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Comments about ‘Richard Davis: Tax hikes, especially on the wealthy, are needed’

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Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Remember early in his presidency, Bill Clinton obtained a substantial increase in upper bracket tax rates. The wealthy never forgave him for it, and this was a big part of Clinton's problems later. BUT, the resultant deficit reductions fueled a decade long boom (good for everybody including the wealthy). When George W. Bush became president a first priority for him was to nullify Clinton's upper bracket rate increases. This he did, but such coupled with off-the-budget wars fueled the debt load we have today. The evidence clearly supports Professor Davis' point of view.

In capitalism the wealthy get all of it in the end. Progressive tax policies have money circulate through more hands before it gets to the rich guys. This is literally the way it is in our current system - the one we have to play with for now.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Thank you Richard for reporting the facts and giving us some common sense into this debate. It's obvious that we need to raise taxes, especially on the wealthy. We are an industrialized nation and have a lot to pay for.

Unfortunately, there's going to be a lot of static noise today. These folks cannot be reasoned with and will provide you with really long drawn out excuses (without any facts) for how we don't need to raise taxes.

They are essentially the Ayn Rand followers who must be ignored. They've been given enough power already. We've seen their economy policy from the 1980s until now... And it isn't pretty!

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

We all hate taxes, even Democrats.

But, as the article suggests, our country had some very prosperous times with much higher tax rates.

In fact, can someone cite prosperous times when our taxes were not higher than they are today?

Taxes have become such a flash point issue, that we must throw logic and common sense out the window when the word TAX is mentioned.

Every potential GOP presidential candidate said they would reject any plan that called for a $1 tax increases, even when coupled with $10 in spending cuts.

Why? The GOP base demands it. Grover Norquist demands it. And they all signed a pledge. Where is the common sense to that?

How refreshing would it have been if one of them was brave enough to scream "HEY, you would have to be crazy, as a conservative, to pass up that deal"

I sure hope the Democrats don't ever sign a pledge to NOT cut entitlements.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . schizophrenia over taxes is not surprising."

Thanks, Prof, for the predictable liberal sophistry.

It's not schizophrenic to demand common sense and accountability in tax policy. We may all agree taxation is inevitable in civilization, but when taxes rise to deranged, confiscatory levels, they becomes immoral and un-American.

Liberals, so concerned with political victory, ignore the immense chaos they wreak by their enforced national profligacy. Like the committed alcoholic, they mock solutions to their tax-and-spend addiction that don't involve more taxes, more spending, and more dependence on Big Government.

This, notwithstanding the fact that the fruits of their deranged, vote-buying addiction are patent -- destruction of the family, particularly in inner-city America; destruction of the health care system; destruction of millions of jobs; and, most chillingly, destruction of the American soul of millions of our countrymen, that cynically, opportunistically reduces them to serfdom.

While liberals may have rendered true the familiar liberal mantra of the headline banner, they refuse to address the obvious questions -- why, and what can be done about it?

1Observer
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Mr. Davis, it isn't that I hate paying taxes, because I do understand the value of some government services. What I hate is the unchecked appetite that government has for tax money often with little or no accountability. We waste hundreds of billions of dollars in this country and a large amount of my tax dollars are lost through fraud and mismanagement of government programs. No one benefits from those dollars except criminals. So, when I complain about having to pay more, it is only because I want better accountability for the money currently being taken from me - money that I could use to help people in need, help my children and grandchildren, use to support local businesses, etc. Instead it is money that goes into the huge black hole of government. I already pay in taxes enough money to support another family. How much is enough without any accountability?

mohokat
Ogden, UT

Like all the progressives/liberals I have heard another taxes are good pitch. Mr Davis and the rest of you progressives if you like taxes so much why don't you(thats You) just go ahead and pay more? If taxes are so good step up and pay them. Progressives mantra is spread the wealth which eventually becomes spread the poverty.

Esquire
Springville, UT

You want to balance the budget. Revenues. Cuts alone will never do it in 100 years.

joeandrade
Salt Lake City, UT

Yes, agreed.

In addition to returning to the tax rates of the sixties, we should also institute a carbon fee and dividend plan, as noted in David Folland's op-ed today 'We're Gambling with our Future'. Such a fee would be a great economic development incentive AND would provide tax relief for all citizens.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:1Observer
"Instead it is money that goes into the huge black hole of government"

The biggest black hole there is resides in Defense. Defense hasn't been able to account to the GAO for the money it spends.
YET, i've not heard a single Republican raise that issue.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Surveys show that most Americans think that taxes are much higher than they really are. This holds especially true for conservatives. The 400 wealthiest America families, with an average annual income of 300 million dollars, pay an average of 16% of their income in federal taxes. For middle income Americans, federal income taxes average around 10%. That is hardly a "confiscatory" rate.

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Progressives are always very good at spending other peoples money. When, in the last fifty years has the federal government EVER decreased spending? The sequester is the ONLY time that republicans were able to reign in government spending. No one is advocating abolishing all government, but when they look into the future, they see an economic collapse. It would be better for everyone to experience a little pain now, than a lot of pain in the future.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

I don't hate taxes. I love them. It's the price I pay for clean water, safe streets, a nice neighborhood school, fighter jets protecting my country. The alternative is unthinkable.

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Excellent article, Mr. Davis.

I also appreciated the reminder by Marxist about the prosperity under Clinton, who raised taxes on the wealthy, and the economic disaster under George W. Bush, who slashed taxes on the wealthy. With Americans growing fed up with Republican extremism, maybe we can elect a Democratic House in 2014 and return taxes more to Clinton-era levels to get the economy rolling.

Denverite
Centennial, CO

@ 1Observer: Right on! I will be happy to pay more taxes when I stop seeing "smart" government people spend a million bucks for A) something that only costs $250 if you have any clue what you're doing and B) something that is totally unnecessary for any reason whatsoever.

And this goes 10-fold at the state and local level. It's why I think all government employees (not just Congress) ought to have term limits. After a few years of spending other people's money, go back to spending your own already.

@Truthseeker: I am a Republican who worked as a civilian on a Navy base for several years. Yes, defense spends money as foolishly and unnecessarily as anyone else. But to say they're the only federal department who should ever be cut in any way, as most Democrats have said in my lifetime, flies in the face of all common sense.

I think all federal government departments should be cut by vast quantities of people and it would make the country a better place.

You know the old saying: What do you call a million federal workers losing their jobs?

A good start.

a_voice_of_reason
Woods Cross, UT

An excellent analysis; however, I could never advocate taxing the rich more until we tax the entire population. Over half of Americans pay nothing in Federal income tax. In fact many (myself included) receive money on our tax returns through refundable credits - credits that allow you to receive more money on your return than you paid in during the year. In the past 3 years I have received well over $10,000 that I never paid in! It's ridiculous! I make a reasonable salary that supports a family of 5, pays the mortgage, and provides a comfortable (not extravagant) living. Why shouldn't I be expected to contribute? Until we decide the "rich" need to bear the burden of funding our government programs let's ask the largest segment of the population to at least contribute something. If that segment of the population is unwilling to have skin in the game I think it's time to claw back on government programs.

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

Truthseeker

...because defense is not the biggest black hole. All the entitlement programs add up to much more than defense, and that is where you will find the biggest black hole, or fraud if you will. Fix them all.

As for increasing taxes on the rich Mr. Davis, it would only be a good thing if those increased taxes were spent on the "right" things. And that is where the argument begins. What is right.

1Observer
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Re: Truthseeker

I didn't exclude defense in my comments you just assumed I meant to. Well, I didn't. There is fraud and abuse there as well and there should be accountability at all levels in every program in every facet of government, especially at the federal level.

One fact I failed to mention is that, as reported last week, for the first time in the history of our country, more people were receiving some type of government entitlement program (not including Social Security retirement benefits) than are working full time. I think the number presented by the Census Bureau represents about 48% of the US population receiving entitlements. That is a disturbing and unsustainable trend. It would be foolish to throw more money at these problems before we do some housecleaning and establish some accountability.

E Sam
Provo, UT

Another terrific article from Richard Davis. Thank you so much for blessing our community with common sense and good research.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I am proud to pay my taxes to the American government of the United States of America. There is no other government, business, religion or organization in the world that would give me more for my money.

Even so, there are people who would complain about sharing the benefits of our society with the others. I view these people as enemies of America and my enemies as well.

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

@VoiceofReason
So you think it's more important to tax a family of 4 making 25,000 a year than it is to tax someone who makes 20, 50 or 100 million a year? That's insane. First to say 49% of people don't pay taxes simply aren't true. They pay sales tax, property tax(even renters pay, at lease mine do, I figure the tax amount into the rent I charge.) Gas tax (even if they take the bus, the gas still has sales tax attached. Your power, water and natural gas bill all include taxes. Ya, lets tax the poor even more, then we can hand them back their money in the form of medicaid, SNAP or Section 8. You know, since we've decided that it's bad to let people starve in the streets. Or we could increase the tax on the top 1% by 1%, get more money than taxing the poor and not put those people out on the streets.

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