Letters: Taxes not 'forced charity'


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    April 7, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    When people say we want smaller government we do not mean we want no army, roads, or police. What we don't want is the government subsidizing private companies(GM, Solyndra, TARP). My construction business paid lots of tax and didnt receive a dime of relief when the housing market crashed. The government has created a mess in housing with FHA loans(which I benefit from but everyone else pays an inflated price), Wall Street by insuring bank deposits, and student loans by guaranteeing them. Cost of education has exploded. Healthcare costs are insane since government got involved. Why have procedures like breast implants and LASIK come down in price dramatically but a 4 stitch wound costs 800 bucks. Guess which procedures operate in free market.

    I believe in funding a federal military, but I do not believe in social security or Medicare. I'm young and neither will have any money when I'm of age so I save and manage my finances accordingly just as everyone would be forced to do if these programs didn't exist.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    April 6, 2013 6:05 p.m.

    re: Baron Scarpia on 1st page

    "America was built on taxes."

    No. America started out w/ tariffs, etc... It was until the 16th amendment ratified in 1913 that income tax was made the law of the land. Ironically, this was roughly the same time the Fed was created.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 6, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    If paying taxes is charity then it is the only charity in the world that if you don't pay up, you will be put in jail and your property confiscated. I don't mind paying taxes, I just object to waste, the almost universal creation of dependency, inefficiency and worthless duplication and calling it charity!

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    April 6, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    Nobody is forcing you to live here so you aren't being forced to pay any taxes.

    Simple logic is often the hardest thing for conservatives to understand.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    April 5, 2013 5:14 p.m.


    Patriot's comments need no response as they are obviously the ad hominem attacks of a person with no logical arguments to make.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2013 4:47 p.m.

    "Everything must be forced from a liberals point of view. There is no freedom of choice in progressive ideology. Any good progressive will tell you all about choice and as long as your choice agrees with their choice ... you are fine. Taxes are the very foundation of liberalism yet taxes were one of the prime reasons we choose to rebel and fight against King George. Go figure.."

    Okay, "patriot", everything you just said here is wrong. I mean everything. No, no, I mean every single claim you made was false. I keep rereading it trying to see where I want to respond, and I just can't do it. Its too amazing, its like a work of art. Congratulations. Its just too perfect an example of ignorance. Really, good work.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 5, 2013 4:36 p.m.

    L White
    Springville, UT
    2:11 p.m. April 4, 2013

    Oh well. Charity suffereth long so those of us who do not think that the government has any business pretending to be God's helper will have to suffer their insolence.


    Giggle, snork, hahaha!
    ...the audacity.

    I find that comment completely outrageous,
    coming from someone taking Government Charity (Social Security and Medicare) --

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2013 4:30 p.m.

    "Being a non-union shop they will always be cheaper."

    Toyota and Honda are cheaper? Hmnn. I guess you didn't do too many price comparisons, RedShirt.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    April 5, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    Deep Space 9, Ut

    I never said that Toyota and Honea are not unionized. I said that the US built cars and trucks are not built by Unions and cost a lot less, and will always cost less than a union built vehicle.

    2:16 p.m. April 5, 2013


    You are right.
    Toyota and Honda Union build cars and trucks are more expensive...

    And they only off-loaded the easiest products to build here.

    BTW - the engines and transmissions are still built in the Japanese plants.

    as an old Free Market saying goes:
    You get what your pay for.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    April 5, 2013 3:05 p.m.

    What do you mean by 'cost' Redshirt? Similarly equipped accords, camrys, fusions, and malibus sell for the substantially the same price here in LA. So what good does it do me if Honda and Toyota send more profits back to Japan rather than give their employees more money to spend here in the USA?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 5, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    Everything must be forced from a liberals point of view. There is no freedom of choice in progressive ideology. Any good progressive will tell you all about choice and as long as your choice agrees with their choice ... you are fine. Taxes are the very foundation of liberalism yet taxes were one of the prime reasons we choose to rebel and fight against King George. Go figure..

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    April 5, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    To "airnaut" you realize that the "company store" was an idea that has been arond long before socialism, and does not instill loyalty. Think back to the coal mines with the company towns. That isn't socialism that is business setting up a system that makes leaving hard.

    I never said that Toyota and Honea are not unionized. I said that the US built cars and trucks are not built by Unions and cost a lot less, and will always cost less than a union built vehicle.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    April 5, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    Deep Space 9, Ut

    1. Truthseeker is not supporting you, but refuting you.

    2. I worked with Toyota executives.
    Toyota provides on-site housing, childcare, schools, grocery stores, hopitals, clinics, resturants, and movie theaters as part of their "compensation". Kind of the Mitilitary does for service men and women.
    It's how "socialist" organizations pay low wages (service men making $600 a month in wages) but provide a decent "living expense".
    It also instills company "loyalty" - something American Capitalists hate.

    3. Toyota is the parent company - all sales and proceedes go to Japan.

    4. Japan is heavily unionized. So your arguement about Toyota and Honda not being Union is pure tripe.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    April 5, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    To "Truthseeker" thanks for supporting me. I am glad to see that even you agree that most of the Toyota and Honda vehicles are in fact built in the US.

    Being a non-union shop they will always be cheaper. Toyota and Honda don't have to deal with the insane union policies that are well established as slowing productivity on the assembly lines.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    April 5, 2013 10:51 a.m.


    The most "American" cars (most American-made parts and assembly) are the Toyota Camry and Toyota Avalon.

    "The AP reported that the average United Auto Workers member makes $29.78 per hour at GM, while Toyota pays its workers (most of whom are non-union) about $30 per hour. However, when total benefits (including pensions and health care for workers, retirees and their spouses) is factored in, GM's total hourly labor costs is about $69, while Toyota's is about $48.

    The Japanese automaker has fewer retirees in the U.S., and its health care benefits and pensions are less generous than those negotiated between Detroit and the UAW. Another key point is that health costs and pensions for auto workers in Japan - worth billions - are subsidized by the Japanese government. Not so in the U.S."
    (CBSnew March 2009)

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    April 5, 2013 10:39 a.m.

    To "RedShirt" again, wrong. My truck was built in Texas by a non-union shop for about $2000 less than the union run shops cost.

    FYI, most Toyota and Honda cars in the US are built IN the US by non-union labor. They do it cheaper and better than the unions do.

    Please stop lecturing on things you apparently don't understand or don't bother to research.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 5, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    USS Enterprise, UT
    Just like my car that says Toyota on it,


    A Union built car, in a Socialist nation.
    Good for you RedShirt.

    You propably own stuff you bought from Communist China as well.

    Please stop lecturing us about the evils of Communism & Socialism until you are willing to put your money where your mouth is.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 5, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    To "Lew Scannon" that is a lame argument. My cell phone says T-mobil on it, but they don't own it, I do. Just like my car that says Toyota on it, I own it. Plus you have missed the stories where some communities have printed their own money.

    Yes the your money says Federal Reserve on it, but that is because they print it and are the only ones authorized to print money for the US.

    What about your bank account, who owns the money there, is that your money or is that the government's money? The electrons and magnetic media containing the balance for my accounts don't have a label on them.

  • trueblue87 Provo, UT
    April 5, 2013 2:03 a.m.

    Yes those dirty rotten selfish rich people making all this money and just sitting on it while the rest of us eek out a meager existence. According to Forbes magazine as of February 2012 the top 50 donors in America had given or pledged over $10 billion to charities. And that was just in 2011 alone. Yes we really need to go after those greedy CEO's. And that doesn't account for all the selfish little people who give only $1 million.

  • Lew Scannon Provo, UT
    April 4, 2013 10:55 p.m.

    Mike says: "In America, the government does not 'own' the money." Sorry, but this is not true. I just pulled a $1 bill out of my wallet. Across the top it says, "Federal Reserve Note." Below that: "The United States of America." It is signed by the Treasurer of the United States and the Secretary of the Treasury. It belongs to the government. The government allows us to use these notes to ease the exchange of goods and services. A note, by the way, is "a written promise to pay a debt." So, when you hold a dollar bill or many of them, you hold a chunk of debt, and the businesses and individuals who abide by the rules of our national economy agree to grant you real wealth in exchange for your debt. That wealth might come in the form of a car, a carrot, a computer, or a haircut. Without this government-created instrument called money, we would be reduced to bartering with each other.

    Oh, what's the use. . .

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 4, 2013 8:47 p.m.

    Yeah, but you see, the thing is Richards, you don't understand the Constitution.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 4, 2013 7:39 p.m.


    Does the whole idea of having limits on government disturb you? The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. The People can change it by asking Congress to consider their request, but Congress cannot amend the Constitution, only the States can. The people cannot be in violation of the law because they have no authority to legislate. The popular will of the people never enters into the discussion. The Constitution tells us exactly how we can modify it (Article V). Using any other means is illegal.

    Obama has no authority to change the Constitution. You or I have no authority to change the Constitution. Congress, without 75% of the States agreeing, cannot change the Constitution.

    It does not matter how "popular" anything is. We are a nation of laws. Disregarding law destroys a nation.

    There are many who think that they can drum up support for this movement or that movement, and by willpower alone, change the way that government is allowed to work. The Constitution keeps that from happening.

    Constitutional authorization to "force charity" must be shown before Congress can act, popular opinion notwithstanding.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    April 4, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    If taxes are used for any charitable or benificient purpose,

    it is forced charity.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    April 4, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    @ Mike: So, "We the People" are the government -

    then, if the government is doing something, isn't it doing it because "We the People" authorized it - under the power of the 10th Amendment - to do just that?

    How can "We the People" the government authorize the government to do something that is unconstitutional? If we authorize the government to do something under the power of the 10th Amendment, it is Constitutionally authorized.

    Congress members who have proposed and passed laws establishing social safety nets did so under request of "We the People" and our power of the 10th Amendment. Presidents who have signed those laws into effect have done so under request of "We the People" and our power of the 10th Amendment.

    You may not agree with that action, but enough US citizens did agree with it that those who agreed to do it were elected. This is how life under our Constitution works.

    We the People use our power of the 10th Amendment to enact laws and to do the things we want done. We do this when needed things are not being taken care of without those laws. This is the power given by the 10th Amendment.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 4, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    To "ECR" everything that Mountanman said is true.

    From Bloomberg ".U.S. Auditors Say Duplicate Programs Cost Billions" the CBO found $100 billion in redundant programs.

    From USA Today "Senate procedural snarl could shutdown FAA again" we read that the federal government spends "$111,804 for a sanctuary for white (albino) squirrels in Kenton, Tenn." There is always the study to figure out why more lesbian and bisexual women are obese.

    Various sources put welfare fraud at $100 billion in the US. Medicare fraud and abuse is just about as bad.

    The problem with government safety nets is that people find it easy to abuse federal programs. Get those programs down to the community level and the fraud and waste is much, much lower.

  • L White Springville, UT
    April 4, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    Wow! This has been an interesting thread. What I'm seeing is a lot of people who are telling us to be just like Christ and give everything to the poor when what they really are saying that it is not fair that the rich only have to pay 80% of all taxes. I believe that they are stomping their feet because they covet the wealth of the rich guy and they want to take away his wealth. I have not seen any of them offer to pay more than they have to but I have seem many of them tell the rest of us how ungrateful we are if we do not believe in their idea of charity.

    Oh well. Charity suffereth long so those of us who do not think that the government has any business pretending to be God's helper will have to suffer their insolence. They can take up charity with their Maker when they explain to him how they helped him do his work by forcing everyone to be charitable.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    April 4, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    Mountanm,an 8:24

    May I please add some comments to your list ?

    "Programs that should be devolved to state and local governments; Education, agriculture, fish and wildlife programs." Just a comment, it took the National Guard (federal govenrment) to integrate state run education in the south.

    "Programs that could be better performed by the private sector; "Green" energy-Solyndra." Umm...Solyndra is a private sector company

    "Mistargeted programs whose recipients should not be entitled to government benefits; Food stamp abuse." Gotta agree with you on this one. Cheaters should always be punished.

    "Outdated and unnecessary programs; Snail sex research, etc., etc." Anoother agreement. Do these really exist?

    "Duplicative programs; 316 federal handicap assistance programs." by all means, redundancy is wasteful and should done away with.

    "Inefficiency, mismanagement, and fraud. This is charity? If so then real charity means nothing!" Adctually what that is is INnefficency, mismanagement and fraud. No one ever suggested it was charity.

    Now can I ask you this? Do you think that the poorest among us are the ones doing all the cheating? That doesn't make sense to me. It is those who do not qualify for the benefits that are cheating.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 4, 2013 1:26 p.m.

    LDS Liberal

    I believe you are (unfortunately) correct. There is not enough charity to meet the real needs out there. Folks need to read Dickens. Britain was a first world power in those days.

    BTW, of course folks should not take upon themselves a sacred covenant for money. But we should exercise great care in assuming that is their motive.

    Anti Bush-Obama

    Seriously, your post sounds a bit out there. We are not under fascism.

    Red state pride

    We have the federal govt. we have voted for.

    Thinkin\' Man

    Agreed. The poor are best helped by a strong economy/jobs and efficient local charities. But has that EVER been sufficient (outside of a closely knit religious group such as the Mormon pioneers)?

    Counter Intelligence

    “Small government is not NO government”. Agreed. The discussion of “legitimate needs” are what we need to be having.

    Irony Guy,

    Too funny.


    Agreed that each of these is an area worthy of discussion. My point was simply that when folks adopt the argument of “taxes=theft” we start down a path with a very dark end.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 4, 2013 1:06 p.m.

    To "John C. C." I like the scripture game.

    My favorite is this one: D&C 56:17 "Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!"

    For the Non-LDS folks there is always this one:

    Luke 12:13-15 "13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.

    14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?

    15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."

    Just some food for thought.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    April 4, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    We sacrifice to get along with other people. If we are rude, people avoid us. That's not force, but it certainly helps us behave. Other behaviors are more important to society, so we have codified them into law. If we speed or cheat on our taxes force may be used against us on behalf of the greater good. So, yes, taxes are forced.

    Right. Forced charity is not charity. God doesn't credit people for obeying commandments grudgingly. I'm sad to hear from those who hate paying taxes. They prefer sucking on pickles instead being pleased by how much good they do.

    Yes, there is waste and fraud in the government. We are duty bound to discover and correct those abuses because the taxes they waste are truly a burden on us. Let's work together on that.

    Yes, the poor are entitled to our charity. Malachi 3:5 "And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against ... those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts."

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 4, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    To "Roger Terry" if you want we can call it what it truely is, rather than using the soft "Forced Charity" term.

    When taxes are being used to fund social welfare programs, we can simply call them Socialist programs or else Forced Redistribution of Wealth. Either way you are accomplishing the same thing. Taking from those who have to give to those who don't through tax codes is not a good thing.

  • Dart-02 SLC, UT
    April 4, 2013 11:31 a.m.

    “If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands;they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish, and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress. Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.”
    -James Madison

    “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constitutents.”
    -James Madison

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    April 4, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    There is also no such thing as forced charity because forced charity isn't charity at all.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 4, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    You think Churches or Charities should provide for the poor, sick, needy, or elderly?

    Well, 90% of the wealth of this nation is owned by 1-2%.
    If that 1% would pay 10% charity we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    And, is it right for someone to join a Church to receive charity?
    I've heard Bishops tell missionaries not to baptize people living in trailer parks or hispanics because they were just looking for charity.
    Do you agree?

    The LDS Church - who I'm a proud member of - can't provide enough "charity" to take care of our own.
    FYI - Tithing is NOT Charity, even if Romney's tax return said it is.

    >50% of Americans do not belong to any church.
    But, 100% of Americans belong to America.
    So, I think the solution to America's problem lies within us, as America -- not as splintered groups of religious sects.

    I stand by my previous post.
    Charity is the pure love of Christ.
    Therefore, Taxes are not Forced Charity.

    P.S. The only religion who comes even close to pulling this off are the Amish.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    April 4, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    Big Government is Tyranny and Slavery. If people lived the Gospel, Big Government would never prosper. People would be too wise to their act.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    April 4, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    If you wish a scriptural discussion on charity I would offer the following point:

    Jesus and his disciples collected money for "the poor". The poor did not get it all because one Mr J. Iscariot was the treasurer and kept some of it for himself. That was not authorized by Jesus but it happened anyway.

    And likewise today the "charitable" money collected by government for their good causes goes as much or more to those who administer these causes as to the intended and pretended beneficiaries. This is bad enough when "contributions" are voluntary and infinitely worse imo when they are taken forcibly from people and especially when applied to controversial causes with heavy administrative costs.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    April 4, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    LDS liberal.

    It's the government that hoarding it all for themselves. But you will never believe such a thing because you like to take facism and tyranny and try to twist them into a gospel principle that you feel people should be forced to accept as such.

    I personally think your a paid government troll.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    April 4, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    It totally is forced every step of the way. Do you guys truly think that all the taxes we pay goes toward government infastucture? I bet only a micro fraction goes towards that. Most of it goes towards paying for the Governments palaces and their frivolous lifestyle.

    If Government got out of the way, we would be so abundant as a society. Everybody will have full time jobs and be able to take care of themselves, there will be charity hospitals, cancer and other diseases can be better treated. But the Government profits off of our pain and misery and have many misguided people that think they work for the government and not the other way around. IF they want to pay taxes so much, let them pay mine also.

    The country has become and Empire. Nothing is free anymore it's all facism.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    April 4, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    Let's see, LDS Liberal is telling us that it's alright to use force to make us do good. Maybe he would like to tell us exactly whose plan that was and why that person and one-third of the hosts of heaven were ejected for promoting that plan.

    "Forced charity" is not and has never been a plan associated with any religion that follows Christ. Forcing citizens to be religious is not allowed by the Constitution. If they choose to be religious and if they choose to follow the doctrine of Christ, then they are free to do so, but no one in government has the right in America to force anyone else to be charitable or to be stripped of his God given stewardship so that they (government) can claim that they are true followers of Christ. When anyone tells us that forcing us to follow Christ is a tenet of our government, that person is not only full of baloney, but he has twisted the Constitution and the Doctrines of the Master to suit his own purposes.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 4, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah
    LDS Liberal, you're twisting the scriptures - again.

    In America, the government does not "own" the money. All money belongs to the people except that money which the people


    And we believe people do not "own" the money. All money (things) come from God an belongs to him.

    We can either hord it unto ourselves,
    or do our best to re-distribute (by WHATEVER means) to all.

    D&C 104: 17, 18
    17 For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men...

    18 Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law... unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.


    You see, this is were we are vastly differ...

    We don't need "the Church" to do everything God has asked us to do.
    WE as a people, as a Nation under God can do it,
    -- and quite frankly, God really doesn't care HOW we obey, just as long as it gets done.

    Your turn...

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 4, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    No reasonable person on the right is "anti-government". We understand the need for government and thus taxes. The problem is that we have a Federal Government that is so large and has so many tasks that it is unable to perform any effectively. What is wrong with having a Federal Government with limited and explicit responsibilities? We can't even win a war decisively in a third world basket case country like Afghanistan. We've fought a "war on poverty" for 50 years and apparently wasted billions of dollars and our friends on the left insist we still have a problem with poverty. Why is that?
    Contrary to most left wing ideology there are other pillars of society besides government : families, churches, civic organizations etc. But in America circa 2013 the Government has to usurp all the responsibilities of those institutions. Are we better off because of that?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 4, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    LDS Liberal, you're twisting the scriptures - again.

    In America, the government does not "own" the money. All money belongs to the people except that money which the people (you and me, Maudine) have authorized the government to take from them by asking their State to ratify the Constitution and to give government limited authority to act on their behalf. This is not Rome and we don't have Caesar ruling over us. You compound the infraction by demanding that government use God against us. The "pure love of Christ" has nothing at all to do with taxes. Certainly, as a devout Christian, you know that.

    The federal government has no power in and of itself. Its "rights" are derived from the governed. It functions at the behest of the people. The people have set its limits. The people have only authorized it to perform seventeen duties. It's right there in black and white for you and the rest of the world to see. The people have no hidden agenda. They don't twist their own words. Only corrupt politicians and those outside of government who love corruption think that government has the right to rule over the people.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    April 4, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    But sometimes, and more times than many want to admit, the government is NOT necessary and, in fact, gets in the way of helping all our lives. Why is that so hard to admit?

    The basic assumption of the letter writer that ALL Republicans want all government services to be covered by charity is simply histrionic blather and outright LIE.

    Statistically; all Republicans and even tea partiers believe there is a legitimate role for government - They also believe that there are areas where government merely gets in the way. That is where the dispute lies. Why must the letter writer and supporting posters feel the need to lie about what others believe in order to make their point?

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    April 4, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    The left's false arguments against conservatives give me a good chuckle now and then, like this letter. They set up a straw man to fight, then pretend to be Joe Frazier.

    Conservatives have NEVER made the argument that all tax money is forced charity, only taxes used in place of charities. The poor are best helped by 1) a strong free-market economy that creates jobs and wealth, and 2) local charities that can run and distribute efficiently without an expensive overhead bureaucracy.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    April 4, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    Excellent letter, right on point and exceptionally well reasoned.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    April 4, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    higv said, "Al Gore had nothing to do with inventing the internet and facebook would of existed without him."

    I might agree with the last part of this sentence but the first part is just plain nonsense. Baron Scarpia clearly outlined the role that Al Gore played in the creation of the interent. If he had not done what he did, perhaps someone else would have. But the fact is he did it and so his claim is not ridiculous, as many would have us believe, but is based on fact. It is just one way which a government process, using government resources, has benfited us all.

    It doesn't mean that government can or will meet all our needs. We live in a capitalistic society and the basis of our system is free market. We could take all day and then some to debate how free that market is but the fact is we rely on the private sector to make the system work. But sometimes, and more times than many want to admit, the government is necessary and, in fact, does a good job of helping all our lives. Why is that so hard to admit?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 4, 2013 9:11 a.m.

    @ The real Maverick. You applaud as we march to ever more and more national debt, more dependency and less productivity and eventual bankruptcy! Keep it up!

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 4, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    My oh my! Roger, what have you done???!!! Look at how you got all the am radio regurgitating righties all worked up! Anything that gets folks like mm and mikey Richards angry, is a good letter to me. Keep it up!

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    April 4, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    "If Republicans were able to leave all these government functions to voluntary charity,"
    And which Republicans want ALL (military, police, etc.) government services to be run by charity or believe that having any government is evil?
    This letter is classic distortion of what other believe presented as fact in order to vilify a political opponent: I.e. “all liberals smoke pot”
    Small government is not NO government
    When government goes beyond legitimate needs, such as defense and education, and begins social manipulation to provide services that people can do themselves or others can do for them without government interference (or near half of the population pays NO taxes) - then "forced charity” is as good of word as any to describe it, and “EXTREMIST” is as good of word as any to describe the inability of those on the hard left who refuse to comprehend the fact that “small” and “No” are not synonyms

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 4, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    "I do not begrudge the schools those dollars,"

    I do not either. But, at least lets call it what it is.

    People without children are "forced" to pay money to educate the children of others. While people with modest means and lots of children pay very little.

    As I said. I am fine with that. What gives me pause is those who get huge govt handouts at tax payer expense and then whine and moan when others get similar treatment.

    There are many people included in that 47% number who scream loudly, without realizing (or admitting) that they fall into that category. (or have at one time or another)

    What I get is deserved. What the other guy gets is an entitlement and should be berated for it.

  • Lew Scannon Provo, UT
    April 4, 2013 8:47 a.m.


    Please drop the 47 percent argument you keep making. Instead start asking why 47 percent of our population cannot earn enough to qualify to pay income tax. If you can fix that problem, then you'll be doing something useful. In the meantime, simply admit that those in the 47 percent pay all sorts of other taxes that are a greater burden on them than the 39.6 percent income tax the wealthy must now pay on taxable income over $450,000 ($400,000 for single taxpayers) and the lower rates they pay on income under those thresholds.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 4, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah
    Yes, MOST taxes are "forced charity"!

    Dietrich, ID

    Hayden, ID

    J Thompson


    1. I assume all of you are Republicans.
    2. I also assume you are all LDS.

    3. The letter writer is correct. Taxes are "Not Forced Charity".

    My reply then is this ---

    a. My taxes are being used to wage War in the Middle East, and given to Corporations.
    b. Christ said to pipe down and just pay your taxes.
    c. Besides --

    So, if you are who you claim you are, then you should already know that;

    "Charity is the pure love of Christ."

    therefore - Taxes are definetley NOT Forced Charity.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    April 4, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    @ Mike & J: Please define "We the People" and explain how "We the People" are to enact the powers left to us by the 10th Amendment.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    April 4, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    If a tax is theft, then the US Constitution was written by thieves, as it plainly grants Congress the power to tax. I'm pleased to pay taxes to "provide for the general welfare," as the Constitution also plainly states in Article 8.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 4, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    @ Twin Lights: The six categories of wasteful and unnecessary spending that I can think of are:
    1.Programs that should be devolved to state and local governments; Education, agriculture, fish and wildlife programs.
    2.Programs that could be better performed by the private sector; "Green" energy-Solyndra.
    3.Mistargeted programs whose recipients should not be entitled to government benefits; Food stamp abuse.
    4.Outdated and unnecessary programs; Snail sex research, etc., etc.
    5.Duplicative programs; 316 federal handicap assistance programs.
    6.Inefficiency, mismanagement, and fraud.
    This is charity? If so then real charity means nothing!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 4, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    A very good and truthful letter.

    But among many American "patriots," greed and not charity is paramount. They also fail to realize that taxes pay for the services they demand. Yes, demand.

    Can you imagine the hue and cry if any government at any level stopped maintaining roads, or water or sewer systems, or if homeowners had to pay a fee to have the fire department respond?

    Some of the previous comments here reflect the normal "conservative" hypocrisy that tries to run and ruin or nation.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    April 4, 2013 8:20 a.m.


    If you live in a State that has authorized tax dollars to used for education, then you are not being forced to educate children. That is part of your duty. In Utah, we spend much of the tax money for education. I do not begrudge the schools those dollars, but I do expect those in the schools who spend the money to use it wisely.

    The same is for all government services. IF those services are authorized, then we are responsible to pay for them.


    Some people, like UTCProgess, don't understand the limits that we have placed on government. They think that because liberal presidents and liberal courts have allowed public spending for personal welfare, that that spending is Constitutional; but they refuse to admit that any President and any Court that exceeded the limits placed on it by the people has violated our trust. They seem to think that if someone can "get away" with something, that that "something" is legal.

    General Welfare is not personal welfare. It never has been, no matter how many times liberals tell us otherwise.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 4, 2013 8:03 a.m.


    Be very careful with the confiscation/theft arguments on taxation. If a tax is theft then ALL tax for ANY amount of govt. are also theft.

    The reality is that taxes are part of the social contract from which we all benefit. If we want a world without taxes, we want a world without any govt.

    Of course there are good arguments to be made about less spending and less taxation. But that is LESS not NONE.

    We need to be cautious that we do not argue ourselves into a world where govt. does not (or cannot) exist. It would be savage beyond belief.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 4, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    A bloated, overspending, over regulating, and wasteful government where 47% of Americans do not pay any federal income taxes is NOT charitable! If so, then under the author's definition of charity only about 10% of Americans who pay about 80% of federal taxes can be considered charitable. Forced charity is not charity, its confiscation!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 4, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    " Any payment made by the State to anyone for anything that is outside that scope is just as wrong as bloated federal spending. Those expenditures are "forced charity"."

    Sorry Mr Richards, but even things IN the scope of government can be considered "FORCED CHARITY"

    If I have NO kids but have to pay school tax, that is forced charity. Even though it is in the scope.

    You have a narrow view of what govt can or should do.

    There are many things that are not specifically spelled out in the constitution. That is why we have a supreme court. Things change. Things evolve. Not everything that exists today could have been envisioned 200+ years ago.

    So we have a supreme court that interprets the constitution based on the realities of today. And they, not you, determine what is legal under our constitution.

    While I am confident that our founders would see many abuses, they would also disagree with your interpretation.

    Think about your own life and tell me that you have not been a large beneficiary of the "forced charity" that you so decry.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    April 4, 2013 7:31 a.m.

    Al Gore had nothing to do with inventing the internet and facebook would of existed without him. There is no authorization of forced charity in constitution. Churches, families and individuals always and still do take care of poor people. We didn't have higher crimes before that. I guess sheriff can come take my car or bread for the poor people.

  • UTCProgress American Fork, UT
    April 4, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    As with all of his other posts, Mike Richards presents his opinion as fact, when in fact his point of view is in the vast minority. The general welfare section of Article 1, Section 8 has been interpreted by the US Supreme Court (over the years and through many decisions) as providing Congress with almost unlimited authority to appropriate taxes in any way it sees fit for the welfare of the nation.

    It is a fact that if a government (federal, state, local) levied a tax or expended funds on "unauthorized" activities that entity would be sued. Mr. Richards just really doesn't like democracy. We elect leaders who then either use the laws currently available or create new laws to govern our society. One man's "forced charity" is another man's appropriate use of tax dollars. The law provides guidance on who is correct.

    Since Mr. Richards is fond of mixing religion with government, I leave him with this thought from Christ: "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's"

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    April 4, 2013 6:45 a.m.

    America was built on taxes.

    I'm always amazed to hear conservatives tout the glories of the free market, but when you point out how the very basics we take from granted -- from roads to railroads to courts that protect copyright to clean water to nuclear power to the great farmlands of the Louisiana Purchase to the Internet -- were all built/procured by government with American tax dollars, you realize that the free market has benefited greatly by so-called hated "forced charity."

    A piece of trivia -- conservatives love to poke fun at Al Gore over his "I invented the Internet" statement. Here's the reality: The Internet was a government initiative, and in 1992, Gore sponsored a bill in Congress to allow businesses to operate on the Internet. It passed, and today, without Al Gore's vision for an online economy, we wouldn't have Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and a host of other online companies, services, and JOBS that we take for granted.

    Yes, there is government waste. But the reality is that government investment in infrastructure, education, and services from "forced charity" is the backbone of not only the free market, but America's way of life.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    April 4, 2013 5:58 a.m.

    Excellent letter Mr. Terry.

    "If Republicans truly want to bridge the gap in their party philosophy between reality and rhetoric, they need to stop using irresponsible terms like "forced charity" and start recognizing that government is not evil."

    So well said. We are nation of people not a group of individuals. We need each other to make this nation work and while the dream of our nation is that everyone should be repsonsible for his/her own well being, the realities of life (illness) and weaknesses of mankind (prejudice, selfishness, pride, greed, corruption) make it necessary for us to find ways to make the system work for all of us.

    Certainly there are those who will exploit any system, whether they are desititute or wealthy, and we should do all we can to see that those who abuse and misuse our noble intentions are sought out and punished. But that should not stop us from using our resourses to make life better for the nation as a whole.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 4, 2013 4:51 a.m.

    Yes, MOST taxes are "forced charity"!

    Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution list the only duties which the Federal Government has authority to tax us. MOST federal programs are not on that very short enumerated list. That means that all of those programs must be left to the States or to the people to handle.

    The Utah State Constitution lists those duties that we, the people of Utah, have assigned to the State. Any payment made by the State to anyone for anything that is outside that scope is just as wrong as bloated federal spending. Those expenditures are "forced charity".

    Go down the list through the County, the City and the neighborhood improvement council. Any time any level of government spends anything on any unauthorized function, that expenditure is "forced charity".

    The Lord never assigned responsibility to government on any level to care for his people. He left that duty to each of us. No matter what your political persuasion, if you think that government is responsible for personal welfare, you are one of the "liberals" who think that spending someone else's money is better than spending your own and you believe in "forced charity".

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 4, 2013 3:45 a.m.

    Many people look at their personal situation and then believe that it is universal.

    Yes, many people have family and friends who would be happy to help them out in hard times.
    If only that were the case for everyone.

    Try to imagine living paycheck to paycheck and then having major medical problems or even major car problems. Then think about if all of your family and friends were in similar situations.

    There are lots of people in this country who do not know a lot of people with the means to come to their aid in times of need.

    Maybe not so much in Utah, but in much of the country. Try walking in others shoes.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    April 4, 2013 1:17 a.m.

    Thank you for those comments. I think any who feel "forced" are just admitting we don't want to sign the Constitution we were all born under. More like rebels than patriots. Sure, we may not have had a choice about what social contracts we were born into, but aren't we lucky for having been born into this one?

    Yes, taxes are used for welfare. Aren't we proud to see our wealth redistributed to the poor? We do it privately, through NGO's, and through various levels of government. We approve of this practice through our duly elected representatives, as did our parents and grandparents. The Supreme Court says it's constitutional. We, the people, choose to pay taxes, regulate our own behavior, and serve the needy, all as a group. We are not hermits.

    I love how government itself can take on the virtue we share as citizens in choosing to "exalt the poor in that the rich are made low."

    Of course it would be better if we were not forced. So, let's pause to reflect about our riches. Let's make a sober re-commitment to true patriotism.