The wealthy won't simply stand by and pay higher tax rates

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  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    who is the wealthy? Seems to me Barack promised us in the middle class NO TAX INCREASE for 2013 - just the wealthy got the tax increase. Well I opened my pay check and there was a big FAT UGLY TAX INCREASE. Guess I am wealthy!! Or Barack is a liar.

  • Agustis Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 28, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    Wow! Finally a solution. Freeze the assets of the selfish wealthy and send them into the arms of Putin.Why should they be allowed to enjoy all of the fruits of this country and live in luxury while America sacrifices the blood of our youth to protect their way of life. The Confederates tried this to protect the life styles of the plantation owners and lost. But the US survived.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    I think it's foolish to tax people based on how much they earn. It's a model that is only fair if everyone pays the same percentage, which is why we should adopt a flat tax model that everyone pays, and we do away with exemptions, deductions, etc. I know many will cry "foul" at that idea and contest that the poor shouldn't be made to pay taxes, but I argue that if the flat tax is low enough (10-15%) then they can afford to contribute something to the government that most of them depend so heavily on for support.

    An even more fair model would be dump income tax altogether and adopt a fair tax model, such as a federal sales tax, which everyone would pay, and from which no one would be exempt. It keeps governments and businesses in check by forcing them to keep prices AND taxes competitive to ensure that consumer spending is steady.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Jan. 27, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    The Laffer Curve . . .

    No serious economist gives it credence (and they are not all Keynesians). The math simply does not work. Take an income of $1,000,000 and an effective tax rate of 35% (and that is unrealistically high). If you decrease the effective tax rate to 30%, tax revenues go down by $50,000. For tax revenues to just stay even, income would have to increase by 17%. Now multiply that by the entire economy. If we start with a more realistic effective rate of 20%, the required increase in economic activity is 33% just to stay even.

    Also, this is not what we have experienced. The tax rates we are arguing about now have been in place in our lifetimes (certainly in mine). Tax rates higher during the Reagan and Clinton years yet the economy prospered and so did tax revenues. So, the absolute rates we are talking about cannot be the issue.

    Could extremely high tax rates (higher than in the Reagan/Clinton years and much higher than what we are talking about) be so problematic that the economy would stall (and revenues fall). Perhaps. But again, this is NOT what is being talked about now.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    to Kevin J. Kirkham

    "The article is a great illustration of something liberals just refuse to accept...the Laffer Curve."

    And the Laffer cyrve provided justification for Supply side, trickle-down, Reaganomics.. If memory serves, David Stockman (Reaganomics guru) declared it.... voodoo.

    In Rolling Stone in 2011, Stockman said "The Republican Party has totally abdicated its job in our democracy, which is to act as the guardian of fiscal discipline and responsibility. They're on an anti-tax jihad -- one that benefits the prosperous classes."

    I'm looking forward to the spin of Redshirt, Mike R, J Thompson, & other GOP apologists?

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 4:39 a.m.

    @Kevin J. Kirkham

    A couple observations:
    Anybody who has studied economics knows about the Laffer curve ('liberals' should particularly be aware of it since it is based in Keynesian economics). The theory is simple enough, but the real question is where we currently lie on the curve. Economic consensus is that we are far left of the point where we need to be concerned (about 70% marginal rate) so conservative fear mongering is currently unwarranted.
    The notion of "quitting"is frequently raised by conservatives, but there is an equally strong (and as it turns out offsetting) effect of working harder to get 'whole' when net income decreases. So while some millionaires may quit when taxes go up, others actually work harder and innovate more to make up for the loss (the higher taxes stimulate more activity). Economists have tried to measure both effects and the consensus is that they offset each other.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Jan. 27, 2013 3:30 a.m.

    socialists (including B.O.) just do not get it. "Leave my money alone or else I'll leave you (alone)

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2013 8:29 p.m.

    @J Thompson
    Obama said income taxes would go up on all Americans. The fiscal cliff deal stopped that from happening. Payroll taxes were something that Republicans thought should go up and only some Democrats wanted to keep the payroll tax holiday so it was something Obama gave up in the fiscal cliff negotiations without much of a struggle. Mitt Romney fully intended to let the payroll tax holiday expire too you know.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2013 5:12 p.m.

    The article is a great illustration of something liberals just refuse to accept...the Laffer Curve. It states that as tax rates increase, the revenue the government receives starts to slow and it eventually reaches a point where further tax increases will actually result in lower tax revenues. As taxes increase, people increasingly do things to lower their tax liability. They may work under the table, cheat on their taxes, structure their income and investments in a way to lower their tax liability, etc...

    The article explains another strategy...quitting. Some people will say that working so hard and getting to keep so little doesn't make sense, so they quit working. Some will "quit" their government by moving to another state or country as this article points out.

    The americanthinker website explains the Curve and says that liberals are often so motivated by their ideas of "fairness"/"equality" that they ignore the realities the Curve points out and end up with less revenue (from being on the far end of the curve) and won't lower taxes to increase revenue, ala Reagan.

    Paying taxes is subject to Supply & Demand. As the price goes up, fewer pay for it.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 26, 2013 4:55 p.m.

    @Flashback - you almost sounded reasonable until you added "Obama should scale back his vacations."... which then dropped your entire conversation to yet another talk radio regurgitation. Am I supposed to believe you were equally indignant and upset when Bush took twice as much vacation? I really doubt it... but am willing to consider my assumption is incorrect.

    i have no problems with everyone paying taxes. Rich retired people do, most of my neighbors do. My mother on the other hand, divorced, lives off a small teachers pension and social security. The combination of the two keeps her income below the poverty level... and shocker doesn't pay any federal income tax.

    So my question to Flashback... of the $1,500 a month she gets, what percentage of that would you feel would be enough to make the rich feel she isn't a freeloader on society. She did pay taxes for over 45 years... but now... she is just dead weight on society. 15%, 20%, maybe 33% like the rich pay on their top income... what would make you feel she is not just a leach on society?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 26, 2013 1:09 p.m.

    The only fair way to solve this problem is for EVERYONE to pay taxes. The 47% consume most of the federal entitlement programs (Ge Excepted), yet pay no federal taxes. I am one of the 47% and I would be just fime if the money taken from me by the government was kept by the government and I didn't have to pay any more. But while still able, I'm also fine with getting back way more via tax refund than I pay in. Since it is legal, I'll continue. I haven't paid federal income tax in years yet I do not, other than a big refund, rely on any aspect of government entitlement programs.

    I would be just fine with an overhaul to the tax code that closes all loopholes, and takes away all deductions except the one for charitable contributions. I'm even in favor of a flat tax or VAT tax. Everyone should pay, including me.

    Any rich guy who got rich by working hard over his lifetime should be allowed to keep as much as they can. They worked for it, and they earned it. Obama should scale back his vacations.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 26, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    @J Thompson:

    "Your reasoning implies that Obama's "tax holiday" was meant to be temporary;"

    What part of "tax holiday" implies otherwise? The law specified how long it would last before automatically expiring.

    "that everybody knew that he would add $1,200 per year to their tax bill anytime that he wanted;"

    No, everyone knew (or should have known) that the extra money in their paychecks for two years was temporary. Obama couldn't change that anytime he wanted -- Congress would have to repeal the existing law.

    "that paying more in taxes is not an increase;"

    You're not paying a higher percentage now than you were in 2010. Without the holiday, your rates would not have gone up this year and you'd have paid the higher rate for the past two years. Perhaps you'd prefer that?

    "Obama ran a campaign where he told every [m]an (sic) woman and child in America that their taxes would not increase unless they made more than $250,000 per year."

    He was discussing *income tax* increases. That's different from payroll tax. Context matters.

    "but he increased my families taxes by $1,200 a year"

    Take it up with Congress for not extending the holiday.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    Is this a proposal to evade taxes? Some people hate anyone and anything that takes what they hoard out of insecurity.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 26, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    Total trash reporting. If this had any weight behind it, you would find no rich people in California nor New York State - two states with the some of the highest state income tax rates. And yet, you don't see a whole host of rich people moving from the peninsula in the bay area to tax havens like Utah valley. There are so many other factors that drive where people live - taxes is only a minor factor.... even for the ultra rich.

    Louie - if you are paying 63 percent of your income in taxes.... you need a lot of help. A lot of help. Go find yourself a good accountant or certified financial planner.... because your situation is out of control. Even Frances proposed 75% tax (which failed to get approved) on had that tax rate on income over and in excess of the first 3 million dollars earned. I personally never paid more than 25% nominal tax rate on the total taxes you claim. Romney and Warren Buffet, half of what I pay. So you are doing something very wrong.... very very wrong.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 26, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    Actually, L White, if you reread what I said you will see that I didn't say people shouldn't be allowed to post, but rather to take up all the oxygen. And the way to stop that is for the reasonable people (of any persuasion) to start ignoring the irrational posters who drone on day after day.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 26, 2013 6:23 a.m.

    "When will the greed ever end?"

  • trueblue87 Provo, UT
    Jan. 26, 2013 5:43 a.m.

    With all the people leaving the state with higher rates, these states are just going to become welfare states. The only people living there will be the people who can't pack up and leave because they have been living off the government for so long. And then we will have them going to the federal government begging for a bail-out, just like California tried to do a few years ago to force the federal government to buy it's state bonds.

    When will people stop looking at only the benefits of all the different issues they want passed and start looking at the costs associated with them. Obama has approved over $1 trillion in stimulus and is requesting more. Congress hasn't passed a budget in over 6 months. We have been running a budget deficit for more than a decade and yet people clamour for more and more of the government money for this project of that one. What people don't realize is that they are begging the people in Washington to steal from their children and grandchildren.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 26, 2013 1:10 a.m.

    @ECR "...entitled..."

    None of us are entitled to health care, education, or even food, if it means taking from someone else against their will. Our true entitlement is the freedom to earn these things for ourselves.

    We do have a moral obligation to help those in need. This doesn't give the needy a right to take steal from us. Nor does it give anyone the right to steal in order to give to the needy; we should care for the needy with money that belongs to us. Nor does it give anyone the right to send the tax collector to do the stealing for them; a person cannot delegate to others powers which he himself does not have. A majority cannot grant themselves this right by voting it to themselves.

    This is where we've gone wrong, and the reason why so many people of means are saying enough is enough. You should be grateful that they put up with your immoral scheme for as long as they did.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 10:26 p.m.

    So basically the author and the posters here believes the wealthy are five year olds that are going to take their toys and go home if they don't get their way? The same way they did when the tax rate was the same throughout the 90's? oh thats right they are not five year olds. Its sad when liberals think more highly of the rich then so called conservatives.

  • L White Springville, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 8:28 p.m.

    What a hoot!

    Is 1aggie serious? Who made him/her America's free speech censor?

    People, let's turn the question around. Should we let 1aggie post anti-conservative comments? Isn't that just what LDS Liberal, Open Minded Morom and the rest of the liberal posters do? Oh I get it. They're all the same person. They have to be. There couldn't be more than one person in Utah that holds those views.

    Do liberals understand that even though they own the East Coast newspapers, they don't own the Deseret News and they were not appointed by our Creator to be America's censors.

    They can't make a convincing argument to support their point of view so they resort to attacking people like M Richards, J Thompson, Redshirt and other reasonable posters. Isn't that what Obama does? Doesn't he throw everybody under the bus if their viewpoint contradicts his?

    Somebody told us that the "rich guy" has had enough. I think that most Americans have had enough. We're all getting tired of the personal attacks. If the left has a point, let them make it.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Jan. 25, 2013 7:02 p.m.

    Nate - The only ones who think they are morally superior to anyone are those who actually think that folks who make less money than they do aren't entitled to healthcare, education and other basics of life. For many of the wealthy class it is a matter of them thinking poor people just don't deserve to be educated or cared for. It's a prejudice as old as our country.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 6:42 p.m.


    Your reasoning implies that Obama's "tax holiday" was meant to be temporary; that everybody knew that he would add $1,200 per year to their tax bill anytime that he wanted; that paying more in taxes is not an increase; that "up" is "down" and that "red" is "cyan". You also infer that Bush's tax holiday is somehow different because Obama said that the Bush tax holiday, if removed, would be a tax increase.

    Obama ran a campaign where he told every an woman and child in America that their taxes would not increase unless they made more than $250,000 per year. I don't make $250,000 per year. I don't even make $60,000 per year, but he increased my families taxes by $1,200 a year. You can claim that increasing taxes on every family in America is not an increase. No one but Obama agrees with you. "More" = "increase". "Less" = "decrease".

    The rich guy is through with Obama's threats. Obama might fool his followers, but he doesn't fool the people who pay the government's bills.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 5:55 p.m.

    Why do we let Mike Richards and J Thompson(who are obviously the same person) suck up all the oxygen on these boards day after day with ridiculous statements and assertions? Choosing to ignore people who refuse to acknowledge reality is a better alternative that spending numerous posts in vain.

  • Emajor_ Ogden, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 3:59 p.m.

    J Thompson,
    There is a third option, and it involves you being wrong. As Twin Lights stated, you are badly mixing two separate issues. And it's a transparent deflection to avoid admitting that Obama gave everyone a temporary tax break which conservatives refuse to acknowledge, and then blame him for not renewing it even though a) neither Republicans nor Democrats wanted to, so it wasn't going to happen, and b) it was known from the very beginning that it would be a temporary 2-year tax holiday. It isn't my fault that you didn't pay enough attention to the news to know this was going on.

    Using the specter of Obama lying as leverage against me is a waste of your time. Obama isn't my prophet, he is the better of two candidates. Like all politicians I can find several examples of him lying at Politifact.

    So it really comes down to why you are so unable to admit that Obama did something right by giving us a 2-year tax break. Or criticize Republicans for not pushing for its renewal. You may have insulted your own intelligence, unfortunately.

    Fourth comment, I'm out.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 3:39 p.m.

    I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I'm onto you, Mike Richards. There's no way a sober person could make the statements you make with a straight face. I suspect you're really a liberal and are making all these outrageous claims just to illustrate just how ridiculous the reasoning of the Right is. Bravo, Mike. You're succeeding.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 25, 2013 3:21 p.m.

    "The top 1% pay 36% of all taxes."

    When the top 1% owns 40% of all the wealth in this country, and take home triple the percentage of national income that they did 30 years ago, I have no problem with the percentage of all taxes that the top 1% pay.

    What's absurd is that they have convinced so many people that the increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few is somehow a "good" thing when it is the very antithesis of democratic values.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 25, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    @J Thompson,

    And as my Grandfather used to say when one of us made ridiculous comments, "That's a bunch of Malarkey".

    Congress approved all military actions authorized by President Bush. Congress approved all spending for the military actions authorized by President Bush.
    BUT (and you conviently ignored this KEY part of it -- Congress never approved FUNDING for it -- hence the Deficeit Debates now.)

    So, it is your argument that has no merit.

    SECOND of all now --

    You never answered my question s either
    The Bush Wars were never "Constitutional".

    1. Congress declares war - not Bush -- per the Constitution [you must've been asleep at the switch on that train wreck],

    2. The "War Powers Act", we've already discussed -- and 13 years is still ridiculous.

    But what about this one:
    3. What enemies? [Foreign and Domestic...blah, blah, blah]
    Iraq never invaded or declared War on the United States, neither did Afghanistan.

    Oh, and one other thing,
    You can split my Bush War portion of the bill with your friend Mike Richards...
    Perhaps RedShirt will chime in, and you all can split it 3 ways....lighten the load.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Jan. 25, 2013 2:57 p.m.

    J Thompson,

    You are conflating two separate tax issues.

    The expiration of the tax holiday was never in question. Neither side wanted to extend the holiday.

    The expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts was, of course, a matter of significant discussion and political chatter.

    I am unconcerned about Obama so please don't direct any of that at me. I am simply trying to help you understand that there are two wholly separate tax issues here.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 2:36 p.m.


    Either you are wrong or Obama is wrong. He told all of America that if Congress did not give in to his demands, that taxes would be raised on all Americans when the Bush Tax Cut expired. Using those same words, you say that your taxes and the taxes of every household in America did not increase when Obama's "tax holiday" expired. Who is right, you or Obama? Are you telling us that Obama lied to us? Are you telling us that he used an empty threat because taxes were not going to go up if the Bush Tax Cuts expired? You're redefining words to hide a tax increase. You know it. I know it. Every taxpayer in America knows it.

    You claim that you don't want the "rich guy" to pay your way. Why don't you demand that he be taxed at the same rate as you are taxed? Unless you're a "rich guy", he'll still pay much more than you, but he'll pay the same rate.

    When the left redefines words to tell us that "up" is "down" because they walk lock-step with Obama, they insult our intelligence.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    @ECR "I'm only disparaging those whose only priority in life is the accumulation of wealth."

    And I'm saying, a man who does his charitable giving with money he has voted out of the pockets of others has no right to assume he is morally superior to them.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal,

    As my father used to say when one of us made ridiculous comments, "You're full of baloney".

    Twisting the facts won't make them true. The "War Powers Act", requires that the President notify Congress of any military action within 48 hours. The Act allows the President to pursue war for 60 days without the consent of Congress. Without their consent, he has an additional 30 days to remove all military personnel from the war zone.

    Congress approved all military actions authorized by President Bush. Congress approved all spending for the military actions authorized by President Bush.

    Your argument has no merit. It is false in its premise and it is false as you presented it.

    Meanwhile, the "wealthy" will not continue to carry your water. They're tired of being your "gofer". They are tired of you demanding that they pay for Obama's programs.

    As was already posted, the top 1% pay 36% of all taxes. In addition, they are not a burden on the government. They do not cost the government 36% of its expenses; they don't even cost the government 1% of its expenses.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 1:19 p.m.

    Mike Richards,
    You're making a lot of oversimplified self-serving statements here.

    "The left wants the top 10% to pay all taxes"

    Wrong. Maybe some do, but certainly not all. Certainly not me.

    "The left does not believe in equality. The left does not believe in responsibility"

    More insults. More whining. Highly, highly debatable & vague premise.

    "The left believes that the right should pay the taxes and the left should get the benefits."

    Wrong. There are rich liberals and poor conservatives.

    "The left does not believe that every citizen is responsible to pay for the government that he demands"

    From what I can tell, this afflicts both political wings; conservative congressmen bring home plenty of federal pork to their demanding conservative voters. Utah's a good example.

    "(Obama) socked every family in America with an additional $1,200 tax bill"

    Wrong, wrong, wrong! I already explained that to you in my last post. Please use a search engine so you don't keep perpetuating this falsehood.

    And Bush used far more vacation time than Obama, and was flown all over the place at our expense. I hope you didn't vote for him or your comment might be a little hypocritical.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah
    @LDS Liberal,

    I'll gladly pay the $7,200 that you've assigned to Bush for acting like a President and doing his job as required by the Constitution and his oath of office to defend this country from all enemies foreign and domestic


    First of all --
    In my opinion, the Bush Wars were never "Constitutional" to begin with.

    1. Congress declares war - not Bush -- per the Constitution [you must've been asleep at the switch on that train wreck],

    2. The "War Powers Act", was completely ignored and "should" have limited military activity to 60 days -- not 13 years.

    3. What enemies? Iraq never invaded or declared War on the United States, neither did Afghanistan.

    Pay up...

    BTW - Everything else in your rant about Obama and bowling alleys, bigger, jets, his hate of "rich guys", imaginary $1,200 tax increases that never were, and bowls of bread and milk is beyond further comment.

  • oldasdirt Grantsville, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 12:35 p.m.

    I do not know what the fair share for wealthy should be. For that matter, what is it for everyone else? I do know that most of us live, shop, travel and whatever based on costs. Taxes are just another cost. Why do we look for bargains, shop at discount stores. Maybe we should all buy American and paid the sticker price for cars. Most people do not mind spending extra for goods or services if they receive an added value. What added value do you receive from paying additional taxes to a government that cannot control it's spending?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2013 12:21 p.m.

    The top 1% pay 36% of all taxes.

    The top 5% pay 59% of all taxes.

    The top 10% pay 70% of all taxes.

    The left wants the top 10% to pay all taxes. The left does not believe in equality. The left does not believe in responsibility. The left does not believe that every citizen is responsible to pay for the government that he demands.

    The left believes that the right should pay the taxes and the left should get the benefits. Obama proves that with his days on the golf course, his nights in the private bowling alley, his countless trips around the country ripping the "rich guy" for not providing better meals, better housing, a bigger jet - for him. Obama cares nothing about you and me. He socked every family in America with an additional $1,200 tax bill, but he has not turned off one light in the White House to show his support for the plight of those he "rules over". You can bet that his chef does not feed him bread and milk for dinner.

    Meanwhile, his followers parrot him even as they demand services that they refuse to pay for.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 25, 2013 12:17 p.m.

    Some one mentioned that the best way to solve this is a flat tax. Here are some of the pros. Everyone including your non-profit organization pay the same tax. There are no exemptions, nothing to make it easy for someone to put their money elsewhere. The tax is fair across the board. The person making $1 pays the same as the person make 1 million. No one is let go. Everything is equal.

    The con is that this is a tax increase for many who never have paid taxes before and a tax decrease for those who we say can afford to pay the higher tax rate. Will non-profit organizations such as churches, red cross, boy scouts and others survive when the charitable contributions they get are no longer tax exempt. These are the questions that many ask. Yet this is by far the fairest and most economical means for all to pay.

    The taxable wage base is a mear 110,000 I believe for this year. Everyone who makes more than 110,00 pays SS taxes up to that 110,000. After that no SS tax. You decide what is best for the country.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 12:16 p.m.

    Mike Richards,
    You weren't being truthful in your earlier post. At all.

    "Fleeced"? A return to Clinton-era tax levels in not being fleeced. If you have to grossly exaggerate to make your point, it isn't a very good point.

    "Obama promised the Left that they would never have to work again."

    Holy cow! I really, really didn't like W. Bush, but I never told a Pinocchio nose-grower like that one!

    Blaming the president for the $1200 tax "increase" is completely false. The 2% increase in payroll taxes was the expiration of a TEMPORARY tax holiday which neither party in congress had much interest in renewing. It was designed to expire at that time. Here is a direct quote from a news story: "Obama pushed hard to enact the payroll tax cut for 2011 and to extend it through 2012. But it was never fully embraced by either party". You should be thanking Obama for creating the temporary tax break.

    "You got "yours" at the expense of every family in America"

    That's false & easily debunked if you read the news about the payroll tax holiday .

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    So is the author arguing that there were NO RICH PEOPLE in the United States in the past century when top tax rates were more than DOUBLE what they are right now? Did ALL the "rich" people leave back then? Methinks not.

  • Ford DeTreese Provo, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    Gee, Mike. I sure hope you're one of the wealthy who is trying to protect his wealth. Because if you're one of those getting a smaller portion of the income pie (that has grown at only 2.7 percent per year since 1980), you sure look silly flailing away at the symptoms of a serious illness you fail to even see.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 25, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    The top 1% average individual federal income tax rate in 2009 according to data from the CBO was 21%. Between 1979 and 2009 the peak average tax rate paid by the top 1% was 27.5% in 1996.

    The average corporate income tax rate in 2009 was 5.2%. Peak was 11% in 1979.
    (source: Historical Average Federal Tax Rates for All Households at the Tax Policy Center)

    Those at the top are seeing their wages rebound quite strongly in the recovery. Following a 15.6% decline from 2007 to 2009, real annual wages of the top 1.0% of earners grew 8.2% from 2009 to 2011.

    The real annual wages of the bottom 90% have continued to decline in the recovery, eroding by 1.2% between 2009 and 2011.

    Wage inequality grew substantially over 1979–2007, lessened in the 2007–2009 downturn, and began expanding again in the 2009–2011 recovery.

    Given the strong stock market recovery and wage growth at the top, the top 1.0 percent’s overall incomes (which include wages, capital gains, and other returns on financial assets) probably grew strongly in 2011, thereby increasing income inequality.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    "Look at how outraged the Left is ehen those that that prey upon won't just sit back and be fleeced."

    The Right gets pretty outraged when those they prey upon (Medicare/Medicaid/welfare recipients) won't just sit back and be fleeced so they can make our defense spending even more rediculously high, and cut taxes even more for the rich who have done jack squat to create jobs lately despite record-breaking profits.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    Tax rates went up to the levels they were at during the 1990s... I don't remember the wealthy crying out then about how everything was so unfair and since wealth concentration has increased at the top over the past 30 years, they're doing pretty darn well for themselves.

  • summit_heights USA, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    Does no one here posting not see the irony and hypocritical nature of this argument, voted for in this last election? Nearly all posts on here disparage the wealthy as greedy and wanting more for less. Is not what your criticize them for doing, exactly what you yourselves are doing? You want more for less, no? You want a better comparative tax rate for yourself, higher wages for yourself, etc.

    "That wealthy guy has so much he doesn't know what to do with it, make him pay more!" is all I hear. Do you realize that from the perspective of most people around the globe, you are that wealthy guy?

    So all know where I am coming from, I am not wealthy nor near it. But I do not believe that me paying no federal tax, but perhaps some sales tax, etc. and someone that has worked hard and been fortunate in many ways paying 39%, etc. is anywhere near something that could be called "fair share." That's ridiculous, and based in envy and greed: just what people accuse the "wealthy" of being.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    @LDS Liberal,

    I'll gladly pay the $7,200 that you've assigned to Bush for acting like a President and doing his job as required by the Constitution and his oath of office to defend this country from all enemies foreign and domestic IF you pay the $16,666 that I owe because Obama increased the deficit by $5.5 TRILLION during his first term in office.

    How much of Obama's deficit is Constitutionally allowed? How much went to defense? As far as that goes, how much of the defense budget goes to the company that you work for?

    Those "rich guys" that you on the left expected to pay your share of the "goodies" are thumbing their collective noses at you and telling you to act like an American and pay your own share. Hooray for the "rich guy". They're acting just like the founders who refused to pay the tea tax to King George. They've paid their share. You and your friends want them to pay more. It looks like Obama was wrong. It looks like you and your friends were wrong. The "rich guy" has had enough.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 25, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    It is undeniable that the wealth in this country is steadily collecting at the top. Absolutely undeniable.

    Unless one can cite reasonable studies that suggest that this upward movement of money is due to smarter and harder work, coupled with studies that show that the poor and middle class are getting dumber and lazier, the only reasonable explanation is that the system favors those with money.

    Mr Romney is a perfect example. Lets compare him to Mickelson.

    Mr Mickelson earns his money. And he pays taxes on the money he makes paying golf and thru endorsements. Can someone explain the fairness in that he pays 4 to 5 times the tax rate than Mr Romney?

    Tell me the system is not rigged.

    (additional point. I find it hard to believe that Mickelson is actually paying 62% of his income in taxes)

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    It turns out that he {Pres. Obama] still flies around the country in America's largest private jet, vacationing and playing golg while every family in America pays an extra $1,200 in taxes.

    9:50 a.m. Jan. 25, 2013


    I'll make you a deal Mike.

    I'll gladly pick up your cut-of-the-tab for a presidential plane ride (a whopping 1/100th of a penny per American)
    You pick-up MY cut-of-the-tab for Bush's Wars ($7,200 per American).

    Do we have a Deal?

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 25, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    This article is about as misleading as possible. It implies people are leaving due to high tax rates, but the truth is (as Truthseeker points out) the reporting requirements (particularly the new FATCA requirements requiring disclosure of offshore bank accounts) are extremely onerous and the penalties for noncompliance are high. The percentage of Americans leaving is miniscule, but the reason for any spike is the new reporting requirements. By the way, if you want to live in an industrialized country, income taxes plus VAT/GST will probably equal or exceed the individual tax burden here. In addition, Internal Revenue Code Section 367 imposes a steep "exit" tax on those leaving, so the wealth does not go untaxed.

    Ultimately, if you want to leave for a substantially lower tax burden, you must first pay the exit tax and then relocate to a tax haven country (generally an island) with little infrastructure, and few services. Personally I would go to Singapore, but crowded cities aren't for everybody (and they still impose not insignificant individual taxes).

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    I agree that a 75% marginal tax rate would be counter productive. Since no one is talking about imposing that, I'm not sure how it's germane. Essentially this article says that rich people don't like paying taxes. In other news, tomorrow's sunrise will be in the east.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 25, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    @1conservative – “If they believed for a minute that the government would spend their tax dollars wisely, I suspect they wouldn't mind an extra 5 or 10% to get the country back on a solid financial footing. Giving more money to the government is like providing a drug user with more drugs.”

    Your point may be credible and open to debate if conservatives showed the same level of outrage under Bush Sr., Bush Jr. and especially St. Reagan (when tax rates were much higher). But that was clearly not the case, your cries ring hallow.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    Look at how outraged the Left is ehen those that that prey upon won't just sit back and be fleeced.

    What a tradgedy. Obama promised the Left that they would never have to work again. He promised them that some rich guy would pay for all free services. It turns out that he still flies around the country in America's largest private jet, vacationing and playing golg while every family in America pays an extra $1,200 in taxes.

    Way to go Mr. President. You got "yours" at the expense of every family in America. Meanwhile that rich guy is leaving the nest that you soiled.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    Lots of liberals in denial here.

    Repubs. tried to tell them this would happen.

    I know a few wealthy individuals, (wealthier than me anyway). I can think offhand of two things they have in common.
    1. they aren't stupid. they will keep as much of their money as possible to expand their businesses and/or buy stuff they like. (no, they don't keep it under their mattress!)
    2. they are invariably PATRIOTIC. If they believed for a minute that the government would spend their tax dollars wisely, I suspect they wouldn't mind an extra 5 or 10% to get the country back on a solid financial footing. Giving more money to the government is like providing a drug user with more drugs.

    More tax revenue solves nothing unless government spends less.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    "If you add up all the federal (levies) and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security, and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent." Imagine keeping just 37 cents of every dollar you earn." This statement is absolutely untrue. By the time he qualifies for the top federal tax rate of 39.6% he is in no longer paying any medicare tax or any social security tax or disability taxes on a wage. Adding state taxes to that figure brings him to the mid forties and that only applies to income after deductions, tax shelters, and other loop holes. He is either not telling the truth or he needs another tax accountant. By the way I know some one who knows some one that has a lot of money and he has stuff in the Caymans. His effective tax rate was only about 14 percent.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 25, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    "On April 7, 2011, Peter Dunn raised his right hand before a U.S. consular officer in Toronto and swore that he understood the consequences of giving up his U.S. citizenship. Dunn, a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen has lived outside the U.S. since 1986.

    As an American, Dunn had to file tax returns and report all of his bank accounts - even joint accounts and his Canadian retirement fund. If he didn't, he would be breaking U.S. law and could face penalties of up to $100,000 or 50 percent of his undeclared accounts, whichever is larger. Dunn says he was tired of tracking IRS policy changes, and he had no intention of returning to the United States. Renouncing his citizenship, as he puts it, was "a no-brainer."

    "If it was just me then it would be one thing," says Dunn, a part-time investor who worried that having to share information with the IRS would deter future business partners - and upset his wife, who is Canadian. "Disclosing joint accounts I hold with my wife and anyone I ever want to do business with - that's just too much. My wife's account is none of their business."

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    Interesting but questionable editorial on greed and nonpatriotism. So the wealthy think they don't have enough money. This is something we didn't know already? All we have to do is look at the shrinking wages they pay those who actually produce their wealth, while they stockpile more than they'll ever be able to spend (or even invest, in the present economic climate they've created).

    If those who are so up in arms about raising tax rates on the wealthy want to equalize the tax burden more, then let them put their creative minds to work figuring out how to convince the CEOs and industrial tycoons to pay their employees more generously. If they would stop trying to minimize the cost of labor, maybe we wouldn't need to tax them so much. The problem is that the people in their employ don't earn enough to make ends meet, let alone pay more in taxes. So let's solve the right problem instead of focusing on this silly decoy.

    Of course, it's hard to pay better wages to American workers if your employees are all in China.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    Murdock is grasping at straws if he thinks a 4% hike in income above 250K to return us to Clinton-era levels is at all comparable to France's bonkers 75% top tax rate.

    So billionaire Edward Lampert left Connecticut because the tax rate went from 6.5 to 6.7% and he lost $200/yr in property tax credit? Not buying it; he moved to Florida which has no individual income tax, so it wasn't Connecticut's tiny increase that drove him. He probably would have done it anyway, even if the rate dropped down to 6.3%. Zero is still smaller than 6.3.

    If someone wants to renounce their citizenship and move to Russia to save a few %, let them. You'll never please someone as fickle or amoral as that, so why hold yourself hostage to them? Government policy in America should be run by elected representatives, not a plutocracy of spoiled brats willing to renounce citizenship or play games with their employees' livelihoods because they can be 4% richer somewhere else.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 25, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    The rest of the story about the 1800 who renounced citizenship:

    "The U.S. is one of the only countries to tax its citizens on income earned while they're living abroad. An estimated 6.3 million U.S. citizens living abroad brace for what they describe as an even tougher process of reporting their income and foreign accounts to the IRS.

    The IRS, released a report that details the difficulties of filing taxes from overseas. It cites heavy paperwork, a lack of online filing options and a dearth of local and foreign-language resources.

    For those wishing to legally escape the filing requirements, the only way is to formally renounce their U.S. citizenship. Last year, IRS records show that at least 1,788 people did, and that's likely an underestimate. The IRS publishes in the Federal Register the names of those who give up their citizenship, and some who renounced say they haven't seen their name on the list yet.

    There's also an "exit tax" for the very rich who choose to leave."
    I would recommend the following article for further reading
    Reuters: "Tax Time Pushes Some Americans to Take a Hike"

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    The wealthy won't mind if I pay higher taxes, though.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    Nope, they are not just gonna sit back and pay higher taxes.

    They will invest it,
    or Spend it.

    Thereby they will be taking the tax Deductions [loop-holes, or tax shelters if you will]
    Stimlulating the Economy,

    ...instead of hording it, socking it away in foregin bank accounts and relying on the Government to borrow from the Feds to keep the economy afloat.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    Blackmail is a crime. Yet, our tax system makes it a very profitable and legal activity for rich people and business operations. By playing one government against the other these people are able to bargain for favoritism by the threat or promise of their location.

    We need tax reform of the allocation of taxes by residential location. While the income tax is still the most fair way to support our government(s) it is very likely that a persons income is derived from many different areas of the country. This is especially true for the rich and business operations.

    The best government financing would be a single flat rate tax on personal income collected in a single fund and allocated to the different levels of government according to the count of citizens. Each person would be allocated the same equal amount for government functions no matter where in America he lives. This would not only be most fair to people, but would provide incentive to eliminate the redundant and unnecessary levels of government.

    Special local fees would be needed and allowed by the citizens of that local for such as trash pickup and unique requirements.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    This would be a much more valid screed if the author listed all the government services he will be willing to do without.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    Lets just eliminate all taxes on rich people since they will find ways to avoid paying anyway.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 25, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    ECR and Twin Lights

    Could not have said it better myself... excellent comments. I too have been amazed at the level of outrage over the last few years when today's tax rates across the board are lower than ever. Somehow many have become convinced that going back to the rates under Clinton (great economy, balanced budgets) will take us down the road to serfdom.

    The disconnect between reality the caricatured future these folks argue against is truly bizarre.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 25, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    Let's see. if a bank increases your ATM use fee by $1.00, that's evil, greedy and unnecessary. But its my patriotic duty to support the most bloated, inefficient, corrupt and wasteful organization in the universe? Liberal have it backwards! The government did not build that! Everyone drives on the roads(and pays fuel taxes for the privilege) but very few produce wealth, invent, invest, create jobs and pay the vast majority of taxes and those people upon whom we all depend are getting fewer and fewer! Last time I checked it was about 47% who are getting a free ride.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Jan. 25, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    Happy Valley Heretic - Thanks for your comment, I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Nate - I'm only disparaging those whose only priority in life is the accumulation of wealth. There are plenty of wealthy folks who are more than happy to pay their share according the tax code. And as HVH points out, the government is paid for by all the people of the nation and the taxes paid by those with the lowest incomes are a greater burden on them that the "$13,800 every day" paid by the wealthy. I'm reminded of the story of the widow's mite...

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    @Nate -Your Big Government is us! Not some mysterious giant in another land. It was build by folks like you and I not they and theirs.
    On the other hand, Big Business was and is, built on the toil and labor of others and then described as "I built this."

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    @ECR "small-minded people...who...find the accumulation of wealth to br [sic] the most important aspect of their lives."

    Your Big Government is built on the backs of these people whom you disparage.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Jan. 25, 2013 7:20 a.m.

    Reference Americans renouncing their citizenship. That is an interesting but partial statistic. First, have we actually asked why they are going or is that simply the happenstance? Second, how many have come (with wealth in tow)?

    As to Phil Mickelson and his 63 percent tax rate – I can only offer that wealthy folks I knew back when tax rates were much higher than they are now thought that a 17% flat tax would be a tax break for them. Mr. Mickelson must have poor tax advisers.

    Finally, I do think folks move from state to state depending on comparative tax rates. But folks leaving the country is another matter. Not to say it doesn’t happen, but it is far less likely.

    And if their only tether to America is a particular tax rate, then maybe it would be better to let them leave.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Jan. 25, 2013 7:14 a.m.

    Many thanks to Deroy Murdock for taking the time to document the many small-minded people across the planet who apparently find the accumulation of wealth to br most important aspect of their lives. Will the French people will really miss Gerard Depardieu? And I hope he is not disappointed when he discovers the freedoms he will lose under the rule of Vladimir Putin. The French people chose not to extend another term of office to Nikolai Sarkozy and so they may not miss him either if he moves to London.

    The tax rates that Murdock, and apparently the wealthiest Americans, are complaining about are the same rates they paid under Bill Clinton and are significantly lower than any they paid in times past. Where was there great migration then? In 1982, a year after the great tax cutter Ronald Reagan took office people paid a 50% rate for income over $106K, equivalent to $199K today. In 1981, apparently before Reagan cut taxes, people paid 70% on income of $212, equivalent to $532K today. Where was there outrage then? Where was the migration out of the country? So what exactly is there beef this time?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 7:04 a.m.

    Its unfortunate that Obama chose to waste political capital on an issue he won't win and will slow down him momentium on issues he could have won. With this the Republicans will get a win and will be revitalized.

    I voted for Obama, but I am also pro 2nd Ammendment. I knew Obama was a risk to the 2nd Ammendment but I agree with him on most other issues.

    Perhaps he is aware of my point here, but didn't want to have regrets that he didn't at least try. He still could have salved his conscience by taking steps which would have helped solve the problem and still done justice to the 2nd ammendment.

    1. Offer to allow hunters to use silencers in exchange for requiring gun show back ground checks.

    2. Ask for money to explain to parents in advertisements the importance of teaching moral principals to children, including not to tease other children and to stand up for those who are. In other words encourage people to adhere to the golden rule and encourage parents to teach this to children.

    3. Provide adequate funding to ensure that all mentally ill people get the treatment they need.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 6:36 a.m.

    What should be evident by now is it is NOT a matter of revenue; never has been, it is ALL about class envy used to manipulate the masses.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 6:36 a.m.

    Why wouldn't the very wealthy still take the deals they are getting?

    They still have a pretty good deal.

    Who wouldn't take a CEO job where you get $20 million per year and then get taxed 38% federal tax and 10% state tax. You still end up with half or $10 million.

    I know a lot of people who work very hard and are very educated and skilled who get a lot less than that.

    Oh and by the way, don't forget the golden parachutes, whereby they get this money regardless of performance. If they screw up and get fired, they typically leave with a payment of about $30 million. If their performance for a given year suffers and their stock options don't pan out, those get repriced so that they still get the money as if their performance was excellent.