Published: Thursday, April 11 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
The idea that the progressive income tax is "class warfare" boggles the
mind. However, there are those who consider the income tax (or any tax, for
that matter) is "theft". So the partisan bickering, of which Evensen
complains, finds no resolution for the problem. Volatile, partisan
rhetoric certainly has resonance with like-minded people, but it does nothing
toward developing a solution with everyone else. As usual, the framing of the
narrative as "warfare" exaggerates the nature of the issue and only
creates discord. A journalist recognizes the power of words and the selection,
in this case, is like calling taxation "Gestapo tactics" and goes
completely over the top. No wonder people looking for a realistic answer to our
spending/funding problems get frustrated."Class warfare",
can be translated in conservative-speak: "How do we get those with the least
to pay more." Nobody likes paying taxes, but the more rationally-minded
understand the necessity and recognize that fairness does not mean the least
fortunate among us pay a disporportionately greater share. It's surprising
Evensen didn't bring up the 47% and the moocher class so he could address
all the conservative talking points.
"The other is the tremendous pressure put on Washington by special-interest
groups"What does that mean Jay. "Tremendous
Pressure"?You mean like one of their kids was kidnapped and held
for ransom?Or that they are threatened with bodily harm?Isn't the "tremendous pressure" that you elude to really just
money and perks?Meaning that our congressmen cant possibly resist being
bought?I agree with the premise that until we get the money out of
our politics, our politicians will cater to those with the money.Later you mention tax reform. True tax reform wont be achieved until all of
the special interests can no longer buy legislation. Get the money
out first, then everything else will fall into place.
To Mad Hatter who said: "Class warfare", can be translated in
conservative-speak: "How do we get those with the least to pay more."If by "pay more" you mean "pay something", then you are
right. Too many Americans with voting rights (something they should have BTW)
either pay NOTHING in federal income tax or get free money from the government
in the form of "tax credits".In order to stop the runaway
spending train in Washington (and in many state and local governments as well),
you need EVERYONE voting for the latest candidate or government program, or
demonstrating on the street to be thinking "Hey, someone will have to pay
for this and at least some of that money will be coming out of MY pocket!"
JoeCapitalist2. Most of those who get those "tax credits" do so because
their capitalist employers don't pay them a living wage. You can't get
the tax credit unless you actually work.
Re: JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UTWhy is it that low-income people are
measured by the amount they pay or do not pay in income tax? Statistically,
these are low-income people (generally retired people living on a fixed income
and the working poor living in poverty) where having to pay more impacts them
disproportionately and would give them even less money for food and shelter.
Also, allowable deductions, credits, and personal exemptions in the tax code may
reduce one' tax liability to zero. Those who complain about
low-income people not paying income taxes never say anything about tax loopholes
which protect high-income people and corporations to their advantage. When an
individual can essentially hide millions of dollars in banks outside the U.S.,
claim certain deductions from which only they benefit, and protect their income
from taxation, there is something wrong with the system.Finally,
everyone (rich and poor alike, those paying federal income tax or not) must pay
sales tax, payroll tax, and, if appropriate, property tax. No one is excluded
from paying taxes in some form. The debate on tax reform is an
entirely different issue.
Evensen is correct about class warfare but the problem isn't the income
tax, the problem is greed.
Where was Mr. Evenson when the Utah legislature was gerrymandering districts to
further entrench one party control in this state?
Special Interests, i,e., Secret Combinations."Money is the
root of ALL evil".You want to wathc the downfall of our
civilization?Follow the money.Meanwhile, Conservatives
will blame it on moral decay, but tha fact is they are the one's
promoting, fostering and worshiping Babylon.
The only difference between communism, totalitarianism and fascism and a free
society is the amount of taxation (in any form) citizens will tolerate. The USA
and our personal liberties in this country were born because patriots refused to
pay ever more taxes to King George. How things have changed in America.
@MountanmanI thought the patriots' objection was focused more on the
"without representation" than on the "taxation" part of the
"Think of it as putting the bracket on a parenthesis that ends the first
chapter of a never-ending experiment in class warfare."folowed
by"If by "pay more" you mean "pay something",
then you are right. Too many Americans with voting rights (something they should
have BTW) either pay NOTHING in federal income tax or get free money from the
government in the form of "tax credits".It amazes me that
the right continues to demean, declare war, and down right lie about those they
feel superior to. As any person who gets a W2 if "nothing" was taken
from their pay check. If you are fortunate enough to make less than 100k, you
pay 6 percent of your income in taxes. Those who earn more, actually pay less.
And those at the top, many pay no social security taxes. But this is all
forgotten.Adam Smith prescribed a progressive tax system based on
peoples ability to pay - not that all should pay the same. Demonizing the poor,
mocking them, this is truly a sign of a society that has become callus to the
human condition, and the struggles of those who do jobs we choose not to do.
"The only difference between communism, totalitarianism and fascism and a
free society is the amount of taxation (in any form) citizens will
tolerate"@mountainman.... you got something to back this up....
? Interesting if true.... but I would really like to see some data behind
this.For example... what was the tax rate under King George? Under
Hitler, Stalin... even Castro or Chavez?For example, one thing you
neglected to include in your comments was that under Nazi rule, before the war,
"defense" spending was over 50% of the nations budget (18.4 billion
Reichsmark of a 31 billion Reichsmark budget). Of course when war broke out,
that percent rose to over 75%. Not social programs, but military
spending drove those numbers higher. So I am not sure the correlation you are
looking for is there.But show me the data... I am open to learn.
I doubt Mr. Evensen wrote the title to his piece. Why would a journalist want
to detract from his own piece (and insure that progressive readers will not
seriously consider what he has to say) by using a tired right-wing talking point
in the title?But I do disagree with his statement at the end that
"The income tax has divided us by salary and wealth in ways difficult to
overcome."First, he throws the idea out there but does not
develop or explain it, which is simply not good journalism. Second,
I believe the statement is false. Right-wing ideologues try to use the income
tax to divide us and rile up their base, but the tax is not divisive. I do not
drive through poor areas of town and fume about how the people outside my car
are not paying enough income tax, do you?
Who is hurt the most by a "progressive tax", the rich or the poor?I'll make it easy for you. The poor. Those who cannot earn money
without the help of another business are hurt the most when Washington raise
Taxes on the "rich guy". The rich guy will close a business and fire
people before he will let the government take excessive profits. He will find a
way. The poor will continue to be poor, but they will be bought by corrupt
politicians who use the poor as pawns.If you want to help the poor,
then demand that taxes on the rich be lowered so that AMERICAN businesses can
remain open ad so that jobs can remain in America. Then, teach the poor new
skills that enable them to run their own businesses and hire their friends and
neighbors. Prosperity is not measured in how much money Washington
takes out of society but by how much people can do without looking for help from
@Mike RichardsThe idea you continue to push that businesses close
and fire their workers because of progressive taxes is a bunch of malarky. The
billionaire I work for works harder, innovates more, and in the end hires more
people to get back to the same or higher profit level when faced with a
challenge like a tax increase. Economic studies have shown that
only at the far end of the Laffer curve (where tax rates exceed 90%) will
entrepreneurs take their marbles off the table and go home. There is a
"working harder" effect that equally offsets (as far as they can
measure) the "giving up" effect you describe at tax rates that are not
extremely excessive (over 90%).Furthermore, many factors other than
tax rates affect businesses' entry and exit from markets, location choices,
decisions to expand and decisions to contract. Tax rates are way down on the
So if I understand the running logic here, rich people just love to hire people.
If they make more money, rather than just having higher margins, they will in
turn, hire more people, regardless of demand. Is that how the system works?
Really?There are those who somehow believe the revenue growth is
linear. That all you need to do is hire more people, and revenue will go up.
I am always puzzled by this logic. But that is not what I find so
disappointing - its those who proclaim to represent what Christianity really
means. This week I travel to California to meet with one of my clients. What
we decide this week will impact revenues +/-- several billion to this company.
In the balance, the safety and livelihood of those who work for this company.
How sad it is that there are those who place money and wealth above the needs of
their fellow brethren and sisters. I am sure saying this makes me a
big fat lefty to many....and I am ok with that. it's about what you stand
for, and showing in your life what it is you believe. I hope to be guilty as
@ UtahBlueDevilYes, it seems that all the basic economic principles
we learned about in B-school, like supply and demand and price theory, no longer
apply. It turns out that the only two determinants to success are tax rates and
government regulation. Lower the tax rates and reduce government red tape and
profits soar, everybody's employed, and the national debt goes down. Raise
either of these, and business owners fold up shop, move to Colorado, and the
country goes down the drain.
"The income tax has divided us by salary and wealth in ways difficult to
overcome." It looks like we have overcome this problem for decades. In
fact, the tax freedom day is now earlier in the year than it was in 1970. I
also have a problem feeling sorry for our wealthy class when our list of
millionaires and billionaires has grown by leaps of and bounds over the past
decades. We currently have close to 30% of the world's millionaires,
given the fact we have less than 5% of the world's population my question
to Mr. Evenson what is your complaint?
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments