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Published: Thursday, Jan. 10 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Emajor
Ogden, UT

Mr. Thomas,
"Class warfare" is a term that can only be used by conservatives against liberals. Them's the rules. Conservatives don't engage in "class warfare", they "support capitalism" or "defend liberty" or "protect earners from the entitlement culture". Remember Romney's 47% lie? By all measures that fits the definition of class warfare, but to conservatives it was "telling the truth". Even if it was anything but.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Completely agree. The school ground name calling needs to come to an end. Lets debate solution, numbers, approaches, but let stop the class warfare of branding calling one particularly segment of society unworthy, unskilled, leaches on society. Few choose poverty - if they have a way out.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

The author has it backwards, Obama and the Democrats have successfully followed the old political strategy of divide and conquer; demonize the rich, convince people they are victims of the rich, divide the nation and promise social justice; retribution. In history, this strategy has always given rise to dictatorships. To say or believe different is detaching yourself from reality. Perhaps the worst part of our situation is that these recent tax increases will do nothing to solve our debt problems, will kill jobs, and decrease the number of people paying taxes. As we have seen in many European countries this is totally economically unsustainable in which we in America are about to participate, all to the applause of the duped.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Mountain man no one has demonized the rich..despite how many times you say this it is just plain flase. However, we are saying that the masses are the victims of the wealthy, and to say differently is in your words detaching yourself from reality. The ever widening income gap is the simplest of proofs among many proofs. And to say the recent income tax increase will do "nothing" to solve our debt problem is simply defying arithmatic. However the tax increase is as much about social justice as it is about arithmatic.

I was at dinner the other night with one of the .0001% and the topic turned to how they had gone from being part of the .001% to the .0001% and how as they collected their hundreds of millions 75% of their employees lost their jobs. While I like this person personally and I reckonize he had to work hard to accomplish what he did..it still doesn't blind me to the fact that 100 people were the victims of a system that he feels he's entitled to, and that I think he is wrong.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Great letter M. Donald Thomas.

The lie being fed by conservatives that there are some Americans who pay NO taxes is what's dividing this country.

BTW- No one is demonizing the rich. We are only demonizing the unfair tax advantages and loop-holes they recieve that the rest of can't.

Remember -- Mitt Romney had to severlly re-adjust his own taxes for 2011 during the campaign [for political reasons] -- an he bent over backwards to intentionlly withdraw Millions and Millionions of dollars in "legal" deductions -- and he STILL just barely squeeked over the 14% line...still less than what Middle-class Americans are paying.

And I'm still curious how he could promise that 20% across the board tax cut to everyone, and reduce the defeicet without cutting Military operations or touch Social Security.

Warren Beffet is right.
Conservatives are wrong.

one old man
Ogden, UT

May I nominate this as LETTER OF THE MONTH?

One of the previous comments here starkly illustrates exactly what this author means in this letter.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

@mountain man
thank you for proving emajors point.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Terrific letter, Mr. Thomas. Very well done indeed.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

When both Ronald Reagan and George Bush Jr. were promoting their tax cuts, they both insisted that one of their prime objectives was to entirely remove low income workers from the income tax rolls. So the two Republican presidents got their tax plans passed, they did what they said they would do, but today's Republicans don't like it anymore, so it's Obama's fault.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

M. Donald,
While I do not agree that everyone who does not pay income tax expects everyone else to support them, there are people who pay less in taxes (including SS, state income tax, sales tax, property tax, etc) than they receive back on their federal tax return. Most, if not all, will have their taxes done within in the next week or two. There are many people who will claim less than $10k in income, yet because of various credits will receive a refund of around $4500. There is NO WAY their total tax exceeds $4500.

As for demonizing one because of their economic status, you’re talking about the DNC hate speech demonizing the 1%, correct?

Pragmatist,
the DNC has NEVER said a bad thing about the 1%? The very connotation has come to be derogatory. Take off the dem-colored glasses and see the world as it really is.

LDS?lib
Cannot, or will not distinguish between income and other taxes? See my first comment to Donald. See also the comment to pragmatist about not demonizing the rich. Calling the truth a lie (as you are wont to do) is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Since when did America become a land of no opportunity? Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz recently declared that "the U.S. worked hard to create the American dream of opportunity. But today, that dream is a myth." Like many others, he focuses on the growing concentration of income in America. While I worry about it, too, I also fear that we've become obsessed with income inequality, to the point that our leadership beats up on hardworking people who chase their dreams and become successful as a result.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

All taxes are paid by consumers. Every tax paid by every person in the USA is included in the price of goods sold to people who consume food, fuel, clothing, housing, etc.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

'Obama and the Democrats have successfully followed the old political strategy of divide and conquer; demonize the rich, convince people they are victims of the rich,'

Well, unless Obama was born back in the 1700's and was able to influence events back then... he really had nothing to do with Adam Smith, his prescriptions for capitalism, and his call for a progressive tax system. Why you associate progressive tax policy as a "liberal" invention... who knows.

The twisting this as class warfare is purely marketing buzz. Pretty much the only ones going around "attacking" the other group are conservatives - most of whom this will not impact at all. I have seen plenty of "demonizing" of the mythical 47% who don't pay takes..... very little demonizing the other way around. We are talking about a tax change of less than $3,000 yearly for someone with an adjusted income of $400,000. It that is warfare... we have some pretty wimpy people out there. What worse is those who claim those making minimum wage are soaking it to the rich.

Class warfare..... right.

Liberal Today
Murray, UT

The rich only get rich by taking away from the poor. They deserve to be demonized. They need to pay more in taxes to make things fair.

This isn't class warfare, it is just the poor defending themselves against the class warfare created by the rich.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Is it true or not that about 47% of Americans pay no federal income taxes? If it is true, who pays for their federal benefits? Case closed!

VIDAR
Murray, UT

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Not true that 47% of americans pay no federal income tax.

Social security is a federal income tax which all workers pay. To call social security anything but a federal tax is untrue.

Businesses constantly say any tax they pay is passed on to consumers; so anytime you buy anything you are also paying federal income tax as well.

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

Emajor,

How sad that you can quote "defend liberty" and think it is a bad thing.

Dependence is not liberty. Redistribution is not liberty, nor is it justice.

But then you probably rail against the Pledge of Allegiance too.

VIDAR

Nice try at obscuring the truth, but SSN tax, aka payroll tax, is not the same as federal income tax.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

@Mountiainman..... case far from closed. What you are saying is a taxpayer is only one who pays one particular tax. Even my father in law that ran a business - where his accountant was able to zero out much of his income - he very much considered taxes on his income. If you look at someone making only $25,000 a year working at Walmart and look at the total taxes still removed from their paycheck, social security, state taxa and disability, they paid more as a percentage of their income than does Mitt Romney.

This holier then thou mentality of some on the right, thinking they are the only ones working for a living, is delusional and most self serving. I know too many republicans who are not, so I know this is a false statement, but some of the comments here make some conservatives look very self enamored.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

By the way Christian and Mountainman... do you have any idea who this 46% are.

12.8 million are those serving in the armed services.

54% are the elderly

Only 4% get housing aide

Only 14 percent get food aide.

The characterization you all have of this 46/47% really does a disservice to these people. A large part of these people are they who are responsible for the freedoms we have gained and now enjoy. If you want to feel you are better than someone, I am sorry but the number of people you are better than is far smaller than you think.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "LDS Liberal" it is your ilk that are spreading the lies. Most conservatives are quite careful to state that there is 47% that pay no income taxes. It is the lie that your ilk spreads saying that " conservatives that there are some Americans who pay NO taxes". Why do you continue to perpetuate lies?

To "VIDAR" Social Security and Medicare are not Federal Income taxes. Those are payroll taxes, yes there is a difference.

To "Liberal Today" and how do the rich take money away from the poor? Is it wrong to sell the poor food, clothing, cars, phones, and anything else they need at a fair market price?

What percent of their income would you determine is "fair"?

To "UtahBlueDevil" you are wrong. The 47% that are receiving government aid are the elderly and the working poor. About half are the elderly, and the other half are actual poor people. The military does not even factor into the equation.

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