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Will taxing the wealthy fix the economy or ruin it?

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  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 22, 2014 10:58 a.m.

    To "airnaut" those are not my numbers. Those numbers come from Forbes, USA Today, and the IRS.

    The top 1% are not these mega millionaires. The top 1% earns at least $350,000/yr, the top 5% starts at $160,000/yr, and the top 10% (that is you) starts at $113,000/yr.

    The top 1% are not Billionares either. According to the IRS, they have an average net worth of $14 million.

    Plus, not all of the people in the top 1% own or run small businesses. Take John Huntsman Sr. as an example. He is in the top 1% and does not own a small business. He owns a HUGE business that employs thousands of people. He grew his business from a small business into a big one, just like many of the billionaires out there.

    The question for you is why to you hate the rich so much? Do you not want to move up from the top 10% to top 5% of incomes in the US?

    Explain how they are "takers and not makers".

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    May 22, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    @RedShirtCalTech
    Pasedena, CA

    Lets look at the facts about the top 1%.

    ========

    OK, let's apply another Conservative myth...

    Wealth creates jobs.

    Using "your" numbers,
    the 1% own 35% of everything,
    and should be creating 35% of the jobs,
    and 35% of us should be working for them.

    But,
    Small businees account for MOST of America.
    There are 28,000,000 small businesses in the U.S. -- which outnumber corporations 1162 to 1

    Small businesses employ 57% of the country

    Small businesses pay 44% of U.S. payroll

    Small businesses aren't anywhere NEAR the Billionaires you think are doing all the work, producing all the stuff, and fueling and driving America's economy.

    The 1% are TAKERS, not Makers!

  • David Centerville, UT
    May 22, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    Frozen Fractals,

    Unfunded liabilities due to demographics (baby boomers retiring) will introduce $70 Trillion (that's Trillion with a capital "T") to the national budget. Federal spending is dropping now, but is projected to increase dramatically by 2020. Do you want to wait until 2021 to address this?

    Liberalism and the welfare state has broken our nation, we just don't recognize it yet because 2020 hasn't arrived yet. Something must be done. Obama's commission got it right: spread the tax base (47% of Americans paying no income tax is not fair, right?), a moderate increase in taxes, dramatic spending reductions through reform to Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and other entitlement/welfare programs, and reduction to defense spending.

    Problem solved.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 22, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" again with the same post.

    Lets look at the facts about the top 1%.

    The top 1% control only 35% of all wealth. They earn only about 20% of all income taxes. Since we tax income and not wealth, according to your standard, they should pay for 20% of all income taxes. The reality is that they pay 37% of all income taxes. According to your standards, they are paying MORE than their fair share.

    You pay 28% of your income to taxes because your income is based on a salary. Mitt Romney's salary is based on investments either through dividends (already taxed at the corporate level) or through capital gains. If you wanted to retire and earn money through dividends and capital gains you are welcome to do so.

    Why do you spend 100% of your income maintaining your lifestyle? Do you really need a large house and fancy cars? If Mitt only lives on 1% of his income that shows how careful he is with his money.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 22, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    As Hutterite said the answer to the question is neither, and it's a very bad question born of partisanship not curiosity.

    "But not all wealth is Inherited (as you seem to assume)."

    Unfortunately 2bits, that's one of the premises of Pikkety's exhaustive study and book. Inherited, and non work related wealth is in fact becoming dominant again, and is growing faster than gdp, thus the income gap.

    Here's another conservative premise that is wrong. Progressives believe that taxing the wealthy is the way to eliminate poverty. Progressives just like conservatives believe that jobs and work is the way to eliminate poverty. What we disagree about is the role of government in creating an environment of work.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    @David
    "Government is growing too fast…faster than its revenue growth."

    Actually it's growing extremely slowly the last few years which is why the deficit is falling so fast from over a trillion to projected to be under 500 billion this year.

    Federal Spending
    2009: 3.517 trillion
    2010: 3.457 trillion
    2011: 3.603 trillion
    2012: 3.537 trillion
    2013: 3.455 trillion
    2014 (estimate): 3.651 trillion

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    May 22, 2014 1:47 a.m.

    The Earth was created for all of God's children but the devious ones have redistributed it all to themselves and now want the rest of us to serve them rather than God.

    The conservative term of wealth redistribution starts out with the wrong assumptions. It assumes that the Earth's bounties were created for and belong to the small percentage of the population that have used all kinds of devious means to control those blessings.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    May 21, 2014 11:17 p.m.

    I propose that republicans stop talking and just eliminate all taxes on the rich. Just do it. Let us see how that experiment would turn out.

  • David Centerville, UT
    May 21, 2014 11:13 p.m.

    It is obvious that government is looking for any revenue stream it can: carbon tax, increased taxes on the wealthy, healthcare tax (Obamacare). Government is growing too fast…faster than its revenue growth. What is the main cause of government growth?

    Well, besides liberalism, the main cause is social security, medicaid, medicare, and now Obamacare. The welfare state.

    Cut federal spending and we won't have a deficit problem after 10 years (the Paul Ryan plan).

    Now to be fair, I agree with Alan Simpson and the commission that Obama created to present a proposal for cuts vs. tax increases. There should be some modest increases in taxes--primarily closing loopholes, but also spreading the tax base. When 47% of Americans pay no income tax, that is a big problem. But the panel also called for reduced spending, changes to social security, and changes to other entitlement programs, as well as decreases in defense spending.

    I agree with those proposals. But Obama failed to listen to his own commission.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 21, 2014 7:23 p.m.

    We need more money to pay for our own defense, infrastructure, education, and health care.

    Repubs want to place this burden solely on the poor and middle class.

    The only logical way to pay for these completely necessary services is to tax those making the most. There won't be negative consequences. The rich were taxed a lot more before and our economy soared! They can do so again.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 21, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    LDS Liberal, what you wrote may be your opinion, but nowhere in the Constitution have we, the people, given the Federal Government authority to protect US. What we have authorized the Federal Government to do is to protect the Union, the Federation of States, such that if one State were to be attacked, all States would unitedly respond to protect the UNION.

    The fundamental misunderstanding that many people have, that somehow the duty of the Federal Government is to protect our individual lives, to wipe our noses, to feed us, to clothe us, to educate us, is at the root of the "tax the rich" fallacy.

    No one person's life is safeguarded by the Constitution. (Protecting you is the job of your local police department.) Without a Union, each State would be at the mercy of every government on earth. Nevada, with few people, would be a likely candidate for takeover by any nation. The "dirt" of Nevada is just as precious as the "dirt" of New York. No citizen is more responsible for protecting the Union than another, no matter how poor or wealthy he might be.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 21, 2014 6:27 p.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Nevada is larger in land area. More of the State of Nevada is "owned" by the Federal Government than the State of New York. So, why shouldn't the people of Nevada, and all who visit there, pay 150% more, or 200% more, or 500% more than those who live in New York?

    ========

    Because dry empty desert does make any money, or pay any taxes.

    The Cosntitution was written for "people", not dirt.

    FYI -- The "people" of New York already DO pay more in taxes than the people of Nevada.

    If Fact - the "rich" guys in New York are paying the "poor" guys in Nevada.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 21, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    Even a casual reading of the Constitution shows that the duties allocated to the Federal Government are general in nature, none of which have anything to do with personal welfare or government paid subsidies to citizens, yet there are those who continually tell us that the "rich" should bear a larger portion of the federal debt than they pay.

    We, the people, as a group, rely on the Federal Government to protect the States against attack. No State is left to itself if attacked. Should the State of Nevada bear a larger burden when bills are allocated to the States for defense than the State of New York? Nevada is larger in land area. More of the State of Nevada is "owned" by the Federal Government than the State of New York. So, why shouldn't the people of Nevada, and all who visit there, pay 150% more, or 200% more, or 500% more than those who live in New York?

    That same faulty reasoning is the basis for those who demand that the "rich" should pay more per capita than the "poor".

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 21, 2014 5:44 p.m.

    "Not a single left-wing poster has refuted the established truth that those who are wealthy are much better managers of money than the government is. That is irrefutable fact."

    Two points here...

    What happened in 2008?
    So why don't you give all of your hard earned money to some billionaire in hopes that he will maintain your roads and services?

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    May 21, 2014 4:56 p.m.

    Not a single left-wing poster has refuted the established truth that those who are wealthy are much better managers of money than the government is. That is irrefutable fact.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 21, 2014 4:40 p.m.

    "But our current government is doing somewhere between two and three times what it should. That is why we are $17 trillion in debt in spite of very high taxes."

    Thank you for stating why we need more government regulation on Wall Street, cut the defense budget in half, and raise taxes. Gotta pay off the debt by also bringing in more revenue.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 21, 2014 3:56 p.m.

    Chris B –

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

    So in other words, the ultra-rich who do not pay their share are lazy thieves too?
    I think you may be on to something.

    The highest earners paid over 90 percent back in the 1950’s when Eisenhower was President, and the nation was doing well.

    They their tax rate is only 35%, and consequently the nation is struggling to pay its bills.
    It’s time for the rich to pay their fair share again.

    Maybe we should do what works for a change, instead of kowtowing to the likes of the Koch brothers who insist the rich should pay even less taxes.

    Plutocrats like the Koch brothers have made nodding peons out of a huge segment of Americans, and that is a real pity. But at the same time the Kochs have convinced these gullible, “Conservative” poor and middle class that by being servile to the rich, they are in reality exercising their rights as proud individualists.

    People are funny.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    May 21, 2014 3:09 p.m.

    Just to clarify the arguments regarding labor union participation in the U.S., the highest point of union participation was 35.5% in 1945. In 1950, participation was slightly lower, then by 1960 the rate was just above 30%. By 1970, the rate was under 25%. A precipitous decline began about 1970, so by 1995 the rate was 15%. The descent has been gradual since that point and may be nearing a bottom.

    To attribute a successful economy to the existence of labor unions is specious at best. I think you'll find a more telling explanation in the policies of the Federal Reserve. The chairman of the Federal Reserve during the so-called "golden years" of the 1950's was William McCheseny Martin. Unlike his successor Arthur Burns, he successfully held off the demands of presidents and their administrations that the Fed "juice" the economy with low interest rates and easy money. He infuriated Lyndon Johnson during the 1960's in LBJ's quest for a "guns and butter" policy that would have required massive infusions of fiat money.

    You want to find the culprit in this crony-capitalist economy, look no further than Fed policies.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 21, 2014 1:55 p.m.

    @Ultra Bob – “If America would tax people according to the benefit they receive from citizenship, the most likely measurement would be a flat rate on personal income. It might not be perfect but it would be the most fair.”

    Consider this –

    When the size of any enterprise reaches a certain level, increases in revenue are largely a function of economies of scale – i.e., the owner of the business is not working any harder operating 50 stores as 5,000 (he just hires more managers).

    If we recognize that his tremendous gain in wealth based on scale is due to a population who has the means to buy his products (by society educating & keeping healthy this population), the benefit he receives is exponential above the benefit of government services he uses directly.

    Same goes for the pro-athlete, rock star, movie star or anyone else whose services are valued by millions.

    By this account, the “fair tax” for the economies-of-scale rich (which includes inherited wealth) is not the same as the rate for the rest of us.

    @ JoeCapitalist2

    Point taken…

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    May 21, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    Tyler D.: "...It is only right-wing ideology that tells you all taxes are bad..."

    Why do liberals always assume that those who advocate less government and lower taxes want NO taxes and NO government? Even the most right-wing conservative realizes that we need many government services and we need to pay for them.

    I won't return the favor and accuse you of thinking that "all taxes are good". Even the most left-wing liberal will admit that many taxes are just plain wasted on worthless government projects.

    We need government to protect us, build common infrastructure, and provide rule of law. It needs to provide basic needs for the poor, disabled, and old.

    But our current government is doing somewhere between two and three times what it should. That is why we are $17 trillion in debt in spite of very high taxes.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 21, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    @Kindred – “I consistently fail to see how raising taxes, such that the government has more funding, will mean a better economy and more jobs. If there is a connection, I can't find it.”

    Because you are failing to see that some forms of government spending have a multiplier effect. As two simple examples:

    1.Transfer payments to Grandma for a new hip.
    2.Government funded transportation project.

    Number one does not have a multiplier effect and can be said to diminish economic output. Number two, provided the transportation project is economically beneficial (i.e., it is not a “bridge to nowhere”) it typically has a multiplier effect far in excess of the tax to fund it.

    But it gets a bit tricky because even in example #1, if taxes were imposed on a low velocity source (i.e., income not cycled back through the economy – as economists are discovering is the case with some portion of the super-rich’s income), it will have a positive multiplier effect.

    It is only right-wing ideology that tells you all taxes are bad, not economic facts…

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    If a group of people decide to buy a community automobile to be used by all should they share the cost of the automobile and its maintenance, in terms of time reserved, the miles driven, the number of people transported, the speed driven, whether day or night or a simple flat apportionment equally on all users.

    A "Fair Tax" method might use all of these with some items being exempted for certain people.

    A simple tax method would use the most likely measurement of use, and tax proportionately. Like milage.

    If America would tax people according to the benefit they receive from citizenship, the most likely measurement would be a flat rate on personal income. It might not be perfect but it would be the most fair.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 21, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    @Patriot, or we could do what the Conservatives did last time they were in power - lower taxes, increase spending, and declare two unfunded wars.... that did wonders for the budget. And the economy performed so well under that plan too...

    Between the liberals and conservatives.... perhaps if we compromised in the middle, we might get to a reasonable answer.

  • MC Ute Midvale, UT
    May 21, 2014 12:48 p.m.

    At what point are you "Rich". If you make 30,000.00 and pay 10% taxes you have 27,000.00 a year left over for you to use. If being rich is somebody who makes 200,000.00 a year and you think they should pay 90% taxes because the are "rich" now they only have 20,000.00 a year left over so then who is "rich". The best economy is one that has opportunity for all to succeed because of hard work not one where everyone is equal no matter what they contribute. I would suggest a simple Children's storybook "The little Red Hen" this is what the world has become, somebody else do all the work everybody wants a piece of the pie. If you are not satisfied with you lot in life change it, after all "If you always do what you have always done, You will always get what you have always got"

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 21, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    Let's see --

    Higher taxes on the wealthy in the 1940's - 1970's "fixed" the economy.
    Lower taxes on the wealthy in the 1990's - 2010's "ruined" the economy.

    So, I say raise the taxes to the level of the 1950's!
    Heaven knows lower taxes didn't work!

  • Kindred Mesa, AZ
    May 21, 2014 12:41 p.m.

    I consistently fail to see how raising taxes, such that the government has more funding, will mean a better economy and more jobs. If there is a connection, I can't find it. You may say that there have been times historically when taxes were higher and things were better economically, but it's an overly simplistic argument. There are too many other variables at work to presume the higher taxes were the cause of a better economy.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 21, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    I like the sign in the photo - "pass the fair tax act". I wonder if the sign holder is willing to pay her fair share?? NOT!! So what is "fair". Hmmmm - how about the law of tithing? Tithing is the Lords economic law - is it fair? Everyone pays 10%. If you make 1 Million you pay 100k. If you make 1 Thousand you pay 100. Interesting how those preaching about fairness never seem to want to contribute anything. I had a friend like that in high school. I always had to drive everywhere - he would never drive anywhere. Somehow in his mind that was fair. I guess he figured that since I "got" to drive him around and enjoy his company that was my payback. Stupid me.

  • Way of the Warrior Arlington, WA
    May 21, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    I may be too simple minded, but it seems to me, everyone should be taxed at the same rate (including corporations) and that the government shouldn't be spending more money than it receives.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 21, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    Oh come on ...just raise taxes on rich people like in France (up to 75%)....then the rich people will gladly pay ...which will then cause those same rich people to want to expand their business and grow and hire more people ....and the economy will get better. Right??? So simple. Liberals are so smart.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    "Will taxing the wealthy fix the economy or ruin it?" Speaking as a doctrinaire Marxist my answer would be "neither." As described in Marx's "Capital" capitalism has a dynamic which forces ever increasing concentrations of wealth in fewer and fewer hands. Tax policy can only slightly shift this process. As per Marx, capitalism will, in spite of the technical innovations it fosters, ruin itself.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 21, 2014 11:53 a.m.

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

    False statement. Completely. To presume somehow the world is a level playing field is preposterous at best. The playing field in many aspects is more flat than ever, but not everyone has access to the same opportunity as others.

    The whole discussion is a false argument. We do not practice wealth redistribution... we do not take money from the wealthy and hand it to the poor. If we are trying to do this, we are failing miserably at it. What is really being discussed i is redistribution of tax burden. For taxation to be considered redistribution of wealth it would have to target and benefit only certain groups. But the majority of the national budget benefits everyone regardless of social economic status. There is no means testing on the vast majority of benefits in this nation - there for no redistribution. When you loose a job, all are entitled to unemployment benefits. In most cases, the more you made, the more your benefit. Same with Social Security.

    We are talking about redistribution of tax burden, not wealth. Not as sexy. Not the cool political sound bite. But not redistribution.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2014 11:48 a.m.

    Re: "Did the Koch Brothers work hard"?

    Do you think Koch Industries formed itself... and they just inherited it?

    Fred C. Koch started Winkler-Koch Engineering Company in 1927. He didn't inherit it. He went to MIT and got an education. Then he used that education to develop new oil extraction processes that revolutionized that industry (and yes... made him and many others rich). But he didn't inherit anything.

    His kids... that's a different story.

    But not all wealth is Inherited (as you seem to assume).

    ===

    It's also a false-assumption that nobody who's rich ever worked hard. Even if you inherit a company like this... If you don't work hard... it eventually failes (we've seen that happen plenty of times, father builds successful company, puts kids in charge... it goes broke).

    ====

    We need to get over this idea that TAXES drive the economy. Taxes don't drive the economy... they drive the Government. They are 2 separate things.

    Raising taxes doesn't HELP the economy (it helps the Government).

    Lowering taxes helps the economy (not the Government). That's economics 101...

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    May 21, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    @John Charity Spring - Did the Koch Brothers work hard? Or was it rather a circumstance of the family they were born into? The idea that the uber wealthy work hard and earn their wealth is greatly exaggerated. The other factor to consider, is if there were no public investment in education, roads, water, power, defense, food, police, fire, you get the idea, would any of these folks been able to become a millionaire?

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    @2bits
    "Do we have the right to confiscate the proceeds of somebody else's labor?"

    Arguably, a CEO taking massive pay and bonuses for himself and paying his workers little could be considered confiscating of the proceeds of somebody else's labor.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    @JCS
    "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. "

    The only reason we're in this wealth inequality mess (where inequality is similar today to 2007 and 1928, years that preceded massive collapses in the economy) is because the people in control of paycheck size have decided over time to keep more for themselves, furthering said inequality. It's no wonder that the economy is slow to rebound when demand is so weak and demand is weak when the poor and middle class don't have as much money to spend.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    May 21, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    There is a lot of complaining about how Mitt Romney managed to ONLY pay about 15% of his income in federal taxes. They then point out their own top rate at 28% and cry how that is unfair.

    There is a difference between marginal tax rates and effective tax rates. With a flat tax, these two rates would be the same. With deductions, exemptions, and all kinds of tax allowances and credits, your effective tax rate will almost always be much lower than your top tax bracket.

    No one ever paid those 90%+ top tax rates from 50 years ago. That argument is a red herring.

    We should all be paying a flat tax rate of about 15% for all income earned above the poverty line. Get rid of all the tax deductions and loop holes. Government should easily be able to do everything it NEEDS to do on that revenue.

    Unfortunately for progressives, the government would not be able to do half of the things it WANTS to do, but then we might have a little more liberty.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 21, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    @2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

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

    9:48 a.m. May 21, 2014

    ========

    Are you kidding me?
    MOST U.S. jobs were Unions jobs in the 1940's - 1970's .

    The Republicans have done and excellent job of leap frogging "Socialism" entirely,
    by funnelling all the wealth to the already wealthy 1%,
    gutting and destroying the Middle Class,
    offshoring and outsourcing American jobs,
    and importing almost everything from un-taxable COMMUNISTS in Red China!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    It will do neither. It will help, but when you frame the debate as either 'fix' or 'ruin', it just plays into the divisive environment we now live in. The economy, and our nation, are way to complex to reduce down to simple black and white answers.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    "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.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    @Maverick,
    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...

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    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.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    May 21, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    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.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    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...

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    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.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    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.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:00 a.m.

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

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 21, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    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.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    The fair tax is not a fair tax.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 21, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    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.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    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...

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 21, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    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.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    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.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 21, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    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.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    May 21, 2014 8:17 a.m.

    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?

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    May 21, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    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.

  • Mark l SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    May 21, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    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.