Americans can agree that there's inequality, it's why that divides us

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    May 1, 2014 11:54 p.m.

    There should not be any federal income tax at all.

    Government can function on a flat tax on imports, and exports.

    Just that simple.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 1, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    To "SG in SLC" you still cannot ever have a system that is "more fair" or "optimally fair". You are still basing the tax system on the opinion of a person or group of people. At best you can have a system that most people think is fair. Again, by using "fairness" as the measure, that is not quantifiable. How do you quantify happiness? You are trying to quantify an emotion.

    To "LDS Liberal" you are confusing. You say that you are for a flat tax, then you express you desire for a progressive tax. You do know that a flat tax means that everybody is taxed at the same rate, regardless of income. That means that the poor would also be taxed at the same rate as the billionaire.

  • Max Upstate, NY
    May 1, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    Despite the political non-sense, we have a highly progressive tax system (all the data proves this) with people with higher incomes paying the vast majority of tax revenues government receives. What is unfair is that nearly 50% don't pay a dime in taxes. We should not have so many living off of others. The tax base should be broadened. The lower 50% should be paying something. Maybe not much, but they should be contributing something.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    May 1, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    "Also, dont forget, Many of the working poor also pay payroll taxes of 15%. Mitt did not pay that.
    Nor did Mr Buffet. They made their money off of investments."

    Unlike others on this forum, I don't pretend to know the intimate details of Mr. Romney's tax returns. Even though he made the bulk of his money in investments, I am willing to bet that he had at least $100K in ordinary income that was subject to the FICA tax that all us working stiffs pay too.

    Rich people pay a lot of taxes, but they also get a number of tax deductions that ordinary people can't take advantage of. A simple flat tax on all income (wages, investments, interest, etc.) above a certain level ($25K?) would be the most fair. Sure you could find some poor people who would end up paying more taxes and a few rich people who might be paying less under such a system, but overall everyone would be paying a more fair tax.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    April 30, 2014 10:23 p.m.

    I thought Obama was going to have all this fixed by now.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 30, 2014 8:50 p.m.

    Inequality is because people are different.

    Some strive for excellence, and some could care less.

    Look into a classroom. Some strive for good grades. The honor roll.

    Some are happy for the lowest passing grade.

    Don't punish the achievers.

  • CLM Draper, UT
    April 30, 2014 7:56 p.m.

    You're asking for a solution to income inequality? ANY solution would be chimerical, because the financial elites and their central bank cronies have totally rigged the economic system in the way SEY has described in a comment this morning.

    Consider: Andrew Huszar, the Federal Reserve official responsible for implementing $1.25 trillion of quantitative easing, apologizes to the American public for being a part of the fleecing known as QE: "I can only say: I’m sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed’s first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing.
    The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I’ve come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time....The final results confirmed that, while there had been only trivial relief for Main Street, the U.S. central bank’s bond purchases had been an absolute coup
    for Wall Street."

    When a Federal Reserve insider admits that the game has been rigged, how can there be any viable solutions to income inequality?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 30, 2014 7:44 p.m.

    I*'m good with a flat tax...

    There were several years in a row before I moved back to Utah that I actually max'd out my FICA and Social Security...didn't have to pay a dime after that, and it was the time I could MOST afford it.

    A flat tax means those making over $100K would continue to pay a flat % rate on those as well....

    Could you imagine the Millionaires and Billionaires having to pay an addition 20% on EVERYTHING over and above their $100K ???

    [Ya, THAT'S why the uber-rich and wealthy rich do not want a flat tax...]

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    April 30, 2014 7:34 p.m.

    As long as some Americans are duped into thinking welfare is freedom, there will always be inequality. Teach them how to work. Dont just give them a monthly paycheck.

    April 30, 2014 7:13 p.m.

    Yeah, right, it's the tax code. What most people forget is that the only thing that can be accomplished with the tax code is to make everybody equally poor. I'm not sure that's a desirable outcome, but I guess it does eliminate the inequality.

    The most often overlooked source of income inequality is that the economy is in decline due to rising energy prices. When energy prices go up, the economy cannot support as many white collar workers. So we have a lot of unemployed white collar workers who will never find a job unless they go back to the farm or we fix energy prices. The really sad thing is that there are a lot of people who think high energy prices are a good thing and are doing everything in their power to artificially raise them.

    I second von Mises and Rothbard. The former's "Socialism" is also something our friendly neighborhood socialists ought to study carefully.

    Capitalism - which is another name for freedom - works only when people are moral. A nation of liars, cheaters, and thieves make freedom unworkable.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2014 5:02 p.m.


    I appreciate your civil and carefully thought out response. You make some interesting points, though I would modify a couple of your statements a little, from my perspective.

    First, I would say that there is no such thing as a "perfectly fair" or "absolutely fair" tax, and would add that the objective is a "more fair" or "optimally fair" tax system.

    Second, to your statement about outgrowing the concept of fairness, I would counter that for most of us, our understanding of the concept of fairness evolves and matures as we grow older, that we begin to think of fairness in terms of justice, reasonableness, and consequences (also abstract concepts, but with perhaps better defined and agreed-upon criteria), and that this evolved concept of fairness becomes the ideal, rather than the expectation.

    A flat tax is undeniably more equal, but arguably NOT more fair.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    April 30, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    As long as we're adding economic treatises to recommend, let's not omit Ludwig von Mises' Human Action and Murray Rothbard's Man, Economy and the State. They both demolish Marxian fallacies and Keynesian fantasies, and explain how economies actually function.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 30, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    the problem with upping the income against which FICA is taxed is you also up the benefit they get on the back end. but FICA is a different story than income tax, it goes into a separate trust fund, noit the general fund.

    since you ADMIT it was a dem congress that reagan worked with, why do you blanme him alone and NOT the dems? the debt could not have increased without Tip O'neal and the dems going along. I recall a lone GOP voice in the senate early in reagan's administration arguing against an increase in the debt ceiling, but all the dems shouted him down. But since you mentioned the increase in debt, it has increased more under BO than reagan ever dreamed of, quite unnecsesarily with all his pork projects for his friends and cronies and the oil boom that fell into his lap.

    all the luck that fell into reagan's lap? you mean the stagflation and general malaise he inherited from Carter, the worst president ever until BO? what luck are you talking about?

    we have all the liberals touting BO because of, and not inspite of, his total incompetence.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    April 30, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    To "SG in SLC" there is no such thing as a "fair" tax. For example, if you base taxes on disposable income, then you are taxing the wealthy and retired at a higher rate than the poor who may pay no taxes. Is it fair to tax one group more than another. Before you say that they are the rich, imagine you are rich and you find yourself paying 50% of you own in taxes.

    A flat tax isn't fair either because those that can least afford to pay taxes are paying them.

    A flat tax is an equal tax. If you say 15% of all income is to be taxed, then that is equal.

    Fair is a concept that most people grow out of when they are in elementary school. Fair is not something that can be measured and is dependant on what an individual thinks is fair, not always what is equal. Think of giving out jellybeans to kindergarteners as a reward. You will always have a naughty kid cry that it isn't fair that the good kids got more reward.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2014 3:00 p.m.


    I would include two additional economic works:

    "The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money" -John Maynard Keynes
    "The Affluent Society" -John Kenneth Galbraith

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    I have been following the "flat tax = fair tax" debate between *2 bit* and *JoeBlow* with great interest.

    I have always felt that, in a "big picture' sense, tax fairness needed to take into account ability to pay and impact on disposable income, but maybe 2 bits is onto something; though, to be truly fair, capital gains would need to be taxed at the same rate as earned income, and payroll taxes (FICA & unemployment taxes) would need to be levied on ALL income with no income level caps. On the bright side, payroll tax rates could be lowered, the solvency issues for Social Security and Medicare would go away, and means-testing for those programs would be off the table. But on the other hand, this would also mean that sliding-scale "transfer payments" from the government would need to go to the poorest 20-25% of the population (taxable at the flat tax rate, of course).

    I hope you're good with that whole proposal, 2 bits; otherwise, I don't see how you can call the flat tax truly fair.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    The three great defining works of economics:

    "The Wealth of Nations" Adam Smith
    "Theory of Political Economy and Taxation" David Ricardo
    "Capital " Karl Marx.

    Theoreticians and writers come and go, but there remains the big 3. We need to consult them.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 30, 2014 2:03 p.m.

    Hey lost in DC -

    “ . . . what you call voodoo economics under Reagan was enacted by a dem congress.”
    I didn’t name it Voodoo economics, HGW Bush did, and he was RIGHT ON.

    Yes, Ronald Reagan cut deals with member of Congress, promising to sign pet Pork Barrel projects into law if they would do a little something for him . . . Like okay his lavish spending on Star Wars and cutting taxes for his high-earning friends.

    Ronnie Regan was quite the politician who succeeded in TRIPLING the national debt completely unnecessarily, even though the plummeting price of world oil (that dropped to 1/3 the price it had been during the Carter administration) caused the economy to thrive.

    In spite of all the luck that fell into his lap, Reagan could not capitalize on it. And now he is regarded as a hero to “Conservatives” because of, not in spite of, his amazing incompetence as President.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 30, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    You got me 2 bits. I had forgotten that Mitt was able to get his tax liability so low. As for Buffet? He might still get a tax cut.

    According to the tax foundation (2010 data), the top 5 % paid an average of 20.6%.
    The bottom 50 percent paid an average of 2.4%

    So, with a 15% flat tax, using averages, the highest earners in the US would get a 25% tax cut and the average poor American would get a 600% increase. And Mitt would also get a tax increase. Probably around 10%.

    Also, dont forget, Many of the working poor also pay payroll taxes of 15%. Mitt did not pay that.
    Nor did Mr Buffet. They made their money off of investments.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    April 30, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    To "airnaut" go back and read the results of the poll. The problem is the socialism/communism that is allowed to mix with capitalism. The GOVERNMENT has created the inequality. Why do you want to give them more power? It only feeds the corruption the more power that you give them through the addition of socialism/communism.

    If communism or socialism is so great, why is it that it cannot exist on its own, yet Capitalism can? Doesn't that in itself show you that government enforced collectivism is a path to failure?

    I hope that someday you realize that in your ideal government, that is where the greatest corruption takes place. It is nothing more than a repeat of when the Israelites went from Judges to a monarchy or when the Nephites elected men who wanted to be kings. Giving more power to a central government is always a failure. You sound like the people who told Samuel they wanted a king. See 1 Samuel 8:5-20. Why repeat history when we know that it is a path to failure?

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 30, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    2 bit with your flat tax are we still paying FICA? If so will the those making over $100,000 be paying tax on their full earnings? If so I could come closer to buying a flat tax especially if we tax any increase not just salary.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    @2 bits
    A flat tax would increase taxes on some wealthy people but the average wealthy person is still paying north of 20% in federal income taxes so the 15% flat tax may increase things for Romney, but for the average wealthy person it's a tax cut.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    April 30, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    @dn subscriber. "Democrats are low information voters." What a great way to bring people together.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    April 30, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    To the liberals out there, did you look at the results of the poll? They find that among both Republicans AND Democrats they put the biggest blame for income inequality on the government.

    Both the Democrats and Republicans blame the tax code as being one of the biggest contributors to the inequality. Since the tax code is written by politicians, do you really trust them to fix it without giving their cronies some loopholes to exploit?

    Did you also notice that the #2 problem identified by both parties was Congress/Government Policies. What does that say to you?

    The only way to fix the problem is to purge congress of the career politicians. There may be some that are good, but the best solution is to vote out all current members of congress and replace them with honorable men and women.

    Think of it this way. When was the last time somebody said the phrase "truthful or honorable politician" and wasn't telling a joke?

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    April 30, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    Capitalism with NO regulation, little Government and hardly any taxes = Somalia, Columbia, etc.

    The rich get richer,
    The poor get poorer.

    THIS is the direction the GOP is taking us.

    Capitalism with a balance or Socialism -- more regulations, bigger Government and higher taxes = Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, England, Japan, Korea, Israel.
    You know -- our Friends & Allies.

    The direction the Democrats are taking us.

    Oh -- and one more...
    Communism with a little Capitalism --
    aka, Red China --

    Where the party members are getting richer,
    and the poor are staying poor.

    also another direction the Republicans are taking us.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2014 11:39 a.m.


    "It's an old human logic problem. The poor are considered outsiders, unclean, undesirable and deserving of their station.

    "What it really is, is tribalism, unholy judgement and self preservation. The very anti-Christ in human psychology."


    Very true.

    "Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just-- But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God." (Mosiah 4:17-18 Book of Mormon)

    And while there may be various factors contributing to the ever-widening gap, certainly the principal factor is GREED, though many deny it.

    Jesus foresaw that Greed would be a major problem in our day. No wonder he said:

    "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:24)

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 30, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    Re: "Show me a flat tax scenario of your choosing where a middle class family doesn't get a tax increase while the wealthiest 5% don't get a tax cut... I cannot fathom one"...

    That you can't even fathom one... doesn't surprise me in the least.


    Mitt Romney exposed his tax returns in 2011... he paid an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent in 2011 (Note: Romney also opted not to deduct millions in charitable contributions from his tax bill in order to maintain a pledge from August that he has paid at least 13 percent in federal income taxes for each of the past 10 years.).

    So he would be paying 15%... at tax increase! And the government would get WAY more than $6000 out of his paying just 1% more I can assure you.


    "Warren Buffett says even though he and other top earners are paying higher taxes this year, he thinks he's still paying a lower rate than his secretary"...

    If we had a FLAT-rate... he would pay the SAME rate as his Secretary (who probably also makes six figures). But BOTH would pay SAME rate (which = "fair" IMO).

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 30, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    There are three ingredients that produce tremendous wealth:

    1. Hard work
    2. Intelligence - ie, it's not enough to simply work hard, you have to work smart. If you're REALLY smart, in our system you can accomplish the same amount of work done by thousands and thousands of people.
    3. Good fortune, ie, "luck", knowing the right people, etc.

    Our economy is like a massive game of Monopoly where 32,000 people are playing, but one of the players has more money than everyone else... combined.

    When my kids were young, they wanted to play checkers all the time, and I got tired of playing it for hours, so I used an additional row of pieces (from another checkers set we had). So, I could make lots of mistakes and still easily, every time. After awhile, my kids didn't want to play checkers anymore. They got tired of losing, even when it appeared they started off well.

    It should surprise nobody that some people are giving up and deciding the economic game is rigged.

  • Mtn Tracker Ephraim, UT
    April 30, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    My wife's sister and her husband are on welfare. They have no desire to work. They would rather stay home and play x box all day. This my friends is why the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The government has made it possible to get by without working. People don't want to work. They would rather be poor than go to work. They go around and ask for jobs in the most ridiculous way to cover their obligations. If they get hired it lasts for a couple weeks then they get sick of it and try to get fired. Then they do it all over again. I would love to see better paying jobs, but too bad this administration hasn't done a thing to help that. It's been the POTUS strategy all along. Ever notice who his voting base is. Heaven forbid these people might have to pay taxes. They would get furious and might become republicans.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 30, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    Dems say the tax system is unfair? They want to the poor to pay more?

    It is abundantly clear the inequality has accelerated under the BO misadministration. When you remove the incentives to work, when you remove incentives to succeed, when the majority of jobs created during your reign of ineptitude are low wage service jobs because you are anti-business, what do you expect?

    What you call voodoo economics under Reagan was enacted by a dem congress.

    And how are we giving more money to the rich? Oh, I know, we are giving joey biden social security payments IN ADDITION to his $230,700/year salary.

    BTW, NOT taking their money is NOT the same thing as GIVING money to the rich.

    I guess thou shalt not covet has no meaning to liberals.

    Lou Montana,
    All Utahans are racist?

    Open minded,
    Where do you get the $250k and $300k figures? Are you talking income or NW? And what area of the country are you referring to? $250k doesn’t cut it in San Francisco, but you’re a prince in Jackson MS. Please elucidate.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 30, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    Well 2 bits.

    My "hypothetical sympathetic family" was not an unusual case and was not meant to instill fear in anyone.

    It's not like I came up with some freaky case.

    But, I agree that a flat tax is fair.
    Although, some could argue that it would be even more fair if we all pay the same Dollar amount.

    So, fine. You didn't like my hypothetical family.

    Pick yours and make your case.

    Show me a flat tax scenario of your choosing where a middle class family doesn't get a tax increase while the wealthiest 5% don't get a tax cut.

    I cannot fathom one.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    April 30, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    Economics is becoming the new "statistics." To paraphrase Mark Twain,"There are lies, big lies, and economists predictions."

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 30, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    Polls such as this are just about worthless, except to politicians trying to figure out if their class warfare rhetoric is working. It is.

    This poll is nothing more than a current events quiz which asks people to give answers which for the vast majority (i.e.- low information voters and Democrats, but I repeat myself) is to see if they have been getting the message parroted by the news media for the last six years.

    Oh, and coincidentally, Harry Reid is just about to call up the absurd minimum wage increase bill for a vote in the Senate. Coincidence, or coordinated strategy with a well known leftist polling group?

    The real question is why the Deseret News lends credibility to this propaganda campaign by publishing it as "news."

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 30, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    My thoughts on it are... if it's "fair"... it's fair.

    A flat percentage is not biased towards... OR against ANYONE. That's "fair".


    IF making the tax code "fair" results in somebody losing their advantage... they need to realize they were lucky before... because the tax-code was "unfair" in their favor. But that benefit may go away by making it really "fair".


    Your tactic... pointing out that the current (unfair) tax-code benefited someone... so we can't change it.... is using FEAR of tax increases to keep us from making progress towards a more "fair" tax-code (because you present a hypothetical case where it would not benefit a hypothetical sympathetic family).

    Arguments like yours just instill uncertainty that a sympathetic family (or even MY family) may see a tax increase IF we change. And uses that fear of losing that advantage... to shoot down the more fair tax-code.

    These type or arguments are generally used by Democrats to shoot down flat-tax proposals.

    It may also raise taxes on the wealthy... but they never mention that... because they aren't sympathetic figures. So the FEAR and sympathy tactics don't work.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    To explain what is going on, Karl Marx must be consulted. But there are two problems with that 1) Marx is by no means easy to read - one should read Marx in consultation with somebody else who's familiar with Marx and 2) most higher ed economics departments are COMPLETELY unfamiliar with Marx.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    "Why do all the studies about "income inequality" completely ignore the movement of people between classes? People move up or down all the time."

    Actually they do look at that (income mobility) too and the U.S. also scores near the bottom of industrialized nations in that too.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 30, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    @Happy Valley Heretic,
    Who cares what the wealthy want?

    If it's fair... then we should be for it... not AGAINST it (Democrats).


    Not all "Wealthy" are Republicans you know...

    There are wealthy Democrats out there too.


    And if you think the wealthy don't like a flat-tax... how do you think they felt about Obama's plan...?

    I would think they would like a flat tax better than what we have today (which can change on them whenever politicians want to, or the majority wants to, at the drop of a vote).

    Tax rates can change. They are not bad today. But they have been bad in the past... and they can go there again IF the government gets into trouble...

    This is a quote from Wikipedia...
    "During 1944 and 1945, the top rate was its all-time high at 94% applied to income above $200,000"....

    Do you think they want THAT Heretic? Paying 94 cents of every dollar they earn to the Government.... and only keeping 6 cents of every dollar they earn???

  • Samson01 S. Jordan, UT
    April 30, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    A lot of comments today talking about the wealthy. Our poor today have more security than at any other time in history.

    Do I think the poor are lazy? No. I think that they have skill sets that are not worth much in the free-market. We see this happening in many professions. As a cabinet maker (hobbyist only) I appreciate the craftsmanship that many of our talented woodworkers have. Unfortunately those skills just are not in high demand as we prefer the prefab IKEA garbage instead.

    The answer? Evolve. I am a software developer. I hate my profession. I would much rather be using my original degree and teaching US history. Doesn't pay enough. Should society be forced to pay me more than what I am worth so I can go teach? Nope. I had to adapt. So do the poor.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 30, 2014 8:48 a.m.


    Lets look at the flat tax and put some numbers to it. Given the widening income gap, lets look at the effects of a flat tax.

    I assume that by flat tax, we are talking about one tax rate that everyone pays, regardless of income.

    I have heard lots of different numbers, but lets just look at a 15% flat tax rate

    A family of 4 making $40,000 per year is certainly struggling. While they probably pay no federal income tax, they do pay payroll taxes.

    So, they get an $6000 tax increase.

    Now look at a family of 4 making $250,000. Most likely they are going to get a tax cut.

    This just does not seem reasonable to me. What are your thoughts?

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    April 30, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    @LOU Montana


    The Four R's of "success" in Colorado.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    April 30, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    You know who doesn't want a flat tax?
    The wealthy, who are able to use those 1000's of loopholes, and deductions, that no average American would ever use, to make their tax burden lower than someone a dollar above poverty.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 30, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    Casa Grande, AZ
    It's an old human logic problem. The poor are considered outsiders, unclean, undesirable and deserving of their station.

    What it really is, is tribalism, unholy judgement and self preservation. The very anti-Christ in human psychology.

    8:12 a.m. April 30, 2014



    Some look for the Anti-christ in a man.
    Some think it may be a computer.

    Lately, with the Citizens United and McCutcheon Supreme Court rulings granting "Corporation" entities Consitutionally guaranteed "rights' -- it appears to me that perhaps the Anti-Christ is in fact a "Corporation".

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 30, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    Re: "26 percent of Democrats believe an unfair tax system is to blame for rise of economic inequality"...

    So if the tax system being unfair is to blame... WHY did Democrats campaign AGAINST a flat tax??

    And if the tax system being "unfair" is to blame... why did Obama campaign on making it MORE un-equal??


    IF Democrats can define what "Fair" is... and what rate would be "Fair" to tax some people at (while others pay ZERO Federal Income Taxes).... we could find out if we agree that what THEY think is "Fair" is fair to us... and vote for it (or against it).


    I honestly don't see how anything but a flat percentage of your income can be considered "Fair".

    And yet... Democrats fight tooth-and-nail AGAINST any flat tax proposals Republicans bring before Congress.

    They claim they want a "FAIR" tax system... What is "FAIR" to them???

    A small group of Americans paying... while others pay zero or get money FROM the tax system??? That seems to be what they campaign for each election...

    They certainly don't want a "FLAT" tax (which is most "fair" IMO)...

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 30, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    Orem, UT

    When I was a kid, our family was poor. Now I am either in the upper middle class or the lower upper class (I don't know where the line is).


    You are not as "rich" as you think your are --

    Upper middle class = $250K
    Lower Upper class = $300K

    The 1% of the 1% increased their wealth by a staggering 54% last year,
    did your portfolia do that well?

    And if you want to talk "Law of the Harvest",
    then getting money from stocks and investments is not "WORK".

    So, in reality -- the rich are even much lazier (idle) than the wokring poor.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    April 30, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    It's an old human logic problem. The poor are considered outsiders, unclean, undesirable and deserving of their station.

    What it really is, is tribalism, unholy judgement and self preservation. The very anti-Christ in human psychology.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    April 30, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    The Federal Reserve's zero interest-rate policy (ZIRP) has been the greatest gift to the super-wealthy imaginable. Wealthy investors can borrow money at an almost zero interest rate and invest in stocks, bonds and real estate, causing what is now probably the largest asset bubble in our history. ZIRP has enticed ordinary Americans to borrow until they hit their limits in trying to keep up with the wealthy, but they often end up losing in those asset casinos. Meanwhile, the super-wealthy make more in a single hour or single day than the rest of us make in our lifetimes. As long as ZIRP exists, the spread between the wealthy and the rest of us will continue to grow.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 30, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    Forty years ago 60% of GDP went to the wages of the bottom 99% of the population. Today that figure has shrunk to 50%. The 10% of GDP that used to go to the bottom 99% has gone to corporate profits and into the bank accounts of the 1%.That's the biggest reason for inequality, jobs no longer pay what they once did. Working hard is no longer a guarantee of economic security.

    (As a comparison 10% of GDP is more than we spend on social security, medicare, and medicaid put together)

  • a bit of reality Shawnee Mission, KS
    April 30, 2014 7:45 a.m.

    There are lots of reasons, many of which go beyond politics, such as changing technology and demographics. There is a shifting supply and demand for people who can do different things, and people ultimately get paid what they can negotiate, not necessarily what the true economic value of their labor is.

    I want to live in a country with a large and strong middle class. The trickle-down economic policies of the last 35 years haven't helped.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    April 30, 2014 7:05 a.m.

    According to the poll, Republicans are also just as likely to believe that inequality stems from a bad work ethic among the poor


    This just proves how clueless Republicans really and truley are...

    This shows they think that 99% of us are all a bunch of lazy mooches,
    whilst the upper crust 1% who OWN 85% of the welath are the ones out busting the behinds doing all the production...

    Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck have them all brainwashed.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    April 30, 2014 6:22 a.m.

    Why do all the studies about "income inequality" completely ignore the movement of people between classes? People move up or down all the time. Many of the wealthiest people today come from middle class families and some come from poor families. Likewise, some very poor people (homeless, prisoners, etc.) come from families who at least once had financial means.

    When I was a kid, our family was poor. Now I am either in the upper middle class or the lower upper class (I don't know where the line is). I still have aspirations of being even better off in the future, although I know the opposite can happen.

    Yet every time a discussion about wealth is raised, the same mantra about "the rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer" is trotted out about how unfair our society is. I guess it just fits someone's political agenda to convince everyone that we are all stuck in some kind of caste system even though facts prove otherwise.

    If anything limits a persons ability to be successful, it is most likely government interference.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 30, 2014 5:57 a.m.

    “Democrats believe an unfair tax system is to blame for rise of economic inequality . . .
    Republicans believe inequality stems from congressionally enacted policies.”

    Both are right.

    Reagonomics/Voodo Economics/Trickle Down Economics/Supply Side Economics could NEVER have been enacted without congressional approval.

    OBVIOUSLY, congressionally enacted tax policies that reduced taxes for the rich on the premise that money would trickle down to the middle class is the culprit, because it DOES NOT WORK.

    Think about it.

    The Problem: The richer get richer and the poor and middle class do not.

    The Solution: Give more money to the rich.

    Conclusion: The Reagonomics solution is ridiculous on its face.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 30, 2014 4:52 a.m.

    It is abundantly clear that income (and wealth) inequity has widened in the last 10 years. And in the last 20 years. Anyone who thinks differently has just not looked objectively at it.

    And it is not because of one thing.

    But there is a bigger question.

    If this inequity keeps on the pace it is going, what is the effect for America going forward?

    Look at the countries with income inequities greater than ours and see if that is what you think we should be striving for.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2014 1:58 a.m.

    I have noticed that many Republicans (and some Democrats) falsely judge the poor as to why they are poor. Some even "despise the poor" accordingly, based on that misjudgment.

    A very interesting article in this regard, entitled, "How the rich view the poor," by John Hoffmire and Adam Turville, published in the Deseret News last December.