accumulation of wealth for the individual.

Wanda B. Rich
Provo, UT

Redshirt,

I don't know what game you're playing, but you didn't answer the question.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

Ok Wanda, let me spell it out. According to the scripture, wealth is ok to obtain, and is even ok to seek after. What I don't want to do is to make it difficult for people to do good with their money by using taxes to forcibly redistribute wealth.

According to the scripture, it is the duty of the individual to help the less fortunate. The poor are not to demand that the wealthy support them.

Why do you support greed from the poor by enabling them to lay "hold upon other men’s goods"?

jsf
Centerville, UT

New International Version (©1984)
Luke 18:13
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

At least he recognized the evils of collecting taxes.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

re:Jsf

Question: What form of govt. existed in biblical times--in reference to the scripture you cited? What were the taxes in biblical times used for? Were they used to help the poor and needy? The widows? The disabled and elderly? what? Do you think context is important? Do you really think God looks at a democratic society which collects taxes for programs to aid the disabled, poor, elderly and children as evil? But taxes to wage war is ok?

Emajor
Ogden, UT

jsf,
So, you are equating the government of America with totalitarian Roman overlords? That's a stretch, but even so, Jesus had something to say about it: Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's. So pay your taxes.

redshirt,
"Why do you support greed from the poor by enabling them to lay "hold upon other men’s goods"

I think your argument had merit until that slanted question. If your scripture supports both redistribution from the wealthy and personal responsibility from the poor, you should also be asking the inverse: why should anyone support greed from the wealthy by enabling them to withhold their "duty of the individual to help the less fortunate"?

Wanda B. Rich
Provo, UT

Redshirt,

I really don't know that many greedy poor. Do you? That's more a conservative justification for denying them a decent standard of living. It's also easy to attach loaded labels to things to support simplistic political talking points. A good example is your label "forcibly redistribute wealth."

The facts are that (1) the economic system we have allowed to evolve is set up to systematically shift wealth from the lower economic levels to the upper levels, (2) the rich give a smaller percentage of their income to charity than the less well-off, (3) there are many things that charities simply cannot do or do not do efficiently, (4) there is a need for government involvement in providing for those things that the market and charity cannot cover, and (5) this does not constitute forcibly redistributing wealth.

If you can tell me how supporting the increasing accumulation of wealth at the top and the increasing slippage at the bottom squares with consistent LDS historical and scriptural commitment to economic equality, I'll be surprised.

Nonconlib
Happy Valley, UT

"What I don't want to do is to make it difficult for people to do good with their money by using taxes to forcibly redistribute wealth."

So, you're saying that increasing Mitt Romney's effective tax rate from 13 percent to 15 percent would somehow prevent him from donating another $5 million to charity? He is a generous man, but it's not like he is giving all his money to charity. His wealth is increasing year after year by leaps and bounds, even after his charitable deductions. Your argument doesn't hold water.

Now, Warren Buffett, that's another story. He's going to let his children give all his wealth away to good causes. And he wants tax rates to increase on the wealthy. What does he see that you don't, I wonder.

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