Americans want fair taxes — even if it is bad for the economy

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  • Kindred Mesa, AZ
    June 13, 2014 1:34 p.m.


    I respectfully suggest you take a large portion of your income each year and give it to the IRS as a donation. Perhaps then you could consider your nominal tax rate higher and feel less guilt. Or maybe you could claim fewer deductions. Either way, I think people with more wealth who would like to pay more taxes should have every right to do so.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 8:40 a.m.


    Sandy, UT

    Remember, during the 1940s and 1950s, the top tax bracket was 90%. That's right, the richest Americans paid 90 cents of every dollar they made to Uncle Sam.

    The nation's economy was devastated, capitalism and industry never recovered, and America lost its role as leader of the free world.

    When did those rates change? 1950's? NO. It was under Reagan in the 1980's. Since we lowered the tax rates, "The nation's economy was devastated, capitalism and industry never recovered, and America lost its role as leader of the free world."!!!

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    Chris B: "He and I use about the same government resources"

    You keep saying that, but it really isn't true.

    A business man does not build his product by himself. He needs an educated public to pull employees from. Guess who educated those people...usually the government.

    After the ideas are engineered, all raw materials to make those products must be shipped to his company. Who paid for those roads? Certainly not the business man. It was again the taxpayers through the government.

    The government must insure that the product he is selling is compliant with safety rules that protect the citizens of this nation, thus he uses federal regulators to make sure his business does no harm, either to the workers or his customers.

    All finished good need to be moved to a placee to sell them, again using those roads with usually big rigs that erode our roads much faster than the car you use to get to work every day.

    If his building starts on fire, it is going to use many more fire trucks, firemen, and police to put out that blaze than your small home.

    What you say just is not true.


  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 11, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    SAS - no one paid 90 percent of every dollar they made. The tax system isn't setup that way. But your point is well taken... during the biggest booms in our economy, we had higher taxes than we do now. This supposed linkage to low taxes and high growth rate doesn't appear anywhere.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    June 10, 2014 11:03 p.m.

    I consider myself a liberal, and I think the idea of a flat (or flatter) tax is just great. No exceptions. No deductions for dependents, home mortgages, medical expenses, donations or any other such deduction.

    i also believe we should have a national sales tax to tax consumption. If you can afford a $100,000 car or a $5000 watch, you can certainly afford a 5% (or whatever works) tax on that purchase.

    Corporate rates ought to be lower and without deductions as well. Pick a fair number for the rate, and eliminate all the malarkey deductions they get to take.

    However, whatever rate of taxation we assume, we ought to raise enough taxes to pay for the services we collectively receive. None of this deficit spending except in times of extraordinary national emergencies. And raise enough taxes to pay back what we collectively have already spent.

    However, I seriously doubt any of this would ever make it into law. Too many sacred cows out there.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 10, 2014 10:31 p.m.

    "Tax fairness" is liberal code for stealing from the producers and giving their money to the "takers" to buy their votes.

    Robbing Peter to pay Paul assures liberals of Paul's vote in the future.

    The only tax fairness is a straight percentage across the board at all income levels.
    You work hard and earn more, you get to keep more, but still only the same percentage as those who earn less. Unfortunately, this is easily demagogued to convince the low earners (and often low information voters) that they are getting cheated somehow.

    Class warfare works, and the tax laws are one of the main weapons used. That is what is unfair!

  • SAS Sandy, UT
    June 10, 2014 10:27 p.m.

    Remember, during the 1940s and 1950s, the top tax bracket was 90%. That's right, the richest Americans paid 90 cents of every dollar they made to Uncle Sam.

    The nation's economy was devastated, capitalism and industry never recovered, and America lost its role as leader of the free world.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:14 p.m.

    That's a progressive income tax, not a flat tax, which explains why this liberal likes your plan.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 10, 2014 8:57 p.m.

    @Patriot... I will remind my parents, my mother worked more that 50 years, and my dad at nearly 80 - still working.... but both considered part of the 47% because they get medicare and social security.... that per "conservative patriots" like your self that they are, in your words, "free loaders and the rest pay everything (or Obama-nation)".

    It is great to see the respect given to these people who paid their part... but now are treated as "free loaders" on society. I hope you get all the respect back that you so liberally give, now when you are their age.

    Redshirt... you are completely correct... life isn't fair. Just this last fall I got a ticket, that I was able to hire a high priced lawyer who made the whole thing go away. Because I had means, I was able to work the justice system in my favor. And in my opinion, that isn't right. Just like the fact that I only pay social security for 4 months of the year, and my nominal tax rate is under 6 percent... because I can afford special treatment.

    Life isn't fair... but that doesn't make it right.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    I also have to commend Chris B. for laying out the philosophical underpinnings of those that believe that the rich pay too much and the poor should pay more.

    Unfortunately, what we consider ideal usually doesn't square with reality. The reality is that pure capitalism will ultimately lead to a few super rich, and relegate the rest to being poor. For a long time we had a robust middle class that buffered us from this as a result of the New Deal, strong unions and a progressive tax structure. Though many of today's conservatives might have considered these policies less-than-ideal, they made our society thrive. Alas, our current problems are not because people are lazy. In fact, workers have never been more productive (and paid so little for it) in human history.

    The comment by Idazut should be commended for actually suggesting an alternative. The problem with a simple sales tax is that it is regressive. In this situation, the poor people spend all their money every month just surviving, and end up paying more in taxes than the rich. Fiscal conservative should push for an equitable flat tax instead.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 10, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    Whenever I hear people cry about something not being fair, I am reminded of my kids when they are about 3 years old. I quickly saw that what they meant was that things were not going in their favor, and they wanted what somebody else had.

    You should find the parenting article titled "That’s not Fair". It used to be on MSN, but is available at other websites now too. You sound just like the kids they describe. The author says "Whose kids haven’t at one point hollered, "That’s not FAIR!" when they felt cheated out of their supposed share of something?" That sounds like you and others like you.

    They go on by stating "Early on, fairness is typically defined in one of two ways: with everyone getting exactly the same thing, or the child getting everything he or she wants....Fairness is a perception about what is deserved or agreed upon,” Rode says. "It is sometimes very unfair to make things equal.""

    So, do we need to help you learn that life isn't "fair", and that you cannot ever have a "fair" system of taxation.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 10, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    Fair Taxes. So normally when we speak of "fairness" we assume the principle applies to everyone one is or poor. With that standard definition understood then the ONLY FAIR tax is one in which everyone is taxed the same percentage. The bible calls the principle TITHING. I would actually modify things a bit and propose the following FLAT TAX...

    Income greater than 175k is taxed at 25%
    Income 40k - 174k is taxed at 15%
    Income 15 - 40k is taxed at 10%
    Income under 15k no tax

    No tax exemptions - no loop holes. Everybody pays in. Now in a liberals verbage fairness means something else entirely. Liberal fairness means half the country is free loaders and the rest pay everything (or Obama-nation).

    "Ask NOT what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country" (JFK)

    "Ask NOT what you can do for your country but ask what your country can give you for free" (Barack)

  • IDC Boise, ID
    June 10, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    Fair is an interesting word to use. What is fair? Is fair paying for what you use? Is fair paying nothing and receiving benefits for free? Is it fair having someone pay more because they are more successful? What is just and shows responsibility?

    The idea of an national sales tax is appealing. The government would have a lot of control but everyone would feel the pain. We all need skin in the game.

  • idazut Riverton, UT
    June 10, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    The very existence of an income tax is harmful to the economy. What you tax you get less of because people don't want to pay the tax. That's why there are so many tax shelter schemes. Some legal, some not. Why in the world do we want to tax income? People shpould be encouraged to earn as much as they can by being allowed to keep what they earn.

    What we need is a national sales tax. People would still buy what they need but it would curb some of the wasteful and senseless spending that many of us indulge in. Opponents of a national sales tax often claim that it would hurt the poor. Nonsense. Most of the states and many municipalties have sales taxes. The poor receive government assistance to help them meet their basic needs. Let them retain some measure of dignity by allowing them to pay their fair share of taxes through a national sales tax.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    Liberals get so hung up on this idea of what they think may work, that they don't stop to think of something is right. And on top of that, their idea wont work in the first place. But even if they did, that hardly justifies anything.

    A rich person like Mitt Romney is paying millions in taxes and I am paying a few thousand.

    He and I use about the same government resources which means he's already paying the bulk of what I use. I would be lazy if I demanded he pay even more for my share than what he's already doing.

    I don't care if it would "work."

    It would "work" for me to rob my rich neighbor, that would "work" and solve my personal financial troubles, but that hardly justifies me doing so.

    I couldn't care less if the rich are capable of paying more - they're already paying for more than their share.

    barack doesn't spend more simply because a rich guy made a lot more money.

    Lets not be lazy.

    I should pay for what I use, and so should everyone else.