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Letters to the Editor

Taxing the rich

October 17, 2011

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To the editor:

Taxes on the rich do not harm the economy. Far from it. Between 1947 and 1979, taxes on the top tier were between 70 percent and 91 percent, and the economy grew at its fastest pace. Family income increased across all tax brackets between 99 percent and 116 percent. Between 1980 and 2007, trickle-down economics destroyed the middle-class. Family income for 99 percent of earners increased at an anemic 25 percent. The top 1 percent benefitted with whopping 261 percent increase in income.  (Look at connectthedotsusa.org for more facts.)  Tax cuts for the rich do not deliver jobs or general prosperity.  They deliver deficits by design to encourage a weakening of government.

Comments

bolshavik_vw 2 years, 6 months ago

Tax the RIch! YES! What makes them any different than the rest of us? Nothing except for Money and greed. It is not right that they can cheat their way to the top. And step on us as they get to the top. I don't care if I won the Biggest Lottery or any Lottery tomorrow, or in the future. I would still pay taxes. I don't see why these people can get away with this, and still sleep at night.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

November 3, 2011 – Washington, DC

National Nurses United International Day of Action: Make Wall Street Pay

As the leaders of the G-20 nations meet in France November 3, 2011 to address the global economic crisis, join with nurses, consumer advocates and union allies as part of actions around the world to send a message from Main Street: Wall Street must pay for the devastation they’ve caused to our communities.

A Wall Street Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) can raise $350 billion per year in the U.S. to provide living wage jobs, guaranteed healthcare, a secure retirement for all, quality public education, good housing and protection from hunger. European workers want the benefits of the FTT in their own countries as well.

November 3, 2011, we will tell Congress and economic policy makers in Washington: Tax Wall Street.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 11:30 am — Lafayette Square 3:00 pm — Lobby on Capitol Hill

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CHKNLTL 2 years, 6 months ago

Seen on OWS sign: "THE ONLY THING THAT TRICKLED DOWN WAS THE DEBT"

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weeslicket 2 years, 6 months ago

here's the link that got liberty one's undies into a twist. there have been artcles following this one, if you care to learn more. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/businessdesk/2011/09/easy-as-pie-inequality-in-down.html

fortunately, liberty one has requested to no longer post in response to my posts. (because i am not libety one.) simplifies things, actually.

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bearded_gnome 2 years, 6 months ago

While you may be paying a third to half of your income in federal taxes, Warren Buffett and others who make their living from dividends, capital gains and running a hedge fund only pay 15%. That's why Warrren Buffet's overall tax rate was around 17%.

---when you work, you earn your income. if you have enough left over, you can invest your money, as listed in this obama/envy economics quote.
one rationale for taxingdividends, cap gains, etc., at a lower rate is that you are risking your money by investing it!

sadly, the occuhippies and the fringies on here obviously lack proper education in economics, replace it with Obama/envy.

some people are too stupid to have $s. those people should be taxed at 100%!

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 6 months ago

A habit obscene and unsavory Holds David Cay Johnson in slavery With lecherous howls He devours young owls That he keeps in an underground aviary. (from a source from a source from a source)

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Mike Ford 2 years, 6 months ago

both ways....since I'm Choctaw and Biloxi Indian....why don't you leave.... I would leave but I'm afraid you'd turn this whole country into the double wide nation with am radios on the porch and paranoia and misinformation abounding....

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

Taxes at the federal level is not the only source of getting duped not by a long shot... think locally : Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston presents : "Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)." Johnston reveals how local government subsidies and new regulations have quietly funneled money from the poor and the middle class to the rich and politically connected. http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

People are working just as hard—actually harder, if you take into account work done off the books. They're working longer hours. Large corporate employers like Wal-Mart and restaurants like KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell have recently gotten in trouble for locking people in and making them work off the books, under the threat of losing their jobs. Some companies are refusing to pay overtime. When workers go to labor authorities to lodge complaints, budget cuts have ensured that there's nobody's there to listen, let alone act. http://www.uua.org/events/generalassembly/2008/commonthreads/115777.shtml

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 6 months ago

On a lighter note, if it rains tonight, it would be bath day for those at South Park!

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

How might we make better use of the projected surpluses in the federal budget? On that score, the Democrats are not much help. In reaction to the extremism of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, they are offering up a warmed-over Eisenhower-moderate-Republican proposal from the 1950s—use the surplus to pay down the debt.

But devoting the surplus to retiring government debt is unlikely to produce a more robust economy. Reduced government borrowing is intended to lower interest rates and thus juice up capital investment, which accelerates economic growth. In practice, however, government borrowing and interest rates are not closely correlated, and lower interest rates are seldom by themselves sufficient to coax balky investors to part with their money.

But if lower interest rates are the goal, the Federal Reserve can bring them down without expending the surplus. In fact, the Fed furiously lowered interest rates in the first two months of this year. Fed action makes sense, since it's the Fed's numerous hikes of the interest rate during 1999 and 2000 that helped to jeopardize the current economic expansion in the first place.

It's not hard to enumerate better uses of the budget surplus. To begin with, http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

We said we didn't want it. Most people didn't even vote for it. In survey after survey, public opinion polls rank a large tax cut as one the least desirable uses of the federal budget surplus. And Republican and Democratic leaders alike have warned the President-select that his tax cut package will never emerge whole from Congress.

But all to no avail. George W. Bush has yet to back off from the monstrous, surplus-draining tax cut proposal that was the cornerstone of his campaign. Now he's even telling us that it's for our own good: His tax cut will cure our softening economy and stave off the threat of recession by "encouraging capital formation, economic growth, and job creation." Even Alan Greenspan, chair of the Federal Reserve Board and a debt-reduction hawk, is prepared to accommodate the Bush plan.

At least one group is happy to swallow the Bush tax cut medicine—"the haves and the haves-more," as Bush referred to his supporters during a fundraiser last year. After all, it is their taxes he will cut. Together, lower income tax rates (with the biggest drop at the top) and the repeal of the estate tax account for nearly three-quarters of the Bush tax cut.

Nearly three-fifths of the total benefits of the tax cut package will go to the richest 10% of all taxpayers, and some 43% will go just to the top 1%, those who make more than $319,000 a year and showed average income of $915,000 in 1999.

But no matter what Bush says, his tax giveaway to the wealthy will not inoculate us against recession. Nor are well-to-do taxpayers suffering from over-taxation, as the Bush team insists. One thing is sure. If the Bush tax cut goes through, social programs that have already been neglected for more than two decades will continue to suffer.

Details: http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

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beatrice 2 years, 6 months ago

LO: "Buffet owns shares in corporations. Those corporations pay taxes. That wouldn't show up on his personal income tax statement. Let's not be fooled by propaganda, shall we?"

Do you mean like being fooled to believe that shares in a corporation and working for a corporation should be taxed at a different rate? Why is an investment of money in the form of an investment in stocks be considered differently from someone who invests their time in that same company? In both instances, the corporation pays taxes (supposedly) as well as paying dividend returns and wages. So why the difference? Why is money invested more important in the eyes of the government that its return should be taxed at a lower rate than the return given a worker for his/her time?

Of course, we know the difference. The wealthy are the ones who write the laws and they do so to protect themselves.

The simple truth is, dividend returns should not be taxed at a lower rate than the income return for a worker's time.

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devobrun 2 years, 6 months ago

From 1947 until 1979 money that was invested in corporations grew because there was freedom to grow and there were things to invent. Energy production, plastics, electronics, and more abstract things like business relationships all grew. And grew and grew.

Today, we are out of ideas. Everything from communications to entertainment is derivative. How many times does Romeo and Juliet have to be remade? Facebook is embarrassing. The green revolution occurred during the years of 1947 and 1979. Today we have no such new crop growth. Instead of growing more crops because of the green revolution, we divert crops to fuel which is completely wasteful, because of the green political revolution.

And why is the innovation well so dry? Because after 1979 government took control of research. Proscripted innovation is no innovation at all. So todays innovation is completely abstract. Google and Facebook really don't do anything do they? Loyalty programs, frequent flier miles really aren't miles are they? Games really don't generate wealth do they? This computer generated created reality doesn't seem to be creating many jobs does it?

LTE is arguing about taxes and wealth shifting, like most left-wingers. And right-wingers argue back. And nothing new, innovative, or worth a tinkers-damn is accomplished. So long as the rhetoric continues along political lines, the real demon is ignored. New ideas are just games. Physics has generated nothing usable for decades. Social engineering crashed down amid drugs and gang warfare. We are spinning downward toward the third world.

And we worry about who is in the office of the president of the U.S..........a useless position as regards innovation and new jobs.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 6 months ago

my retired minister father with masters degree just rode the via rail train from Kenora, Ontario, to Quebec City and back to Windsor and Detroit. He had to convince some of the passengers on that train that not every one in the US in a raging backwards idiot. Some of you do a really good job of making other countries think that though. Canadians have had universal healthcare for forty years. I drove past GM, Ford, and Chrysler plants in southwest Ontario before Bush ruined our currency and economy and these plants don't have the legacy healthcare costs that US car plants have therefore the Canadian economy is in better shape than ours thanks to the loud ignorant obstructiveness of the tea party and the republicans. I have a high school classmate who's been in Norway now for over fifteen years as a musician who plays 150 dates a year throughout Scandinavia. They probably pay fifty percent in taxes but she rides trains everywhere for gigs has health care and and recently had paid maternity leave. I love how the dimwits here make fun of smart people.

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 6 months ago

A poor man (or woman) never gave me a job.

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Shane Garrett 2 years, 6 months ago

Harborside, a medical marijuana store, celebrated its fifth anniversary Monday, serves 94,000 patients with 84 full-time employees and brings in about $22 million in annual revenue. According to DeAngelo, the center, set up as a not-for-profit business, pays about $1.1 million in taxes to the city of Oakland, $2 million to the state of California and $500,000 to the federal government.

“We have no complaint about the taxes we pay," DeAngelo said. "We are doing our part. All we ask is that we be treated like any other business enterprise. To treat us like criminals is simply wrong. Drug kingpins and cartels don’t file taxes. We do. But no business, including ours, can survive if it is taxed on its gross revenue. The IRS is trying to tax us out of existence.” Here is the tax code the IRS is using: “Section 280E of the Code disallows deductions incurred in the trade or business of trafficking in controlled substances that federal law or the law of any state in which the taxpayer conducts the business prohibits. For this purpose, the term “controlled substances” has the meaning provided in the Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana falls within the Controlled Substances Act.”

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Shane Garrett 2 years, 6 months ago

Mindless polarization is a far easier concept to get behind than an inconvenient truth, Glad to see where the Nazi party and the communist party both have now given support to the occupy wall street. Both have designs on the "judeo-capitalist banksters" and even the Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said that these protest will destroy capitalism forever. So, yeah, we need to take it all from the 1%. They will still be rich and earning more than the 99%. What will it matter?

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William Weissbeck 2 years, 6 months ago

To paraphrase William Jennings Bryan, tear down your corporations and leave the workers, and businesses will spout up as if by magic. But destroy the workers and the walls will crumble in every business across America. If tomorrow we do half of all the wealth and all the income from the top 1 percent, the next day they would still be rich and earning more than you or me. Taxes are the price you pay for a civilized society. The debate is about what is necessary for civilized, educated and productive. You can always live behind your gated walls and keep your money in a foreign bank, but ask the wealthy in Tia Juana or Juarez if that isn't an illusion of security.

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Shane Garrett 2 years, 6 months ago

What? The Republican arguments for no new taxes is just raw greed. Darn I should be supporting the Democrates who want new taxes on everyone making over 250,000.00 a year. Because, those people should be paying more for the roads, bridges, schools, and paying more to help out the 50% of the US population who can't pay for needed social services. :"Rich" people should pay for the four wars the United States is involved with. As it is "their" industrial complex that is producing the products used to fight them.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Good points. The Republican argument about investment caN BE ADDRESSED BY REDUCING TAXES ON THE MIDDLE. Even though they would not invest as much each there are more of them and their investments should make up for those no longer made by a more highly taxed super rich.

The rest of the Republican arguments are just raw greed. If we can be highly progressive on the middle and upper middle we sure can be highly progressive on the rich and super rich.

WE ARE NOT!

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KEITHMILES05 2 years, 6 months ago

Buffet released his taxable income from a recent year (don't remember which?) to a Ks. congressman last week and he had taxable income a little over 60,000. So, no he doesn't pay millions in taxes.

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skinny 2 years, 6 months ago

Everyone ought to be taxed the same. Those who earn more will pay more even with flat rate tax. But at least it'd be more fair then it is now!

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 6 months ago

LN: "Rich parents give their kids things instead of their time and love. Trust me, a small house, one parent staying home with the kids and parents sitting at the dinner table having a meal and helping the kids with their homework every night is worth much more then a mansion and private schools." === Good points. There is such a thing as abuse by income, and you accurately describe it here.

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Steven Gaudreau 2 years, 6 months ago

You may want to look at the tax codes when the rich were taxed at 70%. Things like country club dues and credit card interest were write offs.
Since 49% of us do not pay any income tax, the rich do pay more now. I asuume those who have an income of over $1,000,000 have some kind of tax burden so if they pay even $1, they are already paying more then 50%. So Warren Buffet only paid 15%, he still cuts a check for $15,000,000 (guess). So if Buffets secretary paid 20%, she cut a check for $15,000 (guess). Which is more, $15,000,000 or $15,000?
OK, so the rich are paying more so get your gripe straight. Most are not mad that the rich are not paying, more because they are. The probelm is the rich have more money after they pay taxes because they made more to start with. Right? I see this as nothing more then jealousy rearing it's ugly head. Instead of complaining, why not go out and make more money? I know why, it's hard work. Everyone thinks the rich inheirited their wealth but that's not true. Most work 70 hour work weeks and have no relationship with their family. How many wealthy families are happy? The majority are not. The wealthy parents decided to dedicate their lives to making money instead of spending time with their family. Rich parents give their kids things instead of their time and love. Trust me, a small house, one parent staying home with the kids and parents sitting at the dinner table having a meal and helping the kids with their homework every night is worth much more then a mansion and private schools. Don't worry about what the rich are paying, it's irrelevant.

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 6 months ago

The President needs to give up the fiction that the middle class can't pay more. They should, and so should the 'rich.' Is it ironic the worker who makes 50K a year pays taxes on much of the income, and the bond trader, who mainly works to churn money for a fee and can take in 6-7 figures has a different tax rate for money he makes sitting on his butt and making phone calls? Income is income; just because you make it sweating in the sun doesn't mean you should pay at a higher rate than those who make lots more sitting at a computer.

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vuduchyld 2 years, 6 months ago

Keep your tea away from me You've been drinkin, I can see I think I'll have a glass of lemonade Your slash and burn democracy Is not good public policy That tea is causing your intelligence to fade

(watch the music video here!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmSh2qRHDnc

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its_just_math 2 years, 6 months ago

Obama hasn't done a good job pitching European-style entitlement and high taxes. He was hoping his Class Warfare Campaign was going to get things started in his direction. All he got was a bunch of clueless Fleabaggers high on dope, having public sex and defecating on governemnt property. Good going Barack Hussein Obama.

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Eybea Opiner 2 years, 6 months ago

Confiscate the entire wealth of the Forbes 400 and you will garner about enough to pay for this year's spending deficit. Then what?

There aren't enough "rich" to solve our financial problems. We've got to cut spending and, most important, cut expectations of the welfare state.

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mustrun80 2 years, 6 months ago

"Tax cuts for the rich do not deliver jobs or general prosperity" Yet there plenty of tax cuts during the time you site, even by democrats. How on earth was the prosperity you speak of during this time possible?

Evidently lowering taxes doesn't hurt the economy - since during the time the rates were being lowered we had the booms of the sixties, 80's, 90's, 2003 -2007.

It's raising taxes that hurts the economy - and like somebody said above, just because the government can to something doesn't mean it's right.

Some of us think in a Free society taking a third to a half of somebodies income is enough, maybe, just maybe, it's the government that has a problem of living within it's means.

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Liberty_One 2 years, 6 months ago

"Between 1947 and 1979"

Actually between 1947 and 1971 the economy grew fairly well. The dollar was still tied to gold during those years. From 1971 on the dollar became just paper and our economy has slowly stagnated ever since. The reason the wealthy profit so much is that they know the dollar is worthless and know how to profit from this, while us common folk are stuck on the losing side of all the bubbles paper money creates.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 6 months ago

Why is it ok for people to take other people's hard earned money claiming that they are helping the "pooooor'.

Give me a break. Forcefully taking my money is not going to solve anything.

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Brock Masters 2 years, 6 months ago

Heavily taxing the very poor is likely not to hurt the economy either but that doesn't mean its right. Just because you can tax the rich doesn't mean it's right.

The rich do pay their fair share of taxes. We need solutions that do not divide our country and going after the wealthy is divisive.

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imastinker 2 years, 6 months ago

You're not talking about taxing the rich though. The rich make a lot of their money with capital gains, and that rate isn't under consideration to be changed. This is another tax on the middle class.

25O k is a pretty good income, but it's by no means rich. It's an engineer married to a nurse who have retirement money in stocks. They already pay a huge tax burden, probably approaching 50% of their income. All you'll succeed in doing is convincing the one with the lower income to stay at home and lead a more frugal life. That hurts the economy, not helps.

This point is probably lost on you though. Also the fact that there is no way to raise enough revenue on these people without a tax rate approaching 100%. there is no way to spend our way out this time. We have to cut expenses.

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Wadde 2 years, 6 months ago

   High taxes for the rich; thats an understatement that discriminates( wealthy) individuals that know how use the universal laws of taxes.( Ignorance ) always seems to rule the underclass,

that cause taxes to go up when industries and new job creation rules an economy for certain interest groups. In turn underclass and interest groups and legislatures seek these groups so that their paychecks get bigger from the taxes they generate from these interest groups. I cannot see how you get a stronger economy from more jobs and more industries that promised us from these interest groups;in the last 10 years and now we are past and returning to weaken economy....thank you Mr.Greenspan for( raising the interest rates on the dollar)... ITS TIME TO RETURN TO THE GOLD STANDARD.

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