George F. Will: Liberal redistribution will never satisfy everyone

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  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 8, 2012 5:38 p.m.

    Funny how the Washington DC area missed out on the recession the rest of the country experienced. The money never stopped flowing into DC. I think the point of this column is the hypocrisy of Democrats who use their constituents simply to grow government and thus increase their power, influence and of course money. (check out what's happened to Nancy Pelosi's net worth since she went off to Washington to do the "people's business") It's maddening that people buy into the nonsense they peddle."
    Of course Republicans are pretty adept at growing Leviathan also - Bush gave us the TSA, No Bureaucrat Left Behind, and the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Orrin Hatch gave us SCHIP- middle class entitlements. At least with Republicans we have something to show for it- shiny new missiles and fighter jets- with Democrats you just end up with failed wars on poverty, money frittered away on insolvent disasters of companies like Solyndra
    @ Hutterite - the only responsibility I have to you as a fellow citizen is to leave you and your property alone - that's it.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 8, 2012 4:55 p.m.

    "Taxes are always coerced contributions to government, which is always the first, and often the principal, beneficiary of them." is a truism.

    Yes, taxes are necessary, but income tax is a modern invention. Before the 16th Amendment was passed, we rarely had income taxes levied. Taxes were apportioned to the States, based on the population of each State. In other words, each person in the United States bore an equal burden. The State was assessed its share of the Federal burden based on how many people claimed to be citizens of that State.

    We had, in effect, a flat tax. No one was taxed more because of his wealth. No one was taxed less because of his poverty. All were treated equally under the law.

    Government feeds itself before it feeds the masses. It always has and it always will.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 8, 2012 3:54 p.m.

    Re. samhill | 2:04 p.m. Jan. 8, 2012

    The statement: Taxes are always coerced contributions to government, which is always the first, and often the principal, beneficiary of them"
    is a lie.

    Taxes are the payments a citizen pays to be a member of and benefit from their government. They are no more coerced than any other payments to organizations for services rendered.

    If you choose to be an American and receive the benefit we all get, you must pay or be prepared to face the consequences. You dont have to be an American. People who take product and services and then refuse to pay are known as criminals.

    In every case where a government service is taken over by private enterprise in a free market the consumer pays more for that service. Those cases where government takes over from private enterprise is always because private enterprise fails to do its job. Social Security is such a case.

    The American experiment is all about government for the people by the people. If you find that you cannot adjust your own personal philosophy to accommodate that notion, you should find a new place to live.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2012 2:04 p.m.

    "Taxes are always coerced contributions to government, which is always the first, and often the principal, beneficiary of them."

    That one statement does more to explain the ever increasing role of government than anything else.

    Even though government is inevitably less efficient at using resources than a free market, it inevitably takes more and more of the increasingly scarce resources. Becoming a counter productive drag on the entire economy in the process.

    Yet, being the invariable "answer" to the problems (in the minds of far too many people) it creates, government almost always exacerbates rather than fixes problems.

  • a bit of reality Shawnee Mission, KS
    Jan. 8, 2012 10:09 a.m.

    Interesting article. I wonder how many Deseret News readers will fully understand it before expressing a knee-jerk reaction to embrace it. How many readers really want the government to do the following?

    1- End tax-deductions for donations to their church and to other charities.

    2- End tax-deductions for mortgage interest.

    3- End the Social Security system.

    On that last point, I find right-wing proposals to reform Social Security very cynical in the context of this article. According to this article, the current cohort of retirees are rich and don't need Social Security. Yet the Republicans don't propose to eliminate the benefits of this rich cohort, but rather eliminate the benefits in the future. Thus, the ones the Republicans want to take the tough medicine aren't the wealthy retirees who are draining the system, but rather current workers who can't afford to save properly in part because they pay the largest Social Security taxes in history.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 8, 2012 10:09 a.m.

    In his statement:

    Not only does redistributionist government direct wealth upward; in asserting a right to do so it siphons power into itself.

    George seems to be saying that it is the fault of the redistributionist government that the great inequality exists between the poor and the rich.

    But the main lie of this article, is the notion that governments efforts to equalize the good life for its citizens is something bad.

    When government protects it citizens, which it is charged to do by our Constitution, the protection against enemies both foreign and domestic is a leveling, equalizing force that is desirable and good.

    Where conservatives fall off the wagon, is in the nature and definition of domestic enemies.

    While conservatives only believe that domestic enemies are only those who would physically attack us, Liberals would also recognize any entity that attacks our freedom and welfare as an enemy.

    Such enemies would include being poor, poor health, lack of education, bad government, our own selves, and mostly the other citizens we live with.

    Most of the laws that protect us, protect us from each other and even our own weaknesses.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 8, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    Health care isn't a 'liberal redistribution'. It's a responsibility we all have to one another. We can do that. At the same time, we don't owe anyone welfare rather than work.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 8, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    On the other hand, the redistribution of wealth to the top few, works for well, the top few. But nobody else.
    How much is enough?
    Since when did greed become acceptable for the so-called religious repubs?