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Comments about ‘Americans can agree that there's inequality, it's why that divides us’

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Published: Wednesday, April 30 2014 9:24 p.m. MDT

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DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Polls such as this are just about worthless, except to politicians trying to figure out if their class warfare rhetoric is working. It is.

This poll is nothing more than a current events quiz which asks people to give answers which for the vast majority (i.e.- low information voters and Democrats, but I repeat myself) is to see if they have been getting the message parroted by the news media for the last six years.

Oh, and coincidentally, Harry Reid is just about to call up the absurd minimum wage increase bill for a vote in the Senate. Coincidence, or coordinated strategy with a well known leftist polling group?

The real question is why the Deseret News lends credibility to this propaganda campaign by publishing it as "news."

kiddsport
Fairview, UT

Economics is becoming the new "statistics." To paraphrase Mark Twain,"There are lies, big lies, and economists predictions."

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Well 2 bits.

My "hypothetical sympathetic family" was not an unusual case and was not meant to instill fear in anyone.

It's not like I came up with some freaky case.

But, I agree that a flat tax is fair.
Although, some could argue that it would be even more fair if we all pay the same Dollar amount.

So, fine. You didn't like my hypothetical family.

Pick yours and make your case.

Show me a flat tax scenario of your choosing where a middle class family doesn't get a tax increase while the wealthiest 5% don't get a tax cut.

I cannot fathom one.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Dems say the tax system is unfair? They want to the poor to pay more?

It is abundantly clear the inequality has accelerated under the BO misadministration. When you remove the incentives to work, when you remove incentives to succeed, when the majority of jobs created during your reign of ineptitude are low wage service jobs because you are anti-business, what do you expect?

GaryO,
What you call voodoo economics under Reagan was enacted by a dem congress.

And how are we giving more money to the rich? Oh, I know, we are giving joey biden social security payments IN ADDITION to his $230,700/year salary.

BTW, NOT taking their money is NOT the same thing as GIVING money to the rich.

I guess thou shalt not covet has no meaning to liberals.

Lou Montana,
All Utahans are racist?

Open minded,
Where do you get the $250k and $300k figures? Are you talking income or NW? And what area of the country are you referring to? $250k doesn’t cut it in San Francisco, but you’re a prince in Jackson MS. Please elucidate.

Mtn Tracker
Ephraim, UT

My wife's sister and her husband are on welfare. They have no desire to work. They would rather stay home and play x box all day. This my friends is why the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The government has made it possible to get by without working. People don't want to work. They would rather be poor than go to work. They go around and ask for jobs in the most ridiculous way to cover their obligations. If they get hired it lasts for a couple weeks then they get sick of it and try to get fired. Then they do it all over again. I would love to see better paying jobs, but too bad this administration hasn't done a thing to help that. It's been the POTUS strategy all along. Ever notice who his voting base is. Heaven forbid these people might have to pay taxes. They would get furious and might become republicans.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

There are three ingredients that produce tremendous wealth:

1. Hard work
2. Intelligence - ie, it's not enough to simply work hard, you have to work smart. If you're REALLY smart, in our system you can accomplish the same amount of work done by thousands and thousands of people.
3. Good fortune, ie, "luck", knowing the right people, etc.

Our economy is like a massive game of Monopoly where 32,000 people are playing, but one of the players has more money than everyone else... combined.

When my kids were young, they wanted to play checkers all the time, and I got tired of playing it for hours, so I used an additional row of pieces (from another checkers set we had). So, I could make lots of mistakes and still easily, every time. After awhile, my kids didn't want to play checkers anymore. They got tired of losing, even when it appeared they started off well.

It should surprise nobody that some people are giving up and deciding the economic game is rigged.

2 bit
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@JoeBlow,
Re: "Show me a flat tax scenario of your choosing where a middle class family doesn't get a tax increase while the wealthiest 5% don't get a tax cut... I cannot fathom one"...

That you can't even fathom one... doesn't surprise me in the least.

===

One...
Mitt Romney exposed his tax returns in 2011... he paid an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent in 2011 (Note: Romney also opted not to deduct millions in charitable contributions from his tax bill in order to maintain a pledge from August that he has paid at least 13 percent in federal income taxes for each of the past 10 years.).

So he would be paying 15%... at tax increase! And the government would get WAY more than $6000 out of his paying just 1% more I can assure you.

===

Another...
"Warren Buffett says even though he and other top earners are paying higher taxes this year, he thinks he's still paying a lower rate than his secretary"...

If we had a FLAT-rate... he would pay the SAME rate as his Secretary (who probably also makes six figures). But BOTH would pay SAME rate (which = "fair" IMO).

anti-liar
Salt Lake City, UT

Screwdriver

"It's an old human logic problem. The poor are considered outsiders, unclean, undesirable and deserving of their station.

"What it really is, is tribalism, unholy judgement and self preservation. The very anti-Christ in human psychology."

-----

Very true.

"Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just-- But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God." (Mosiah 4:17-18 Book of Mormon)

And while there may be various factors contributing to the ever-widening gap, certainly the principal factor is GREED, though many deny it.

Jesus foresaw that Greed would be a major problem in our day. No wonder he said:

"And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:24)

airnaut
Everett, 00

Capitalism with NO regulation, little Government and hardly any taxes = Somalia, Columbia, etc.

The rich get richer,
The poor get poorer.

THIS is the direction the GOP is taking us.

Capitalism with a balance or Socialism -- more regulations, bigger Government and higher taxes = Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, England, Japan, Korea, Israel.
You know -- our Friends & Allies.

The direction the Democrats are taking us.

Oh -- and one more...
Communism with a little Capitalism --
aka, Red China --

Where the party members are getting richer,
and the poor are staying poor.

also another direction the Republicans are taking us.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To the liberals out there, did you look at the results of the poll? They find that among both Republicans AND Democrats they put the biggest blame for income inequality on the government.

Both the Democrats and Republicans blame the tax code as being one of the biggest contributors to the inequality. Since the tax code is written by politicians, do you really trust them to fix it without giving their cronies some loopholes to exploit?

Did you also notice that the #2 problem identified by both parties was Congress/Government Policies. What does that say to you?

The only way to fix the problem is to purge congress of the career politicians. There may be some that are good, but the best solution is to vote out all current members of congress and replace them with honorable men and women.

Think of it this way. When was the last time somebody said the phrase "truthful or honorable politician" and wasn't telling a joke?

Shaun
Sandy, UT

@dn subscriber. "Democrats are low information voters." What a great way to bring people together.

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

@2 bits
A flat tax would increase taxes on some wealthy people but the average wealthy person is still paying north of 20% in federal income taxes so the 15% flat tax may increase things for Romney, but for the average wealthy person it's a tax cut.

Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah

2 bit with your flat tax are we still paying FICA? If so will the those making over $100,000 be paying tax on their full earnings? If so I could come closer to buying a flat tax especially if we tax any increase not just salary.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "airnaut" go back and read the results of the poll. The problem is the socialism/communism that is allowed to mix with capitalism. The GOVERNMENT has created the inequality. Why do you want to give them more power? It only feeds the corruption the more power that you give them through the addition of socialism/communism.

If communism or socialism is so great, why is it that it cannot exist on its own, yet Capitalism can? Doesn't that in itself show you that government enforced collectivism is a path to failure?

I hope that someday you realize that in your ideal government, that is where the greatest corruption takes place. It is nothing more than a repeat of when the Israelites went from Judges to a monarchy or when the Nephites elected men who wanted to be kings. Giving more power to a central government is always a failure. You sound like the people who told Samuel they wanted a king. See 1 Samuel 8:5-20. Why repeat history when we know that it is a path to failure?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

You got me 2 bits. I had forgotten that Mitt was able to get his tax liability so low. As for Buffet? He might still get a tax cut.

According to the tax foundation (2010 data), the top 5 % paid an average of 20.6%.
The bottom 50 percent paid an average of 2.4%

So, with a 15% flat tax, using averages, the highest earners in the US would get a 25% tax cut and the average poor American would get a 600% increase. And Mitt would also get a tax increase. Probably around 10%.

Also, dont forget, Many of the working poor also pay payroll taxes of 15%. Mitt did not pay that.
Nor did Mr Buffet. They made their money off of investments.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Hey lost in DC -

“ . . . what you call voodoo economics under Reagan was enacted by a dem congress.”
I didn’t name it Voodoo economics, HGW Bush did, and he was RIGHT ON.

Yes, Ronald Reagan cut deals with member of Congress, promising to sign pet Pork Barrel projects into law if they would do a little something for him . . . Like okay his lavish spending on Star Wars and cutting taxes for his high-earning friends.

Ronnie Regan was quite the politician who succeeded in TRIPLING the national debt completely unnecessarily, even though the plummeting price of world oil (that dropped to 1/3 the price it had been during the Carter administration) caused the economy to thrive.

In spite of all the luck that fell into his lap, Reagan could not capitalize on it. And now he is regarded as a hero to “Conservatives” because of, not in spite of, his amazing incompetence as President.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

The three great defining works of economics:

"The Wealth of Nations" Adam Smith
"Theory of Political Economy and Taxation" David Ricardo
"Capital " Karl Marx.

Theoreticians and writers come and go, but there remains the big 3. We need to consult them.

SG in SLC
Salt Lake City, UT

I have been following the "flat tax = fair tax" debate between *2 bit* and *JoeBlow* with great interest.

I have always felt that, in a "big picture' sense, tax fairness needed to take into account ability to pay and impact on disposable income, but maybe 2 bits is onto something; though, to be truly fair, capital gains would need to be taxed at the same rate as earned income, and payroll taxes (FICA & unemployment taxes) would need to be levied on ALL income with no income level caps. On the bright side, payroll tax rates could be lowered, the solvency issues for Social Security and Medicare would go away, and means-testing for those programs would be off the table. But on the other hand, this would also mean that sliding-scale "transfer payments" from the government would need to go to the poorest 20-25% of the population (taxable at the flat tax rate, of course).

I hope you're good with that whole proposal, 2 bits; otherwise, I don't see how you can call the flat tax truly fair.

SG in SLC
Salt Lake City, UT

marxist,

I would include two additional economic works:

"The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money" -John Maynard Keynes
"The Affluent Society" -John Kenneth Galbraith

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "SG in SLC" there is no such thing as a "fair" tax. For example, if you base taxes on disposable income, then you are taxing the wealthy and retired at a higher rate than the poor who may pay no taxes. Is it fair to tax one group more than another. Before you say that they are the rich, imagine you are rich and you find yourself paying 50% of you own in taxes.

A flat tax isn't fair either because those that can least afford to pay taxes are paying them.

A flat tax is an equal tax. If you say 15% of all income is to be taxed, then that is equal.

Fair is a concept that most people grow out of when they are in elementary school. Fair is not something that can be measured and is dependant on what an individual thinks is fair, not always what is equal. Think of giving out jellybeans to kindergarteners as a reward. You will always have a naughty kid cry that it isn't fair that the good kids got more reward.

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