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Letters to the Editor

Tax the wealthy?

December 13, 2011

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To the editor:

Political “wisdom” proclaims that wealth generates jobs.

But columnist Paul Krugman writes that “quite a few of today’s wealthy got that way by destroying jobs.”

Now comes Albert Pujols with a $25 million per year for 10 years deal. He shouldn’t be taxed more, should he? He earned it. And just think what that money will do. The Angels will need more beer and peanut vendors. Concessions will be busier selling snacks and souvenirs. The whole (California) economy grows because of his wealthy contract.

Tax the wealthy?

Comments

weeslicket 2 years, 4 months ago

another question: does don conrad believe that his economic conditions improved JUST BECAUSE albert pujols signd a multi-million dollar contract?

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weeslicket 2 years, 4 months ago

made a comment (2 really) at the outset. then skipped ahead.

from the lte: 1. "The whole (California) economy grows because of his wealthy contract." this is a testable hypothesis. so, we wait and see and watch. caution: this hypothesis in only correct IF the whole californian economy grows BECAUSE of his (Pujols's) wealthy contract.

and also: 2. "Tax the wealthy?" again: wait and see. this question will rather quickly answer itself.

imo: 3. it should only take about ONE baseball season to answer either prove or disprove this hypothesis.

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Lane Signal 2 years, 4 months ago

The wealth (and corporations) are hording money. In the last 30 years, the tax structure has shifted to give the wealthy (and corporations) more tax breaks and the impact on the economy is that they are keeping all the money. The Right keeps saying that taxing the rich is redistribution of wealth. We already have redistribution of wealth. The rich are getting all the money and we need to change tax policy to reverse this trend.

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ivalueamerica 2 years, 4 months ago

Tax breaks for the wealthy historically have never increased employment, and I totally do not understand this never-ending passion for letting the wealthy pay much less in taxes than the middle class.

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Armstrong 2 years, 4 months ago

I for one would be whole heartedly in favor of taxing the wealthy to the enth degree if this subject will stop popping up every other day on the opinion page.

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tange 2 years, 4 months ago

"tax" "the wealthy"

compartmental thinking obsolescence a child could become trapped and die in that fridge

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 4 months ago

Using Washington logic, the median household would spend $107,000 per year which is $41,000 more than they earn.

http://usdebtclock.org/

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Jimo 2 years, 4 months ago

"He shouldn’t be taxed more, should he? He earned it."

Errrrrr......

A) Who, laboring for their income, doesn't "earn it"? Only in Gingrich's alternate universe do the working poor not "earn" their income (and more!).

B) Will Pujols quit if he's taxed more fairly? Nope. Will he hit fewer HRs? Nope. Will one peanut less be sold? Nope.

C) Why focus on Pujols? Did Vulture Capitalist Mitt Romney "earn" his money by stealing it from working people? Did Historian Newt Gingrich "earn" his money by recycling it from the public treasury? Did Celebrity Paris Hilton "earn" her money by inheriting it? Did Job Creator Fred Koch "earn" his money trading illegally with the communists?

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 4 months ago

Someone please explain in detail how the federal government can spend my money more efficiently than I can?

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Carol Bowen 2 years, 4 months ago

Right on, jhawkinsf. We should prioritize the government services we need, establish budgets to support them, and tac accordingly. Just crying "no taxes" ignores the reality that we need government. And, you have to pay for what you get. We do not need to hear about wealthy or poor, corporate or individual. Fairness will have to be on some kind of scale based on basic need and the ability to pay. No loopholes.

I wonder whatever happened to the recommendations from the Task Force.

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esteshawk 2 years, 4 months ago

One more comment: This concept of letting "capitalists" (eg the wealthy) keep all their money instead of paying taxes is based on the wealthy creating jobs. That is not happening because the proliteriate (eg the middle class) do not have money to spend, so there is no incentive to invest capital. This means money is continuing to flow to the top, and is not circulating. Without getting that turned around, this economy will never recover. How to get it turned around? Let those that spend money - the middle class - keep more of their money to spend.

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esteshawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Why can't Republicans remember the Bush cuts were TEMPORARY, adopted at a time when tax rates were HIGHER and the economy was booming? That FACT debunks this myth that higher taxes - closer to 30% than 50% - will ruin the economy. Higher taxes in the 90s did not pull down a booming economy and in fact led to a government SURPLUS. The lower rates have led directly to this current deficit.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

"the going rate being defined as the rate which a qualified applicant says he's willing to accept."

The going rate would be determined by the employer not the job applicant.

The much larger picture is important.

The nations economy is more important than hiring an immigrant for less money. Strong wages are better for the economy as strong wages promote economic growth,savings and investment.

Lower wages stagnate the economy thus increasing taxes,user fees etc etc etc to support existing demands.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

"So Merrill, if you owned a business and an American came to you applying for a job, wanting $18/hr. and a legal immigrant came to you an said he'd do the same job for half that amount, you'd hire the American?"

I'd hire the American. Because the immigrant is likely sending money to the native country therefore USA $$$$ are leaving the country. It is far more important to bolster the USA economy at every given opportunity.

Maintaining a tight american economy is essential to creating new wealth and new jobs for the country. Without such thinking the USA finds itself with an economy with 25 million without jobs.

Not only that for most of the same reasons if USA manufacturing wanted to go abroad they should pay a "tarriff" on all the products made abroad coming back into this country as a cost of putting Americans out of work.

USA manufacturing should not be receiving any USA tax benefits for leaving the USA. Keeping a home office in the USA is not good enough.

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Fretster 2 years, 4 months ago

I am personally amazed at the utter stupidity and shallow headed thinking of the so called conservatives here. Nothing about these morons is conservative, not one single thing. Nothing but partisan fools and simpletons, period.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 4 months ago

imastinker (anonymous) says…

I've pointed this out several times, but in middle class families with marginal tax rates approaching 1/3 to 1/2 of money earned by the lower producing spouse there is little incentive to go to work. If the tax rates are raised,

Moderate Responds.

Maybe that is why current unemployment rates are so difficult to address. If one member of a family loses their job the unemployment benefits may more than compensates (money and time) for the costs of earning that income given the already significant progressive tax rates on those two income families making above $50K and less than a million???

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beaujackson 2 years, 4 months ago

Property tax is the "killer" for many retired residents who live on a fixed (or declining) income.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

"But columnist Paul Krugman writes that “quite a few of today’s wealthy got that way by destroying jobs.”

Maybe as a result of sending USA jobs abroad while receiving USA tax breaks as if nothing changed?

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

There is one consequence that usually goes unmentioned. Local entitlements are draining our pocketbooks and raising our taxes.

Is it the taxpayers responsibility to guarantee the real estate industry and developers a nice tidy profit on their speculation and/or risky investments? Absolutely not!

Why all of this and I mean why any of this? Why do local government subsidies and new regulations funnel money from the poor and the middle class to the local politically connected?

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

http://www.uua.org/events/generalassembly/2008/commonthreads/115777.shtml

Let the voters decide!

Residential growth does not pay for itself because the funding of revenues generated by residential does not pay for the services they require from a municipality. Flooded retail growth cannot pay for itself because it is unfriendly to business and taxpayers

Let the voters decide when new development is appropriate mostly because too many elected officials cannot say NO to those that which funded their elections. Not only that taxpayers should ALWAYS have a say in our tax dollar spending debates because we are stakeholders.

Without our tax dollars nothing can proceed and city hall salaries cannot paid.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

It's about restoring taxes to say pre Reagan/Bush. The wealthy since 1980 have received numerous tax breaks and often times pay no taxes YET somehow receive large to quite large tax returns can we say $250,000 - over $900,000. This we have seen locally.

It seems also that it must be worth tax dollars to keep properties vacant otherwise why flood the markets ....... with the help of local government officials?

Meet some entitlements for the wealty:

  1. TABOR is Coming by Grover Norquist and Koch Bros sells out state governments, public schools,SRS services etc etc to private industry = Grab Your Wallets! http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0705rebne.html

  2. Tax cuts = the ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy which do nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs. Tax cuts are a tax increase to others in order to make up the loss in revenue = duped again. The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = duped one more time. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

In the end big debt and super duper bailouts were the results which does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion:

  • Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

  • Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

  • Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

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imastinker 2 years, 4 months ago

I've pointed this out several times, but in middle class families with marginal tax rates approaching 1/3 to 1/2 of money earned by the lower producing spouse there is little incentive to go to work. If the tax rates are raised, watch scores of people stay at home rather than go to work and make according spending cuts as well. It's effectively the decision lots of unemployed have already made with UI income. Let's see what that does to our economy.

There aren't a lot of people that can pay $150-$600/week or more on daycare, plus 42% taxes, plus commuting costs and wardrobe, meals, parking, etc; and still come out ahead after the money they make.

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seriouscat 2 years, 4 months ago

I really like the idea that that rascal Liberty One posted the other day...everyone who really gains their wealth through their own work and talent gets to keep that wealth at the same rate as everyone else.

Those who get their wealth via the help of (funded by you and me!) government subsidies and contracts gets taxed at an 80% marginal rate...guys like the Koch brothers who have the government seize property for their pipelines, developers who get the government's help seizing property (remember Kelo?) for malls, defense contractors, energy contractors, "security" contractors, insurance contractors, education contractors...et al.

How's that sound?

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Milton Bland 2 years, 4 months ago

I am not rich. But I see nothing fair about taxing those that are rich more than I am taxed. If the "rich" are required to pay a greater tax, maybe they should be allowed to drive at a faster speed? Or maybe they should have a shorter wait at the emergency room? The whole "tax the rich" promotion is simply the Democrats way of taking advantage of the class envy felt by the folks who are too lazy to compete. Taxes should be fair, and the only fair tax is one that is shared equally by everyone.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 4 months ago

The current regime needs more $ to reward people who gave big $ the the Mope's campaign in 2008.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 4 months ago

Tax everyone, equally. No loopholes, no deductions, none. A flat tax at whatever percentage is necessary for the government to function.
Don't ask me if I'm rich or poor. Don't ask me the color of my skin. Don't ask me my religion. I'll pay my fair share if you'll pay your fair share.

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grammaddy 2 years, 4 months ago

I seriously doubt that the wealthy will go broke if they have to pay an additional 2% in taxes.

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its_just_math 2 years, 4 months ago

"Soon, the rich will have no more money to tax and the poor will have spent their money. Then we will all be poor."

Not necessarily KS. The cycle will repeat itself, eventually putting the money right back into the hands of the rich . Unless someone like Obama was somehow able to establish a dictatorship, like Woody Allen suggested, and simply took it all, all the time. And if the Tea Party had not put a stop to the terrible trio of Obama/Pelosi/Reid, we could've drifted that direction. It's not out of the realm of reality with the current crop of sinister haters in the left-wing of the Dem party.

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KS 2 years, 4 months ago

The answer is simple. Tax the rich and give to the poor (Robin Hood). Soon, the rich will have no more money to tax and the poor will have spent their money. Then we will all be poor. I will admit that there may be some folks that could be overpaid (in the eyes of the beholder), but gosh, isn't it nice to know that in this country one has that opportunity? We all can be rich should we decide to work for it and we can all be poor if we decide not to.

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mloburgio 2 years, 4 months ago

The Cost Of Bush Tax Cuts For The Richest 5 Percent: $11.6 Million Per Hour | The National Priorities Project, in partnership with Citizens for Tax Justice, has released a new site tracking the ever-growing cost of the Bush tax cuts. They found that the tax cuts for only the richest 5 percent of Americans “cost the U.S. Treasury $11.6 million every hour of every day.”

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its_just_math 2 years, 4 months ago

When taxation reaches a certain level (along with of course entitlements for "layabouts") economies are edging toward collapse---eventually going down. We've seen this in many of the European models; models that our Class Warrior in Chief seems to want to copy. That's what many are hoping we get four years of? Puuullllleeeeez.

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cato_the_elder 2 years, 4 months ago

From esteemed British actor Sir Michael Caine, in 2009:

"The Government has taken tax up to 50 per cent, and if it goes to 51, I will be back in America. I will not pay the Government more than I get. No way, ever. They've reached their limit with me, and that's what will happen to a lot of people. You know how much they made out of that high taxation all those years ago? Nothing. But they sent a mass of incredible brains to America. This return to high tax will only deepen our debt. While top-earners will be hit by the highest tax in 20 years, our MPs escape Scot-free. We've got three-and-a-half million layabouts laying about on benefits, and I'm 76, getting up at 6am to go to work to keep them. Let's get everybody back to work so we can save a couple of billion and cut tax, not keep sticking it on."

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