Some solutions to America's financial tsunami

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  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    April 18, 2011 4:29 p.m.

    Goitalone... we have been cutting taxes on the wealthy to the point that some of them thinks it's rediculous. You really think the 10% of people in the US that are single and have no deductions can support the entire country?

    There are plenty of people that are republicans with 6 kids that pay NO federal taxes and rely on the rest of us to educate thier children in public schools. So sure, that 10% can chip in more but can hardly make up for a loss of 90% of revenues.

    And why does the right not cut back on aid to Israel? They are NOT a poor country. Why in the world are we giving them billions of dollars a year? They have xboxes, cell phones and ferraris. BILLIONS!

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    April 18, 2011 12:44 p.m.

    We have a spending problem not a revenue problem.

    Dr. Jarvis is wrong that we can't solve this problem by simply reducing what the feds are spending. We teach our children on macro and micro levels that we can afford everything and anything.

    Why do all the leftists continue to argue that we should tax the rich more? You are basically saying that if you educate yourslelf, work hard and take risks, that you will be punished for so doing. Nice plan.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington DC, MD
    April 18, 2011 11:00 a.m.

    Shutting down government agencies that do nothing except make elitists richer.

  • goitalone w bountiful, ut
    April 18, 2011 9:04 a.m.

    @ screwdriver:

    I'm sure you didn't think this through. I don't take issue with your concern, but if, by your post, the rich already pay 90% of the taxes,and we can't balance the budget that way, where does it make sense to increase their burden even more? Maybe the other 10% SHOULD kick in more. Is that what you really meant to say??

    @ Blue: one of the reasons SS tax is capped is that it is unfair to continue to take additional taxes from those whose income will prohibit them from appreciating any benefit from their contribution. It is one thing to ask for taxes to support the general welfare, roads, education and the like. It is another to blatantly expect those who will never see a benefit to simply support those who will get it all. I know that will offend your liberal, public trough attitude, but it's why the cap is there.

    The only fair way to assess taxes is a flat across the board tax system without loopholes and deductions. Ther are several institutions which do this privately and they have no debt or arguement.

  • unaffiliated_person Saratoga Springs, UT
    April 18, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    Revenues need to be brought up too. Inflation affects the federal government too. Wanting them to operate on the same revenues as 10 years ago will result in a drastic cut in services. Think about how much you made 10 years ago...could you live on that now? The feds still buy materials, put gas/diesel int heir trucks, use utilities, etc. The prices for the items they consume have gone up...therefore we can't expect them to operate at the same level as 10 years ago on the same revenues. A good solution is restoring the tax rates from Clinton's era and drastically cut spending. That should buy time to look at the SS/Medicare issue.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    April 18, 2011 7:54 a.m.

    I don't know what the fuzzy math says but republicans both claim that the rich pay 90% of the taxes and we can balance the budget while not taxing the rich.

    Somehow that other 10% is suposed to support the largest aging infrastructure and largest by 6 times military in the world. Is there a rabbit in the hat too?

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2011 12:02 a.m.

    Linus: "Jarvis would balance the budget by plundering those who are responsibly self-reliant to provide entitlements to those who feed at the public trough."

    Hyperbole much there, Linus?

    I know too many seriously rich people to believe for one second that they are all "responsibly self-reliant," and I know WAY too many poor people to ever regard them as all "feeding at the public trough."

    Here's a truth that must be reckoned with - you can't balance the budget by slashing taxes on the wealthy, slashing services that benefit the poor and the middle class, and starting wars for which no one has a clue about what constitutes "winning."

    Why _aren't_ capital gains taxed at the same rate as wages? What's the rationale for that?

    Why _shouldn't_ 100% of wages be subject to Social Security taxes? Why should a person earning $400,000 a year pay no more in Social Security tax than a person making $100,000? Why is that fair?

    Bottom line, you can't even begin to approach serious deficit reduction without looking at revenues.

    Go back to Reagan-era taxes. That'd be serious deficit reduction.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    April 17, 2011 11:14 p.m.

    Now, let me get this straight:

    Mr./Professor Jarvis suggests removing the maximum any citizen can be taxed to fund Social Security. He says they should pay Social Security taxes on all their income regardless of how much they earn.

    Then Mr./Professor Jarvis suggests that he who has planned, saved and sacrificed to ensure adequate alternative retirement income, should forfeit his Social Security benefits accordingly.

    This is a Robin Hood approach to redistribution. Simply stated, Jarvis would balance the budget by plundering those who are responsibly self-reliant to provide entitlements to those who feed at the public trough.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    This sounds almost like satire, but the sad thing is that Mr. Jarvis is serious. But his suggestions don't make sense economically. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem, and it needs to be resolved by reducing the spending.

    Beyond that, raising taxes--surprisingly--does NOT increase revenue (except maybe when the rates are very low and the increase is slight). This is because people change their behavior when taxes rise--many of them stop expanding businesses, stop hiring, stop investing, lay off employees, close their businesses, etc.

    This means there are fewer taxpayers and less business revenue for the government to tax, so tax revenues actually go DOWN, not up. If you punish success, investment, and job creation, you'll get less of it.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    Regulate banks so they cannot gamble with assets. They also should keep their own mortgages and not sell them on the International mortgage. Raise taxes on anyone with over a million per year in income.

  • Mr. Bean SLC, Utah
    April 17, 2011 8:45 p.m.

    @Blue: "...telling the truth and forming rational opinions based on credible evidence and dealing sanely with complex realities, and all that kind of stuff."

    You call running the national debt up to $14 trillion sanity?

    "Don't you just hate that?"

    Yes. And I also hate when Democrats can't stop obscene wasteful spending.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    April 17, 2011 5:53 p.m.

    Democrats love to point back to the Clinton era when the government actually managed to balance the federal budget. We even had a budget surplus for a year or two in the late 90s. The problem they say, is that Bush cut taxes so we didn't have as much revenue coming in and deficits are the result.

    The truth is that the federal government collected far more taxes during the Bush administration than it ever did under Clinton. Total tax revenue has grown steadily over the past decade with the exception of one year (2008) when the recession hit the hardest.

    The problem is that while revenues increased slightly every year, spending increased greatly at the same time. During the Obama administration, the government spends more than twice than it did under the Clinton administration.

    It is pure fiction to suggest that government expenditures cannot be brought back in line with revenues. It may not be the most politically popular to cut some people off from the government teat, but is certainly possible.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 17, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    "The sensible and fair way is for the Obama administration and Congress to have the courage to build a new tax structure that is both progressive and friendly to free enterprise."

    A progressive tax system is inherently unfriendly to private enterprise. A progressive tax punishes success. Why is California State Government a financial trainwreck right now? Because they have a very progressive state income tax. A progressive tax makes govt revenue much more volatile (during recessions it falls precipitously)

    I'm not in the highest bracket or even close but I think everyone deserves equal protection under the law. It's immoral for me to ask another man to pay a higher percentage of his income in taxes.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2011 11:06 a.m.

    Mr. Bean, "Spoken like a true Liberal Democrat."

    Ya, those true Liberal Democrats...

    ...telling the truth and forming rational opinions based on credible evidence and dealing sanely with complex realities, and all that kind of stuff.

    Don't you just hate that?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 17, 2011 10:24 a.m.

    Flat Tax. No deductions. And give me back all the money I've paid into Social Security Ponzi Scheme so that I can invest it on my own, for me. Not anyone else

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 17, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    Some good suggestions on the revenue side. How about we also create a health care system that delivers health care for all, eliminates insurance companies entirely and blends in services delivered by medicare? It would save us money.

  • Mr. Bean SLC, Utah
    April 17, 2011 9:25 a.m.

    "Common sense tells us that federal expenditures can't possibly be reduced enough to balance the federal budget."

    Spoken like a true Liberal Democrat.

    The truth is, the government budget is full of waste and abuse. For example, we don't need a federal education department. Education can very efficiently be managed by states and local governments. The federal education budget has skyrocketed yet education is flat-lined as indicated by testing statistics.

    According to a recent General Accounting Office report there are billions wasted in duplication throughout government agencies.

    There should be no question that we don't have a revenue problem... we have an expenditure problem.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    Dr. Jarvis is spot-on.

    You can't cut spending enough to get the deficit under control - you have to look at the revenue side, too.

    Put taxes back where they were at the end of the Reagan Administration.

    Better yet, put them back where they were at the end of the Eisenhower Administration.