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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 22 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"The tax increase levied as part of the "fiscal cliff" deal helped give tax breaks to distillers ($222 million), NASCAR track owners ($78 million), Hollywood producers ($430 million), wind energy producers ($12 billion) and similar pork."

Yes Greg. It costs lots of money to get elected. So, our politicians, Both GOP and DEM have their hands out. All the time.

Money corrupts our system. If both GOP and Dem electorate would stand together and unite behind this single issue (get the big money out) everything else would fall into place.

Lets FORCE our politicians to pass laws limiting the money influence. They wont want to do it as it butters their bread. But, will do so grudgingly if enough people scream loud enough.

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

It's pork if it's going somewhere else, and bacon if it's coming home.
It's a subsidy if it's going to somebody else, and a stimulus if it comes to me.
It's an unnecessary, unconstitutional freebie if it helps somebody else's industry, and a vital lifeline promoting the general welfare if it helps my industry.
And so it goes.
Politicians are very adept at rationalizing and spinning provisions of the tax code to their own and their favored constituents' benefit.
If only there were some way to make their machinations transparent, so we could hold them accountable.
If only we could remember how they voted on tax policy when the next election rolls around.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

So where are the jobs Greg? richies have made a killing this decade so where are all the jobs?

Somehow... I doubt any answer would satisfy Greg and his ilk as being a worhwhile expenditure of his tax dollars. his motives arent charitable or patrotic but selfish. And if you hate the tax rate now, you would have really hated living under Reagan or Eisenhower!

Sorry richies, time to pay your fair share. We can't keep spending $700 billion annually in defense and invading countries. If you don't like it then please move to a different country. We ain't goin to a flat tax as that only hurts small business, the poor, and middle class while only helping he rich. Sorry richies, time to pay up. You'll have to settle for 40 foot yachts and not 44.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

The "richies" paying their fair share when 47% of Americans do not pay any federal income taxes? What's fair about nearly half of the people in America getting a free ride?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"What's fair about nearly half of the people in America getting a free ride?"

How much income tax SHOULD retired people with no income pay?

isrred
South Jordan, UT

So the letter writer complains about increased taxes and tax breaks in the same letter?

JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

Tax and spend liberals love to pretend that every dollar collected in taxes means one less cocktail some rich dude sips on his big yaucht and that every dollar spent by government means a healthy meal for some starving child.

The reality is that money spent by those who actually earned it is put to far better use than money spent by a government bureaucrat. Waste, fraud, abuse, and throwing money down a rat hole is the norm instead of the exception in government spending.

Higher taxes hurt the economy simply because it transfers a ton of money from more efficient systems to less efficient systems. In the private sector, money is used to create more wealth and everyone benefits. In the public sector, money is used to buy votes.

I know that liberals hate wealth creation simply because that wealth is not perfectly distributed to everyone, but tends to be concentrated around the most productive. But efforts to "fix" that result in less wealth for everyone, not just the millionaires. Unfortunately, too many people are willing to cut off their nose to spite their face.

booshway
Woods Cross, UT

Here is a simple question - who created the so-called"fiscal cliff"? It was 536 people in Washington, who created programs that are failing, going bankrupt and otherwise wasteful? Those same 536 people. And who does everyone want to fix these problems? Those same 536 people. What's wrong with this picture?

The tax increase against the rich will amount to about less than 10 days worth of Federal spending. Warren Buffett (an extremely rich man) recommends raising his taxes. There is no law that prevents him from making a donation to the Treasury. Has he made any such donation?

Did you know that the 16th Amendment (the income tax ) was passed with the proponents telling everyone that it was only for "the rich"? And it would only be a very small amount? Who is paying income taxes now?

Has anyone figured out that the progressive tax system we have is unconstitutional and targeting the “rich” is an egregious violation of the equal treatment clause of the Constitution? The fairest tax would be everyone pays the same same percentage, then the "rich" would pay more. Ten percent of $250,000 is ten times larger than 10% of $25,000, voila, the "rich" automatically pay more.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Weren't the tax breaks he mentions included in the Sandy Relief Bill and not the fiscal cliff?

And weren't most of them inserted by GOP members to benefit their red states?

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

I have yet to hear a Republican, even a hard-line tea partier, claim that increasing inequality is actually good for the economy. When the consumer classes have no disposable income to buy all the stuff corporations need to sell in order to survive, who loses? Well, everybody.

So, the question for Republicans is, Why do you continue to support economic policies that not only increase the wealth gap but increase the rate at which the gap is widening? Please explain this to me. And don't try to sell me any nonsense about economic growth putting more wealth in the hands of those in the lower 90 percent of earners. The lion's share of profits earned during periods of growth go to the already wealthy.

omni scent
taylorsville, UT

Booshway: the progressive tax system is not against the equal treatment clause of the constution: the "poor man", the "rich man", and me ALL have to pay 3% more on the income we get above $400k/yr ($450k if married and filing jointly). See how we are all getting treated equally?

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Good letter. Whatever the "rich" do with their money (as long as it's legal and moral) helps the rest of us. They deserve our respect and gratitude, not our snide derision. Many of the rest of us would someday like to be rich as well. Our destructive class warfare rhetoric and resentment only makes it harder for people to improve their lives and move up in the world.

Voice of Reason
Layton, UT

In the United States today, the top 20% of wage earners pay 70% of all income taxes. The top 5% of incomes pay 40% of income taxes. These figures have been rising for the last 30 years, i.e. the rich have been paying more & more. Over the same period, the bottom half of wage earners have been paying a steadily decreasing share of income taxes until today - as Romney correctly pointed out - the bottom 47% pay NO income taxes whatsoever. There is absolutely no way to logically or persuasively argue that the rich aren't yet paying their "fair share." If you want to raise taxes on only the rich, fine - but make an honest argument for it.

One final question: What is the empirical standard you are using to support the statement "the rich aren't paying their fair share"? At what point would the rich FINALLY be paying their fair share?

"The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation." -Vladimir Lenin

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Mountainman (I prefer not to misspell)
Ah yes, the 47% canard. Love it when you guys bring that one up. How about the large percentage of people, including Governor Romney, who pay absolutely no payroll taxes? Not a nickel to Social Security or Medicare, because their income is entirely in investments. How irresponsible of them!

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Many of the rich generously give to charity, expand businesses, create jobs and do other worthwhile things with their money.

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

And if they continue to do so,
They will continue to get those tax breaks.

Taxes only went up on NON-deductaible earnings.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

booshway
Woods Cross, UT
9:27 a.m. Jan. 22, 2013

Did you know that the 16th Amendment (the income tax ) was passed with the proponents telling everyone that it was only for "the rich"? And it would only be a very small amount? Who is paying income taxes now?

-----

Well --
According to Mountanman,
Only the rich, just as was promised.

Even the rich themselves [Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and even Mitt Romney agree they pay far too little.]

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

Voice of Reason
Layton, UT
In the United States today, the top 20% of wage earners pay 70% of all income taxes. The top 5% of incomes pay 40% of income taxes. These figures have been rising for the last 30 years, i.e. the rich have been paying more & more.

----------

Because that 1% owns 80% of everything.
It's called an INCOME tax.
a 7 year old can understand the rise is because the 1% is getting expotentionally richer, and the 99% have been getting expotentionally poorer.
It's based on income.

BTW - As far as I know, the rich didn't loose a single tax-loop-hole....so I seriously doubt they will be paying any higher taxes than now.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

Voice of Reason, your stats are soooo misleading. Did you know that over 50% of those collecting government assistance have jobs? Why are these people in need? Could it be that more and more of their income has been gobbled up by those 20% that are paying more Federal income taxes? Could it be that these 20% have received almost all of the increase in national wealth while the 80% continue to pay a bigger share of their income for gas for their car, fuel to heat their home, and have seen Congress look the other way to reinstate the old social security taxes? A person making a million in wages pays the same social security taxes as someone making 1 tenth of that. If wages had kept up with the cost of living over the past 30 years the minimum wage would be over $15 an hour. Never in your lifetime has the disparity of rich and poor been so great. You need to understand that the so called job creators cannot save the nations economic woes without empowering the working class, even by sending them to one of our perpetual wars.

Voice of Reason
Layton, UT

LDS Liberal,

I'm not sure where to begin on your response. So...the top 1% (of incomes, not net worth, I presume) owe 80% of "everything"...everything of what? Real estate? Land? Capital? Liquid bank deposits? Lazy Boy recliners? This really means nothing unless it's well-defined.

Actually, in the last few years during the Obama Recession, the top income ranges have generally seen their share of income taxes drop in opposition to the long-term trend. And the rich have most certainly not become "exponentially" richer, nor the poor "exponentially" more poor. If that were literally true, we'd reach near-zero incomes for the poor in very little time. Even aside from that, during the Obama bad years the rich have become less rich...but alas, the poor have also become more poor. I guess Obama's getting his wish of "spreading it around" more. Problem is, the only thing he's spreading around is economic misery.

And you neglected to answer my questions: What is the empirical standard you are using to support the statement "the rich aren't paying their fair share"? At what point would the rich FINALLY be paying their fair share?

joe5
South Jordan, UT

Here's what I resent. I grew up as white trash in 1960s San Diego. Single working mom. No car. No television.

First in my family tree to go to college (only enough money for one year). Six years in the Navy (enlisted).

After service, first civilian job at $16.5K/yr. Worked 48 hrs/wk graveyard shift. Carried 18 credit hours in engineering at the same time. Subsequently got MBA at U while working and raising six children. We had very little. Eating out at Ponderosa steakhouse (much cheaper than Sizzler) was a twice a year big deal for us. Wife took in babysitting kids. Every nickel was a big deal. Neighbors on state aid had boats and cable vision. We had a lawn hose and small television.

Things got better. After 8 years we left Magna for a safer location. But we were house-poor. No extras. Only vacations my kids experienced was to relatives homes. What few extra-curricular activities my kids pursued involved intense budgeting.

Now we are empty nesters. My income at 59 years old has climbed to $170K/yr. I made the sacrifices across decades. What gives you the right to my earnings?

JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

joe5: Welcome to the liberal mindset. It doesn't matter what sacrifices you have made in the past or what you have personally done to improve your education, skills, or investments.

The ONLY thing that matters is that you now make $170K per year and that puts you in someone's definition of "rich" and you deserve to "pay your fair share" by forking over more to the government than you receive yourself.

It wouldn't matter if you were a doctor who just finished 12 years of post high school education and training and find yourself $200,000 in student loan debt. If you made $300K this year, you are rich and you "owe" everybody a huge chunk of it.

That is just the way liberals think and now they are running the show.

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