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Letter: Raising taxes on wealthy will not produce more revenue; stop spending

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  • THarrison SLC, Utah
    Dec. 27, 2012 1:56 p.m.

    Everyone needs to pay taxes. Period. No matter the income earned.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 10:43 p.m.

    I am no defender of the super wealthy - most are snobs and could care less about anyone but their own bank account. However without the wealthy there are no business's or jobs for the rest of us...that is a cold hard fact that even "feel good" liberals have to acknowledge. Middle class jobs depend on investment and risk taking from those who have money. Contrary to liberal ideology government doesn't start business's ... government doesn't build business ... government only taxes business and if the taxes are too high business can't exist for long. Simple economic truths even a 9th grader could grasp but yet you will find liberals in the White House and Senate floor who seem to either not understand or not care ... probably a bit of both.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 5:40 p.m.

    @one vote

    Computing tax revenue is not an arithmetic problem (raise rates and the revenue increases). It is more akin to a partial differential equation. Raising tax rates will increase revenues if they are not already too high. If they are too high, they will decrease revenues because of the damping effect on economic activity.

    The best historical indicator of whether taxes are too high is how much of the GDP is consumed by the federal government. The break point appears to be somewhere around 20%. Unfortunately, the federal government is currently consuming more than 20%, so it is most likely that increased tax rates will decrease revenues.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 25, 2012 8:41 p.m.

    Ok... so lets look at economies that have leveraged the austerity approach to the problem.... our favorite punching bags.... Greece and Spain. How well has cutting spending dramatically in both those countries worked for them. If the goal was to double unemployment, it gets a gold star. If it was to create a balanced budget.... oh, I am sorry, giant fail. Economic activity in both countries has decreased with austerity.. less business.... less taxes.... more austerity.... and the circle goes on and on.

    I fully agree we need to look at making government work better for the people footing the bill. This is without argument. Problem is, we have people who are not looking for real solutions, but political points. There is no way you can cut the government enough alone to balance the budget. There is no way the economy would support raising taxes enough to balance the budget either. You need to cut spending enough to lower demand, without killing off growth.

    Government drives 38% of our GDP. You cut that even 15%, you send the country into a deep recession. So lets not let be foolish here and take advice from hype radio and news talking heads.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 25, 2012 7:52 p.m.

    Raising taxes will raise revenue. Do the math.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 25, 2012 1:57 a.m.

    RedShirt
    USS Enterprise, UT
    I couldn't read all of the liberal comments here because they all say the same thing. We can't stop spending or else we need to cut the military.

    First we cut all spending that is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution. So, the military budget will remain, and we will keep ourselves prepared to fight wars on 2 fronts.

    ==========

    The problem with that is Republicans use the muse to trample the Constitution and declare on just about EVERYTHING.

    War on drugs
    War on Terror
    War on Immigration
    War on Illiteracy {No Child Left Behind]

    I lump them together in the "Rumors of Wars" in the Last Days,
    and hold Republicans responsible for starting and waging them.

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 10:57 p.m.

    @the real maverik

    College son. College.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 6:15 p.m.

    The letter writer is wrong. According to the CBO the Buffett tax that the Democrats are salivating over will generate a whopping $20 billion/yr. That is a whopping 1.6% of the $1.2 Trillion deficits that we have averaged under Obama.

    We don't have a revenue problem, we have a massive spending problem. We will go the way of Greece, Nazi Germany, and Zimbabwe. We will en up making it that much worse when the debt becomes too great to handle, and we end up in a state of hyper inflation and economic ruin.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 5:50 p.m.

    Clinton raised taxes in 1993, the economy didn't collapse as Gingrich said. The Republicans were wrong then, why should we believe them now?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 5:42 p.m.

    I couldn't read all of the liberal comments here because they all say the same thing. We can't stop spending or else we need to cut the military.

    I have a solution that will be painful, but is the only viable solution.

    First we cut all spending that is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution. So, the military budget will remain, and we will keep ourselves prepared to fight wars on 2 fronts.

    SS and Medicare will be phased out. We will consolidate all US debt into a single figure. Any funds that are owed to people outside the Federal Government system. That means that the SS "trust fund" that is filled with IOU's will be erased. SS benefits will remain the same for current Seniors, and each generation from now on will get a pro-rated SS benefit based on how many years you paid into the system after you turned 18. Medicare will be handled in a similar manner.

    All social welfare programs will be phased out and expire in 10 years. All foreign aid will be cut until the debt is paid.

    Tax day will be moved to the day after election day.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 3:31 p.m.

    If we don't address this from both a spending and revenue side, we're really not looking for solutions.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 2:04 p.m.

    The Bush tax reduction for the wealthy should have been reversed the second he started a second trillion dollar war. Do the right think wars are free and without cost. Next war should require proportionate tax hike since it will not be in the budget.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 24, 2012 1:01 p.m.

    Sure, raise taxes on the rich guy. Go ahead. Prove that raising his taxes is the best thing for America. That "rich guy" will just raise his prices on everything you buy to pay for those higher tax rates. If you're ignorant of history, you'll pay through the nose when prices on everything that you NEED go up because you wanted to pass the problem onto someone else.

    Go ahead, teach us all a lesson.

    Obama must laugh himself asleep every night, knowing that he is leading a nation of illiterate fools whose strings he pulls at will. He's turning all of America into the sister city of his brother George's getto, where $20 a YEAR is a good wage.

  • Mr. Bean Ogden, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 12:56 p.m.

    @atl134:
    "Okay so then we can't cut planned parenthood because that only brings in maybe 1 hour of gov't spending."

    Government should not be in the business of planning parenthood. That is a personal decision only. You get the government involved in personal planning and it will be all over you... Oh, no! We're mostly there now.

    "We can't cut PBS because that's only another hour out of the year."

    Big Bird doesn't need government help. She/he is able to make it alone.

    "Why can't we do something that helps with 10 days?"

    Because it won't help. What it more than likely does, according to some studies, is reduce revenue through loss of tax paying jobs.

    "Yeah it doesn't balance the budget..."

    It does the opposite... See above?

  • Miss Piggie Ogden, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 12:43 p.m.

    @one old man:
    "... corporations DO find ways to tax Americans."

    Are you mixing corporations with governments?

    And, by the way, Corporations don't pay taxes. Any 'tax' it pays is added to the cost of the goods and services it produces, thus passing the 'tax' on to the consumer od those goods and services.

    "They have, with help from an army of lobbyists, managed to buy an incredible number of corporate tax breaks."

    Any corporate tax breaks mostly reduces the cost of produced goods and services (seem above).

    "They have shipped our jobs overseas."

    They had to, to keep competitive If there is someone to blame for shipping jobs overseas it's labor unions who keep wages and benefits sky high. We are in a global market now and must meet foreign cost of production to stay alive.

    "And in the process they have built an upper class aristocracy that includes people like Mitt Romney, the Koch brothers, and the Walton family."

    Spoken like a good socialist.

    "What is really needed is a complete overhaul not only of America's spending, but of America's tax code."

    Please list your overhaul proposals.

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 12:25 p.m.

    @Ying Fah:
    "What about comprehensive tax reform with taxes and spending cuts necessary to bring bring down the debt...?"

    What about cutting the size of government down to what Americans can afford?

    "Conservative extremists will do all they can to protect the 1% from paying their fair share in taxes."

    The 1% pays the lion's share of taxes now.

    "We should be talking about putting more money in the pockets of middle class people, not helping make the elite rich richer."

    The way to put more money in the pockets of the middle class is to create jobs. The way to kill jobs is to extract money from the job creators... through raising taxes on them. Does the poor create jobs?

    @Curmudgeon:
    "Just close those loopholes..."

    Could you list the loopholes you'd like to see closed?

    @Roland Kayser:
    "Taxes need to go up on the rich..."

    Taxes ARE up for the rich. They pay more than anyone. Some pay nothing at all. Furthermore, requiring the rich to pay more is unconstitutional under the 'equal protection' clause which requires everyone be treated equal under the law... including tax law.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 11:25 a.m.

    @Mountanman
    Okay so then we can't cut planned parenthood because that only brings in maybe 1 hour of gov't spending. We can't cut PBS because that's only another hour out of the year. Why can't we do something that helps with 10 days? Yeah it doesn't balance the budget but goodness... nobody has ever gotten close to proposing a balanced budget this decade, why don't we just take what progress we can get? It's not like there are zero spending cuts, Obama's even offering chained CPI which cuts social security (well, more like slows the rise in social security payouts down the road) a cut to entitlements conservatives say Democrats refuse to touch.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 10:36 a.m.

    If the number of "like" buttons pushed is any kind of indication, it appears that we can be thankful that the majority of readers here disagree more with the likes of MM than they do with those whose posts are more sensible and factual.

    Reality, it is said, has a distinctly leftward slant. Education is a wonderful thing because it helps displace faulty opinions with some that are fact based.

    I rest my case.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 24, 2012 10:24 a.m.

    @ Old man. The rest of the "experiment" is while you will not send any of your money to "evil" corporations from now on, I suggest you don't send in your money to the IRS and see what happens to you, unless of course you are one of the 47% getting a free ride, guaranteeing a vote for Obama.
    @ Gandalf. Congratulations on your successful business. Be advised Obama and the Democrats are about to punish you with higher taxes and Obamacare taxes, if you have employees! Get back to us in a year and give us a report, please!

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    Raising taxes is the left's way to punish and not to balance the budget. It is political pandering and neither rational or sound economics. That's "solid information." Letting the wealthy spend their money creates jobs without increasing the deficit. Those gauche Utah McMansions required many carpenters, painters and craftsmen to complete them and the property taxes make all of our tax burden lighter. Corporations respond to tax policy as witnessed in Ireland's success. Corporate leaders have the fiduciary responsibility to increase share holder equity. Whether you have a state run or private retirement plan, those funds are invested in, hopefully, profitable corporations. If you want to complain about corporate greed, go look in the mirror.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 10:19 a.m.

    MM is clearly not thinking for himself but is following the mindless minority which is becoming less and less politically relevant with each passing day. 2014 can't come soon enough! Bye bye Tea Party! It was nice (not really) knowin ya!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 9:43 a.m.

    MM -- complete nonsense there.

    Please stop twisting what others write. That is a hate radio trick that simply does nothing to solve the problems our nation faces.

    Corporations per se are not "evil." But the management practices of some of them are. And it is that duplicity that is harming us.

    Honest and sensible management by and of our corporations will be of benefit not only to ordinary Americans, it will also benefit the corporations themselves in the long term

    But as long as the current practice of looking only to short term profits for a select few prevails, we will all end up in the dump. And the short sighted corporations will be there with the rest of us.

    Read the book. Think. It takes effort, but you might actually learn something.

    What is happening now is being enabled by paid off lawmakers. In the end, it will come back to destroy all of us. Those of us who seek solid information and avoid the rants of hateful others are trying hard to avoid that.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 24, 2012 9:15 a.m.

    @ One old man. I saw the documentary of "who stole the American Dream" on TV it was total fiction! Here is why! May I make a suggestion? Teach those "evil" corporations a lesson. Boycott them! That's right, never, never purchase ANYTHING produced by a corporation. Shut off your electricity, invent and manufacture your own medicines, get rid of your car, your food, your clothing (unless you grow and produce your own) and no fair using any machines, tools or any convenience, all produced by "evil" corporations! To do otherwise and to believe and say the "interesting" things you do, makes you a huge hypocrite!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    Gandlalf, that comment is one of THE BEST I think I've ever seen here.

    Thank you very much for actually THINKING.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 9:00 a.m.

    Sorry, MM, but corporations DO find ways to tax Americans. They have found any number of devious ways to tax common folks.

    While their "taxation" may not be in the form of deductions from our paychecks, the effect is the same. They have, with help from an army of lobbyists, managed to buy an incredible number of corporate tax breaks. They have shipped our jobs overseas. Where they once shared the profits they made with the production workers who made those profits possible, they have now shifted the money to the pockets of CEOs and corporate boards. By seeking only short-term riches instead of looking to the future they have helped destroy America's middle class. And in the process they have built an upper class aristocracy that includes people like Mitt Romney, the Koch brothers, and the Walton family.

    What is really needed is a complete overhaul not only of America's spending, but of America's tax code.

    Read Hedrick Smith's excellent book "Who Stole the American Dream."

  • Gandalf Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    Mountanman [sic], I run my own small business and have for over 15 years. Doing quite well at it actually. And I can tell you that I've never had any government regulation negatively impact me in a significant way. Are there regulations? Sure. I've got various licensing requirements and insurance mandates (e.g., workers comp coverage for employees) and I can't just go out and do any kind of business activity I want. But then, I can't go driving through red lights without getting arrested. Or worse, hurting myself and others. It's the government (i.e., social) controls that bring me health, security and, yes, wealth.

    You right wing conservatives never seem to get it: government is our collective will and it brings tremendous benefits to all of us. Can it get out of control? Of course. Do we have to watch it like a hawk? Certainly. But please, spare me the knee jerk rhetoric about how government never does anything good. It's nonsense. I like having sewers, police and fire fighters. I believe most elected officials are, for the most part, just trying to do the best job they can.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 24, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    @ Real Maverick, Surely you know that Obama's taxes on the rich will only bring in enough revenue to run the government less than 10 days! How are we going to pay for the other 355 days? Just keep your hands clapped tightly over your ears and keep on chanting, "tax the rich, tax the rich" even though it will not, can not solve our government's run away spending problems.
    The greatest Aristocracy in the world is in the White House! Your enemy isn't a corporation, because a corporation can not confiscate your property, can't tax you, can't impose regulations on you, can't take away your freedoms, But big government can and is. The real job creators are the guys signing your paycheck and the biggest threat they have is big government! Don't believe it, just try running a business and hiring people in America today! It will be the best education you can receive.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 7:57 a.m.

    @ Mountainman

    "So, evidently we've learned nothing in the past 2,067 years."

    Great comment.

    Apparently we haven't.

    I mean, look at the top earners. They aren't working like the rest of us yet are earning the most! Look at Mitt Romney for crying out loud. He made more money in 1 year without working than most of us "Joe Sixpacks" will earn in a lifetime of working 40 hrs per week!

    When will we learn?

    When will we learn that taxes are far too low on the rich?
    When will we learn that they will buy up government as soon as they can?
    When will we learn that we must fight for our freedom?
    When will we learn that our Democracy is at a constant war. A war between workers and those who wish to transform it into a Aristocracy ruled by corporate elitists? We see it everyday how they have bent the tax laws, regulations, voting laws, and influence legislation.

    When will we learn who the REAL job creators are? As long as the rich own everything the economy will continue to stagnate and Joe Sixpack will have to work harder for less.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 7:47 a.m.

    The problem that Pati doesn't want to admit, is that the same rich and special interest groups which prevent folks from paying their fair share of taxes also prevent significant cuts to be made.

    Want to see an example?

    Imagine if federal funding for Utah's roads was cut? Imagine if we closed down Hill Air Force Base?

    Imagine the uproar from Utah politicians and special interest groups if we "cut spending" in these areas.
    Same thing applies to other "deficit hawks" like Paul Ryan. On one hand he talks about the need to cut spending while secretly writing to Vice President Joe Biden for additional federal funding to his state.

    Hilarious!

    I think the first step should be overturning the repub supported Citizens United. Then we should also put into place STRICT restrictions on campaigning (limit it to only a few weeks per election) and campaign donations.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 24, 2012 7:09 a.m.

    "The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance." - Cicero , 55 BC
    So, evidently we've learned nothing in the past 2,067 years.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 7:03 a.m.

    Some enterprising conservative needs to propose a budget that spends only 15% of GDP, because that's what taxes currently bring in. No one has done it because the results would be completely unacceptable to the American people.

    Americans only favor lower spending in the abstract. As soon as actual cuts are proposed, huge majorities oppose them. Taxes need to go up on the rich, but they need to go up on all of the rest of us too. Once Americans are paying for the full cost of their government, they may be more willing to accept spending cuts.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 6:20 a.m.

    Certainly we should control (not stop) spending as well as raise tax rates on the wealthy. But the author complains about a problem -- the "special interest deductions and loopholes" -- when the solution is obvious. Just close those loopholes at the same time as rates are raised. Easier said than done, of course, but that's what effective tax reform must include.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 2:59 a.m.

    "What we need to do is stop spending"

    Wow, Pati, it sounds so simple when you say it like that. Why hasn't anyone noticed this solution before? With 300 million of us and a fragile economy, it can't be that hard to decide what to cut and who to affect, right?

  • Ying Fah Provo, UT
    Dec. 24, 2012 1:38 a.m.

    What about comprehensive tax reform with taxes and spending cuts necessary to bring bring down the debt, pay for necessary services, and create a more fair economic system?

    Conservative extremists will do all they can to protect the 1% from paying their fair share in taxes. And it's all over a 3.6% increase in the marginal tax rate for this group which was supposed to increase automatically a year ago.

    We should be talking about putting more money in the pockets of middle class people, not helping make the elite rich richer. A dogmatic view on taxes is not realistic when middle class wages have been stagnant while the wealthy have seen unprecendented growth over the last 30 years.