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Published: Tuesday, Dec. 11 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Come On Roger.

We have no desire to know all of those little details.

Here is all we need to know.

- Taxes will be raised to unconscionable levels in order to run the govt for 10 days.

- All rich people are job creators. Raise their taxes AT ALL and they will no longer hire the rest of us.

- Give rich people more money and it will filter down to everyone else.

- Raising taxes on rich people is "redistribution of wealth" and will go to those unwilling to work

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

Blind-partisan Utahns, which are numerous, will ignore your facts and legitimate figures. They like Mitt's Mystery Math and won't stop believing they were in the minority of voters.

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

For Republicans who have sold their soul to Grover Norquist, it's not about the numbers, it's all about the principle and the promise. But thank you, Roger, for shining the light of reason on this topic. It exposes how irrational they are in fighting this battle. Any "job creator" worth his or her entrepreneurial salt can absorb the slight increase in tax burden without missing a beat, without having to shut down or scale back operations in any significant way, and without having to give up his or her extravagant lifestyle.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Mr. Terry,

Your clear bias toward reality and facts will makes your analysis unpersuasive.

ECR
Burke, VA

Thanks Roger for this clearly stated explanation of the proposed tax rate increase. There are those who want us to believe that the president is proposing tax increases on ALL income for those making over $250,000 per year. But as you so clearly state is only on the income in excess of $250,000. Otherwise, everyone pays the same tax, even after the tax increase, on the first $250,000 of income. Still there are those who think a tax increase of any kind is wrong and unfair. But it is only with a combination of some tax increase (getting us closer to the tax rates of the 90's when we experienced the greatest financial success in our history) and the careful and responsible decrease in spending that we can begin to solve our debt problem. I think it is worth repeating that the CBO estimated in the late 90's that if we continued the course we were on then, with less government and higher taxes, we would have paid off our national debt by 2010. But instead, we cut taxes and increased spending including two unfunded wars. That's no way to run a business or a country.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

As i keep trying to tell Mike Richards, 100K isn't rich. Not even close.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Obama's "plan" is no plan at all. It doesn't solve ANY problems. It is a power grab by the President to have an open-ended "credit card". For those whose memories are so short that they can't remember what he did the first time:

- He had to have stimulus money and he had to have it immediately. No time to think. No time to debate.

- He had to "save" GM and Chrysler immediately. No time to see who was receiving the money. No time to debate whether government had the right to seize a private company.

- He had to have Obamacare passed immediately. No time to read the bill. No time to debate the bill. It had to be passed right then.

He's trying to do it again. The CBO tells us that taxing the "rich guy" will bring is $60 billion a year - if the "rich guy" decides to be the government patsy and continues to work just as hard and just as many hours. That's only 1/25th of the money needed.

Face it. He's going to raise taxes on YOU, but, he's going to do it piecemeal. Study history - his history.

Henderson
Orem, UT

But but but...

According to a letter writer yesterday... (ANY) tax increase on the rich is class warfare and they should sue the federal government for being picked on!

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

"This past election, Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform, spent nearly $16 million to support his favored candidates; that's according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Where did that money come from, and what did it buy? Back in the 1990's, it was the tobacco industry backing Norquist's fight against cigarette taxes; now it's pharmaceutical companies, among others. Not long ago, this same Grover Norquist was using his organization to launder money for the notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff. How about that for tax reform!

So, not only does the Norquist Pledge symbolize a "political system short on legitimacy," as Christopher Caldwell (a senior editor at The Weekly standard) wrote. It isn't even about principle or ideology. Conservatism, my foot. It's all about the money."
(Bill Moyers, Capitol Crimes)

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Small business is a lie, just like the lie about small farmers the term is used to make us have sympathy for a non-existent disadvantaged group of businessmen.

There are no disadvantaged businessmen. If a businessman feels he is disadvantaged all he has to do is move to a different business or even take a job like the rest of us.

All personal income is the same, and as the best measure of American benefits, should be taxed the same no mater how, where or when it is obtained.

The distinction between a businessman and a worker is that the businessman obtains his income from the labor of others. Success for a businessman is buying at low wages/cost and selling the product at a higher price.

The only businessman who might deserve any sympathy is the one man business where the owner is also the worker.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

To Mike R..of course he will raises taxes on all of us "at some time". At some time the payroll deduction tax rate has to go back to where it was and the Bush tax cuts have to expire for everyone.."at some time". You're not saying anything the President hasn't said himself.

Just want to get it out in the open so when the economy fully recovers as a result of the Presidents brilliant handling..and "some time" arrives you don't run around saying I told you so..because the President has all ready told us so.

one old man
Ogden, UT

A good letter.

But those who oppose any increases are not interested in facts.

Procura told us exactly that the other day when he wrote in a post here: "My opinions are not based on facts." That's not an exact quote, but I'm sure you'll all get the idea.

Roger Terry
Happy Valley, UT

In the 200 words allotted, I didn't have space to mention that this little hypothetical situation is very simplified and, therefore, overestimates the taxes a small businessperson would pay. I assumed minimal credits and deductions. For example, I assumed a mortgage of $300,000 at 3 percent for 15 years, which yielded a mortgage interest deduction of $8,800. A family with this sort of income could afford a much larger house and mortgage.

I also assumed that this family of four paid only 4 percent of their income to charity, which would result in higher taxable income than if they had donated a higher percentage. I assumed they were too busy to take advantage of all the tax credits and loopholes available to people of means. So, if anything, my numbers are grossly overstated in terms of the taxes this family would pay.

conservative scientist
Lindon, UT

I hope your numbers are true Roger and if true will be less scary than much of what has been circulated for people in the range of income you are talking about. Your numbers are, however, different from what President Obama keeps drumming which is that anyone making over $200,000 ($250,000 filing jointly) will pay more taxes (and often the tax code is written so people in higher incomes lose exemptions and other deductions). How do I know what to believe? Please tell me what source gave you your numbers so they can be verified. I'm genuinely interested and hoping you are accurate.

Henderson
Orem, UT

"He had to have Obamacare passed immediately. No time to read the bill. No time to debate the bill. It had to be passed right then."

Huh?

Obamacare wasn't new. In the 90s it was created in part by the Heritage Foundation and sponsored by Orrin Hatch.

This comment that Obamacare was just created out of thin air and passed is extremely incorrect.

However, because the wacky right has become overly crazy and their #1 goal was to make Obama a one-term President they turned against their own reform and declared it Socialism. My how far the right has fallen!

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

I still have seen no answer on this simple question.

We constantly hear how Reagan created millions of jobs and created a booming economy by lowering tax rates. The predominant top tax rate under Reagan was 50%. He briefly cut it to 28% but that rate kicked in at around $30,000 in today's dollars.

Today's top tax rate is 35% beginning at an income of around $380,000. The proposal is to raise it to 39.6 ( the rate under Clinton who also had a very good economy)

So, here is the million dollar question

How could Reagan's 50% top tax rate be so good for jobs and the economy, but a 40% tax rate is a job killer.

Can anyone explain the the logic?

airnaut
Everett, 00

Great letter Roger Terry!

Thank You for using facts, and data [the truth]
to stifle the Chicken Little scare tactics used on FaoxNews and Talk Radio.

You assumptions even left out ridiculous "tax deductions" even small companies take advantage of like that the rest of us can't like -

No sales tax,
Business lunches, dinners, vacations,
Assest Depreciations,
Property Lease,
Motor Vehicle mileage at what?...42 cents per mile?,
NONE of that and 1,000 items more are never shown as earnings because they are all deductible.

I know for a fact, most business owners also do things like form Family Trusts, LLCs, and hide ALL their personal assests like house, personal vehicles, RVs, ect. so those never show up on that $250K IRS radar either.

So the REAL number after everything else is said and done is the "Adjusted Income" of over $250K, after all deductions - the 100% pure Profit - cash in the pocket, after everything else.

G.E. made $Billions and STILL never paid a nickel in taxes.
The common household doesn't enjoy such tax privledges.

Mitt Romney - business guru - couldn't name ONE loophole he'd close as President....
...and that's what's wrong with the GOP.
Name ONE.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Outstanding letter. My gosh, it's great to see some common sense (and math!) on this issue.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

President Bush should have reversed the tax cuts, the second he declared the war in Iraq. American patriots will pay more taxes for a war in defense of national security.

stuff
Provo, UT

That's all good and well, Roger, but there is so much more to the tax increases than just personal income tax. You're comments, while probably true and fairly accurate, do not take into account things such as cancellation of many deductions, impact on states, medicare, medicaid and many other programs that are tied into the tax code. Some articles I've read indicate that the affect on states is in the billions of dollars. So, even though the federal income tax is not that large, if the states have to make up that lost revenue, then taxes in other areas increase significantly. The overall tax burden will become more difficult to bear.

Now, if I may, the Book of Mormon makes a few references to taxes. One-fifth (20%) was outrageous and 50% was imposed on people being held captive.

I suppose that now, or soon, the "rich", and anyone else willing to work, will literally become working slaves to those who don't or won't work who expect a free, albeit poverty-level, distribution from the government.

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