Comments about ‘Will taxing the wealthy fix the economy or ruin it?’

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Published: Wednesday, May 21 2014 8:00 a.m. MDT

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Mark l

It has been suggested that there are three departments that could easily be eliminated with very minimal effects to the population. End the Depts. of Energy, Education, and Commerce. Prices would adjust, but market forces would move people to more efficient means of production.

seattle, WA

I am no economist, and the opinion piece writer is not one as well. However, my common sense tells me that reducing already low tax rates on the already incredibly wealthy will not have any effect on my economic well being nor the others who have less than do me. What could Bill Gates of Microsoft do with more after tax income? Or his heirs? Or his heir's heirs?

It is certainly true that our government can be cranky and inefficient, but just which part of our government do we plan to dismantle? I think we should get rid of 50% or more of the defense department. Others will argue that old age income support mechanisms (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) are bloated. Still others will argue to stop spending money on the indigent. I don't hear anyone, left or right, that advocates cutting their spending priorities.

And lastly, even if we did cut spending, why should we cut taxes? We collectively bought a bunch of shiny weapons, gave granny her allowance and doled out a few bucks for food to those awful minimum wage Walmart employees. Now we don't want to pay the tab.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

When will the left-wing learn that money does not grow on trees? Any dollar that the government gives to one person is a dollar that was taken from another.

Those who are wealthy are those who worked hard to obtain the education and skills necessary to earn a good salary. They deserve to have more wealth than those who chose to drop out of school and work fast food jobs.

If the government takes from those who work hard and gives to the lazy and slothful, it will destroy the incentive to work at all. Who will the government tax then, when no one works and everyone sits around waiting for a handout?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Tax them - or else!
THAT's how it was when America was at it's peak.

If the wealthy hoarded their money,
and did not reinvest into the economy -- they got hit, and Hard!

If they invested --
[higher pay, newest equipment, hired new employees, etc., etc.]
- they got tax breaks, tax shelters, and tax deductions.

The alternative was to just hand it over to the Government via the IRS,
and have the Government invest it FOR them.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

We already tax the wealthy. The question should be... "Will taxing the wealthy MORE... and more and more and more... help the economy or ruin it"?

It's a good question.

I suspect making everybody poor would not HELP the economy. It would help the government.... but not the economy.

The government doesn't run the economy folks... we do...

When you work... you drive the economy. When you buy stuff... you drive the economy. When you build houses, get loans, all that consumer stuff... we drive the economy.

The economy is driven by the masses... not the government OR the wealthy.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Not only will it not fix it, even if it did that doesn't mean we should do it. Stealing from my rich neighbor would "fix" my personal economics, but that hardly means its the way to go.

I would be lazy and a thief if I thought I could demand my neighbor pay for my share of government resources.

He and I use probably roughly the same amount of government resources, even though he makes a lot more money than I do. Just because he makes a lot more doesn't mean that barack is spending more money because of that.

So it would be lazy and irresponsible of me to suggest that he pay for my share of what I'm using.

Virginia Beach, VA

If you look at the history of the highest tax rates, you can easily see how much they have plummeted since the Eisenhower Administration, a time of prosperity when we had a low deficits, and occasional surpluses, fought the cold war, and built the interstate highway system. The highest tax rate then was over 90 percent.

Since then, the higher tax rates have roughly coincided with economic prosperity. We fought a war, and went to the moon, AND had a budget surplus in 1969.

The exceptions to that rule come with changes in oil prices. Reagan dropped taxes for high earners, and the economy rebounded, but the REAL reason for the economic rebound is that the price of world oil plummeted to less than 1/3 the price it had been during the Carter administration.

Since then though, higher taxes correspond to a better America. Clinton raised taxes and had 4 consecutive budget surpluses. GW reduced taxes for the highest earners and that corresponded with the miserable state of affairs he left Obama.

What can be concluded is that higher taxes for high earners corresponds to more responsible governance, that produces a more successful America.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Like Chris B pointed out... Even if it wouldn't destroy the economy... that doesn't mean we should we do it!

There's a moral question here too... Do we have the right to confiscate the proceeds of somebody else's labor?

I don't think we do. Even though the left hates them. Even if some think (like LDS Liberal) that the government is a tool to be used to hit them... and hit them hard (for not acting the way HE wants them to).... and that the government's taxing power should be used as a punitive force (hitting the people HARD when they don't spend their money the way you or the government wants)... It's not the proper role of Government (IMO). And it's not a moral thing to do. It verges on Government sponsored "theft" at that point. No different than backing the same people up against the wall in an alley with a gun and saying "give me your wallet" (except the government is doing it).

Taxes SHOULD be low (on all of us, not just some of us).

But that's just my opinion...

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Income taxes were prohibited when the Constitution was ratified. The 16th Amendment changed that. What have we learned about government when government has the authority to tax us directly? We've learned that government will buy votes by paying almost half the country NOT to work. We've learned that government will buy scientific "research" to justify a carbon tax. We've learned that government will not stop with income tax, but that it will take another 15% off the top for social security and then "borrow" those funds so that there is nothing in the social security fund. We've learned that even when 59% of the people oppose ObamaCare, that the Democrats in Congress will pass ObamaCare and that the Democrat President will sign it into law.

We've learned that government will never live within its means, but that it will use our tax dollars to find new ways to tax us.

The minimum wage is ludicrous. In a free market system, prices and wages will self-adjust. When wages go up, prices go up. No one gains. The poor end up will even less buying power.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The fair tax is not a fair tax.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Well let's see...

Tax rates sky high? We saw the greatest economic boom in history, a surging middle class, and ability to build up our infrastructure. All during those "socialist" 1950s-60s.

What happened under the decade of Bush's tax cuts?

Trillions of debt, millions of jobs lost, and economic disaster.

I keep asking repubs, where are the jobs? I guess jobs were created from 2000-08 in some fantasy land.

Springville, UT

Lowering taxes on the wealthy has proven to lead to more economic disparity and seems to be ruining the economy.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The non-partisan Congressional Research Service studied decades worth of tax data and economic growth rates and employment data. They found that higher tax rates do not, in any way, cause lower growth or unemployment.

E Sam
Provo, UT

May I strongly suggest that no one ever write an op-ed piece about a book that they clearly have not read. Piketty's evidence-based argument shows that inherited capital is now expanding to the point that it is choking investment and economic growth. It's not a question of fairness, or of taxation per se. It's about the super-wealthy class of heirs and heiresses, people who are quite specifically not creating jobs or opportunities. Read the book before opining.

Salt Lake City, UT

Obama has spent 8 trillion and has nothing to show for it and in fact has failed miserably at every turn and has succeeded at nothing. Explain how giving this communist more money will improve things if he has already proved that he can't fix anything .....it was a video...

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I'm only looking for what is fair.

If the 1% owns 80% of the Wealth,
Shouldn't they then be paying 80% of the taxes?

Why should Mitt Romney pay 14% in taxes,
and I have to pay 28% ?

He doesn't spend 100% of his annual income just trying to stay alive.
in fact, he propaply spends 1% to keep his very lavish lifestyle,
the other 99% isn't even put into the economy.

So I say tax them, or else.
They are killing the economy.

Mcallen, TX

People act as if there's only a limited set of money, and the wealthy are hoarding it.

No! Everyone has an equal amount of opportunity for wealth.

If you keep taxing success,- what motivation would a person have to become a doctor, dentist, architect, chemist etc? As it is, we're bringing in 82,000 highly skilled workers from other countries, per year.

To improve our economy, lets tax the half of our people who don't pay federal income tax, and quit punishing the producers.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

LDS lib,

Its really quite simple.

"If the 1% owns 80% of the Wealth,
Shouldn't they then be paying 80% of the taxes?

Why should Mitt Romney pay 14% in taxes,
and I have to pay 28% ?

Like I said, quite simple.

You and Mitt Romney use about the same amount of government resources. barack does not suddently start spending more money when Mitt Romney makes more money.

The real quest is, when you and Mitt(as well as myself) use about the same in government resources, why are people crying and demanding the rich pay for even more of our share when Romney is paying millions in taxes and you and I are paying just a few thousand.

Only a lazy person would look at Mitt who is paying millions in taxes and demand he pay more when we average people are only paying thousands.

Again, barack does not spend more the more money Mitt makes.

So there is no reason Mitt should pay for more - he's using the same that you and I are.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

You seem to see the world through the lenses of a Republican hater... to the point that you blind yourself to reality.

You say the economy was bad from 2000-08 (because there was a Republican in the White House I presume). But not factual.

During those years... the stock market hit all-time-highs. Unemployment hit all-time-lows... it was not bad 7 of the 8 years (despite a potentially crippling terrorist attack that cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars).

The economy did unravel in 2008... but Tax Cuts didn't caused that. They worked very well (by all accounts). But bad loans and bank mis-conduct and corporate mismanagement did impact the economy (not the tax cuts).


Blaming 2008 on bush tax cuts is intellectually dishonest. I haven't heard a single economist blame that debacle on low taxes. It was fueled by millions of bad loans, (which almost killed our banks) and the domino affect on all consumer driven corporations... Not taxes being too low.


50s were not fueled by Socialism. We were more anti-socialist then than we are now...

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

"Will taxing the wealthy fix the economy or ruin it?"

Well, we've now tried not taxing them for a good long time now, and we know that doesn't work.

Ultimately, the answer is not in taxation and redistribution; it is in convincing the wealthy to hire more Americans and pay them better. An even better answer, though, it to encourage, through corporate tax rates, the transition from our current top-heavy form of corporate ownership to a system of worker ownership. Then those who actually create the wealth can share in some of the profits.

The tax-and-redistribute argument is really just a decoy to keep us from noticing that our economy is dominated by large authoritarian institutions in which people are treated as property. Don't believe me? Consider what happens when a company is sold. Labor is one of the largest pieces of the transaction. The workers are sold right along with the desks and computers.

Yes, you are property. We can change this.

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