Letters to the Editor

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TAX CUTS: Richest don’t deserve continued break

Letter by Gordon Gipson, Lake Tapps on Dec. 13, 2010 at 3:09 pm with 80 Comments »
December 13, 2010 3:16 pm

Re: “Stop class warfare, Democrats” (letter, 12-10).

Opinions are a basic protected right that everyone should be allowed to have, but everyone does not get to have their own facts.

Raising taxes and allowing temporary tax cuts to expire, as required by law, are not the same. The letter writer would have us believe that the only offering the Democrats made was to stop the tax cuts for families making more than $250,000 per year when in fact all incomes up to that amount would have been exempt from the expiration.

The final offer before the Democrats blinked was to only allow the tax break to end for family’s income over $1 million per year. That’s $1 million! The first million dollars would have gotten the break. I don’t think that will bankrupt anybody who, more than likely, already shelter a lot of their income anyway.

The only class warfare that has been going on is the gap between the rich 1 percent and the rest of us. That has been going on for years, supported by the right. According to every poll, the majority of Americans believe that the lower- and middle-income folks deserve a tax break more than the rich 1 percent.

Leave a comment Comments → 80
  1. aislander says:

    Almost half of “taxpayers” pay no tax. How can you give a tax break to someone who isn’t paying taxes?

    And, a tax increase is a tax increase regardless of the mechanism or rationale for that increase…

    So…if someone keeps his OWN money, THAT constitutes class warfare? “Words mean what I want them to mean…”

  2. “The only class warfare that has been going on is the gap between the rich 1 percent and the rest of us.”

    Gordon what class war are we engaged in? It sounds like you are having all the fun. I’d like to get in on it. Dude I am ready to rock!!!

    Hold on… what is our mission? And what are we poor folk fighting for? The rich guy I pass by doesn’t have anything I want. And if I do, I just have to have the right attitude, have a goal, plan, implement and with a little luck and alot of hard work I too can have what the rich folk have.

    Is that our mission Gordon?

  3. The fairest, and best, thing to do at this time is to not renew the W cuts FOR ALL LEVELS.

    I don’t want higher taxes but realize that deficits do matter.

  4. You are correct – deficits matter… lets see what expenses we can cut, that will be fun, saving the taxpayer money and making the government more efficient.

  5. aislander says:

    Increasing rates will have little or no effect on revenues…

  6. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Isn’t “Class Warfare” a wonderful thing?!

  7. Parkland says:

    I’ve never, not once, heard any coherent argument in favor of taxing the wealthy at a higher rate that didn’t involve class warfare.

  8. Hey Gordo – I am getting ammunition ready for the class warfare. Found this little gem in honor of the President and his appearance on Mythbusters:


  9. bobcat1a says:

    The aristocrats will always have their spear carriers among the hoi polloi. That’s why they don’t bleed. They pay the commoners bleed for them.

  10. bobcat1a says:

    I’m sure Alex Rodriguez and Paris Hilton appreciate the efforts your grandkids will put into paying back the Chinese for their tax cuts.

  11. I have rarely heard an argument from the Right that didn’t involve reducing the argument to labeling.

  12. Parkland says:

    My folks worked hard for what they had. They invested their money wisely and did very well for themselves, children of the depression. Not a year went by that they didn’t give generously, especially to the Shriners, and not a disaster went by that they didn’t open their wallets to help. When my dad retired, he volunteered at Puget Sound Hospital until he himself was diagnosed with cancer. They’re not around anymore, but for every Paris Hilton or Alex Rodriguez you can pull out of your hat, there are thousands of people just like that.

    Those are the evil rich people you hate so much.

  13. Parkland – are you saying that your folks are as rich as Paris HIlton or Alex Rodriguez?

  14. re-read your post:

    Sorry for your loss.

    So parkland, are you saying that you inherited enough from your folks to be as rich as Paris Hilton or Alex Rodriguez?

  15. Parkland says:

    Don’t be purposely dense. What I’m saying is that every time these things come up, you guys come up with some examples of mega-rich people for the purpose of inciting class warfare, when in fact, there are many, many people who earn more than $250k a year, most of whom don’t live opulent lifestyles.

  16. The only reason why Paris is rich is because of daddy, she is a parasite. She is classified as a celebrity. The only reason she remains one is because of daddy’s wallet and she has convinced people that she is worthy of their attention.

    The only reason why Alex Rodriguez is rich is because he can hit, catch and throw a small round ball very well and an owner is willing to pay him alot of money in the hopes that he can charge alot of money to enough people who are willing to pay the owner. He is an entertainer. His wealth is dependent on his ability to entertain.

    If these are your targets of your ire then I understand why you feel as you do. Whether I/you like it or not they have a right to their money and to do with it what they want. These people number is the hundreds. Their are really not that many of them but they garner your attention because they are dependent of your attention.

    As Parkland said their are hundreds of thousands more who quietly provide a service or product which consumers are willing to buy. And the reward for that initial and continuing risk can be wealth. I suggest you read a book by the name of “The Millionare Next Door” someone else on this board pointed it out. Most of the weathly people drive normal older cars, live in normal older homes and more than not read the news as oppose to make the news.

  17. sumner402 says:

    I have rarely heard an argument from the Right that didn’t involve reducing the argument to labeling.

    Or grade school attacks.

  18. sumner402 says:

    The only reason why Paris is rich is because of daddy, she is a parasite

    And the best part is you support giving her and many other ‘parasites’ that will inherit their daddies money (rich people earn their money!)a HUGE tax break not only on income but on the estate tax.
    You tea whiners, cake and eat it too.

  19. sumner402 says:

    Parkland your parents are no different than mine or most everyone elses parents. They were middle class, back when we had a middle class, too bad they and you have voted against their own self interests and have eliminated the middle class for the generation coming up.
    Now that it’s all but gone, it’s going to be really hard to rebuild, the top 2% and the corps that are running the country now don’t like to share.

  20. Parkland says:

    As rr98411 correctly pointed out, the mega-millionaires who’re daddy’s parasite are very few in number. Those of you who’re in favor of a large estate tax just to people like Paris Hilton get whacked fail to consider the impact of the tax on small business owners, and especially farmers who would like to keep the family business or farm in the family. There are hundreds of thousands of these out there. Consider a farm, the acreage, the equipment, the buildings, etc. Even a small family farm can be “worth” several million dollars. The farmer and his family do not live as millionaires, in many cases, are living from harvest to harvest. Yet under even a 35% estate tax, the children of a small farm valued at $10m would have to $3.5 million dollars, or lose the farm. Why should they be forced to mortgage the family business for the purpose of continuing the family business?

    “Taxation without Representation” has no better illustration than the tax on a dead guy who’s already paid his taxes.

  21. Parkland says:

    Sumner, jealousy driven anger and class warfare is unbecoming.

  22. Paris and A-Rod are irrelevant to this conversation for me… read and respond to the 3rd and 4th paragraph of my post… they were used to lay out a case that they are not the face of wealth, normal people are, those that get thrown into the mix that shouldn’t be.

    As far as inheriting money, she has every right to waste daddy’s money. That’s big daddy and mommy’s problem, they raised her.

    A significant amount of money is inherited is in the form of exisiting businesses. Good parents who have raised their children to inherit the responsibility of business onwership are not those that should be demonize.

    Do you really think that daddy Hilton is giving the hotel key to baby Paris? I think not. She has every right to the money she inherits whether I like it or not.

  23. You are suggesting that support for Clinton-era tax rates is somehow based in judgments about morality rather than economics.

    Unlike the adherents to the Church of the Free Market, I do not believe that economic class is in anyway related to moral fiber. There are lazy and hardworking people in all stratum of the economic universe – likewise moral and immoral.

    My support for progressive tax rates aligns with Adam Smith (who coined The Invisible Hand in The Wealth of Nations).

    There is no evidence that any jobs trickled down from 10 years of the W rates. There is no reason to believe that 2 more years of the rate will in any way change.

    There is significant reason to believe that the American society cannot be healthy with the increased amassing of wealth by the elite 2% as opposed to 14% of Americans who fall below the poverty line. These statistics have been created directly by the voodoo supply side economics that have been in place for the past 30 years.

    Getting rid of the W cuts FOR ALL INCOME LEVELS won’t reverse all of the problems and suddenly make everything better. But it is a start.

  24. nonstopjoe says:

    Enact a 90% tax rate for incomes over $25,000. For incomes less than $25,000 the tax rate should be 50%.

  25. Parkland says:

    Your assessment does not one time address the issue of whether or not it’s morally wrong to punish success. You simply use the age old class warfare argument. I don’t care if any jobs “trickled” down. It doesn’t matter if there are people way richer than I am. What gives you the right to demand that some people give a greater percentage of their money than others? Who are you to demand that people who make over $250k be punished for doing so?

    Got news for you. You can tax the wealthy at 50% or 60% or 90%. There’s still going to be chuckholes in Tacoma, and your own situation will remain the same, while the politically connected (and currently wealthy) will benefit.

    As Sumner puts it, “.. too bad they and you have voted against their own self interests ..” It’s a shame that it’s come to that, isn’t it? Us against them class warfare, jealousy driven anger at people who’re better off, and so some people feel compelled to vote themselves a portion of someone else’s money, rather than strive for their own personal success.

  26. spotted1 says:

    There is no way that this doesn’t boil down to class warfare. Is it morally acceptable to punish success? Are you willing to be one of those individuals who are successful and see your tax rate jump to 50% or higher just because you are successful in business? Are you willing to see your estate taxed at a rate near 100%? Simply because your family was good with money and left you a bunch, but you won’t see it because it goes to the government?

    And no one has addressed the consequences of “taxing the rich because they can afford it”. Those issues being, they are paying the most money in so why shouldn’t they have a greater say in where the money goes and the decisions at the national level? Right now the “rich” pay the great majority of the taxes. The demand is that they pay more and more because they were successful. What happens if they up and move out of the country or hide their money better?

    How about we just go to a flat tax. Everyone pays the same percent, regardless of income level. Balance this with cuts at the budget level and removal of pre-existing tax cuts for all levels.

    Just keep in mind as you make your decision, you could make enough money one day to be included in the “rich” and get the joy of being taxed at an excessively high rate. REady for that?

  27. The moral fairness of progressive taxation was determined long ago. Flat tax sounds fair, but once you scratch below that surface, it has all kinds of complications that make it not so fair.

  28. BeerBoy – This is my logic and train of thought. This discussion thread is titled – Tax Cut: Richest Don’t Deserve Continued Break. In my posts I am making a case that the governemnt is not, nor ever will be entitled to your income except for the portion that we the people let them take. I am not making a moral arguement to keep the rates low but responding to moral arguements for making the rates higher. In my view using Paris and ARod as the face of the “evil rich” is an attempt to make a non-economic issue that they don’t deserve their wealth and hence tax them more.

    I would never make the claim that low tax rates = lots of jobs. Their are quite a few cogs in that wheel that contribute to an environment for growth, that in turn creates a need, that in turn creates a job (on and on it goes). Keeping taxes low, keeps more money in the private market that allows for capital to meet a demand. Keeping taxes low also keeps money in the hands of the consumer that creates that demand and the money to purchase that demanded (supplied) item/service.

    During the Clinton years it wasn’t just the tax rate (which was also lowered in the late 90’s?), that created the jobs, one cog was the technological revolution that we went through (internet, y2k, wireless, broadband) etc… that created the demand/supply for growth, jobs and in turn wealth. Again just one cog, add regulation, fiscal policy, trade agreements, etc… During the 2000’s we have no real major innovation per se but a maturity of the technologies that were birthed in the 90’s.

    In priciple I agree with you assessment about lazy/hardworking. I am familiar with who Smith is but claim no expertise. I am cherry picking. Their is a term Smith is credited with – rational self-interest and competition – that I think applies here. Are their pricks in the world… yep. But I won’t take a broad brush and paint ALL rich people as irrational. Their are reasons why rich people are rich. I submit it is simply because they see a need, use their resources to create a product/service to meet that need, and convince enough people that they have the answer. As for the 14% you refer to… we could go there…

  29. chris3dog says:

    spotted1 said, “Just keep in mind as you make your decision, you could make enough money one day to be included in the “rich” and get the joy of being taxed at an excessively high rate. REady for that?”

    I believe the letter writer was referring to the richest one percent and the rest of us. Few of richest one percent work for their income, it is derived from investments or trust funds, etc.

    These few folks do not create many jobs either, unless you count a few extra hotdog vendors at Yankee Stadium, jobs attributed to A-Rod.
    The amount of “free money” A-Rod receives from these tax cuts exceeds the earnings of ALL the hotdog vendors, ticket takers and janitors at the ball park, does this seem fair to anyone?

  30. Demonizing the rich has always been essential to the arguments of the left. Never mind that many people who have money worked hard for it and share generously.

    If you want to be realistic, you must eliminate people like that silly Paris Hilton,and husbands of ketchup queens. ;)

    Real people are rarely as diabolical as we need to make them in an effort to justify our opinions.

    But little point in trying to make this case here as the regulars on these threads need to blame the rich …along with GW of course.

  31. chris3dog – ARod is an employee collecting a paycheck… a big one every two weeks but none the less a paycheck as an employee of the Yankees. He doesn’t create jobs, the Yankee organization does based on demand and suplly for their entertainment product/service.

    They win > more fans > more hotdogs sold > more vendors to sell them.

    They lose > less fans > less hotdogs sole > less vendors to sell them.

    ARod and all the ball players are nothing more than marketing tools to sell baseball entertainment.

    Life ain’t fair… it ain’t suppose to be nor matter how much we try to make it so.

  32. Going rate for a hot dog vendor – $10.00 per hour part time no benefits.

    Going rate for a baseball player who can catch, throw and hit a ball really, really good – $ a few million dollars a year, part time, at whatever benefits you can afford (pretty good ones)

    Solution – help make your kids really good at something that people will pay them obscene amounts of money for.

  33. sumner402 says:

    Sumner, jealousy driven anger and class warfare is unbecoming.

    Which is what makes your comments not only false but ugly as well.

    BTW the estate tax you covet only effect 0.4% of the population but removes 75 billion of revenue.
    Your propaganda has fooled you once again.

  34. sumner402 says:

    Do you really think that daddy Hilton is giving the hotel key to baby Paris?

    No, they sold out to a German company years ago.

  35. sumner402 says:

    Your assessment does not one time address the issue of whether or not it’s morally wrong to punish success. You simply use the age old class warfare argument.

    But your ‘assessment’ that taxes are a ‘punishment’ isn’t class warfare?
    Why then should we further reword the successful by giving them more and more money for doing nothing other than having a bunch to start with?

    Once you get over this ‘punishment or stealing’ BS you might figure out how wrong you are.

  36. So what if it removes 75 billion dollars of revenue… the government is obligated to reduce spending 75 billion dollars. It is not the governments money.

    no propaganda, just simple numbers.

  37. chris3dog says:

    rr98411, My kids turned out ok. Unfortunately the only thing they did really good was to annoy the neighbors. When they were young, my neighbors heaped tons of obscenities upon them, money,… not so much.

  38. sumner402 says:

    Demonizing the rich has always been essential to the arguments of the left. Never mind that many people who have money worked hard for it and share generously.

    Gosh I love right wing talking points!
    they sound so great but when looked at with just a tiny bit of intelligence you soon realize just how phony and stupid they really are!

  39. “No, they sold out to a German company years ago.”

    Shows how much I keep up with the Hiltons and kinda makes my point…

    daddy wasn’t about to pass along the company to baby Paris.

  40. Let’s take a poll and see if the majority of us would vote ourselves a million dollars each from Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and George Soros. I think I know what the outcome would be and I don’t think Gates et al would like it. We have laws so the majority doesn’t screw the minority. Does that sound familiar? That goes for religion, race, sex, favorite football team, and bank account. If you’re a Seahawks fan, you should think God for it.

  41. Parkland says:

    Sumner: “BTW the estate tax you covet only effect 0.4% of the population but removes 75 billion of revenue.”

    0.4% eh? Sounds like jealousy driven class warfare.

    And it’s not removing 75b in revenue. It’s doing without 75b that would otherwise be taken from people and giving it to other people to whom it doesn’t belong.

  42. spotted1 says:

    Sumner, fine you don’t believe it becomes an issue of class warfare. Support a flat tax that everyon has to pay, equals out the same percentage for everyone. Or simply donate the same amount of taxes from your own earnings to the government. That won’t be an issue at all.

    Why should be continue to increase the taxes on one group of people just because they are well to do?

    Oh, that’s right, because we have a percentage of the population that either doesn’t pay taxes or lives off of the government tax dollar. Those folks, that don’t pay, want the same level of government, or more, than those that do. Make it a flat tax, eliminate the sales tax, and everyone gets to pay the same percentage. The rich still pay more than the poor. It has always been that way and always will be. Yet the poor complain when they don’t get “their fair share” from those who worked to earn it.

    But I guess I am just phony and stupid based on your obviously educated opinion.

  43. Parkland – got news for you – Tacoma’s streets aren’t included in the federal budget.

    Again – the emotional tone and accusations of those who are defending lower rates aren’t convincing.

    Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations, argued for the logic behind a progressive tax. Are you trying to suggest that he was a leftist? Or motivated by class envy?

  44. velmak – your analogy is absurd.

    Progressive taxation is not equivalent to everyone taking money from the rich and putting it in their own accounts.

    Attempt to put forward an argument against progressive taxation that deals with the facts on hand, not hyperbolic analogy or emotional labels.

  45. Leftist – have no clue.

    We have a progressive tax… right now we do… the upper income pay more in total tax as they should… I have no clue what more they need to pay that they aren’t. I may not be convincing defending a lower tax rate so help me understand why we need a higher rate then they are now for the upper income bracket.

    I am convinced we have a spending problem that no amount of taxation will solve. The key is to reduce spending (and maintain spending) to a level in line with our tax revenue.

    As far as class – the rich are rich because they take advantage of their skills, knowledge and abilities to find a need, develop a solution for that need, and fill that need at a fair, market driven price in return for services/product. They do that consistently over time. (Exceptions applied of course)

  46. Progressive taxation is what the majority has imposed on the minority. That is democratic. It is also theft. Attempt to understand the point before you critcize the argument.

  47. sumner402 says:

    daddy wasn’t about to pass along the company to baby Paris.

    “Daddy” didn’t sell it.

  48. sumner402 says:

    0.4% eh? Sounds like jealousy driven class warfare.

    No, just the facts.
    I know they are hard for you but there they are.
    I notice you lied to make the fact into something it isn’t, typical of the right.

  49. sumner402 says:

    Sumner, fine you don’t believe it becomes an issue of class warfare.
    It’s not a matter of what I ‘believe’ it’s a matter of fact.

    Support a flat tax that everyon has to pay, equals out the same percentage for everyone.
    A flat tax is without question the worst possible thing we could do.
    Those that support it are the ones that are truly supporting your class warfare.

  50. “daddy wasn’t about to pass along the company to baby Paris.

    “Daddy” didn’t sell it.”

    Dude are we really that hard up to make a point… I could give a rats-butt about Paris and the Hilton family. The point still remains, she was used as an example as to why the rich don’t somehow deserve their money.

    Neither does the government deserve more than is absolutely needed to run an efficient, effective government. It is her money, daddy or not.

  51. velmak It is also theft.

    Again with the absurd analogies.

    Taxation is not theft.

    Progressive taxation isn’t theft.

    The something for nothing crowd is great with slogans but not much on logic.

  52. In 1862, in order to support the Civil War effort, Congress enacted the nation’s first income tax law. It was a forerunner of our modern income tax in that it was based on the principles of graduated, or progressive, taxation and of withholding income at the source. During the Civil War, a person earning from $600 to $10,000 per year paid tax at the rate of 3%. Those with incomes of more than $10,000 paid taxes at a higher rate. Additional sales and excise taxes were added, and an “inheritance” tax also made its debut.


  53. What a Founding Father thought:

    (Thomas Paine’s) Rights of Man defended the revolution against the attacks of Edmund Burke and proffered a new vision of the republican state as a promoter of the social welfare, advocating such policies as progressive taxation, retirement benefits, and public employment.


  54. The Conservative Case for Progressive Taxation
    MARK HOOSE, Southwestern University School of Law
    New England Law Review, Vol. 40, p. 69, 2005

    [....] The article concludes by pointing out that tax reform advocates are all tradition-destroying utilitarian economists at heart, and that prudent institutional conservatives should thus resist change and support an institution, our current income tax, that successfully raises revenue and keeps the social peace

  55. Thanks for the history lesson… it still doesn’t change the fact that the government is only entitiled to the minimal amount that is necessary to run an efficient and effective government.

    Your property (money) is your own and they can take it from you without your consent and/or due process.

    And yes, I am on replay at this point.

  56. Progressive taxation,where higher incomes are taxed at higher rates, played a significant role in reducing income inequality in many countries for much of the twentieth century. Recent moves in some advanced economies away from this system may help account for rising inequality in those nations.


  57. And yes, I am on replay at this point.

    Damn the facts, full speed ahead!

  58. Upon further review, I am not arguing against a progressive tax. I am arguing for limits on that taxation based on revenues against spending.

    Progressive / Fair Tax / Flat Tax – that’s another story…

  59. What you are offering are opinion and/or discussions of facts. I understand your desire for a progressive tax, we currently have a progressive tax, I have yet to hear your case for a specific rate and/or limit.

    I understand your influences – Smith, Paine, Hoose et al. and the Russell Sage Foundation, but what is your position based on those facts, discussion and/or opinions that you have shared with us?

    Again thank you, I look forward to your thoughts.

  60. What makes progressive taxation anything other than theft, the fact that it is legal? So was slavery, male-only suffrage, and segregation. You’ll have to do better than “it’s legal.” That old dog wont hunt.

  61. velmak – what makes an apple anything other than an orange?

  62. Progressive taxation
    Income tax system which levies a proportionately higher tax rate on those with higher incomes.

    * larceny: the act of taking something from someone unlawfully

  63. bobcat1a says:

    Velmak, whether you like it or not, theft is a legal term.Therefore, legal taxation, of whatever sort, is not theft. If you don’t like it, vote against the representative responsible. That would sort of be the “Constitutional” solution. Remember “no taxation without representation.” You have representation.

  64. bobcat1a says:

    If we can’t afford to tax people who have money, I’m all for cutting spending to reduce our need for revenue…as long as the Republican’ts will agree to reduce defense spending dollar for dollar with every other cut.

  65. “something for nothing crowd” ???

    Are you turning on Barack’s base?

  66. spotted1, just because it rings, doesn’t mean you have to answer it.

  67. “proportionately higher tax rate on those with higher incomes”

    Interesting choice of words considering if it was porportionate all earners would pay the same percentage.

  68. sumner402 says:

    I could give a rats-butt about Paris and the Hilton family.

    Then why do you keep bringing them up?

    Look facts and truth are important, I know you on the right don’t like either the truth or facts because it gets in the way of your agenda and makes you look like fools, but to the rest of us, facts and truth are very important.
    Its what we use to decide where we stand on issues, not slogans, talking points and drug addicts on the radio.

  69. sumner402 says:

    I learned long ago, if someone has run out of anything intelligent or articulate to say they simply attack people and say they are wrong.

    The irony.

  70. spotted1 says:

    thewho…I should learn, yet I continue to argue against those who really have nothing to say.

    However, it is interesting that my last comment disappeared….

  71. Probably because sum-one else’s comment disappeared.

  72. Love the fact that the president is now consulting some of those black-hearted rich people to try to figure out what to do next. Guess the skill set for community organizing isn’t working all that well in these circumstances.

    I sure hope he knows that rich people are all evil!

  73. no sozo – the only evil rich people are liberals like George Soros!

  74. sumner402 says:

    Your skill set do any better sozo?

  75. Morality imposed upon government (which by definition is amoral) is absurd.

    What works is what is important.

    Tax cuts in response to boom and bust recessions have historically led to jobless recovery/booms

    Tax hikes in response to boom and bust recessions have historically helped reduced the deficit and eventually led to stable recoveries with jobs.

  76. Roncella says:

    beerBoy your right when you say George Soros is evil, especially when you look at his many influences( millions of dollars) on so many very far left causes, programs.

  77. Class envy/war by Roncella!

  78. Beerboy says ‘government is amoral, what works is what is important’ so we can;

    End unemployment by executing anyone who has been out of work for 99 weeks.

    Balance Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid by executing anyone who reaches 70 years of age.

    Reduce Medical and Health insurance costs by denying coverage/treatment to everyone who exceeds their benefits cap, or when they turn 65, whichever comes first.

  79. How does it feel to be the left wing version of thewho?

  80. LOL.

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