Richard Davis: Tax hikes, especially on the wealthy, are needed

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  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 6:01 p.m.

    "Why should the rich pay 45% when almost 50% of the population pay almost no taxes?"

    Good question jmlarsen. The answer would be because the bottom 50% of Americans own only 1.1% of all the wealth in this country (as of 2010). That's right, read it again, only 1.1% of all the wealth in this country is held by the bottom 50%. (See: Forget the top 1 percent. Let's talk about the bottom 50 percent for a minute, Laura Clawsen, the Daily Kos.) One point one percent. Think about that. (It's really unfortunate that that number is not common knowledge, perhaps you can help spread the word.)

    But anyway, obviously, now that you know that number you no longer feel a need to raise taxes on that bottom 50% right? And you also, clearly now, recognize how offensive Mitt Romney's 47% comment was.

  • jmlarsen Provo, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 2:12 p.m.

    The highest federal tax rate is now 39.6% (for 2013) plus 3.8% net investment income tax plus phase out of exemptions plus loss of up to 80% of most itemized deductions. So the top rate can approach 45%. Why should the rich pay 45% when almost 50% of the population pay almost no taxes? Why should the rich pay a higher % than other taxpayers? It is hard to compare the tax rates of the past to the present because many of the tax deductions of the past have been eliminated (interest on most personal loans, tax shelters, reduced pension limits, etc.). I feel a better measure is what % of Gross Domestic Product has been collected in taxes. When Ronald Reagan lowered the top tax rate to 28% I had clients sell stocks, etc. to report income. If you make the tax rates too high then the rich won't sell anything. I feel we can't tax our way into prosperity. We need to slow down the snowballs of government spending. We need sustainable government spending.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 9:29 a.m.


    So who are you referring to with your three commandments? Those who oppress the wages of the poor, who steal from their employees, who lie about how much wealth they really need, and who covet even the widow's mite? Then I agree with you.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 31, 2013 8:37 p.m.


    IRC Section 367 imposes a very stiff U.S. exit tax on your so-called "Golden Geese" and effectively negates the tax advantage of expatriation for U.S. residents . The more people leave, the more tax revenue we collect.

    Regarding the EU financial transactions tax, your facts are entirely incorrect. This tax does not even exist yet. The earliest implementation date possible, if member states ratify (and there is a lot of push-back), is now mid-2014. There has been virtually no financial transaction flight in the EU.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 31, 2013 7:54 p.m.


    "Higher taxes for the rich are just passed on to customers anyway."

    False. Assume my salary is 500K, so my federal taxes have gone from $175K in 2012 to approximately $215K in 2013 (as a result of expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the ACA). To whom am I going to pass my tax increase of $40K on? Last time I checked, I don't have any customers!

    "Those European countries are going broke that have cradle to grave benefits."

    False. Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and Finland all have higher ranked health systems than the USA, and all have Debt to GDP ratios less than half of the USA.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Oct. 31, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    Higher taxes for the rich are just passed on to customers anyway. Karl Marx wanted the government to provide a good chunk of what Mr. Davis is praising. Cut Medicaid, Social Security give us more of our money. Government is for order and to protect people's life liberty and property. It is not to rob one person to pay another. Those European countries are going broke that have cradle to grave benefits.

    More money people keep more they can spend themselves, Can help neighbor without being forced and can benefit more people as they have discretion over more money. Taxes on rich are ultimatly passed on other people to pay for there expenses anyway.

    Oct. 31, 2013 5:24 p.m.

    When will there ever be enough revenue for government?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    It just always erks me when somebody says, "Tax hikes are needed on a specific group of Americans" (usually a group they are not part of).

    IF tax hikes are needed... and we have "equal protection under the law"... then there should be a tax hike on EVERY citizen (not just small groups, groups of citizens small enough that they can't defend themselves against the tax hike at the ballot box).

    I don't love the wealthy, I just see all of us as equal. So it bugs me when we pass laws or tax hikes that only target a small group of citizens.

    This time the target group is the wealthy. But what if the target group were a racial minority, or a religious minority, or a ethnic minority? I think there would be outrage (rightfully so). But the Democrats have succeeded so well at vilifying the wealthy... that nobody cares when they pass laws that only effect them.

    Remember the story of the man who didn't do anything when they came for the jews (because he wasn't a jew). Until they came for him and nobody was left to defend him?

  • Demosthenes Rexburg, ID
    Oct. 31, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    Everyone knows how much wasteful spending the Federal government is guilty of. Giving a wasteful government more money is not the answer -- cutting spending is. PERIOD. That's not even debatable.

    Just cut everything. Live within your income, Uncle Sam! Don't penalize the American people and economy by sucking more money out.

  • cns St George, Utah
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    When 40 cents of every Federal dollar spent is borrowed there is obviously a mismatch between income and expenditures. However -- if taxes are raised will the annual deficit be reduced or will our Lords And Masters in Washington just merely increase the total level of spending ?
    How about at least a token income tax on the 47% who now pay no income tax ?

  • cpafred SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    Newsflash: Taxes have already been raised on the wealthy.

    For the year 2013, there is a new top tax bracket of 39.6%. There are also two new surtaxes starting in 2013: An additional Medicare tax of 0.9% on wages and self-employment income, and a net investment income tax of 3.8% on the lower of modified adjusted gross income or net investment income. Taxpayers in the highest tax bracket of 39.6% potentially face a combined 43.4% (39.6% + 3.8%) marginal tax rate on their income.

    I suspect that the top 400 earners’ marginal rates are so low in part because of the "carried interest" rule which magically taxes wealthy hedge fund manager’s earned income at lower capital gain rates. To be very clear, their compensation, not the amount they invested, if any, is taxed at capital gains rates simply because they are rich and have lobbied congress to keep this ridiculously unfair rule in place.

    I suggest we wait and see how much revenue these already higher tax rates bring in, but immediately repeal the unfair carried interest rule.

  • DavidSLesperance Toronto, 00
    Oct. 31, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    Reality 5) Financial transactions are quickly and easily moved between jurisdictions and not easily taxed. Therefore "Robin Hood" tax proposals are DOA, since any country trying to implement such a program will find a rapid loss of their financial markets to jurisdictions which do not implement such a tax. (Note for a real life proof look at the immediate loss of financial markets in the 11 EU countries which recently put in a financial transaction tax to the other 20 odd which did not);

  • DavidSLesperance Toronto, 00
    Oct. 31, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    Reality 4) Taxing international companies that deliver unique services delivered directly to devices ( eg Google and Twitter) are not as easily corporately taxed as companies which deliver standardized tangible goods either at retail outlets (eg Starbucks) or through courier/ mail (eg Amazon). With 3D printing becoming widespread and cheap; more tangible goods companies will be ones delivering programs on-line. This also makes it more difficult to apply VAT (ie consumption taxes) taxes on more and more goods. Therefore "Fair Tax" proposals will generate a dwindling amount of tax as this trend continues (Note: Puts those silly 3D food printing pioneers in a new light doesn't it!)

  • DavidSLesperance Toronto, 00
    Oct. 31, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    Reality 2) The "tax equation" is "taxable income/capital gains" times "income/ capital gains rate" equals "taxes paid". Quoting rates ( whether income or capital gains) in isolation is meaningless and misleading. The significant indicator is "tax paid";

    Reality 3) In a progressive tax system, the top 1% of taxpayers (aka. Golden Geese) pay over 1/3rd of the total personal taxes paid. This is true even though this group tends to pay more than other groups at capital gains rates. As a result of globalization these Golden Geese are no longer bound to remain in a given tax regime in order to make and maintain their wealth. Countries actively recruit and compete for these Golden Geese, by making their jurisdiction more tax friendly than others. Therefore income/ capital gains tax revenues will drop in jurisdictions which the Golden Geese deem as taxing too heavily. Increasing taxation on this group (aka "tax the rich") will increase these departures and accelerate the loss of total taxes collected. (Note: For real life example look at Eduardo Saverin and the record number of American expatriations);

  • DavidSLesperance Toronto, 00
    Oct. 31, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    Let's put aside fantasy and deal with realities. Even if you think them "unfair" " UnAmerican" or doesn't conform to your philosophical/ political preferences.

    Reality 1) Politicians need to maximize in a sustainable manner the amount of tax revenue they collect in order to TRY to pay for entitlement programs which were put in place by themselves and predecessors. They will do this out of a sense of responsibility and/or a desire to be re-elected. As a result of the Prisoner's dilemma, countries will compete with each other for sources of tax revenue and job creation. Politicians don't get rewarded for helping other countries to the detriment of their own;

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:43 p.m.

    Tax Changes effective Jan 2013

    Some of the Bush tax cuts for upper income expired this year. Higher income earners--households making over $450k the top marginal tax rate is increasing to 39.6% from 35%.

    Taxes on capital gains and dicidends goes up to 20% from15%.

    A Medicare surtax is a 3.8% additional tax on net investment income, which is income from interest, dividends, tax exempt bond interest, royalties, rents and capital gains, among other things. This tax applies to taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income that exceeds a threshold ($250,000 for married filers and $200,000 for singles). The result is a 23.8% tax rate on capital gains and dividends higher income taxpayers.

    Beginning in 2013, taxpayers with incomes in excess of certain adjusted gross income (AGI) levels (singles at $250,000, married jointly at $300,000, head of household at $275,000; married filing separately at $150,000) will lose some or all of these exemption deductions.

    Phase-out of itemized deductions:
    Tax payers with the same AGI levels as above, can lose up to 80% of their deductions for mortgage interest, property taxes, state income taxes and charitable deductions.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:24 p.m.

    "The large increase in wage inequality is one of the main drivers of the large upward distribution of household income to the top 1%, the others being the rising inequality of capital income and the growing share of income going to capital rather than wages and compensation. The result was a more than doubling of the share of total income in the U.S. received by the top 1% 1979-2007.

    The significant income growth at the very top of the income distribution over the last few decades was largely driven by households headed by an executive or was employed in the financial sector. Executives, and workers in finance, accounted for 58% of the expansion of income for the top 1% and 67% of the increase in income for the top 0.1% 1979 to 2005. These estimates understate the role of executive compensation and the financial sector in fueling income growth at the top because the increasing presence of working spouses who are executives or in finance is not included.
    From 1978 to 2011, CEO compensation increased more than 725%, with 5.7% growth in worker compensation over the same period."
    (Economic Policy Institute)

  • Star Bright Salt Lake City, Ut
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:38 p.m.

    "3. Because -- Jesus said where much is given, much is expected." (not exactly a quote cause I had to change were to where)

    Please point out in the Bible that Jesus asked the gov to take your money?
    Jesus was telling us that we (the people) need to take care of the less fortunate. Boy, when I look at all the good the rich do in helping universities, churches, and people anonymously it
    makes me sick that they are so demonized. And I'm not anywhere near the 1%, so don't think it's because I'm one.
    No one has stopped the bonuses, the parties, the videos being made by gov agencies with our tax money. Maybe it is a small amount, but my mind still has a hard time getting around millions when they are talking about billions/trillions.
    There is no accountability in this administration. I refuse to fund 0bama's solyndras and all the rest. Just put forward some way to deal with the fraud, maybe that will help.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 30, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    re:1Observer and others
    Good, glad we all agree Defense spending needs to be reduced. Now if we could only get Republican legislators on board. In fact, Romney wanted to increase military spending.

    Now, regarding the claim (made by a conservative radio host and CNS)that according to the new census data, the number of Americans who receive means-tested government benefits -- welfare -- now outnumbers those who are year-round full-time workers,"

    Politifact rated that claim false:

    "The data used, described the situation in 2011, not today. In addition, current numbers look quite different from 2011 when the country was at a lower point in its slow climb back from a deep recession. The article also pointed to the original data tables where it was clear that at the very least, the numbers could have blurred the distinction between those who work and those who are counted as recipients.

    The failure to note the large numbers of children (The number of recipients includes millions of children under the age of 16) and elderly in the recipient group is also a significant lapse in the context of comparing them to the number of full-time workers.

  • stuff Provo, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 5:28 p.m.

    Thou shalt not steal.
    Thou shalt not bear false witness.
    Thou shalt not covet.

    Still three very important principles for all societies.

  • Unclefred Ticonderoga, NY
    Oct. 30, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    Nonsense. I'll never be able to make him see, our minds do not talk the same language. Funding the Egyptian military is NOT providing a service I want, the majority of the expenses the US government provides, I neither want nor need. Sure you can tax the rich, go right ahead and drive them out of the country. They can afford to move, and they will. Read Atlas Shrugged. When they have had enough of mob rule, they'll leave in droves, and "we" will be left holding the bag. Dream on, I only hope I don't life long enough for your tax and spend utopia (like Detroit?) to establish itself everywhere...

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 30, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    Voice of Reason and Noodlekaboodle,

    There is no doubt that folks who do not directly pay income tax still pay a variety of taxes. And I am not advocating a tax structure that would make them pay significant tax, but I do think that the "skin in the game" argument is cogent. That most should pay something (even a pittance) such that all feel that they have a reason to be watching carefully what is spent. We do not benefit from a concept of "hey, it's not my money they are spending".

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Oct. 30, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    @red state pride
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I will agree with Mr Davis that the Federal Govt needs more revenue. But why not expand the tax base instead of targeting specific groups?


    Let me explain it thus:

    1. Because the top 5% have 90% of all of America's wealth taken out of the econmy, stuffing it away in tax-free tax-shleters like Mitt Romney does in the Caymen Islands and secret Swiss bank acocunts.
    MOST of America's wealth never gets taxed.

    2. Because those who make those $100's of Millions of $ won't have to change or adjust their already extragagent living or loose a wink of sleep, go to bed hungry, or loose any of their summer, spring or winter vacation homes or have to take out a 2nd loan to pay for any other it.

    3. Because -- Jesus said were much is given, much is expected.

    Shall I continue?...

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    go for it Mr. Davies, I could not agree more.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    Lew Scannon

    OK Lew, if you want to go back to previous big spending presidents, then I get to go back to two of the oldest and biggest, namely Johnson and Roosevelt. Care to try for James Buchannan next? The here and now is all that matters, don't try to evade Obama and the Democrats responsibility for the last 5 years in this by using previous Presidents. Things were better for myself and others during Bush. And that in spite of the wasted money on a 10 year wild goose chase for WMD in Iraq.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    "Translation: complete renewal of current federal spending levels with no input from our elected representatives in the legislature on what programs should be funded."

    Did you miss the part where Congress voted to spend the money that caused us to hit the debt ceiling? They approved every penny.

    It has nothing to do with a "renewal of current federal spending levels"

    It has everything to do with paying the bills that have come due based on the spending levels approved by congress.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    Those of us who have been watching government for more than a year or two know 1 thing that will always be true:

    It matters NOT how much we pay the government, they ALWAYS will want more.

  • Lew Scannon Provo, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:48 a.m.


    It's easy to blame the party you don't like for how things are now, but the toasted economy we have now was a long time in the oven. If you want to trace our current economic woes to any particular time period, try Reagan's disastrous and self-contradictory economic policies. Supply-side, trickle-down economics has given us the mess we enjoy today. And yet the Republicans continue to preach the same stale old ideas. They just give them new names.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    "Progressives are always very good at spending other peoples money."

    But let's be fair. Conservatives are good at it too. But they would rather borrow from our children than ask the wealthiest among us to contribute at historic levels to our society. Conservatives would rather see people starve than see a billionaire pay 1 percent more in taxes.

    Government spending--even with a bloated military, Obamacare, an aging population (higher Social Security and Medicare payments), and lingering effects of the Great Recession--is projected to be lower in the next few years than it averaged during Reagan's eight years in office. Yes, we can cut some of the fat, but the big problem is what Prof. Davis points out. We have the lowest tax revenues in since 1950.

    Some will complain about the proverbial 47 percent. But there is a reason they do not pay income tax. At least half the population is underpaid and underemployed by our corporate masters who would rather replace American workers with technology and cheap foreign labor. Anything, as long as the savings go into the pockets of the already obscenely wealthy rather than to the common laborer.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon

    Something like the top 5% of wealth earners pay something like 70% of all taxes in the U.S. See what statistics can do? By the way, you think Warren Buffett pays enough taxes? Or in your geographic case, Bill Gates? Most T-Party Republicans are not rich. In my case, I've had my wages lowered and my health care go up. All this just to keep from being unemployed. All this because of the Democrats and Obama. I was doing much better under Bush and the Republicans. I'll bet the majority of the country will be saying the same thing as me about election time next November.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    Increased taxes would be more acceptable if there was a consensus that our government was also addressing waste, fraud and programs that are in place, but ineffective. Accountability is poor (Lois Lerner and the IRS), carelessness is rampant (the ACA roll out) and extravagance is common (military and other government contracts). Using tax revenue to compensate for bureaocratic inefficiency is not acceptable. Sending hard earned wages to our government without knowing precisely how they will be used is rightly a difficult sell.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    When the 1% who owns 80% of the wealth --
    and pays LESS of a percentage than the other 99%....

    SOMETHING is out of whack!

    Warren Buffet [a true Capitalist] has it all right,
    and the Tea-Party Republicans have got it all wrong.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    What was the old rallying cry before the Revolutionary War? No taxation without representation? We have reasonably responsive representation at the state and local level but what about national? During the recent fed. govt "shutdown" the President was insisting on a "clean CR". Translation: complete renewal of current federal spending levels with no input from our elected representatives in the legislature on what programs should be funded. I.E.- perpetual money printing and debt. That's fine but someone explain why we bother electing Representatives if the President dictates the budget and changes laws (ACA e.g.) according to his whim?
    I will agree with Mr Davis that the Federal Govt needs more revenue. But why not expand the tax base instead of targeting specific groups? Why not get rid of the EITC? The program is riddled with fraud and the IRS has admitted it's unable to administrate it. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates made their fortunes selling technology to the common man - not just the wealthy.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    So you think it's more important to tax a family of 4 making 25,000 a year than it is to tax someone who makes 20, 50 or 100 million a year? That's insane. First to say 49% of people don't pay taxes simply aren't true. They pay sales tax, property tax(even renters pay, at lease mine do, I figure the tax amount into the rent I charge.) Gas tax (even if they take the bus, the gas still has sales tax attached. Your power, water and natural gas bill all include taxes. Ya, lets tax the poor even more, then we can hand them back their money in the form of medicaid, SNAP or Section 8. You know, since we've decided that it's bad to let people starve in the streets. Or we could increase the tax on the top 1% by 1%, get more money than taxing the poor and not put those people out on the streets.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    I am proud to pay my taxes to the American government of the United States of America. There is no other government, business, religion or organization in the world that would give me more for my money.

    Even so, there are people who would complain about sharing the benefits of our society with the others. I view these people as enemies of America and my enemies as well.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    Another terrific article from Richard Davis. Thank you so much for blessing our community with common sense and good research.

  • 1Observer Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    Re: Truthseeker

    I didn't exclude defense in my comments you just assumed I meant to. Well, I didn't. There is fraud and abuse there as well and there should be accountability at all levels in every program in every facet of government, especially at the federal level.

    One fact I failed to mention is that, as reported last week, for the first time in the history of our country, more people were receiving some type of government entitlement program (not including Social Security retirement benefits) than are working full time. I think the number presented by the Census Bureau represents about 48% of the US population receiving entitlements. That is a disturbing and unsustainable trend. It would be foolish to throw more money at these problems before we do some housecleaning and establish some accountability.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:51 a.m.


    ...because defense is not the biggest black hole. All the entitlement programs add up to much more than defense, and that is where you will find the biggest black hole, or fraud if you will. Fix them all.

    As for increasing taxes on the rich Mr. Davis, it would only be a good thing if those increased taxes were spent on the "right" things. And that is where the argument begins. What is right.

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    An excellent analysis; however, I could never advocate taxing the rich more until we tax the entire population. Over half of Americans pay nothing in Federal income tax. In fact many (myself included) receive money on our tax returns through refundable credits - credits that allow you to receive more money on your return than you paid in during the year. In the past 3 years I have received well over $10,000 that I never paid in! It's ridiculous! I make a reasonable salary that supports a family of 5, pays the mortgage, and provides a comfortable (not extravagant) living. Why shouldn't I be expected to contribute? Until we decide the "rich" need to bear the burden of funding our government programs let's ask the largest segment of the population to at least contribute something. If that segment of the population is unwilling to have skin in the game I think it's time to claw back on government programs.

  • Denverite Centennial, CO
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    @ 1Observer: Right on! I will be happy to pay more taxes when I stop seeing "smart" government people spend a million bucks for A) something that only costs $250 if you have any clue what you're doing and B) something that is totally unnecessary for any reason whatsoever.

    And this goes 10-fold at the state and local level. It's why I think all government employees (not just Congress) ought to have term limits. After a few years of spending other people's money, go back to spending your own already.

    @Truthseeker: I am a Republican who worked as a civilian on a Navy base for several years. Yes, defense spends money as foolishly and unnecessarily as anyone else. But to say they're the only federal department who should ever be cut in any way, as most Democrats have said in my lifetime, flies in the face of all common sense.

    I think all federal government departments should be cut by vast quantities of people and it would make the country a better place.

    You know the old saying: What do you call a million federal workers losing their jobs?

    A good start.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    Excellent article, Mr. Davis.

    I also appreciated the reminder by Marxist about the prosperity under Clinton, who raised taxes on the wealthy, and the economic disaster under George W. Bush, who slashed taxes on the wealthy. With Americans growing fed up with Republican extremism, maybe we can elect a Democratic House in 2014 and return taxes more to Clinton-era levels to get the economy rolling.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    I don't hate taxes. I love them. It's the price I pay for clean water, safe streets, a nice neighborhood school, fighter jets protecting my country. The alternative is unthinkable.

    Oct. 30, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    Progressives are always very good at spending other peoples money. When, in the last fifty years has the federal government EVER decreased spending? The sequester is the ONLY time that republicans were able to reign in government spending. No one is advocating abolishing all government, but when they look into the future, they see an economic collapse. It would be better for everyone to experience a little pain now, than a lot of pain in the future.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    Surveys show that most Americans think that taxes are much higher than they really are. This holds especially true for conservatives. The 400 wealthiest America families, with an average annual income of 300 million dollars, pay an average of 16% of their income in federal taxes. For middle income Americans, federal income taxes average around 10%. That is hardly a "confiscatory" rate.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    "Instead it is money that goes into the huge black hole of government"

    The biggest black hole there is resides in Defense. Defense hasn't been able to account to the GAO for the money it spends.
    YET, i've not heard a single Republican raise that issue.

  • joeandrade Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    Yes, agreed.

    In addition to returning to the tax rates of the sixties, we should also institute a carbon fee and dividend plan, as noted in David Folland's op-ed today 'We're Gambling with our Future'. Such a fee would be a great economic development incentive AND would provide tax relief for all citizens.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    You want to balance the budget. Revenues. Cuts alone will never do it in 100 years.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    Like all the progressives/liberals I have heard another taxes are good pitch. Mr Davis and the rest of you progressives if you like taxes so much why don't you(thats You) just go ahead and pay more? If taxes are so good step up and pay them. Progressives mantra is spread the wealth which eventually becomes spread the poverty.

  • 1Observer Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:10 a.m.

    Mr. Davis, it isn't that I hate paying taxes, because I do understand the value of some government services. What I hate is the unchecked appetite that government has for tax money often with little or no accountability. We waste hundreds of billions of dollars in this country and a large amount of my tax dollars are lost through fraud and mismanagement of government programs. No one benefits from those dollars except criminals. So, when I complain about having to pay more, it is only because I want better accountability for the money currently being taken from me - money that I could use to help people in need, help my children and grandchildren, use to support local businesses, etc. Instead it is money that goes into the huge black hole of government. I already pay in taxes enough money to support another family. How much is enough without any accountability?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 6:54 a.m.

    Re: ". . . schizophrenia over taxes is not surprising."

    Thanks, Prof, for the predictable liberal sophistry.

    It's not schizophrenic to demand common sense and accountability in tax policy. We may all agree taxation is inevitable in civilization, but when taxes rise to deranged, confiscatory levels, they becomes immoral and un-American.

    Liberals, so concerned with political victory, ignore the immense chaos they wreak by their enforced national profligacy. Like the committed alcoholic, they mock solutions to their tax-and-spend addiction that don't involve more taxes, more spending, and more dependence on Big Government.

    This, notwithstanding the fact that the fruits of their deranged, vote-buying addiction are patent -- destruction of the family, particularly in inner-city America; destruction of the health care system; destruction of millions of jobs; and, most chillingly, destruction of the American soul of millions of our countrymen, that cynically, opportunistically reduces them to serfdom.

    While liberals may have rendered true the familiar liberal mantra of the headline banner, they refuse to address the obvious questions -- why, and what can be done about it?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 30, 2013 6:37 a.m.

    We all hate taxes, even Democrats.

    But, as the article suggests, our country had some very prosperous times with much higher tax rates.

    In fact, can someone cite prosperous times when our taxes were not higher than they are today?

    Taxes have become such a flash point issue, that we must throw logic and common sense out the window when the word TAX is mentioned.

    Every potential GOP presidential candidate said they would reject any plan that called for a $1 tax increases, even when coupled with $10 in spending cuts.

    Why? The GOP base demands it. Grover Norquist demands it. And they all signed a pledge. Where is the common sense to that?

    How refreshing would it have been if one of them was brave enough to scream "HEY, you would have to be crazy, as a conservative, to pass up that deal"

    I sure hope the Democrats don't ever sign a pledge to NOT cut entitlements.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 6:20 a.m.

    Thank you Richard for reporting the facts and giving us some common sense into this debate. It's obvious that we need to raise taxes, especially on the wealthy. We are an industrialized nation and have a lot to pay for.

    Unfortunately, there's going to be a lot of static noise today. These folks cannot be reasoned with and will provide you with really long drawn out excuses (without any facts) for how we don't need to raise taxes.

    They are essentially the Ayn Rand followers who must be ignored. They've been given enough power already. We've seen their economy policy from the 1980s until now... And it isn't pretty!

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:17 a.m.

    Remember early in his presidency, Bill Clinton obtained a substantial increase in upper bracket tax rates. The wealthy never forgave him for it, and this was a big part of Clinton's problems later. BUT, the resultant deficit reductions fueled a decade long boom (good for everybody including the wealthy). When George W. Bush became president a first priority for him was to nullify Clinton's upper bracket rate increases. This he did, but such coupled with off-the-budget wars fueled the debt load we have today. The evidence clearly supports Professor Davis' point of view.

    In capitalism the wealthy get all of it in the end. Progressive tax policies have money circulate through more hands before it gets to the rich guys. This is literally the way it is in our current system - the one we have to play with for now.