Comments about ‘Richard Davis: Political battles aside, there is much for which to give thanks’

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Published: Wednesday, Nov. 27 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Tyler D
Meridian, ID


Although a more accurate headline would be “We should be thankful we have (non-violent) political battles,” because it is the best indicator of a vibrant democracy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

I'm grateful for Obamacare. My autistic relatives now have health insurance, which was cruelly denied them before.

Tooele, UT

Re: "I also am grateful I live in a society where people have so much compassion for each other that they are willing to support, through their tax dollars . . . ."

Here's a little hint, for you, Prof, I know how out-of-touch your are -- real people don't pay taxes out of compassion. We pay out of a well-founded fear of the heavy boot of bloated, unsustainable, unaccountable government on our necks.

And it's not that we're not compassionate. Conservatives are consistently much more charitable to those in need than hypocritical liberals -- who freely give of other people's money, but are stingy in the extreme when it comes to giving their own.

Rather, we favor genuine, caring, effective compassion over the phony, brutally-enforced, grossly misapplied "compassion" that characterizes autocratic rule.

And, BTW, gratitude for wasteful, harmful government welfare programs constitutes gratitude for ineffective, superficial, feelgood largesse that is much more likely to assure continued, destructive dependency than a prosperous, happy future. That is, of course, the reason liberals love it, but it's horribly destructive to the individuals and families that come to depend on it.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@procuradorfiscal – “We pay out of a well-founded fear of the heavy boot of bloated, unsustainable, unaccountable government on our necks.”

An accurate description indeed… of North Korea!

But here in America we get to vote every two years for people who share our views, and if those who do are in the majority they can enact whatever constitutional laws or taxes for services the people desire.

It’s called self-government and democracy.

Sounds like you’re not much of a fan of those things though… pity.

PS – please notice I did not argue for or against any particular tax or program – just your conception of what kind of country we live in.

Hayden, ID

@ Tyler. I now pay about 50% of my income in taxes; federal, state and local. I don't feel like I voted for any of that and that is the real pity. Somewhere our democracy got co-opted by other voters who discovered they can vote themselves a living from other's labor. That's the real America today; a welfare state! And what's worse, I am now told by my government that I must pay for maternity insurance and subsidize other people's birth control. What democracy do you see?

Tooele, UT

Re: "An accurate description indeed… of North Korea!"

So, you pay your taxes -- if, indeed you do -- including those that go towards defense spending, support of religious schools, foreign aid to right-leaning autocracies, and other things you disagree with, freely, voluntarily, out of the goodness of your compassionate heart, huh?

It never occurred to you that if you decided not to send in your taxes to support the war in Afghanistan, you could receive a visit from an IRS agent wearing a gun?


Fact is, taxation by bloated, ineffective, unsustainable government is enforced by criminal statutes in this country. As in North Korea.

When the good Prof gave public kudos to government's tax-policy "compassion," he also, by implication, payed respects to the identical practice by his socialist, North Korean buddies. As do you.

When one defends, even commends America's enforced "compassion," they're actually disingenuously equating compassion with oppression and fear.

I know, liberals have trouble telling the difference. Real people don't.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Tyler D,
The condescending attitude is not needed. I don't think procuradorfiscal was saying we live in a dictatorship (like N Korea). He was pointing out that some people don't pay their taxes because they, "have so much compassion for each other that they are willing to support, through their tax dollars"... Some pay their taxes because it's the law (and they don't want to be put in jail or financially ruined by the IRS).

He didn't say anything about not being able to change our leaders or anything like that. You just threw that strawman in there.

He didn't say he's not a fan of self-government (your assumption). When we make unfounded assumptions like this about one another it just poisons the dialog.

We don't know if he's a fan of self-government or not. He only said he doesn't pay his taxes out of compassion and a willingness to support others through paying taxes. He probably pays them because it's the law.

That's what I got from his post.

Salt Lake City, UT

It appears that Mr. Davis couldn’t set politics aside while writing his Thanksgiving column. He just had to include his usual praise for big government and government coercion. Sad.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Mountanman – “Somewhere our democracy got co-opted by other voters who discovered they can vote themselves a living from other's labor.”

I know this is the conservative (caricatured) worldview but what small amount of truth to it there is (and no doubt there is some) it is belied by a multitude of facts – namely the makeup of the federal budget which is primary defense and elderly care (for people who have been paying into the same system their whole lives).

And your state/local taxes certainly benefit you either directly or indirectly (i.e., police, fire dept, roads & bridges, an educated populace, etc…).

@procuradorfiscal – “So, you pay your taxes… out of the goodness of your compassionate heart, huh?”

I pay them because it is the price we pay for civilization. Of course some of what they are spent on I don’t agree with (toppling the Taliban and killing terrorists is not one of them and neither is elderly care – ridiculously high healthcare costs notwithstanding), but I express that dislike at the ballot box.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@2 bits – “The condescending attitude is not needed.”

When someone comes across so utterly certain, angry, arrogant and self-righteous, perhaps a little condescension is needed… or not.

Of course everyone in every country pays taxes by law. I did not see that as any great insight (i.e., even worth mentioning) and so inferred (perhaps improperly) the rest.

But my larger point was that we can change our leaders and this makes all the difference. If the tax burdens ever become too much of a drag on the economy – hard to say that now given the DOW, corporate profits, historical tax burden (lowest in 50 years), etc. – the majority of the people will undoubtedly vote for a change.

But I will say this – we should pay for what we want up front and stop charging the credit card. And before you retort with an Obama-deficits rant, this is largely due to the conservative ideology of “starving the beast” (i.e., cutting taxes without first cutting spending) started under Reagan and carried to new heights under W.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my conservative friends too!

Reached comment limit…


I'm thankful to God not government. The first gives us rights that the second, if we do not watch them every moment, takes them away as fast as they can.

Far East USA, SC

"federal budget which is primary defense and elderly care (for people who have been paying into the same system their whole lives)."

Tyler. This is the part that the right wants to gloss over. It is much easier to be angry at lazy, welfare types, then to actually look at what our taxes go for.

Until we get a handle on Healthcare (including Medicare and Medicaid), SS and defense, the other things are insignificant.

If you actually look at the 47% that Romney mentioned, many of those people would hardly be classified as the deadbeats they were made out to be.

Far East USA, SC

And to add....

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

While I often disagree with many, I enjoy fact based, logical and reasonable discussions. Many on this board engage in that.

And for that, I am thankful.

Now, for football and a cold adult beverage.

Enjoy your day.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Tyler D,
You blame Reagan for "Starving the Beast" (i.e., cutting taxes without first cutting spending)...

- But Reagan RAISED Taxes.
- And Reagan LOWERED spending.
(Remember the 3 government shutdowns that happened during his administration? They were caused by Democrats who wouldn't give him at least 50% of the spending cuts he asked for. Reagan had promised to veto any budget bill if Congress didn't give him at least 50% of the spending cuts he asked for, and Democrats refused to give him 50% of what he asked for).

So I don't get the logic you used to reach your conclusion that Reagan lowered taxes and INCREASED spending (when in fact he did the opposite). I wonder if your comment was based on reality, or if it's just inspired by the standard "blame Republicans" (especially Reagan) rhetoric.

But I find it ironic that you would blame a President who actually raised taxes (against his party recommendation) and tried to lower spending (but was fought tooth-and-nail in every attempt by Democrats who needed to use spending INCREASES to buy votes).

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