Published: Wednesday, Dec. 19 2012 12:00 a.m. MST
My appeal is to the head, not to the heart. What I will post is not easy to say
and will doubtless be considered cold and mean, but if we are ever going to get
out of the problem that we are in, then it is the unfortunate truth. We are trillions and trillions of dollars in debt. The country has added
about $16,000 of debt per person in the last four years. We have all been
living way beyond our means as a country as we borrow, borrow, borrow. Not
borrow to invest or to build capital or infrastructure, but rather to consume.
What you propose would be to punish those that achieve and drive the country and
reward those aren't working. The only way to fix this problem is to reduce
spending by real amounts (1% per year and discard baseline spending increases).
Resources will never ever catch up with wants. Overly taxing rich people will
just get them to stop investing or flee the country, taking their wealth with
them. I'd much rather have a rich person investing and spending then have
them stop participating in the economy. You get what you reward.
I think what needs to happen is that all tax levels return to their rates in
2000. We also need to stop subsidizing everyone.This means that
there will be no more mortgage deduction. Why should I or anyone else help you
to pay for your house or houses.No more child deductions. People
should only have the children which they can support. No more deductions just
because you had a child.No more oil and gas subsidies. Gas needs to
go to where the market wants. The Government shouldn't be keeping gas
prices lower than they should be. Let the market decide.If we did
just these 4 things: Return taxes to 2000, remove mortgage deduction, remove
child deductions and remove subsidies on gas and oil; Sure the economy would
slow down but the debt would be cut considerably. It is estimated that the
government pays out about $300 Billion each year in just the Mortgage Deduction,
Child Deductions and Oil and Gas subsidies.This $300 Billion when
combined with the $350 Billion from the tax cuts brings us to only cut $350
Billion more each year and we are in the black again. We can do it.
Well said Red Headed Stranger! If we continue to reward failure, laziness and
bad personal choices with entitlements and redistribution, we will have much
more of it at every level in our country, including our schools, our economy and
our cultural and technological achievements. If we continue to punish
achievement, success and good personal choices, we will have much less of it at
every level of our country; our economy, in people's lives, our
technological achievements and our entire culture. Don't believe it? Take a
trip to the inner cities of Detroit, Chicago, New York and see for yourself what
this entitlement culture has produced. And the worst news is that it is
spreading! As well intentioned as these entitlements for the poor might be, it
is destroying them and our nation with dependency and the lack incentive for
personal achievement. A person who is working hard, sacrificing for his future
has no need nor time to experiment with drugs, alcohol or gangs. The American
dream (to achieve) is dying because of our misplaced compassion.
"Last year, two nonpartisan government bodies, the Congressional Budget
Office and the Congressional Research Service, each undertook studies of income
inequality for lawmakers. Both concluded that a major driver in the years
leading up to the recession was the growth in capital gains among top earners -
but that the cuts also reduced the equalizing influence of the income-tax
system. The 2011 CRS paper said tax cuts were the second-largest contributor to
the rise in inequality in the decade through 2006. Conservative
economists point out that even after the tax cuts, the rich overall wound up
paying a larger dollar amount in income taxes. That's mainly because the
incomes of the wealthy kept climbing. The top quintile paid 15% more in taxes
but made 30% more money in 2006 than in 1996, the CRS reported.The
Tax Policy Center, a think tank staffed by a mix of economists from both
parties, had calculated that 2/3 of the tax savings would go to the top quintile
of households and 1% to the lowest quintiles in 2012."Re:RedHeadedWhere are the rich going to go? They will also pay a huge
depature tax when they leave (section 367/877A).
Mountainman: I agree with the idea of eliminating the mortage interest
deduction. Being liberal I would want to make it progressive, i.e. eliminate it
on the first $200,000 of house, no refinancing, no second homes. The other
things you suggest, I think would be like the tax increase that Obama wants: a
symbolic gesture that does not add a lot. With regards to the point of the
letter, what if we means test for SS and medicare so that the elderly well to-do
are cut while the elderly poor are not? What do you think of that? Harry Reid
doesn't want to do it, what do you think?
RHS:They won't leave. There has been serious class
warfare going on in this country since the 1980s. The wealthy have won. Not only
have they dramatically increased their wealth, but they have also convinced a
huge portion of those who are not rich that they deserve even more, that their
tax rates are too high, and that we need to cut Social Security payments to
those who are just getting by so that the wealthy can be "job creators"
(even though most are not employers). This is the biggest snow job this country
has ever seen. What a marketing triumph.After World War II, we were
not afraid to require the wealthy to help us pay down our war debt with top
marginal tax rates exceeding 90 percent. But under Bush we paid for two wars by
doing what? Cutting tax rates on everyone, including the wealthy. Now 35 percent
is considered excessive. Believe it or not, when the top tax rates were over 90
percent, the rich still got richer. Imagine that.
@Makid:"This means that there will be no more mortgage deduction. Why
should I or anyone else help you to pay for your house or houses."The mortgage interest deduction was implemented to encourage home ownership.
I think such encouragement is still a good idea."No more child
deductions. People should only have the children which they can support. No more
deductions just because you had a child."Children are the future
of our country. Child exemptions are designed to encourage families. The
larger the family the more money it takes to exist. The government
shouldn't be in the business of limiting families through tax law.@Tekakaromatagi:"... what if we means test for SS and medicare so
that the elderly well to-do are cut while the elderly poor are not?"SS benefits ARE means tested. SS calculations skew benefits to the
poor. Look it up.
@WRZNot giving you a discount on your taxes for your kids isn't a tax
policy that discourages people from having kids. If you were to implement a tax
that you paid when you had children, that's discouraging families. But
i've never understood why me having a kid, which will cost the government
money for schools and other services, leads to a tax break.
@Noodlekaboodle:"Not giving you a discount on your taxes for your kids
isn't a tax policy that discourages people from having kids."Whaaaat??"If you were to implement a tax that you paid when
you had children, that's discouraging families."The
government is not/should not be in the business of discouraging families."But I've never understood why me having a kid, which will cost
the government money for schools and other services, leads to a tax
break."It's designed to cover some family expanses
including food, clothing, shelter... and a G4 ipad.
"An increase in tax to those making over $100,000 a year should be given
serious consideration rather than decreasing cost of living for those who can
least afford it".----Only $100,000 per year?
Assuming a person has a family, a mortgage, is saving for retirement, one
hundred thousand really isn't that much. It seems like a lot because in
childhood we all remembered it as a lot, but a lot of inflation has happened
The Government shouldn't be in the position of pushing anyone into
anything. By allowing the mortgage deduction, the Government is saying you need
a house. It is also saying that states, counties and cities must supply those
houses with utilities, roads and schools. Without the deduction,
homes would actually be a luxury item, people would live closer to their
neighbors, air pollution would decrease, gas would be cheaper, open space would
be plentiful and agriculture would would have more space which would lower costs
for food transportation.With the Government supporting home
ownership, everyone has had their costs increase, all to benefit private
business. That isn't the role of Government.The same applies
to deductions for children. If you can't afford a child, the Government
shouldn't be giving you a deduction. All this does is increase the costs
to the Government. People will still have children and everyone else isn't
having to pay the cost for it.Until we actually discus the removal
of these deductions, real deficit reduction can't be reached.
Newsweek has an article this week that compares the USA to the socialists up
north...Canada. They have no mortgage deduction in their tax system. The article
makes the point that the average size home in Canada is 1800 sq. ft. where here
it is 2,300 sq. ft. They call it bad economics since Americans end up borrowing
more to buy houses and then cutting back on retirement savings to make up for
it. But then again they are clearly not as exceptional as we are.
Increasing taxes would certainly be more palatable if there was more confidence
that our government would spend the money wisely and without waste or
corruption. They haven't done well recently.
@Makid:"By allowing the mortgage deduction, the Government is saying
you need a house."The government shouldn't allow other
deductions either, such as medical bills, state income taxes, state property
taxes, and charitable contributions. Instead allow just a simple
'standard' deduction. After all, the government should have at least
some degree of compassion for it's citizens to keep body and soul together.
And that average deduction should be adjusted upward as the cost of living
increases. "The same applies to deductions for
children."Children need to eat... and go to the movies. They
need cash for that."Until we actually discuss the removal of
these deductions, real deficit reduction can't be reached."The most effective way to reduce the deficit is for the government to stop
growing and to stop spending more than it takes in each year.
Either only give social security to those who have the financial need; or lower
the amounts for everyone on social security.We cannot afford what we are
paying out now; We certainly cannot afford cost of living adjustements for a
program that is no longer taking in enough to support it; social security is
bankrupt. With all the babyboomers retiring it is estimated social
security and medicare will take up over 3/4 the federal budget in the next
@Owl:"Increasing taxes would certainly be more palatable if there was
more confidence that our government would spend the money wisely and without
waste or corruption."Very unlikely scenario... unless we can
clean house and get new people in there... and that includes the White House.
These people we have running the government now seem to get a euphoric kick outa
spending other people's money. Obama and his wife for example, they spend
millions on European vacations. And now that they are locked in the White House
for another four years we will likely see this grow by a significant number. We
know the national debt is calculated to grow to $20 trillion or more in the next
few years. And there's zero chance this trend will reverse in the
foreseeable future. God help us.
Just who owns this world, anyhow? Just who owns this nation? If it’s
“we the people” like it says in the Constitution, why have we
allowed a tiny minority to grab all the wealth and power for themselves? Why haven’t we at least made sure that even the weakest of us have
the basics of life, liberty and some pursuit of happiness? No we
don’t want to put unreasonable limits on a persons ability to garner
wealth, but just like our other freedoms, the freedom of life, liberty and
pursuit of happiness, requires that we limit the rights and freedoms to the
extent necessary to allow all to participate. Some of those rights
and freedoms we would limit might be the special preferences given to wealthy
people in the ways they earn and pay taxes. On the other hand we
need to take our rightful control of the financial activity of business
operations. Business must be made to serve the people and not some foreign
We need to have a constitutional amendment that requires Congress and the
President to live by every law they pass, take away their golden parachutes,
make them pay into their own pension plan and make them be in Social Security
and Medicare. The Fiscal Cliff negotiations would take an entirely different
turn if that were the case.
Yet who are the most ENTITLED among us?Could it be Congresspeople
like Orrin Hatch et al who boost their pay every year? Who receive free medical
care from taxpayers? And lifetime pensions?Could it be our governor
who is looking for a 36% pay increase?Could it be our bankers who
lobbied to gut regulatory laws until they became entitled to risk the assets of
depositors on shady schemes to enrich themselves and their CEOs?Could it be mortgage companies that devised adjustable rate mortgages they
knew would destroy the dreams of so many families and then suckered people into
buying them?Could it be the heads of large corporations like WalMart
and Hostess who consider themselves entitled to huge salaries and bonuses while
cutting worker's pay and benefits until many of those employees must depend
upon food stamps?Perhaps before we adjust any entitlements, we need
to define exactly WHO is entitled -- WHY they are entitled, and to what.
Hey Bob, keep spouting your Socialism. If you want business to be responsive,
vote with your feet. You don't like how a company is doing business, then
don't do business with them, or buy enough stock that they listen to you.
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