Letters to the Editor

Pay it forward

October 14, 2011

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To the editor:

In the Oct. 7 Journal-World, Bob Johnson’s letter tried to refute the claim of Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren that successful people should be willing to pay more taxes to “pay forward” for the benefit of society. He said the factory owner paid for all the streets, schools and public services before, during and after the factory was built. 

Unless a factory owner was born at home and schooled at home, he owes a great deal to the community that provided the hospital, schools and infrastructure. Saturday’s Journal World carried the news that taxpayers will provide $1.3 million to help convert a warehouse to apartments, provide a $25,000 “forgivable loan” to a local sportswear company, $30,000 to a plastics company and $48,000 to help convert a Masonic Temple into a restaurant.

Previously, taxpayers provided millions of dollars of tax rebates to firms like DreamWings, Davol, E&E; Specialties and Sauer Sundstrand.  None met their agreed-upon employment levels and all went out of business or left town when their abatements expired, with no long-term gain for the city. We are awash in corporate welfare while recipients beat their chests about free enterprise.

Recent surveys show that very wealthy people, from Warren Buffet on down, agree that they should pay more taxes.  So, that suggestion can hardly be described as “class warfare” as alleged in Mr. Johnson’s letter.

Comments

Benjamin Roberts 3 years, 8 months ago

"Recent surveys show that very wealthy people, from Warren Buffet on down, agree that they should pay more taxes."

I just don't understand this statement or the surveys. If "very wealthy people, from Warren Buffet on down, agree that they should pay more taxes," then why don't they? The ability to gift money to the United States Government was instituted in 1843.

Excerpt: Citizens who wish to make a general donation to the U.S. government may send contributions to a specific account called "Gifts to the United States." This account was established in 1843 to accept gifts, such as bequests, from individuals wishing to express their patriotism to the United States. Money deposited into this account is for general use by the federal government and can be available for budget needs. These contributions are considered an unconditional gift to the government. Financial gifts can be made by check or money order payable to the United States Treasury and mailed to the address below.

Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Credit Accounting Branch
3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
Hyattsville, MD 20782

http://www.fms.treas.gov/faq/moretopics_gifts.html

lunacydetector 3 years, 8 months ago

warren buffet is a fraud. berkshire hathaway owes the federal government over $1 billion in back taxes dating back 10 years, and they are fighting to keep their money. do as i say, not as i do

Brock Masters 3 years, 8 months ago

I don't understand the comment about being at home - are hospitals owned by the government? And home schooling is not the only alternative to a public education - there is this thing called private schools.

I am not rich and I most likely won't be, but right is right and wrong is wrong. Trying to place our tax burden due to overspending by our government on the backs of the wealthy who already are bearing the bulk of our tax burden is wrong.

It is a lie that the wealthy (when considered as a whole) is not paying their fair share. They are. Are there exceptions like Buffet who legally pay a lower tax rate than others? Of course, but is like the attacks on those who receive government assistance because a small percentage cheat the system.

Want to fix the Buffet problem then change the tax rate on taxable income for all taxpayers but don't single out the wealthy.

ThePilgrim 3 years, 8 months ago

"Saturday’s Journal World carried the news that taxpayers will provide $1.3 million to help convert a warehouse to apartments, provide a $25,000 “forgivable loan” to a local sportswear company, $30,000 to a plastics company and $48,000 to help convert a Masonic Temple into a restaurant."

That's because it is Lawrence. Very few other places, except completely bankrupt cities like Detroit, would allow these schemes.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 8 months ago

Warren Buffet's company, Berkshire Hathaway, owes back taxes going as far back as 2002. The amount owed has been estimated to be as much as $1 billion.

grammaddy 3 years, 8 months ago

It's only "class warfare" when we fight back. Occupy!!

voevoda 3 years, 8 months ago

Liberty_One, The contract is the Constitution. You assume that all government is "hegemonic" and thus illegitimate. Yesterday, you compared our government to the "mafia." You really ought to read more than the mises website, and more economic theory besides that of Murray Rothbard. You seem to think that this is the source of truth on every topic, from economy to Herbert Hoover, but it's tendentious, skewing its presentation on every topic to advance its anarcho-capitalist viewpoint. Most of the citizenry of the United States wants us to have a government to provide protection, currency, regulation that protects our lives and our wellbeing, and to promote commerce, education, and a social safety net. There is a lot of debate about broadly or narrowly government oversight should extend, what the regulations should be and how they should be enforced, and (most of all) how the taxes necessary to keep the government functioning should be levied. But as to the very idea of government being illegitimate, as you claim, Liberty_One, you have been vastly outvoted by the great majority. If you wish to continue to live in our American republic, you need to yield to the will of the majority. Preach you radical anarchism if you like, Liberty_One, and be grateful that you live in a country where you can do so. At the same time be grateful that you live in a country where you are permitted to benefit personally from the government even as condemn it. P.S. Don't call me names because you disagree. That's the behavior of a middle-school bully.

Charles L Bloss Jr 3 years, 8 months ago

There should be no tax rebates, period! We don't get any, why should a business get them. Thank you, Lynn

David Reynolds 3 years, 8 months ago

The attitude portrayed in this letter to the editor can be made regarding anyone who uses infrastructure built by society. If you have a job & telecommute then you are using privately funded & installed infrastructure. The fact you can blog on this subject is gratis of private enterprise, not government.

This whole Warren argument can only be about creating envy. If everyone commenting here in support of Warren spent the same time improving their Marketable Skills they would not have allowed Ms Warren to fill their head with this mush.

Please ponder two ideas: (1) What is the purpose of a community? (2) Please tell us all what is the standard for when we say corporations & individuals have given enough of their time, talent & treasure?

Additionally do each of you meet that standard in your giving of time, talent & treasure?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

These anti tax have so many ways to avoid paying taxes. Yet they are never happy.

The again are anti tax people truly anti tax? Hardly! The rhetoric leads taxpayers to believe this type of person would be a good steward of our tax dollars. Where's the hard evidence? Can we say duped?

Mr. Johnson does not believe in Free Enterprise or the Free Market concept. Lordy where would he be without someone filling the cookie jars so he as a politician could empty the cookie jars.

He loved handing out OUR tax dollars to the tax dollar moochers. It is a great way to keep the guaranteed profits up in the real estate industry for the property owners and/or managers.

"He said the factory owner paid for all the streets, schools and public services before, during and after the factory was built. "

This may somewhat true however when the streets and water mains breakdown it's the taxpayers that receive the call for repair service.

Mr Johnson is very well educated at how to manipulate tax dollars to corporate beggars after all take a look at East Hills business park for which he was/is very much involved. As a founding member of the East Hills BOD's if my memory serves me well.

Remember Dicephera!

http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2007/dec/what_do_you_think_city_commissions_punishment_its_/results/

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