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Letter: What mandate? Do what is right for the whole country

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  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 12, 2012 5:20 a.m.

    You are completely right Scott.

    Unfortunately, we have become so partisan in this country that people have become blinded. They can no longer see a distinction between what is right for the country and the party ideology.

    The facts are that

    - federal spending is at all time highs
    - federal taxes are at 60+ year lows.

    Yet partisan ideology has convinced much of the country that only one side of the equation needs to be adjusted.

    We need adults in the room to work out a solution encompassing both.

    And we need the electorate, THAT IS YOU, to allow them the latitude to put country over party.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Dec. 12, 2012 6:22 a.m.

    The author makes an excellent point in saying that politicians (and I would add citizens as well) need to put aside partisan differences and work together to solve our massive debt and deficit problems. I would like to make a comment on the almost 120 million people who chose not to vote in the last election. Rather than use them as evidence of how many people didn't vote for either President Obama or Mitt Romney, I would prefer to negate their non-participation and just simply call it irresponsible. If you don't participate in the process you don't have the right to complain about the outcome. So rather than identify huge numbers who didn't vote for either candidate let's just say it was a close race and those who actually care about this country are closely divided on the outcome. Many people have sacrificed much, even their own lives, to give us the right to vote. Shame on those who squander this beautiful right that many in the world wish they had.

  • custer Boise, ID
    Dec. 12, 2012 8:32 a.m.

    ECR: Where does it say in the Constitution that citizens loose their free speech rights if they don't vote? In this country people have the right to NOT vote if they so choose. My personal choice is to always take part in elections and vote, but if people choose not to vote, that is their right and I respect it.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    JoeBlow "- federal taxes are at 60+ year lows."

    Tax and spend liberals would love for everyone to believe that tax revenues are extremely low because of all the "Bush tax cuts for the uber-wealthy" and are a driving force behind Obama's string of trillion dollar deficits.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Just look at any chart that shows inflation adjusted federal tax receipts and you will see that the government is taking as much or more of our money as it ever has. It is spending that has doubled in the last dozen years.

    During the Democrat's "golden age of good government" (The Clinton years), tax receipts ranged from a low of $1.5T to a high of $2.1T (inflation adjusted to 2005 dollars). During the "evil days of the Bush empire", tax receipts exceeded the highest Clinton year 5 different times with the highest receipts ever in 2007 at over $2.4T.

    Even last year with the "great recession" and the Bush Tax cuts in full force, tax receipts were still higher than 5 of the 8 Clinton years. How can anyone say that our problem is too few taxes with a straight face?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:11 a.m.

    I look at it like this --

    53% just voted to re-elected Pres. Obama,
    Congress has a 13% approval rating.
    67% will blame Republicans for falling off the Fiscal Cliff.

    Yes, there is a Mandate,
    Republicans don't seem willing to admit they don't have it and
    seem more willing to destroy America with their All-or-Nothing hostage postition
    rather sit down and compromise.

    Fine,

    I look forward to the Democratic House of Representatives in 2014.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:19 a.m.

    LDS Lib, and the fact is that if the GOP had not successfully been able to gerrymander the House districts in several states, we would have a Democratic House right now.

    I hope it can happen in 2014, but given the political games that are played and the outright corruption of some parts of our law-making bodies, I'm not very encouraged.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    Scott, how do you expect one political party to work with the President when they value their pledge to Nordquist more than their pledge to us, the American People?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    Those who do not understand the purpose of the Constitution and those who reject the Constitution keep demanding that one segment of the population be taxed at a higher rate than they pay themselves. They demand that some "rich guy" pay for duties that are not authorized by the Constitution.

    Article 1, Section 2 gives Congress the power to tax us.

    Article 1, Section 8 limits the duties for which we can be taxed.

    Article 2 limits the power of the President.

    Amendments 4 and 5 limits the government in taking our property.

    Amendment 14 assures us equal protection under the law.

    Taxes are allowed. Congress is limited in those duties for which we may be taxed. We are all equally responsible, under the Supreme Law of the Land, to pay for those duties. The President cannot legislate and he must enforce the laws passed by Congress.

    If we accept that taxes must be raised to pay for duties, then we agree to be taxed ourselves to pay for those duties. There is no Constitutional provision to tax one person at a rate higher than another.

    If it's good for the Country, then we all pay.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    Scott,
    unfortunately we elect politicians, not leaders, and definitely NOT statesmen, the current resident of the WH being the foremost example.

    Joe blow,
    I'm confused by your apparent inability to distinguish tax RATES from overall taxes. high rates cause companies like Google to offshore billions in revenues to avoid our taxes. Make the corporate tax rates more reasonable by lowering them, and tax revenues will increase because less profit will be expatriated. It's better to get 10% $12 billion than 35% of $2 billion. the way dems talk about tax rates tells me they don't understand that simple math.

    LDS lib,
    you comment tells me that Josef Goebels would be envious of the dem spin machine. A dem house in 2014? THAT is why BO is bound and determined to push us over the fiscal cliff, he sees that as the most sure way to a dem house in 2014.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    Mike.

    Your "constitution" rants would carry much more weight if you also applied the same vigorous objections when the GOP tramples the document.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:50 a.m.

    New math

    60 million divided by 315 million equals 53 percent.

    No it is 19%, effectively republicans got 18%. Approval rate for Congress, 13%. Who are the 13% who approve? No lib I don't think you have any evidence it is the republicans.

    What the country needs is a fresh out look with a third party that can motivate the 63% that did not vote.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 10:02 a.m.

    Scott, an update on the final popular vote: It wasn't 60 million to 57 million. It was 65.5 million for Obama to 60.8 million for Romney, nearly 5 million difference. Romney received 47.3 percent of the vote, making him the 47-percent candidate who he referred to during the campaign.

    Also, concerning federal taxes paid, Romney's federal liability in 2011 was only 9 percent, but, at a time he was taking lots of heat over his taxes, he voluntarily declined to take certain deductions so that he ended up paying 14 percent. Even the 14 percent was a lot lower than many middle income Americans pay, which is why Obama is right to call for the wealthy to begin paying their fair share.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    @ Joeblow,

    You seem to have not read Mike Richards' posts. He "calls out" anyone in any party at any time on any subject if that person has violated his oath of office. That's what I admire about people like Mike Richards; he is not blinded by party or by person. If something is wrong, he lets us know.

    I believe that he stands for principles. I agree with him. There is no "mandate" for Obama to exceed his authority. There is no "mandate" for Obama to call for the taxation of some people and not for others. There is no "mandate" to give Obama unlimited credit card privileges. There is no "mandate" of any kind.

    We are equally responsible for the bills incurred by Congress. If we want them to do something, we ALL have to pay for it. The most insidious thing that we can ever do is to expect someone else to pay for the government programs that we receive.

    If everyone were taxed at the same rate, there would be a cry and howl for Congress to STOP SPENDING, but if only the "rich guy" is taxed, then those without principles urge Obama on.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    far to reasonable Scoot, thank you.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    My bad we do have a breakdown by party of the 13% approval. 16% of Democrats, 12% of independents, and 10% of Republicans approve of the job Congress is doing.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 12, 2012 11:02 a.m.

    "cause companies like Google to offshore billions in revenues to avoid our taxes."

    So, Bermuda has a ZERO corporate tax rate. Do you think that if the US cut its corporate tax rate in half, that Google would pay it?

    Use logic now.

    Google Inc. (GOOG) avoided about $2 billion in worldwide income taxes in 2011 by shifting $9.8 billion in revenues into a Bermuda shell company.....

    By legally funneling profits from overseas subsidiaries into Bermuda, which doesn’t have a corporate income tax, Google cut its overall tax rate almost in half. The amount moved to Bermuda is equivalent to about 80 percent of Google’s total pretax profit in 2011.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Dec. 12, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    Custer - point well taken. I don't want to take anyone's right of free speech (although I will continue to argue that complaints about the outcome of an election are invalid coming from those who chose not to participate) but I just don't think we should count the non-vote of certain citizens as an indictment against the platform of either party. In my opinion, only the opinion of those who participate in the process should be considered when judging what an election should tell us.

    One might argue that a non-vote makes a statement as well but I feel it is similar to people who complain about a specific issue without presenting a reasoinable alternative. Voters can write in canidates or if those 120 million non-voters banded together they could form a viable third party that might have better answers to our problems. Just doing nothing is not the answer.

    On the other hand, as I said earlier, I totally agree with the premise of this letter and what needs to happen to move our country forward.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 11:41 a.m.

    Thompson
    SPRINGVILLE, UT
    10:14 a.m. Dec. 12, 2012
    @ Joeblow,

    You seem to have not read Mike Richards' posts. He "calls out" anyone in any party at any time on any subject if that person has violated his oath of office. That's what I admire about people like Mike Richards; he is not blinded by party or by person.

    =====================

    HaHaHA!

    THAT has got to be the funny line of the month, possibly the year!

    BlueRibbon winner of comedy in my book!

    We are talking about the saem guy who can not stnad, yet voted for Senator Orrin Hatch with the letter (R) each and everytime for the last 32 years, right?

    And twice for GW Bush - also the letter (R) - who trampled the Constitution for 8 years solid?!

    TARP, the Patriot Act, and 2 aggressive Offensive military operations belong to them, I might add.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 12:13 p.m.

    J Thompson,
    I'm sorry, but I don't understand your proposal.
    You suggest that everyone in the country should pay the same tax rate. For everything? I assume you mean the federal income tax. So are you proposing eliminating payroll taxes? Are you proposing paying for Social Security and Medicare out of general revenues, instead of with a dedicated fund for just those purposes? Or do you propose adding money earned from investments to payroll taxes. Or do you propose that millionaires add payroll taxes on all their income to the income taxes they currently pay? Or are you suggesting that hard working people in low income jobs, people who can barely make ends meet, suddenly take a tax hit of an additional high percentage of their income. Or are you suggesting that, instead of income, we tax people only on disposable income?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 12, 2012 12:37 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" and what has Obama done differently than Bush? Obama has taken nearly every Bush era policy and made them bigger and more expensive.

    I have asked you this same question many times before, and you cannot come up with anything.

    Obama had is own TARP program, he extended the Patriot Act and added even more constitutionally questionable aspects, he began 2 aggressive military operations and secretly shipped arms to people that were getting help from Al Qaeda.

    Again, where is the difference? Why support Obama when he represented a bigger and more expensive version of Bush?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 12, 2012 12:52 p.m.

    LDS Liberal,

    Your comment is unsubstantiated. It is your OPINION. Since when were your OPINIONS promoted to facts? Assuming something does not make your assumption true.

    -----

    When people have nothing to offer, they mock, they attack, they divert. This nation is in trouble, in serious trouble. There is no time to mock. The solution is simple. Spending cannot exceed income. Increasing revenue must be top priority. Obama wants to increase revenues by raising the tax rate on a selected part of the population. He ignores the fact that EVERYONE in that tax bracket can simply stop working. They can simply close their businesses. They can simply fire their employees. They can stop working their 80 hour weeks. They can stop earning money.

    The better way is to remove restrictions on business so that OUR companies can operate as effectively in America as they do offshore. Ask any businessman what the #1 reason was for going offshore. He will tell you - TAXES. If Obama would listen, he would stop driving businesses offshore by REDUCING taxes. Revenues would increase. The government has sufficient data to show that reducing taxes increases revenues.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 1:04 p.m.

    Eric,

    Do you pay the same property tax rate as everyone else in your taxing district? Is that tax separate from the federal and local fuel taxes that you pay at the gas station? Is that tax separate from the sales tax that you pay at the grocery store?

    You pay the same RATE as everyone else. The taxing authority determines the RATE. It is authorized to charge that RATE for its product or service.

    We have many taxes. We need to have the same RATE charged to everyone for each taxing authority. All payroll taxes should be the same RATE. All Social Security taxes should be the same RATE. All Medicare taxes should be the same RATE.

    Having a single FEDERAL TAX would be a good idea, especially if that tax were a sales tax, but that will never happen in my life-time. Until then, treating everyone equal and having each taxing authority charge the same RATE for their authorized service would be the 2nd best option.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 2:43 p.m.

    Joeblow,

    Thanks for providing the detail backing my point on Google.

    Use logic now.

    Do you really think there are no costs associated with setting up the shell company and moving all the funds around? No bookkeeping costs? No personnel and financial expenses, no foreign palms to grease?

    Obviously the costs associated with expatriating the income were lower than the taxes. Bring the rates down so the taxes would be less, and we would collect more revenue.

    I’ll repeat, better to get 10% of $12 billion than 35% of $2 billion

  • Phranc SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 3:30 p.m.

    @mike richards
    what do you think the last 12 years have been Mike?, we tried it your way it failed time to go back to a reasonable and balanced approach. As far as all people in that tax bracket folding up camp and going home, you are familiar with the phrase cutting off your nose to spite your face. I am pretty confident that most business men are not stupid enough to fold up camp over a 3% tax increase on the profits.

  • George Bronx, NY
    Dec. 12, 2012 3:36 p.m.

    @mike richards

    "He ignores the fact that EVERYONE in that tax bracket can simply stop working. They can simply close their businesses. They can simply fire their employees. They can stop working their 80 hour weeks. They can stop earning money. "

    right because people in this tax bracket, the majority of whom voted for Obama, are so unintelligent that they are going to stop working, close up shop thereby giving up their wealth over a 3% tax increase. You really do not think much of these people do you? You talk about mocking and insulting behaviors.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 3:45 p.m.

    lost in DC: "I’ll repeat, better to get 10% of $12 billion than 35% of $2 billion"

    Save your breath. It doesn't matter to the tax and spend liberals. They don't think that way. It has nothing to do with actual revenues, it is all about a perceived fairness using progressive tax rates. It didn't matter that Romney paid millions in taxes while a whole bunch of other people paid nothing. The only thing that mattered was that his tax rate was 14% while some other poorer person's rate was 15%.

    If we were to institute a flat tax of 15% and it resulted in a booming economy; sent unemployment to 2%; lifted every poor person in America above the poverty line; and resulted in an extra $500 billion being brought into the treasury each year; the Democrats would not be happy at all.

    Instead, they would complain bitterly about how unfair the tax rates were and how little of the wealth was being spread around (without their help of course).

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 4:01 p.m.

    JoeBlow: "Google Inc. (GOOG) avoided about $2 billion in worldwide income taxes in 2011 by shifting $9.8 billion in revenues into a Bermuda shell company....."

    You make it sound like that is a bad thing. I am not in favor of tax cheats. Those who violate tax laws should be prosecuted. But those who avoid taxes using legal loopholes or legitimate deductions are not evil. You can argue all day that the tax laws need to be changed, but that is another matter.

    The main question is...What happened to that $2 billion that Google successfully avoided giving to corrupt government bureaucrats who would have wasted most of it? Did they use it to buy new equipment, hire a bunch of new employees, or invest in research that will improve all our lives down the road? How is that worse for the country than giving it to Obama to pass out to a bunch of union bosses?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 12, 2012 5:45 p.m.

    George,

    If you had to do the same job at a lower pay rate and if you had enough money saved up to live without working, what would you do? Would you be Obama's "slave". Would you allow him to "use" you to further his agenda? Would you be his "patsy".

    I wouldn't. I would not allow anyone, especially the President of the United States to single me out as someone to attack, as someone to target, as someone to bully.

    He might be your idea of a "leader", but he would never make it in a Boy Scout troop where they say, "On my honor".

  • dwaynerichards Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 6:44 p.m.

    ECR,

    "Many people have sacrificed much, even their own lives, to give us the right to vote. Shame on those who squander this beautiful right that many in the world wish they had."

    Let's dumb it down so you can understand and we don't have to repeat ourselves. The right to vote isn't the end all be all of life. The right to vote has so consumed some people that it blinds them to a need for limited government and the right of the people to be free of the annoyances imposed by constant and unceasing elections. We are constantly in a state of turmoil and civil unrest because we feel a need to make everything a matter for an election. Your argument goes like this "others have died for your right to vote so you must vote or you are squandering the right." So if we finally have had enough of you and the political class who want an election on everything then we squandering our rights. Our right is the right to be left alone and not have losers we can't stand and wouldn't spend a holiday with voting on our families

  • dwaynerichards Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 6:58 p.m.

    ECR,

    "although I will continue to argue that complaints about the outcome of an election are invalid coming from those who chose not to participate"

    Go ahead and ARGUE but some are sick of arguing and voting on every little thing. The reason those who don't vote have more of right to complain about those who do trampling on theirs rights is they didnt vote to trample on your rights.

    "In my opinion, only the opinion of those who participate in the process should be considered when judging what an election should tell us."

    Of course, that is because the opinion of those who are sick of the political class who enjoy voting and feel its so important shouldnt be considered. If they dont vote and take part in this charade then we shouldnt listen to them.

    "One might argue that a non-vote makes a statement as well but I feel it is similar to people who complain about a specific issue without presenting a reasoinable alternative."

    Its funny, the same people who were involved in student elections in high school are the same nit wits who become active voters, Congressmen, Presidents, etc.

  • dwaynerichards Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 7:18 p.m.

    Mike Richards,

    "I wouldn't. I would not allow anyone, especially the President of the United States to single me out as someone to attack, as someone to target, as someone to bully."

    This is a common theme in our society which has become so politicized that people think that people are supposed to take the level of involvement others seek in their life through elections. This is breaking down the social fabric of society and we are seeing the fruits of a long chain of abuses. Its hard for people to even talk to one another anymore. Friendships and even family relationships have ended over a desire of the political class to intrude into the lives of others. This isnt exclusive to one party or opinion either. Respect for boundaries have broken down and there are less boundaries.

    Most people just want government to leave them alone because it wears thin on people to be constantly subjected to having to argue and to defend their own interests and it becomes worse when people do it and lose an election. No one likes that. Our founding fathers established a limited republic for good reason. So we dont kill one another.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 7:23 p.m.

    J Thompson
    Awesome! I'm delighted for the clarification. Everyone pays the same rate, in their own categories. That's your plan. I'm for it!
    You just declared your support for a massive tax increase for rich people.
    Right now, everyone pays around 14% of their earned income for payroll taxes. That's how Medicare and Social Security are paid for. So: 14%. It's capped at around $110,000. What this means, of course, is that someone earning 10 million dollars pays a completely different rate than someone earning 30,000. So according to your calculations, that cap has to go. Millionaires now have to pay 14% on everything. That's in addition to their Federal Income taxes.
    That's awesome. Right now, someone making 10 million dollars pays payroll tax of about 15,000 dollars. According to your plan, which I agree with, they would now pay a total tax of 1.4 million.
    Thank you for your support!

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 7:38 p.m.

    Eric,

    Do you have even the slightest idea of what "payroll tax" means?

    I didn't think so.

    An owner of a business is taxed on his profits. He puts money at risk. If he is a good businessman, his business prospers and he pays taxes on those profits. He does not receive a "paycheck". He is not part of the payroll anymore than millions of federal employees were part of the "payroll" when it came time to have Social Security "donations" taken from their paycheck.

    Social Security was started to take money from the workers to pay for their retirement. It was not started to take care of business owners were required to take care of themselves. The business owners paid nothing into the system ad they are not "entitled" to take anything out of the system.

    Distorting facts is not becoming and should never be tolerated in polite company.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 8:15 p.m.

    I love the way people like to include FICA when it suites their point of view and discount it when it doesn't.

    Let's be clear, FICA payments are not the same as income tax. It is for the funding of SS and medicare. It would be great if it were at a rate that actually could pay for those programs without raiding the other revenue. As for it dropping off after a certain income level, that is because there are limits on how much you can receive, so there are also limits on how much you need to contribute. Equating this with income taxes is a total fallacy.

    Business owners pay self employment tax at a rate of 15%. Self employment tax is their social security and medicare contribution. They also pay income tax separate and in addition to the self employment tax. Don't try to say employees are the only ones contributing to SS. Businesses, ie employers, pay part of the tax for each employee and the employee pays part. Employees need to quit whining about their 4-6% contributions. Your employer pays all his plus half of yours.

    Why do you love to hate these guys?

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 10:55 a.m.

    J Thompson
    Uh, CEOs aren't paid a salary? I didn't distort facts, I pointed out that you just announced your support for a massive tax increase for many rich people. And I welcomed you to our side. Since you're now, by your own definition, a liberal, may I suggest some other issues for you to rethink?

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Dec. 15, 2012 10:31 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal:
    "Republicans don't seem willing to admit they don't have it and
    seem more willing to destroy America with their All-or-Nothing hostage postition
    rather sit down and compromise."

    The problem is, Obama is trying to pull a fast one. He wants a tax increase for a select few and promising to do some budget cutting later on. Guess what? He won't do some cutting later on. Republicans are willing to go along with the tax increase if they can get the cuts at the same time... rather than an what they know as an empty promise.

    "I look forward to the Democratic House of Representatives in 2014."

    And you might just get it unless the Republicans drop their moral stance. Republicans need to drop their objections to dispatching the unborn (commonly called abortion including partial birth abortion), agree to same sex marriage, agree to amnesty for law breaking illegal immigrants, and start smoking pot. That's what got Obama elected for his second term.

    I just don't see the Republicans willing to do it.

  • Mr. Bean Ogden, UT
    Dec. 15, 2012 10:48 p.m.

    @Eric Samuelsen:
    "I'm sorry, but I don't understand your proposal. You suggest that everyone in the country should pay the same tax rate. For everything?"

    The point is that there is no provision in the US Constitution to tax some people at higher rates that others. This means the rate of taxation should be the same for everyone.

    And a case can be made that taxing people at different rates violates the equal protection clause... the concept of the clause being that all should be treated equally under the law and thus, taxed equally.

    He also points out that, if everyone pays a tax a hue & cry against more taxation would come from everyone, rich and poor alike. As it now stands about half of the citizens pay no income tax so they are happy to see more tax collections from the other guys.

    A consumption tax would be fair since everyone would pay the same rate. And are free to change the amount of taxes paid by changing their consumption.