Robert J. Samuelson: Taxes are certainly going to rise for the wealthy; top marginal rates will near 50 percent

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 3, 2012 8:20 a.m.

    To "JoeBlow" go and do your homework. Reagan cut tax rates AND cut regulations AND cut some spending. We have not had a president since do that.

    We now have a President who only focuses on what the public sees, and that is tax rates. It is like giving a disabled person a wheelchair with only 1 wheel. Yes you can say you helped, but it still doesn't work.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 1, 2012 12:38 a.m.

    You'll have t get some of that 47% to pay federal taxes. That isn't whom the right thinks it is since most of those people are living in RED states an are taking advantage of the per chile tax credit.

    Give up the tax credit for having a bunch of kids and pay your taxes!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 4:52 p.m.

    what good will it do? The increase in taxes won't run the government for more than a week. The harm will be to the middle class who are seeking job openings from the small business's that just got their taxes jacked up but are now either laying off or simply freezing all hiring. The number of people who lose their jobs from these tax increases and resulting layoffs will more than offset any revenue from a tax increase.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Nov. 30, 2012 3:06 p.m.

    "...In the end it was a new cadre of ideological tax-cutters who killed the Republicans’ fiscal religion. Through the 1984 election, the old guard earnestly tried to control the deficit, rolling back about 40 percent of the original Reagan tax cuts. But when, in the following years, Paul Volcker, finally crushed inflation, enabling a solid economic rebound, the new tax-cutters not only claimed victory for their supply-side strategy but hooked Republicans for good on the delusion that the economy will outgrow the deficit if plied with enough tax cuts.

    By fiscal year 2009, the tax-cutters had reduced federal revenues to 15 percent of gross domestic product, lower than they had been since the 1940s.

    Another change in the economy has been the vast, unproductive expansion of our financial sector. Republicans have been oblivious to the grave danger of flooding financial markets with freely printed money and, at the same time, removing traditional restrictions on leverage and speculation.

    It is not surprising, from 2002 to 2006 the top 1 percent of Americans received 2/3rds of the gain in national income, while the bottom 90%, got only 12%. This growing wealth gap is the decaying fruit of bad economic policy.

    (David Stockman)

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Nov. 30, 2012 1:20 p.m.


    our tax rates are lower today than under Reagan. Why were his rates good enough to spur growth, but today, lower tax rates will not.

    That is the real question

    "Now tell me why these trends have ACCELERATED under BO"

    Don't know that they are necessarily accelerating, but continuing. And the reason is that Obamas policies are pretty similar his predecessors.

    The collection of wealth at the top has been going on for quite a while.

    I also notice that NO ONE on has attempted to answer the questions that I posed.

    Out of posts on this one.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 12:57 p.m.

    here are your questions

    1) Why is the wealth steadily collecting at the top? This is the most critical question.

    2) Is this trend good for our country?

    3) What, if anything, should be done to reverse the trend.

    Now tell me why these trends have ACCELERATED under BO?

    Maybe because his policies that destroy opportunity prevent those in the middle and lower from being upwardly mobile, while those already up there can take advantage of the lack of upward mobility on the part of the rest to consolidate their own wealth?

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 12:52 p.m.

    TO Joe Blow: "Can you tell me what you think is a reasonable top tax rate?"

    Absolutely. 25% should be the top rate! And by "top rate", I don't just mean Federal Income Taxes. I mean TOTAL taxes.

    No one should have to give more than a quarter of their money to the government (all levels of it).

    And yes, I understand that this would mean that our government would have fewer revenues than it currently does...GOOD! I think all levels of government should be much smaller than they currently are. And yes, I also understand that this would put more money in the hands of all those "evil rich people" that most liberals despise.

    I think most of them earned it and I think they will see that it is used in a much more productive way than a bunch of government bureaucrats would. Less of it would end up in the hands of Solyndra, the Vegas party animals, and a million other rat holes.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 30, 2012 12:03 p.m.

    To "JoeBlow" I don't get it. First you disagree with me, then all of your arguements support what I have stated. You agreed that as tax laws have become more complex that they have only benefitted the wealthy.

    You have partially answered your own questions.

    Reagan was able to get things going by cutting tax rates and getting the government out of the way. Yes it is that simple, you and your ilk refuse to accept that because it gets in the way of your ideal that government knows best.

  • Opinionated Sandy, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 11:28 a.m.

    RE: Anti Bush-Obama.
    Who exactly is the "real 1%" you're talking about. The Poor? The number who don't pay taxes is really about 47%, and you would be correct in calling them the real government because they are the only group government seems to be worried about. Or the rich? The top 1% of the earners actually pay about 37% of the taxes paid in this country, in which case your comment would be completely erroneous.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Nov. 30, 2012 11:02 a.m.

    "Why is it that the more government adds to the tax code in an effort to make things more equal things actually become less equal, withe the rich benefitting the most?"

    I disagree with the premise.

    Congress adds to the tax code to cater to some group that just happens to give them money (lobby, campaign etc).

    That is why it is not uncommon for the uber wealthy to pay a lesser rate than those making far less.
    Same with Corporations.

    "when were incomes more equal and wealth more evenly distributed"

    Pretty much ANY time in the past. The wealth has been steadily heading upward.

    There was a time when CEO's averaged only 30 times the wage of their workers. Now it is 300+. Why is that?

    Some of our highest paid people now are in the financial industries. They create nothing, but have figured out how to make money huge amounts of money.

    Would you please answer the 3 questions I posted earlier. That is a much better starting point for discussion.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Nov. 30, 2012 10:46 a.m.

    Of course this is just for the middle class and the "1%" making over 250,000 a year. the real 1% doesn't and still won't pay taxes and if they do, they would just be paying the taxes to themselves because they are the real (unelected) government.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 30, 2012 10:40 a.m.

    To "JoeBlow" when were incomes more equal and wealth more evenly distributed? What was different in the past than today?

    Here is the biggest thing to consider. Why is it that the more government adds to the tax code in an effort to make things more equal things actually become less equal, withe the rich benefitting the most?

    Logically we can assume that simplifying the tax code and cutting the rates will result in greater income equality and higher incomes for the middle class and poor.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Nov. 30, 2012 10:02 a.m.

    Obama is bluffing about the "fiscal cliff" because it mandates cuts in federal spending! Cutting federal spending is poisonous to Obama, he plans to increase it substantially! Look folks, we are going to get massive tax increases from Obama anyway, at least if we go off the "cliff" we will get something for our increased taxes! Let the media and the DNC blame the Republicans, they will anyway! Remember the Boston Tea Party? We need another one and it seems to me this "fiscal cliff" is the best option for our country. After all, what is the alternative? Massive tax increases without spending cuts? Economic suicide!

  • KDave Moab, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 9:50 a.m.

    Maverick, Have you heard one anyone in Govt. promise that any monies created by tax increases will be used the lower the debt? I haven't. The only way to lower the deficit is to lower spending. Our Fed Govt. currently is spending 75% of the income of everyone, every day.

  • Opinionated Sandy, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 9:42 a.m.

    RE: The Real Maverick. Higher taxes will NOT pay off debt--it will give Dem's more to spend.

    RE: Joe Blow (a suitable name for him I'm sure). The rich are getting richer because they are more industrious. The reason they are standing out more is because there are so many more dead beats standing around waiting to be spoon fed by the government.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 9:16 a.m.


    higher taxes will pay off the debt. Isn't that what repubs were all concerned about?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Nov. 30, 2012 8:58 a.m.


    Can you tell me what you think is a reasonable top tax rate?

    We hear how Reagan created lots of jobs by lowering the tax rate.
    But, his tax rate was significantly higher than today's (or under Clinton)

    How is it that Reagan's tax rate was ripe for job and economic growth, but today's rates (which are lower) are not?

    Please explain.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 8:51 a.m.

    All the "revenue gain" estimates in this letter assume that everyone (especially the rich) will continue to do exactly as they are currently doing no matter how high the tax rates go up. This is a complete misunderstanding of basic economics.

    As the tax rate increases so does the incentives to:

    1) Not work. Why start a business, work 80 hour weeks, and take a huge risk if all the rewards go to someone besides you and your family? Play golf instead.
    2) Move someplace where taxes are lower. Rich people can pick up and move anywhere.
    3) (Most likely choice) Spend even more time and effort developing tax avoidance strategies with your accountant and lawyer instead of growing your business. This makes the accountants and lawyers rich instead of the regular worker bees who get layed off because the business suffers.

    Maybe that is the main reason behind this whole strategy. After all, many people in Congress are closely tied to the lawyer industry.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Nov. 30, 2012 7:40 a.m.

    Toosmart..did you read the last paragraph? If instead of taking the taxes on the rich back to where they were before Bush, you just limit everybodys deductions guess who's taxes go up..yours, your kids, your neighbors etc. So rather than seeing someone who makes 3 million dollars a year lose 6% you'd rather lose all your deductions (mortgage, kids, charitable deductions). This is exactly why Romney refused to answer the question which deductions would you eliminate. If he didn't eliminate his he was eliminating yours.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Nov. 30, 2012 5:54 a.m.

    Marginal tax rates are far different from Effective tax rates. Mr Romney is a perfect example.

    Forget all the details. Lets look at the big picture.

    The richest Americans have been getting "richer" at an accelerated pace. The wealth of this country is moving steadily upward.

    So, rather than carp about fairness and who pays what, I am asking those on the hard right to answer 3 simple question.

    1) Why is the wealth steadily collecting at the top? This is the most critical question.

    2) Is this trend good for our country?

    3) What, if anything, should be done to reverse the trend.

    Until you look at what is actually happening, and WHY, and the ramifications, you are arguing the wrong things.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 12:15 a.m.

    The Democrats have it backwards: Instead of Tax-and-spend they have been Spend-then of necessity-tax.

    They also think that the rich get away with no taxation when in reality it's the 49% that pay nothing at all on the bottom of the scale.

    I hope we can survive the next 4 years of foolishness because the last 4 have been a strain, for sure.