George F. Will: Squandered potential: Imbalanced welfare practices breed inequality

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  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 15, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    We need to stop entitlements for the wealthy.

    That's right, the wealthy should NOT be entitled to pay so little in taxes. This nation facilitated their wealth creation by establishing a social and economic environment withing which they could prosper.

    And yet the wealthy of the Right Wing persuasion don't want to give back, and they show NO gratitude at all to this nation for making their wealth possible. We don't need a bunch of deadbeats.

    During the Eisenhower years, taxes for the highest earners were over 90 percent, and because of that revenue, the nation was able to pay its bills.

    Too many Wealthy Right Wingers think they are entitled to thumb their noses at the Constitution that says government must promote and provide for the General Welfare . . . Not just the welfare of the already rich.

    The two richest men in America, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, think the highest earners should be taxed much more than they are now. We need sensible taxation back in America.

    I agree with them.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 15, 2014 1:54 p.m.

    @GaryO "Gas chambers for the poor?"

    And in the same breath, an attack on someone else's credibility.


  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    March 15, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    As usual, George Will has it backwards. SNAP is going to young people such as college students. With tuition, lodging, and books, more and more students are relying on SNAP. Young single mothers can't work and pay rent and buy food, so they rely on SNAP. In other words, the safety net is holding up young people maybe even more than old people.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    March 15, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    The right wing propagandist are out in full force with their faulse, mis-leading sources. What this country and the Republicans need is another Teddy Rossevelt to kick the corporation's tails and restore the social imbalances that have been created by both parties over the past 75 years. Banks and corporations are earning and sitting on record profits because "we the people" have governed in a way that has let them.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 15, 2014 7:53 a.m.

    What a bunch of Whoeeeee! George Will sure knows how to yammer, but he’s not really saying much of value. And although he spews a lot of numbers, none of them support his contentions.

    He claims progressive policies increase income inequality. Sure progressive policies allow the poor to exist without dying from starvation, disease, and violence. And so yes, because they don’t die as readily, there are more of them around. For George Will and other Conservatives, that proves that progressivism is bad because it creates a prevalence of poor people and income disparity. So what do you “Conservatives” propose now? . . . Gas chambers for the poor?

    And then Will gives economic data for the last year of the BUBBLE that eventually burst and created GW’s Great recession as if it was a good thing.

    It was an extremely destructive BUBBLE caused by extremely poor Republican governance that allowed speculation to get totally out of hand and almost DESTROYED this nation’s economy.
    George Will has absolutely NO credibility in the real world. The only people who think he makes sense must be just as “Conservative” as he is.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 15, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    @prelax " care and pensions..."

    The constitutional pretext for Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security was the general welfare clause. If they're not welfare, they're unconstitutional.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    March 14, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    While I wholeheartedly believe in a strong welfare program to temporarily help those who have suffered setbacks and to permanently help those whose health prohibits them from doing any type of work, the Obama Administration's policies have changed welfare into subsidies. We are subsidizing lifestyles. We are breeding unlimited generations of dependent people on handouts from the government. No longer is the American dream to make it rich off your own hard work and ingenuity, it is to find a way for others to subsidize the lifestyle that is easiest for you. We aren't helping people we are making people less and thus weak.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    March 14, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    I stopped reading when he called health care and pensions welfare.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 14, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    Welfare has become a government encouraged career during the Obama years. The US is being dragged to the bottom of the lake with the Mount Everest pile of welfare entitlements that Barack has created and the worst thing of all is this is how liberals want it. Every Socialist country has imploded into bankruptcy and the US will be no different. I believe we are seeing the final days of United States of America least as a free and prosperous country and land of opportunity and this is all the fault of Barack Obama and his liberal disciples.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 14, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    Are there actually 'very few' people who will benefit from a minimum wage increase? And, I think it's incorrect hyperbole to characterise pensions and health care as 'welfare'.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    March 14, 2014 9:44 a.m.

    Republicans will hammer away on food stamps, and medicaid but they are scared to death of cutting SS and medicare.

    The Republican base is an older, whiter group, that loves the government assistance.

    There will be a lot of bluster about entitlement reform, but only as it pertains to the poor, not the elderly.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 14, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    Massive tax rate? Just like France?

    Hardly. France's tax rate on high earners is 75%. You really want to compare that to 39.6%?
    France's problem is huge entitlements. As I pointed out, the GOP has a terrible record on spending, including entitlements. Their deficit record is no better.

    So? Why the love for the GOP. Why are you not blasting both parties?

    When Reagan lowered the tax rate (to around 50% for most of his tenure), it was heralded as a great boon for jobs and the economy.

    Why now, is 39% such a job killer? Makes no sense. Why is a 50% tax rate under Reagan an economic stimulus and a 39% rate terrible. That takes some creative justification.

    You list all of the Obama salvos in the war against the rich, and still the wealth migrates to the wealthy. Is it just not getting there fast enough?

    In the war on the rich, the rich are winning. And winning big under Obama.

    If anyone has a gripe under Obama it is the poor and the middle class. The are the ones losing economic ground.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 14, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    Obama got a massive tax increase on the rich through congress last year, remember? Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income (Tax hike of $123 billion/took effect Jan. 2013). The SCOTUS ruled that Obamacare is a "tax" and it is in reality a massive tax, period! The budget President Obama unveiled two weeks ago would raise taxes more than $1 trillion over 10 years. If Obama is getting his tail kicked it is because more and more Americans can see what he is doing to our country. We can see it happening right before out eyes not only here but in France. For example, just recently the Goodyear Tire company in France announced it will close its plants there and leave the country which will leave thousands of people without jobs. Why? Because of the French government's mandates imposed on all employers makes it impossible to keep their doors open. I am not allowed to post links here but Google it for yourself and learn!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 14, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    "Obama and the Democrats are waging the same war on the rich here."

    Care to deal in facts?

    According to a widely publicized report by Emmanuel Saez, "under Obama, 95 percent of the economic gains have gone to the top 1 percent of earners."

    Rather than just regurgitate right wing talking points, could you find and post anything that suggests that the "rich" have not outpaced any other group in wealth accumulation under Obama.

    If Obama is waging a war on the rich, he is getting his tail kicked.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 14, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    Joe Blow. I just read an article about the massive exodus of the rich and best and brightest people from France since their new liberal President has waged a war on the rich there with massive taxation, leaving behind, guess who? France will soon be the poorest country in Europe. Obama and the Democrats are waging the same war on the rich here. Liberals just never learn, do they?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 14, 2014 7:53 a.m.

    Some of you have certainly bought into the talking points that it is only the democrats who enable the "welfare state"

    What did the GOP do to curb these types of programs when the controlled the House, the Senate and the Presidency for 6 years under George Bush?

    Rather than attempt to scale them back, the passed a HUGE, new unfunded entitlement program - Medicare Part D. (along with No Child Left Behind).

    So, you can carp all you want about the democrats. And I am not defending the Dems. But, I will point out that the nanny state is just as much a fault of the GOP.

    Including Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and many others in GOP leadership.

    The GOP only complains when they are out of power. When they have control, they do exactly the same thing.

    It would make sense if those opposed to entitlements screamed loudly against the Republicans AND the Democrats.

    Barring that, it is just typical partisan snipping. The right has been sold a bill of goods and bought into it Hook, Line and Sinker.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 14, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    The massive welfare state is a disincentive to the working as well. If they work harder, smarter, longer, or increase their skills through education, they know they will only get a crumb of their hard earned increase, and the rest will be taken by the government.

    On the other hand if we focused care of those in need through charitable giving, the money given would go a lot farther, and would purchase some warm feelings for the donor, instead of breeding resentment for a bloated bureaucracy of fat pigs feeding from the public trough that was meant to care for the poor.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    March 14, 2014 7:17 a.m.

    Government welfare programs removes incentives and motivation for any personal achievement and individual productivity in the recipient but it sure wins elections for Democrats. Its called entitlement dependency and it destroys individuals and nations.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2014 12:21 a.m.

    "In this sixth year of near-zero interest rates, the government's monetary policy breeds inequality. Low rates are intended to drive liquidity into the stock market in search of higher yields. The resulting boom in equity markets — up 30 percent last year alone — has primarily benefited the 10 percent who own 80 percent of all directly owned stocks. "

    Will is right about the consequences of low interest rates - they are driving stock prices higher and are exacerbating inequality. But the INTENT of the cheap money being loaned to banks is to get them to make loans to business and the general public. This the banks are refusing to do, preferring to put their funds in equities just like Will says.

    But I draw a completely different conclusion from Will's. I believe banking is a public good or function. Banks should not be private. They should be publicly owned to serve the interests of the people, like the largest commercial bank in North Dakota - the Bank of North Dakota - which is a state owned bank, this a legacy of a socialist government there years ago.