The only way to achieve real fairness in taxation is through a flat tax. A flat
tax works just like tithing for most Christian religions - you pay a percent of
your increase to the government - no exemptions and no deductions. All pay the
same percent from rich to poor. Today half of America pays no federal income tax
and those in the upper income bracket pay near 40% although many rich have
enough tax shelters to lower that rate significantly. It is the middle class
that gets hosed. I have to wonder if the poor had to pay the same percent of
their wage as the rich if they would still feel the same about being
"fair". I doubt it. Too many in this country just want a free ride...
let someone else pay for them.
Wanda B. Rich, et alI love it when liberals use doctrine to justify
governmental theft. If you would like to establish a Mormon theocracy, your
points MIGHT be valid. Until then, remember the separation of Church and state
liberals worship so much.The scriptures you referred to depend upon
individual choice. It is wrong to use the government to legitimize theft
(redistribution of wealth). It is up to each and every individual to choose who
and under what circumstances to invest their money. If you were LDS, you would
appreciate how important free will is in salvation.Given that,
let's examine American wealth in a global context: GDP worldwide is
approximately $12,000. Would you like to give up any gross income you earn above
that amount so that YOU will not be earning any more than anyone else? Lead by
example, show us that you and every other statist is willing to sacrifice for
the global good. To date, I don't see you, Pres. Obama, Michael Moore or
any others doing so.
@ RedShirt 2:50 p.m. Dec. 7, 2012"...According to the scripture,
wealth is ok to obtain, and is even ok to seek after..."Where
then common sense end and a violation of 1 Timothy 6:10 begin?
To "Emajor" that scripture isn't about redistribution of wealth.
It is about helping your fellow man and not demanding that others take care of
you.To "Wanda B. Rich" I do know the greedy poor. It is
because of people demanding more services from the government and the
politicians who appease them that we are now headed towards dangerous areas.Look at the economics of the past 100 years. Then look at the tax
structure and regulations. You will find that the more complex the tax
structure and regulations, the greater the income disparity. If you want to fix
that, get the government out of the way.
Isn't this just wonderful? It took all day long, but finally someone
reached the only valid conclusion. The only fair tax is an equal, per capita
tax, just like the founding fathers imposed on us. The government protects us
all equally. We should all pay the same amount, whether we are rich or poor,
just like we pay the same amount for a gallon of milk.Someone else
told us that workers should be paid an "owner's" share. Does he
own his own house? Does he let every stranger enter? Does he let every stranger
sleep over? Does he think there might be some reason that people "own"
things, or does he share all of his possessions with anyone who comes along?
J Thompson,The logical end to your argument about being equally
obligated is not an equal tax rate (flat tax rate), but an equal tax (flat tax
amount) as even a flat tax is based on ability to pay. A flat tax amount has
nothing to do with earnings whatsoever.
Eric,Not special? How do you define special? Do you pay the same
tax rate as every other citizen of this country? Do you share EQUALLY in the
debt burden put on us by our us by Congress! Or do you excuse yourself?Everyone of us is EQUALLY obligated to pay the debts of the federal government
(per capita). Some would argue that we should pay on the amount of money that
we earn instead of per capita. You, tell us that we should pay according to
your assessment of our ability to pay.I totally disagree. Nothing
in the Constitution references our ability to pay. Nothing even addresses our
income. What is stated is that we are under equal obligation to pay per
capita.Obama wants to change that. You seem to want to change that.
What is your Constitutional authority to change the conditions that we have
accepted as citizens of the United States of America?
"What I don't want to do is to make it difficult for people to do good
with their money by using taxes to forcibly redistribute wealth."So, you're saying that increasing Mitt Romney's effective tax rate
from 13 percent to 15 percent would somehow prevent him from donating another $5
million to charity? He is a generous man, but it's not like he is giving
all his money to charity. His wealth is increasing year after year by leaps and
bounds, even after his charitable deductions. Your argument doesn't hold
water.Now, Warren Buffett, that's another story. He's
going to let his children give all his wealth away to good causes. And he wants
tax rates to increase on the wealthy. What does he see that you don't, I
Redshirt,I really don't know that many greedy poor. Do you?
That's more a conservative justification for denying them a decent standard
of living. It's also easy to attach loaded labels to things to support
simplistic political talking points. A good example is your label "forcibly
redistribute wealth."The facts are that (1) the economic system
we have allowed to evolve is set up to systematically shift wealth from the
lower economic levels to the upper levels, (2) the rich give a smaller
percentage of their income to charity than the less well-off, (3) there are many
things that charities simply cannot do or do not do efficiently, (4) there is a
need for government involvement in providing for those things that the market
and charity cannot cover, and (5) this does not constitute forcibly
redistributing wealth.If you can tell me how supporting the
increasing accumulation of wealth at the top and the increasing slippage at the
bottom squares with consistent LDS historical and scriptural commitment to
economic equality, I'll be surprised.
jsf,So, you are equating the government of America with totalitarian Roman
overlords? That's a stretch, but even so, Jesus had something to say about
it: Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's. So pay your taxes.redshirt,"Why do you support greed from the poor by enabling
them to lay "hold upon other men’s goods"I think your
argument had merit until that slanted question. If your scripture supports both
redistribution from the wealthy and personal responsibility from the poor, you
should also be asking the inverse: why should anyone support greed from the
wealthy by enabling them to withhold their "duty of the individual to help
the less fortunate"?
re:JsfQuestion: What form of govt. existed in biblical times--in
reference to the scripture you cited? What were the taxes in biblical times
used for? Were they used to help the poor and needy? The widows? The disabled
and elderly? what? Do you think context is important? Do you really think God
looks at a democratic society which collects taxes for programs to aid the
disabled, poor, elderly and children as evil? But taxes to wage war is ok?
New International Version (©1984)Luke 18:13"But the tax
collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his
breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'At
least he recognized the evils of collecting taxes.
Ok Wanda, let me spell it out. According to the scripture, wealth is ok to
obtain, and is even ok to seek after. What I don't want to do is to make
it difficult for people to do good with their money by using taxes to forcibly
redistribute wealth.According to the scripture, it is the duty of
the individual to help the less fortunate. The poor are not to demand that the
wealthy support them.Why do you support greed from the poor by
enabling them to lay "hold upon other men’s goods"?
Redshirt,I don't know what game you're playing, but you
didn't answer the question.
Redshirt,Interesting that 2 of your 3 quotes do not support the
accumulation of wealth for any purpose except helping those with less. And the
third only deals with people who don't want to work for anything. What of
the working poor who struggle daily yet still have difficulty making a
living?It is difficult to find any passage in scripture that
advocates the accumulation of wealth for the individual.
To "Wanda B. Rich" I will play your game.D&C
56:16-1716 Wo unto you rich men, that will not give your substance to the
poor, for your riches will canker your souls; and this shall be your lamentation
in the day of visitation, and of judgment, and of indignation: The harvest is
past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved!17 Wo unto you
poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose
bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon
other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not
labor with your own hands!Jacob 2:1919 And after ye have
obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will
seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the
hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the
J Thompson,What makes me so special? Nothing. I should pay the tax rate
that makes sense for people with my income and expenses. So should you, so
should everyone. My youngest child is college-age. When we take her out
to dinner, we pay. What makes her so special? She can't afford to go out
to dinner, and my wife and I can. A progressive tax rate makes sense, because
some people can afford to pay more than others do. May I suggest that you
consider tax policy from an economic lens, and not a moralistic one?
I would like to hear from the LDS conservatives who are so intent on protecting
the wealthy class from paying a larger share of the tax burden how they
interpret the following:"But it is not given that one man should
possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin."
(D&C 49:20)How can you believe this is scripture and yet support
an economic philosophy so diametrically opposed to this principle? Just curious.
To "Newell" What is the rich’s "fair share"? They
already pay 80% or more of all income taxes, while the bottom 50% pay either $0
in income taxes or have negative tax rates so they get more than they pay.You should find the parenting article titled "That’s not
Fair". It used to be on MSN, but is available at other websites now too.
You sound just like the kids they describe. The author says "Whose kids
haven’t at one point hollered, “That’s not FAIR!” when
they felt cheated out of their supposed share of something?" That sounds
like you and others like you.They go on by stating "Early on,
fairness is typically defined in one of two ways: with everyone getting exactly
the same thing, or the child getting everything he or she wants....Fairness is a
perception about what is deserved or agreed upon,” Rode says. “It is
sometimes very unfair to make things equal.”"So, do we
need to help you learn that life isn't "fair", and that you cannot
ever have a "fair" system of taxation.
J Thompson,Just to be clear about rates. The very wealthy do not
pay a higher rate despite the nominal rate. As seen in Mitt's taxes (and
no, I am not criticizing) he paid a lower rate than most middle class families.
Same for Warren Buffet. Same for my old boss. Same for a lot of folks.No, it is not just about lower rates on capital gains. They use the
available loopholes (again, no criticism, I would too) and the result is a lower
tax rate than most middle class families.And reference different tax
rates. We have had progressive tax rates for as long as nearly any American has
been alive. So I doubt it causes slavery (real or metaphorical).
Mike Richards, it's simple.We gotta find a way to pay for your
repub wars, Medicare part D, and repub bank bailouts. Only way to do
that? Raise taxes. Sorry.
Eric,With all due respect, why are you so special that you should
pay a lower tax rate rhan any other American? Do you believe in a "class
system"? Do you believe that it costs less for the military to protect you
than Obama's mythical "rich guy"? Do you think that someone should
"serve" you?Just why should you pay a lower rate than anyone
In his book, Hedrick Smith points out that a recent survey found that 55% of
Americans report they are struggling financially, while 45% said they were doing
okay.He then points out that this sharp divide in our country is why
we can still see American families eating out at restaurants and spending as if
there is no recession. It's apparent that those in the more fortunate side
of the economic coin are almost oblivious to what's happening to many of
their neighbors.I submit that for a lot of us, the only thing
protecting us from becoming the less fortunate is nothing more than luck.All of us should examine carefully and honestly what would happen to us
if we were suddenly "downsized" by our employers, or suffered a sudden
and serious and very expensive medical problem. When you think about it, those
45% who are currently able to spend without much worry could be only a
hairsbreadth away from financial disaster.Although I wouldn't
wish such disaster on anyone, it might be a good exercise in humility if some of
the more vocal posters here suddenly found themselves on the other side of the
I propose a national no work day. Maybe then these materialistic lazy people
will understand just how important work is.
In an effort to find common ground, why not raise revenue in a way that will
actually make the very wealthy pay more? Rate hikes won't do it. The
wealthy earn most their money through capital gains, which is not on the table
for a raise in rates. The rest of the money they make they deduct away so they
don't pay taxes on it no matter the rate. The real way to take
money from the rich and remove a large portion of money influence in Washington
is to eliminate all deductions on income over the magical $250K level and to tax
capital gains as income ie same progressive rates.Why doesn't
either side want to do that? They must like the perks they get from the rich. I
think they are pretending to fight, but really they are all in on this
together.Common ground #2. The president offered $2 in cuts for
every dollar of new revenue. Republicans want cuts too. But no one is talking
about cuts. Now Harry Reid refuses to bring to the floor any discussion of cuts
in spending? Both sides say they want them. Let's get some spending cuts,
Slavery! Oh my heck, Mike Richards, you think a four percent raise in marginal
tax rates reduces millionaires to slavery! I'm weeping, I'm laughing
Mike Richards,I'm just curious about something. Where, in your
view of a free and perfectly capitalistic America does the worker fit in, who
works in an authoritarian business (which includes almost all businesses) and is
not allowed to reap the share of profits he has created by his work? And
don't give me any nonsense about being paid a fair market wage. I'm
talking about receiving a share of the profit that is commensurate with his
actual input into the productive process. Please enlighten me.
Re:JThompson/MikeRichardsSuccess in life is not only a result of
work, but, to a large extent, a result of luck. I was lucky enough to have been
born solidly middle class and attended decent schools. I cannot ignore the fact
that many aren't so lucky. I worked and saved for college and my parents
helped bridge the small gap when my funds ran out. We were able to do the same
for our kids. but every week i see kids who aren't so fortunate. Our household income is above the $250k mark, but we believe our economy will
do better when 98% of the population can earn a living wage, not when 1-2% have
unlimited funds to invest in financial schemes. I believe a democratic society
works better where there is a safety net in place, where people contribute to
the common good. Investing in education and basic needs is significantly
smarter than having to pay for more prisons, police, etc. later. We still need
to examine and re-examine what works and what doesn't. I'm convinced
that tax cuts disproportionately targeted toward the wealthy hasn't made
our country stronger.
J Thompson,Oh, please. Your attempt to paint high-income earners as
victims is really weak. Those poor oppressed Clinton-era millionaires, having to
pay that extra 4% of federal tax. If only they could have dreamed of the bright
future headed their way when Bush lowered their tax rate! Take, heart, 1990s
millionaires, your status as "2nd class citizens" will soon be over.
Brings a tear to my eye, really."In America we are guaranteed
equal opportunity."No we're not. If we were, you
wouldn't be able to pass the business you built on down to your child. That
child didn't build it, why should he get the leg up that someone else not
born into your successful family should get? If we were, influential special
interest groups wouldn't be able to lobby & buy congressional votes,
tilting the balance of policy in their favor. It's a nice
sentiment, but not everyone is afforded the same opportunities to succeed. And
to me, that is a much bigger problem than the wealthy having to part with
another 4% of their income to bring their tax burden back in line with pre-Bush
England raise the tax rate on its' 16,000 citizens who earned one million
or more in 2010, to 50%. IN 2011 they had only 6,000 earning over a million.
The projected income to the Govt. they were counting on never materialized. The
same will happen here.
Utah dem,Are you oblivious to what you wrote? Please explain why
you should pay taxes at a lower rate while the government uses its power to tax
your neighbor at a higher rate. Please explain what exempts you from the
responsibility to fund the government at a lower rate than anybody else. Please
explain who decided that you belonged to the "privileged class" who
would receive services without obligation to pay for the services at the same
rate as everybody else.We fought a war with England because of tax
policy. The American Colonies objected to being charged $0.14 more per pound
for their tea. You've told us that $40,000 is of no consequence. They
told us that they would die because they were being charged $0.14 more than the
people in England.Isn't it interesting how things have changed?
Now the Democrats are pretending to be King George. They want someone else to
bear their burdens so that their throne is more comfortable. They certainly
don't want to risk getting blisters on their backsides from sitting around
Mitt Romney made about 15 million last year of which he paid about 14% in taxes
after he chose to not take some eligible deductions so that his "never paid
less than 13%" claim would remain true (I wonder if he'll file an
amended return now that he lost). The vast majority of his income came from
investment returns from money that he claims is run by a blind trust that he
doesn't have involvement in as far as decisions are made regarding his
investments. So... most of his money made last year required no effort on his
part, just other people managing his money pile. @Mike Richards"Slavery was abolished when Congress passed the 13th Amendment in 1865,
yet today many Americans want it reinstated. "So clinton tax
rates are slavery? Was slavery in place in the 90s? If not, cut the nonsense and
stick to reality. Frankly your remarks are insulting and belittling to anyone
who ever experienced slavery.
J Thompson,Be careful. You make an excellent argument that
education is part of equal opportunity.
Mountainman, have you read this book?How can you dismiss so easily
something you have not read?Here's a challenge. Read it!Then come back and tell us what is right or wrong with it.Until a person is willing to look at a problem from different perspectives
than his own -- especially when his perspectives are preconceived based on only
one other source -- he is not speaking with knowledge.And the
opposite of knowledge? Could that be ignorance?
Mike Rchards - just one question - is changing the tax rate from 35% to 39%
really tripping their wealth? So someone who makes $1,000,000 would have to pay
an additional $40,000, that would truly strip his/her wealth? Bull!
@ Truthseeker,You post from San Luis Obispo, California. What a
lovely area to live in. Why aren't you taxed at a higher rate because you
never have to shovel snow, because you can visit the ocean any time you have a
spare 15 minutes, because you don't have to deal with the gangs of east
L.A.? When was the last time that you had to pick cotton? When was the last
time that you had to thin sugar beets? When was the last time that you had to
haul hay or move sprinkler pipe? Why shouldn't you pay higher taxes simply
because you have been spared the normal and ordinary work that many of us
experience?Did you attend university? Did you pay for your own
tuition or did someone else help you out? Why not access a higher tax on those
who attended university with the help of someone else? They had special
privileges. They received an education from the sweat of someone else.Where do you draw the line? In America we are guaranteed equal
opportunity. You're denying equal opportunity to some by charging them a
higher tax rate.
When 49% of GOP voters in the 2012 election apparently believe that ACORN had
something to do with illicitly ensuring an Obama victory, despite the fact that
ACORN has been defunct since 2010, then I say we can safely assume that the
representatives they elected into the HoR share their same values. As such,
nothing coming from the Republicans in the HoR should be given even one iota of
legitimacy in any form. The GOP is weak and flailing; it is time to expose the
logical fallacies in their tax policies and dismantle their party.
@ one old man. your book sounded to me like it was written (or at least highly
endorsed) by Fidel Castro, Karl Marx or Hugo Chavez. Wonderful experts on human
rights and freedom. Nothing more than left wing, communism light drivel. I have
read better comic books.
Read "Who Stole the American Dream" by Hedrick Smith and you'll
learn that what is happening now in our nation is simply the result of about 30
years of greed by a few very powerful and wealthy individuals who were able to
convince some politicians to go along with their shady and scurrilous plans.It started with Nixon and Carter and continued in both political parties
right up to the present day. Power and money corrupted the American Dream and
we all will eventually pay the price. It will be an awful -- but somehow just
day -- when the entire system finally collapses and even the most wealthy lose
their shirts along with the rest of their fellow Americans. We are all sharing
the same boat. But those currently at the top are heavily engaged in drilling
holes in its hull.
Re:MikeRichardsDo you really believe wealth is a measurement of how
hard one works? Nonsense. There are many people who
work very hard, but who earn very little. For example, the food you eat is a
result of their labor. You ignore the problem of growing inequality
we have in this country, as a result of tax laws and an economy which benefit a
smaller slice of the populace. I can understand when a wealthy
person argues against his/her best interest, favoring tax increases on upper
levels of income, because they still will have an abundance of resources. But
what i can't understand is when people of little or modest means continue
to argue against raising taxes for upper levels of income and favor cutting
benefits for themselves.
Talk about tell you all you want to know.."They want one part of Americans
to "take their ease" at the expense of those who work harder, who
invest, who hire, who build businesses." Note the quotes..I would ask Mr.
Richards if the work harder, invest, hire, and build businesses is a single
set..I would assume it is because it's the way he sees himself. If that is
true all the rest of you who work 60 hours a week, work two to three jobs, or
simply give your employer a good honest 40 hours are...actually "taking your
ease". Nice. I can't wait to tell a family member who both husband
and wife work two jobs, who accepted medicade for a severly handicapped child,
who tried to start their own business, but had to accept food stamps when that
business didn't make it...that they have been "taking their
leisure" this whole while. Unbelievable.
From the sound of your "voice" in your email, I can pretty much
guarantee the average "rich" person is paying more than you are in
taxes. I am also fairly confident they are even paying a higher RATE than you
are. I'll bet your actual income tax rate is about 5% or less. Don't
believe me? Take the number off the very first line of the BACK of your 1040
form. Divide that into the line in the middle of the page that says the total
taxes you actually owe. I'll bet the number comes out lower than .05.
". . . if you tax them . . . " That says it all. THEM.
Those 2nd class citizens. THEM. Those people that YOU have chosen to carry
more of the burden. THEM. Those people that YOU have decided do not have equal
right to retain their wealth as you do.Those words tell it all.Just as Mike Richards said, in 1865 the Democrats didn't want the
slaves to be equal nor did they want the slaves to have equal opportunity or
equal rights. They didn't want the slaves to vote. They didn't want
the slaves to have the same privileges as they enjoyed. Now, they want the
"rich guy" to be treated unequally. The Democrats want to rule and
reign, but they don't want equal responsibility to pay the bills of
government.Now the Democrats want to be "more equal" under
the law. They want the privilege of retaining a greater percentage of their
wealth. They want the privilege of deciding how they will spend a greater
percentage of their wealth. The Democrats want to deny those privileges to
When speaking of who pays what taxes, we need to understand that much of the
sound and fury is due to not including payroll taxes into the mix. It is income
taxes some citizens are not paying. If payroll taxes are included in the mix,
the base is much broader.
Nonsensical letter. The "rich" already pay nearly 80% of all federal
income taxes while nearly half of Americans pay no federal income taxes at all!
How much is the "rich's" fair share? As has been shown millions of
times, Obama's increased taxes on the rich will only run the government for
less than 10 days! Please Demoborrowers, tell us how we are going to pay for the
other 355 days of out of control government spending!
Slavery was abolished when Congress passed the 13th Amendment in 1865, yet today
many Americans want it reinstated. They want one part of Americans to work
harder and then to have more of their wealth confisticated by the government.
They want one part of Americans to "take their ease" at the expense of
those who work harder, who invest, who hire, who build businesses.It
was the Democrats who resisted the abolition of slavery in 1865 and it is the
Democrats now who want to enslave those who have worked hard all their lives to
build businesses, to hire others, to create private wealth.Before
Lincoln, the slaves were forced to work while their masters watched. Now, Obama
and his fellow Democrats want to watch those who have spent 80-hour weeks
building businesses have their wealth stripped away. They want one segment of
Americans to be taxed higher than other segments of Americans. They believe in
inequality. They believe that some should pay more, do more, have more of their
goods taken so that they and their friends can take their ease.Not
much has changed, has it?
But, if you tax them at 39% instead of 35%, they will suddenly cease to be
wealthy and will lose all motivation, and everyone will lose their jobs, and
Atlas Shrugged will become our bitter, rueful reality.Just like it
was in the Clinton years when the tax rate was 39%. Oh, right.