Comments about ‘The wealthy won't simply stand by and pay higher tax rates’

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Published: Friday, Jan. 25 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Kearns, UT

The only fair way to solve this problem is for EVERYONE to pay taxes. The 47% consume most of the federal entitlement programs (Ge Excepted), yet pay no federal taxes. I am one of the 47% and I would be just fime if the money taken from me by the government was kept by the government and I didn't have to pay any more. But while still able, I'm also fine with getting back way more via tax refund than I pay in. Since it is legal, I'll continue. I haven't paid federal income tax in years yet I do not, other than a big refund, rely on any aspect of government entitlement programs.

I would be just fine with an overhaul to the tax code that closes all loopholes, and takes away all deductions except the one for charitable contributions. I'm even in favor of a flat tax or VAT tax. Everyone should pay, including me.

Any rich guy who got rich by working hard over his lifetime should be allowed to keep as much as they can. They worked for it, and they earned it. Obama should scale back his vacations.

Durham, NC

@Flashback - you almost sounded reasonable until you added "Obama should scale back his vacations."... which then dropped your entire conversation to yet another talk radio regurgitation. Am I supposed to believe you were equally indignant and upset when Bush took twice as much vacation? I really doubt it... but am willing to consider my assumption is incorrect.

i have no problems with everyone paying taxes. Rich retired people do, most of my neighbors do. My mother on the other hand, divorced, lives off a small teachers pension and social security. The combination of the two keeps her income below the poverty level... and shocker doesn't pay any federal income tax.

So my question to Flashback... of the $1,500 a month she gets, what percentage of that would you feel would be enough to make the rich feel she isn't a freeloader on society. She did pay taxes for over 45 years... but now... she is just dead weight on society. 15%, 20%, maybe 33% like the rich pay on their top income... what would make you feel she is not just a leach on society?

Kevin J. Kirkham
Salt Lake City, UT

The article is a great illustration of something liberals just refuse to accept...the Laffer Curve. It states that as tax rates increase, the revenue the government receives starts to slow and it eventually reaches a point where further tax increases will actually result in lower tax revenues. As taxes increase, people increasingly do things to lower their tax liability. They may work under the table, cheat on their taxes, structure their income and investments in a way to lower their tax liability, etc...

The article explains another strategy...quitting. Some people will say that working so hard and getting to keep so little doesn't make sense, so they quit working. Some will "quit" their government by moving to another state or country as this article points out.

The americanthinker website explains the Curve and says that liberals are often so motivated by their ideas of "fairness"/"equality" that they ignore the realities the Curve points out and end up with less revenue (from being on the far end of the curve) and won't lower taxes to increase revenue, ala Reagan.

Paying taxes is subject to Supply & Demand. As the price goes up, fewer pay for it.

Salt Lake City, UT

@J Thompson
Obama said income taxes would go up on all Americans. The fiscal cliff deal stopped that from happening. Payroll taxes were something that Republicans thought should go up and only some Democrats wanted to keep the payroll tax holiday so it was something Obama gave up in the fiscal cliff negotiations without much of a struggle. Mitt Romney fully intended to let the payroll tax holiday expire too you know.

Cardston, Alberta

socialists (including B.O.) just do not get it. "Leave my money alone or else I'll leave you (alone)


@Kevin J. Kirkham

A couple observations:
Anybody who has studied economics knows about the Laffer curve ('liberals' should particularly be aware of it since it is based in Keynesian economics). The theory is simple enough, but the real question is where we currently lie on the curve. Economic consensus is that we are far left of the point where we need to be concerned (about 70% marginal rate) so conservative fear mongering is currently unwarranted.
The notion of "quitting"is frequently raised by conservatives, but there is an equally strong (and as it turns out offsetting) effect of working harder to get 'whole' when net income decreases. So while some millionaires may quit when taxes go up, others actually work harder and innovate more to make up for the loss (the higher taxes stimulate more activity). Economists have tried to measure both effects and the consensus is that they offset each other.

GK Willington
Salt Lake City, UT

to Kevin J. Kirkham

"The article is a great illustration of something liberals just refuse to accept...the Laffer Curve."

And the Laffer cyrve provided justification for Supply side, trickle-down, Reaganomics.. If memory serves, David Stockman (Reaganomics guru) declared it.... voodoo.

In Rolling Stone in 2011, Stockman said "The Republican Party has totally abdicated its job in our democracy, which is to act as the guardian of fiscal discipline and responsibility. They're on an anti-tax jihad -- one that benefits the prosperous classes."

I'm looking forward to the spin of Redshirt, Mike R, J Thompson, & other GOP apologists?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

The Laffer Curve . . .

No serious economist gives it credence (and they are not all Keynesians). The math simply does not work. Take an income of $1,000,000 and an effective tax rate of 35% (and that is unrealistically high). If you decrease the effective tax rate to 30%, tax revenues go down by $50,000. For tax revenues to just stay even, income would have to increase by 17%. Now multiply that by the entire economy. If we start with a more realistic effective rate of 20%, the required increase in economic activity is 33% just to stay even.

Also, this is not what we have experienced. The tax rates we are arguing about now have been in place in our lifetimes (certainly in mine). Tax rates higher during the Reagan and Clinton years yet the economy prospered and so did tax revenues. So, the absolute rates we are talking about cannot be the issue.

Could extremely high tax rates (higher than in the Reagan/Clinton years and much higher than what we are talking about) be so problematic that the economy would stall (and revenues fall). Perhaps. But again, this is NOT what is being talked about now.

West Jordan, UT

I think it's foolish to tax people based on how much they earn. It's a model that is only fair if everyone pays the same percentage, which is why we should adopt a flat tax model that everyone pays, and we do away with exemptions, deductions, etc. I know many will cry "foul" at that idea and contest that the poor shouldn't be made to pay taxes, but I argue that if the flat tax is low enough (10-15%) then they can afford to contribute something to the government that most of them depend so heavily on for support.

An even more fair model would be dump income tax altogether and adopt a fair tax model, such as a federal sales tax, which everyone would pay, and from which no one would be exempt. It keeps governments and businesses in check by forcing them to keep prices AND taxes competitive to ensure that consumer spending is steady.

Sugar City, ID

Wow! Finally a solution. Freeze the assets of the selfish wealthy and send them into the arms of Putin.Why should they be allowed to enjoy all of the fruits of this country and live in luxury while America sacrifices the blood of our youth to protect their way of life. The Confederates tried this to protect the life styles of the plantation owners and lost. But the US survived.

Cedar Hills, UT

who is the wealthy? Seems to me Barack promised us in the middle class NO TAX INCREASE for 2013 - just the wealthy got the tax increase. Well I opened my pay check and there was a big FAT UGLY TAX INCREASE. Guess I am wealthy!! Or Barack is a liar.

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