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In our opinion: Report puts taxes in perspective, should inform debate over tax rates and government spending

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  • thatthatguy Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 17, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    Why oh why do we let these guys go on about income tax rates and ignore Social Security and Medicare taxes? If you take all taxes into account (state, local, and federal), then we're all paying closer to the same. 17%-21%-25%-28%-30% Doesn't seem particularly inequitable to me.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    April 17, 2013 12:58 a.m.

    Mike Richards asks us to "believe him" several times in the middle of yet another misleading diatribe. The answer is "no." In fact, no businessman who blames higher taxes for fewer hires ever gives specifics. Without proof - actual business names and financials - these are all anecdotal fables to promote a false narrative. So "no." Non-credible sources merit no "belief."

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    My goodness, really, Thompson?

    "Do you have a business?" Yes
    "Do you fill out Schedule C?" I have no idea. You would have to ask my accountant.

    You're right, Richards isn't talking about ALL taxes, but he also isn't talking about just SS security taxes. He was implying that he doesn't get to deduct his children on his taxes. It would seem, according to taxman, that he does. The schedule c has nothing to do with it, the schedule c "flows" into the 1040 and that is where the deductions for children is. So by Richards trying to claim that he doesn't get to claim children, because he doesn't claim them on his schedule c, would be misrepresentative, because he claims them elsewhere in the forms.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 16, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    The worst part of our present tax code is the improper definition of income and business.

    The rules of the game of capitalistic business have changed over the last 200 years mostly in favor of business. We need to bring the rules up to date for everybody. Capital gains, long term investments, and even inheritance are income.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 16, 2013 4:50 a.m.

    "So to all those who say taxes should be higher, how much should the tax be?"

    Enough to cover what we spend (then a little to pay off the debt we incurred)

    Once we balance taxes and spending, our politicians will think much harder before getting us into a war or spending any money.

    Let me ask you. How much of todays spending do you want to pass on to your kids?

    Cutting taxes is easy. It's that pesky spending that is difficult.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    April 15, 2013 9:46 p.m.

    So to all those who say taxes should be higher, how much should the tax be? How much would you want to pay on income over $25K? $50K? 100K? 200K?

    How much of one's hard earned money should a person be allowed to keep? Should the wealthy just be slaves to pay for the government?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    April 15, 2013 9:29 p.m.

    @Mark,

    You missed the point entirely. Do you have a business? Do you fill out Schedule C? Do you pay SS tax on all the profits from your business? Do you deduct dependents on your Schedule C? Do you deduct charitable deductions on your Schedule C? If you do, you've made a grave mistake.

    If you report all income, as you are required to do, all of your profits will be taxed for SS, at least until you hit the SS ceiling - something that I've never done.

    You claim that Mike Richards is talking about all taxes. Where did you get that idea? He said that he paid his fair share of taxes. SS tax is a tax. Property tax is a tax. Gasoline tax is a tax. Sales tax is a tax. They all add up. Only income tax has a provision for deductions because of number of dependents or contributions to charity. The other taxes are mostly a flat tax where everyone pays the same rate.

    He called for a flat income tax where everyone pays the same rate. Some say that a flat tax won't work. Why not?

  • cpafred SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 15, 2013 7:47 p.m.

    @ Ultra Bob

    Perhaps it is you who are confused about business income. Under current tax rules a trade or business activity does not include a rental activity or the rental of property that is incidental to an activity of holding the property for investment (see IRS Pub 925). So unless you change the definition of business income, you are wrong.

    If you do change the definition of a business, you're saying that my 94 year-old step-father who owns a couple of rental properties and gets paid rent with multiple personal checks made out to him personally each month, has to withhold and remit on himself 12 times a year (rather than file and pay once a year). This sounds more cumbersome rather than less cumbersome.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 15, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    Cpafred.

    You seem to be confused about the separation of personal income and business income. I did not make it clear that it is the business who remits the income tax to the government based upon the outgoing payments of the business. Workers, consumers, renters, and other non business people are not involved in the withholding and remitting of the tax. That is the responsibility of the businessman. As a landlord you are a businessman.

    If you receive the rent and hold it on the books of your business, you would not remit any money to the government. If, however, you take money from the business to pay yourself, or the furnace repair man, or any others providing service to the business, you would pay an amount determined by the flat tax of the amount you pay out, to the government.

    All this is based upon the premise that business income is separate from personal income. I would not tax the business, only the money that becomes person income.
    All outgoing money from a business is personal income to someone.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 15, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    Okay J Thompson lets look at Richards claim,

    He was responding to this post by Joe Blow,

    "Can you imagine when you were picking and choosing which bills you would pay, if you lost all of your 9 deductions and had to pay 10-20 % of your income to state and federal taxes?"

    Richards responded by saying this,

    "There is no deduction on Schedule C for the number of children. There is no deduction on Schedule C for anything related to family or charity. Believe me when I tell you that I paid my share of taxes, including the 100% "donation" to Social Security."

    He's trying to say that he doesn't get to claim deductions for his children. He is also talking about all his taxes not just SS taxes.
    Taxman called him out on it. It seems that by stating that he doesn't get to declare deductions on schedule c he is misrepresenting his actual deductions, as taxman pointed out.

    I know you guys love to move the goalposts. But come on, it's in writing.

  • DVD Taylorsville, 00
    April 15, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    Close the corporate tax loopholes. The general tax rate of the nation can be a little higher. We pay a lot more as a result of crumbling infrastructure (roads, etc) and higher crime because of the instability as a result of over zealous tax cutting than we do when our taxes are keeping things stable around us.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    April 15, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    @mike Richards. Are you implying that you can not hire employees because your taxes are too high? I never heard a real businessman state that they can not hire employees because of high taxes. Employee wages are entirely deductible.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 15, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    Mountanman and All,

    I used to work for GE decades ago when it was newly under Jack Welch (Neutron Jack as he was then referred to). Even then GE paid little or no taxes. It had nothing to do with presidential politics. It had everything to do with how GE maximized its tax deductions.

    I cannot say how GE Capital operates today. But back when it was GECC, it owned huge amounts of real estate, planes, trains, generators, etc. These were then leased back to the company that actually used them and GE took the depreciation. They made sure that GE never paid much if anything in taxes.

    I can only assume that GE has not changed a winning formula.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    April 15, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    @ TaxMan,

    After reading and re-reading the posts, I don't see how Mike Richards or I deserved your attacks. He stated that there were no deductions allowed on Schedule C for dependants or for charity. That is correct. He stated that he paid 100% of SS taxes on profits from his business. That is correct.

    You claimed that he was dishonest because Schedule C flows into form 1040. Let's look at your claim. Was he allowed to use Schedule A to reduce his SS tax generated on Schedule C? Did he pay SS tax at a lower rate because of form 1040 or Schedule A? How was he dishonest? He told the absolute truth. If he made $100,000 profit on Schedule C and somehow had $100,000 of deductions on other schedules he would still have had to pay SS taxes on his profits at about 15%.

    You changed the subject to include only income tax and then claimed that he and I twisted things.

    You also said that paying the same rate would not bring in enough revenue. How many new jobs would be generated if everyone paid the same rate? Your conclusion has no basis.

  • cpafred SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 15, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    @ Ultra Bob

    "By taxing the income at its source there would be no need for individual tax returns or concerns. There would not be any opportunity to cheat or have special treatment."

    There has been much analysis and discussion in the tax press regarding your suggestion. I won't go into detail, but your proposed system is much more complicated and difficult to administer than you portray.

    For a simple example, let's say my sole source of income is from a triplex that I rent to 3 poor families. How does my income get "withheld at source" (without requiring tax filings)? If the poor people are all supposed to withhold a portion of my rent and each file statements with the government, (1) you have just created a lot of recordkeeping and work (would they have to do this monthly each time they pay rent?), and (2) you have not done anything to reduce cheating (because, for example, I could lower their rent a little in exchange for them not withholding).

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    April 15, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards

    Let me deal with your erroneous statements separately:

    "It's good to see that you have the solution for the problem, i.e., tax someone else at the highest rate possible so that you don't have to pay the real cost of government."

    False. I did not say that. I pay a lot of tax at higher rates than most people, so to say that I want to to tax someone else so I don't have to pay for government is absurd.

    "You separate Social Security taxes from income tax. You deny that it is a tax."

    False. I called it a tax; you are putting words in my mouth. It is hard to have an honest, respectful exchange on these boards if when we can't twist and distort the facts sufficiently, we try to twist and distort each others' statements. The income tax and the self-employment tax are distinct taxes. You can deduct charitable contributions and exemptions against Sch C income for income tax purposes. You can claim that you've been talking about the SE tax and not the income tax all along, but that claim is not believable.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 15, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    Ultimately this is an issue of economic inequality, and problems with unequal opportunity, and how we address them.

    Technology is becoming an extraordinarily powerful catalyst for creating even greater economic inequality, even in the Scandanavian countries, who emphasize equality of opportunity to the point where Finland has eliminated educational tiering altogether.

    Apple, Google, Yahoo and Amazon together employ 200,000 workers, which is the amount of jobs we need to create monthly to keep up with population growth. Those four companies account for over $900 Billion in market value.

    Most of the jobs our economy *is* creating today aren't in the same league as the jobs where technology is creating tremendous value.

    I don't know if tax policy is the best way to address unequal opportunities or push to reduce economic inequality, but whatever mechanisms are considered, they will unquestionably have a much, much steeper hill to climb, just because of how technology is much more sharply slanting the economic playing field, an effect that will accelerate in the next 10 years.

    Pretty sobering, I know.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 15, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    To make taxes “fair”, you should tax according the to benefit received, but since that is not possible, the next best “fair” way to assess benefit is by income received.

    If we tax income at a single flat rate, every ones share is simple and straight forward and a host of irrelevant expenses can be eliminated.

    Tax all income from every source without deductions and without exemptions.

    Require every financial institution, business, or group, operating in America, or selling to people in America, to withhold the flat rate tax on every outgoing payment from that entity. This is based on the notion that all business payments are income to someone. That someone could be an American living in America or a human being living any where in the world. If their income is derived from America it is subject to the cost of the American government.

    By taxing the income at its source there would be no need for individual tax returns or concerns. There would not be any opportunity to cheat or have special treatment.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 15, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    @TaxMan,

    It's good to see that you have the solution for the problem, i.e., tax someone else at the highest rate possible so that you don't have to pay the real cost of government.

    You separate Social Security taxes from income tax. You deny that it is a tax. Just because you minimize its effect on my business does not mean that it is not Uncle Sam's hand in my pocket. He takes what he wants and leaves too little for me to hire employees. He mixes that Social Security tax with the general fund and spends it on pork-barrel projects and then threatens to lower the promised payments because those of us who have paid and paid and paid are suddenly a burden on society.

    When it comes time to pay me and the others who have paid and paid and paid, he calls us a blight on society and a drain on the revenues of the United States. He FORCED us to pay. We had no choice.

    SS is a tax. It is an onerous tax, no matter what you think.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 15, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    Even with all the corruption, cheating, scamming, bribing, and outright stealing, the money we pay for the privilege of being an American is the best deal that people have in this commercially driven world.

    The pure fact is that when money is spent improperly by our government, it is the result of business scams proposed by businessmen. Money spent for the welfare of people by their government can never be classified as improper spending.

    If we could restrict the improper spending of our tax money that goes for the benefit of business and demand a better ratio of benefit for the people, and we could reduce the spending of government.

    Most every action made by our government contains a profitable part some businessmen and a part beneficial to people. The split determines whether we call it pork or entitlement.

    Conservative groups would like to move the split toward the business end and do away with as much of the entitlements as possible. Their goal seems to be to get as much of the governments money as possible while decreasing their share of the government cost.

    Government enforces the law, and the law makes us free.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    April 15, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    @J Thompson/Mike Richards

    We are not talking about self-employment tax, we are talking about income taxes. Non-self-employed people cannot offset their FICA and Medicare taxes with personal exemptions and charitable deductions, and neither can self-employed people. Implying that because you can't deduct personal exemptions and for self-employment tax purposes, you don't get to deduct them against your income tax is wrong. They are two different and distinct taxes. You are either extremely confused, or are trying to confuse the issue and pretend you know what you're talking about.

    I've worked in large corporations, I've worked in public accounting, and I've run my own business, so I know what I'm talking about here.

    And regarding Mike Richard's earlier comment about everyone paying taxes at the same rate, this will not bring enough revenue and is unworkable. Tax commentators stopped talking about it long ago, even the most conservative ones. It is not a serious idea, and people who continually raise it are wasting our time.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 15, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    @Mountanman

    "You are right that GE pays no corporate taxes, but they sure donated handsomely to Obama's two elections!"

    No argument there. I am for getting ALL corporate and union money out of the elections as I believe that they corrupt the system and sway legislation. And get rid of all lobbying also.

    Are you for that? I see George Soros and the Koch brothers as being the same, just on different sides of the political fence. Their money corrupts equally.

    Do you think that Republicans are immune to being bought by corporations?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    April 15, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    @TaxMan,

    You've really shown your ignorance of tax laws. Schedule C shows the profit/loss of a business. Schedule C requires that you pay self-employment tax on the profits earned from that business. Because you pay Social Security taxes on the profits of a business BEFORE deducting exemptions and donations, you pay the FULL 15% required for Social Security BEFORE deducting exemptions for children and BEFORE deducting donations to charity.

    That 15% is on top of the income taxes owed.

    That 15% is on top of property taxes owed.

    That 15% is on top of any other taxes owed.

    If you owned a business, you would know that having Uncle Sam as a silent partner keeps you from hiring real people who would produce goods and services; people who would pay taxes instead of receiving welfare from Uncle Sam.

    If you owned a business you would know how insidious high tax rates are and how crippling it is to have Uncle Sam as a silent partner in every business; a partner who drains off the profits that could generate more revenue to the government if left to the owner to use to build his business.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    April 15, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    By showing about 1/3 of the tax picture, this very poorly constructed DN editorial is both inaccurate and misleading. Yes, if you look at the aggregate, the wealthy in America may pay a larger percentage of income taxes than the wealthy in other countries. But in spite of this, somehow the wealthy keep accumulating a larger piece of a pretty slowly growing pie. Even Republicans don't dispute all the studies showing that inequality in America is growing rapidly. The reason the wealthy pay the lion's share of the income taxes is because they earn a massive and growing chunk of the income and their portion of overall wealth is expanding exponentially. Our problem is not a progressive tax code. Our problem is the initial distribution of wealth. The bulk goes to the top few. The rest are getting less each year.

    But if you want to talk about progressive tax codes, Germany's is far more progressive, especially if you count several taxes they pay that we don't. Their wealthy probably pay a lower percentage of the whole because they earn a lower percentage of the income.

    Silly, biased editorial.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 15, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    Every year the IRS releases tax data on the 400 wealthiest households. These 400 households have an average annual income of 300 million dollars, and a pay an average tax rate of 16.6%. That's not overtaxed. Also, Seven of these households were among Romney's 47% who paid zero income taxes.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 15, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    The real issue lies in understanding the huge gap between the "nominal rate" (the list price) and the "real rate" (the tax rate that most companies actually pay.) These two rates diverge widely. The nominal federal tax rate on the largest corporations is now 35 percent. State taxes, on average, bump this to 39.2 percent. This nominal rate ranks as the highest among developed countries.

    However, no major company really pays the nominal rate. . . Big companies enjoy a huge buffet of credits, shelters, deductions, and other preferences that reduce their rate to an average of 13 percent. Many profitable companies pay no federal income tax at all. Regardless of our nominal rate, OUR REAL CORPORATE TAX RATE IS AMONG THE LOWEST. Further cuts cannot stimulate growth. -The Truth About Corporate Tax Rates, By David Brodwin | April 4, 2012, US News and World Report

    You guys do understand the difference between nominal tax rates and effective tax rates don't you?

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    April 15, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    @Mike Richards

    Schedule C flows into a the regular Form1040 where exemptions for children and deductions for charitable contributions offset the business income from Schedule C. To imply that you were not receiving credit for your children or charitable deductions against your business income is ignorant or dishonest.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    April 15, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    "As the Reuters news agency put it, this was 'a sign that tax hikes early this year stole momentum from the economy.'"

    "The much-publicized bottom 99 percent of taxpayers now pays on average less than 10 percent in income taxes, which is the lowest level since before the 1986 Tax Reform Act was passed. The report raises questions about the wisdom of so many Americans being disconnected from the primary means of funding government."

    So which way is the DN arguing? Are tax hikes impeding economic momentum, or are the bottom 99% not being taxed enough? Sounds like you're trying to have it both ways.

    A Citizens for Tax Reform report states that taking all income, payroll, and other taxes (sales tax, gas, alcohol, etc) together, the bottom 20% of taxpayers pay 17.4% of their income in total taxes, and the top 20% pays 30% of their income in total taxes. Personally, I don't find that a progressive enough system.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 15, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    @ Joe Blow,

    I was self-employed (and I still am self-employed) when my children were at home. There is no deduction on Schedule C for the number of children. There is no deduction on Schedule C for anything related to family or charity. Believe me when I tell you that I paid my share of taxes, including the 100% "donation" to Social Security. Believe me when I tell you that I am still paying off loans that I had to take out more than a decade ago to pay the taxes that government demanded. Believe me when I tell you that paying off that loan has kept me from hiring people to help in my business.

    Believe me now when I tell you that those children all pay taxes now.

    Believe me now when I tell you that one of my sons is writing out a check TODAY to the government to cover the difference between what was withheld and what he owes - a check that is greater than my total income for 2012.

    Looking short sightedly at deductions gives false impressions. Children grow up and become tax-paying citizens.

  • Makid Kearns, UT
    April 15, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    I do agree that the rich should pay as much as the poor and middle class.

    I am clearly middle class yet I pay 19% in taxes. Now a rich person will pay less than 10% in taxes.

    Since I pay a larger percentage of my wages in taxes than the rich, their taxes need to be increased. Warren Buffet has been saying the same thing. Why are people against the rich paying the same rate as the middle class?

    Putting them at the same rate will increase tax revenues by $150 Billion a year or $1.5 Trillion in 10 years. I say raise their rate to the same as the middle class and apply it straight to debt and deficit reduction.

    The same tax rate needs to be applied to those with large families. No more child tax credits. Leave the EIC in place to help those that are well below the poverty line (Max of 2,000 per year received in EIC).

    This will help to cut the debt, reduce the trade deficit and encourage further savings as people will be forced to live within their means and not on government handouts.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 15, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    I am amazed the Editorial Board elects to write an article about the exploitation of the wealthy. In the United States we have 35% of world's billionaires, 30% of the world's millionaires with less than 5% of the world's population. If that isn't enough Warren Buffet has even recently asserted with all his tax breaks and loopholes he believe his secretary still pays a higher tax rate. by the way the Tax Foundation, a pro business funded organization. is hardly objective in these matters.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 15, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    @ Joe Blow. You are right that GE pays no corporate taxes, but they sure donated handsomely to Obama's two elections! They get huge tax breaks because supposedly, GE is doing research on green energy and receive generous tax breaks provided by the Obama administration. Indecently, GE has produced nothing in the green energy arena but they have moved thousands of jobs to China. If we close that "corporate loop hole" what would Obama do? Corporate loop holes are not created equally!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 15, 2013 7:58 a.m.

    Short memory Mike,

    Can you imagine when you were picking and choosing which bills you would pay, if you lost all of your 9 deductions and had to pay 10-20 % of your income to state and federal taxes?

    Would you have made it?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 15, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    People need to understand the difference between tax rates and EFFECTIVE tax rates.

    I am all for closing ALL Corporate loopholes and lowering tax rates.

    When you compare the actual tax rates that corporations pay to what they pay in other countries, you get a much truer picture.

    Remember all the carping about GE paying ZERO corporate taxes?

    Additionally, many people like to only tell part of the story. Many countries that have a lower corporate tax rate than ours, have a significantly higher personal income tax rate.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 15, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    The simple fact is that high tax rates reduce business expansion and reduced business expansion reduces revenues to the government. High tax rates create a revenue death spiral. More businesses export jobs to offshore companies. Exported jobs mean fewer Americana are working. Fewer workers mean less payroll taxes are paid to the treasury. High tax rates mean more welfare checks are paid from the treasury.

    The greatest disservice the government can do is to take money from the public that is needed by the public to create tax paying jobs.

    Yes, the wealthy should pay taxes, but they should pay the same RATE as the poor. Government services, at least those authorized by the Constitution, benefit all Americans equally. All Americans should at least pay the same rate. Paying the same rate still shifts the burden disproportionately onto the wealthy.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 15, 2013 7:22 a.m.

    @ Mark. Comparing taxes to GNP is meaningless. Who cares what taxes compared to the GNP might be? We still have the highest corporate taxes in the world and the GNP doesn't reduce or change these taxes on penny. They still must be paid and because they are the highest in the world, corporations and jobs leave and go overseas where they can survive regardless of any country's GNP. Its all about competition in the world market place and high taxes makes it impossible to compete with countries that have lower taxes even if that country has a lower GNP. Taxes are still taxes and the GNP affects them not a bit!

  • Cowboy Joe Encampment, WY
    April 15, 2013 6:42 a.m.

    Most of Utahans are disconnected from funding the government. Large families many deductions. It is the Utah culture. Utah is ranked in the top 5 of states with the fewest federal income tax payers.

    Editorial board "pot meet keetle" start stating that Utahans and Mormons need to stop bashing taxes and start paying so they fund their large families which are a drain on our education systems and health care.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 15, 2013 2:13 a.m.

    Many corporate leaders have noted that other OECD countries have lowered their corporate tax rates in recent years, but fail to mention that these countries have also closed corporate tax loopholes while the U.S. has expanded them. As a result, the U.S. collects less corporate taxes as a share of GDP than all but one of
    the 26 OECD countries for which data are available.
     In 1965, U.S. corporate income taxes were 4.0 percent of our GDP, compared to 2.3 percent of GDP in other OECD countries.
     But by 2009, U.S. corporate taxes had fallen to only 1.3 percent of our GDP, while corporate income taxes of the other OECD nations collectively stood at 2.4 percent.
     Many countries experienced unusually low corporate tax receipts in the last couple years due to the recession. But even when U.S. corporate taxes recently peaked in 2007 at 3.2 percent of GDP, the average for the other OECD nations was well ahead, at 3.8 percent of GDP.
     In 2009, only Iceland had lower corporate taxes as a share of GDP than the U.S.-Citizins for Tax Justice

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 15, 2013 1:45 a.m.

    "Of interest as well today should be a report from the Tax Foundation, released late last week. It provides a detailed breakdown of federal income taxes in terms of who pays and what, if any, inequalities exist. The results may surprise many Americans." Where did they get their data? Did the IRS provide data dumps on all filers, or did the IRS sample filings for the Tax Foundation, or did the Tax Foundation perform their own sample survey. Before you parrot this stuff you should do a little checking.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    April 15, 2013 12:55 a.m.

    The Tax Foundation is funded by big oil and the Koch Brothers. As a seasoned tax prfessional, I do not trust anythig they write. It figures that the DN would feature their "report" ( which is really a series of charts) rather than reports by Tax Analysts and others.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 15, 2013 12:17 a.m.

    "The report said the United States has the most progressive tax burden of any industrialized nation."

    That may well be true, but the U.S. also has, by far, the most unequal distribution of wealth of any industrialized nation. You also leave out the fact that since 1983, working Americans have been paying significantly higher payroll tax rates, and that the government has been borrowing these excess payroll taxes to pay for functions that would normally have been covered by income taxes. Also, the percentage of Americans paying no income tax is quite close to what it was back in the 1940's.

    There are many ways to frame an argument. To get a true picture you need to include all of the details.