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

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Published: Wednesday, April 30 2014 12:30 a.m. MDT

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lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

the problem with upping the income against which FICA is taxed is you also up the benefit they get on the back end. but FICA is a different story than income tax, it goes into a separate trust fund, noit the general fund.

since you ADMIT it was a dem congress that reagan worked with, why do you blanme him alone and NOT the dems? the debt could not have increased without Tip O'neal and the dems going along. I recall a lone GOP voice in the senate early in reagan's administration arguing against an increase in the debt ceiling, but all the dems shouted him down. But since you mentioned the increase in debt, it has increased more under BO than reagan ever dreamed of, quite unnecsesarily with all his pork projects for his friends and cronies and the oil boom that fell into his lap.

all the luck that fell into reagan's lap? you mean the stagflation and general malaise he inherited from Carter, the worst president ever until BO? what luck are you talking about?

we have all the liberals touting BO because of, and not inspite of, his total incompetence.

Sandy, UT

As long as we're adding economic treatises to recommend, let's not omit Ludwig von Mises' Human Action and Murray Rothbard's Man, Economy and the State. They both demolish Marxian fallacies and Keynesian fantasies, and explain how economies actually function.

Salt Lake City, UT


I appreciate your civil and carefully thought out response. You make some interesting points, though I would modify a couple of your statements a little, from my perspective.

First, I would say that there is no such thing as a "perfectly fair" or "absolutely fair" tax, and would add that the objective is a "more fair" or "optimally fair" tax system.

Second, to your statement about outgrowing the concept of fairness, I would counter that for most of us, our understanding of the concept of fairness evolves and matures as we grow older, that we begin to think of fairness in terms of justice, reasonableness, and consequences (also abstract concepts, but with perhaps better defined and agreed-upon criteria), and that this evolved concept of fairness becomes the ideal, rather than the expectation.

A flat tax is undeniably more equal, but arguably NOT more fair.


Yeah, right, it's the tax code. What most people forget is that the only thing that can be accomplished with the tax code is to make everybody equally poor. I'm not sure that's a desirable outcome, but I guess it does eliminate the inequality.

The most often overlooked source of income inequality is that the economy is in decline due to rising energy prices. When energy prices go up, the economy cannot support as many white collar workers. So we have a lot of unemployed white collar workers who will never find a job unless they go back to the farm or we fix energy prices. The really sad thing is that there are a lot of people who think high energy prices are a good thing and are doing everything in their power to artificially raise them.

I second von Mises and Rothbard. The former's "Socialism" is also something our friendly neighborhood socialists ought to study carefully.

Capitalism - which is another name for freedom - works only when people are moral. A nation of liars, cheaters, and thieves make freedom unworkable.

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00

As long as some Americans are duped into thinking welfare is freedom, there will always be inequality. Teach them how to work. Dont just give them a monthly paycheck.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I*'m good with a flat tax...

There were several years in a row before I moved back to Utah that I actually max'd out my FICA and Social Security...didn't have to pay a dime after that, and it was the time I could MOST afford it.

A flat tax means those making over $100K would continue to pay a flat % rate on those as well....

Could you imagine the Millionaires and Billionaires having to pay an addition 20% on EVERYTHING over and above their $100K ???

[Ya, THAT'S why the uber-rich and wealthy rich do not want a flat tax...]

Draper, UT

You're asking for a solution to income inequality? ANY solution would be chimerical, because the financial elites and their central bank cronies have totally rigged the economic system in the way SEY has described in a comment this morning.

Consider: Andrew Huszar, the Federal Reserve official responsible for implementing $1.25 trillion of quantitative easing, apologizes to the American public for being a part of the fleecing known as QE: "I can only say: I’m sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed’s first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing.
The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I’ve come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time....The final results confirmed that, while there had been only trivial relief for Main Street, the U.S. central bank’s bond purchases had been an absolute coup
for Wall Street."

When a Federal Reserve insider admits that the game has been rigged, how can there be any viable solutions to income inequality?

Mcallen, TX

Inequality is because people are different.

Some strive for excellence, and some could care less.

Look into a classroom. Some strive for good grades. The honor roll.

Some are happy for the lowest passing grade.

Don't punish the achievers.

Woodland Hills, UT

I thought Obama was going to have all this fixed by now.

Orem, UT

"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."

Unlike others on this forum, I don't pretend to know the intimate details of Mr. Romney's tax returns. Even though he made the bulk of his money in investments, I am willing to bet that he had at least $100K in ordinary income that was subject to the FICA tax that all us working stiffs pay too.

Rich people pay a lot of taxes, but they also get a number of tax deductions that ordinary people can't take advantage of. A simple flat tax on all income (wages, investments, interest, etc.) above a certain level ($25K?) would be the most fair. Sure you could find some poor people who would end up paying more taxes and a few rich people who might be paying less under such a system, but overall everyone would be paying a more fair tax.

Upstate, NY

Despite the political non-sense, we have a highly progressive tax system (all the data proves this) with people with higher incomes paying the vast majority of tax revenues government receives. What is unfair is that nearly 50% don't pay a dime in taxes. We should not have so many living off of others. The tax base should be broadened. The lower 50% should be paying something. Maybe not much, but they should be contributing something.

USS Enterprise, UT

To "SG in SLC" you still cannot ever have a system that is "more fair" or "optimally fair". You are still basing the tax system on the opinion of a person or group of people. At best you can have a system that most people think is fair. Again, by using "fairness" as the measure, that is not quantifiable. How do you quantify happiness? You are trying to quantify an emotion.

To "LDS Liberal" you are confusing. You say that you are for a flat tax, then you express you desire for a progressive tax. You do know that a flat tax means that everybody is taxed at the same rate, regardless of income. That means that the poor would also be taxed at the same rate as the billionaire.

Mcallen, TX

There should not be any federal income tax at all.

Government can function on a flat tax on imports, and exports.

Just that simple.

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