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Comments about ‘In our opinion: Stealth taxes’

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Published: Friday, Feb. 15 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

Government sometimes borrows the tactics used by those companies who sell stuff on TV. Bury most of the cost in the fine print and don't disclose what the true cost will be. "Only $19.95 with a money back guarantee" turn out to cost $50 after you tack on a bunch of outrageous "shipping and handling" fees and when you figure out it is junk and you want your money back, good luck navigating the beauracracy designed to make that so onerous that no one bothers to try.

It's like how we pay most of our taxes through payroll deductions. We get lazy about keeping track and we are not nearly as outraged as we would be if we had to go pay cash for our taxes every month.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Honorable people do not "hide" costs and they do not pass those costs to some someone else who just happens to have a cell phone. I agree that citizens demand a lot from government. Those demanded services must be paid for, but hiding those taxes is not ethical. If the tax is related to use, such as fuel taxes, it should clearly be posted, just as most gas stations do on every gas pump, showing how much of the cost of each unit goes to the government.

Having a "zoo tax" and a "symphony tax" and a "UTA tax" hidden in purchases is unethical, even if it is legal. Every "poor" person should know that he is subsidizing the "rich guy's" entrance to the zoo or to the symphony or for that "rich guy's ride" on UTA.

It's not just the rich whose household income is taken by the government and redistributed. The poor have much of their wealth taken to pay for things that they could never afford - such as the symphony. Why should government tax anyone to subsidize private businesses?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The fact is that the taxes referred here are taxes for private businesses who use the government as their employee. When government actions are hidden from the public, it is because the private sponsors of the action don’t want the public to know the truth.

Three cheers and a hoop-de-do for Mike Richards.

jsf
Centerville, UT

Other hidden taxes that are passed on to the consumer, include corporate income tax a line item expense on corporate financial reports. Cap and trade taxes are going to affect the poor consumers of heating, electrical service, and the cost of food. They won't affect the rich and affluent of society as much as they will the poor. The medical device tax buried in Obama care, raising the cost of things like pacemakers, wheelchairs, crutches and materials used in hospitals and charged to the patients. Most hidden and buried taxes are made that way so progressives right and left can raise taxes without any opposition. Interesting to note, gas retailers are not allowed to advertise the price of a gallon of gas net of the attached taxes.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Let's see, when Mitt was governor of Massachusetts, he says that he lowered taxes.

But, oh boy, the fees he invented darn near overwhelmed the state.

We dodged a serious bullet when American voters saw through the shenanigans.

1conservative
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

The old adage "be careful who you vote for" becomes very obvious with these "stealth" taxes.

City/county officials are notorious for sneaking in new "fees". (Hardly) no one attends city council meetings so those elected officials get away with a lot.

Instead of complaining about D.C. politicians we need to check out our "backyard".

10CC
Bountiful, UT

It's rare that I agree with Mike Richards, but today I do. I agree there should be greater disclosure and transparency in taxes, their purpose and allocation.

I would go one step further and require the tax inputs to have greater transparency, as well. In other words, I think individual and company tax returns should be public information. I think we should all know how much money is being contributed to the public coffers, and by whom.

If the family down the street that has 8 kids pays no income taxes, that should be noted, as well as the contribution of the gay couple with no kids. Mitt Romney only released two years of his tax records, where his father released 10.

Transparency should be on both sides of the government ledger.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Instead of suggesting ways to punish those who pay the taxes accessed to them by publishing information that is private and of no business to anyone outside the payer and the receiver, why not concentrate on making taxes fair?

The fairest tax is to have all costs paid in equal amounts by all citizens. It costs no more for the military to protect one citizen than it costs to protect another. $700,000,000,000 divided by 330,000,000 citizens shows that every man, woman and child in America should be paying $2,121 per year just for defense.

Of course, equalizing taxes so that everyone participates equally is not going to work - Obama is going to demand that the "rich guy" pay more.

The next best solution is to have everyone pay the same tax rate. If if costs 15% of all income to fund the Federal Government, then everyone should pay 15% - no exemptions and no exceptions. If everyone has to pay, citizens might just stop demanding that the Federal government be involved in their private lives.

No hidden taxes. No subsidised projects. One tax rate for everyone.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Mike Richards:

I would suggest the "receiver" is the public, ie, all of us, so why can't we all know the information from where taxes came from? This may stimulate the discussion of the 47% of "takers" that Mitt Romney mentioned, tax fairness, etc.

The reason the defense tab is not equally allocated among every man, woman and child, is that we all have differing amounts of property to protect from foreign attack. Or, as one columnist put it, "What are the 18 year olds we sent off to war protecting from foreign attack? Their car stereos?. The Billionaire has far more that needs to be protected."

Another reason taxes are uneven is social interest. For example, many people in their prime child rearing years do not have the means to pay for their children's education outright, so society has determined it's in the best interest of us all to have these children educated, and so older people with property disproportionately pay for educating young children. My achievement in life is due in part to people who came before me and paid the teachers who taught me.

It sounds like a Marxist redistribution scheme, but it works.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Speaking of stealth stuff... Remember how Bush used to exclude the costs of his wars in his budget? How stealthy! He hid their true costs. Oh boy! Now we have to deal with them!

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

One poster seems to think that possessions (i.e. property) are more important than the lives of a citizen. I disagree. The life of each citizen is infinitely more valuable than any property. Property can be replaced. A life cannot.

As that poster pointed out, our need for government services varies over our lifetime. We pay for education throughout our entire lives, instead of just during those years when our own children attend school. That is a recent innovation. Historically, those who wanted to have their children educated paid directly for that opportunity. They fed and housed the teacher. Putting the burden on the entire populace is something that we agreed to do. It is not a "stealth tax".

The thing that we have to remember is that any service that we demand from government must be paid for. Nothing is ever free. Somebody has to pay the bill. An honest government clearly labels taxes as taxes. An honest government does not hide the charges that it extracts from the citizens. An honest government does not pick one person's pocket to pay for the services of another.

Honesty in government is almost absent.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

JThompson:

Of course, lives are more imporatant than property, but what motivates one nation to attack another? Typically, treasure, not so much the acquiring the people.

In the emerging Cyber-War being waged under peaceful conditions, who has the most to lose, the 7-Eleven worker, or the organization that possesses valuable technological, scientific and industrial knowledge? Who should bear the costs of defending the nation's economic treasure?

Or should the mindset be that the federal government is the real enemy and if the Chinese catapult past us as a nation by stealing one of our most important assets, our accumulated knowledge, that we can at least rest assured that it wasn't a domestic government tyranny that led to our decline?

We're obsessed with arguing about who should pay how much for the family picnic in the front yard, and which recipes to use and who decides, while burglars are ransacking the house from the back.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

@ 10CC,

You have misrepresented the use of the military. This is the United States of America. The job of the Federal Government is to protect the States against all enemies foreign and domestic. Hitler used the concept of divide and conquer. Many other dictators used that concept. To keep that from happening to America, an attack on one State was deemed an attack on all. The size of the State did not matter. The number of people living in a State did not matter. The wealth of a State did not matter.

When you try to divide America based on personal wealth to excuse you or anyone else from standing shoulder to shoulder with other Americans to pay for authorized and needed services, aren't you just buying into Obama's program of buying votes by promising people that some "rich guy" will be taxed. He has shown us by his deeds just who those "rich guys" are. They're you and me. OUR taxes were increased by $1,200 per family.

He believes in stealth taxes. He believes that claiming a tax increase is not an increase makes it so. Do you?

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