published Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Why tax fruits of others' labor? and other letters to the editors

Why tax fruits of others' labor?

This is directed to all who want to tax the rich even more. Do you have no ambition? Do you have no hope or incentive to become prosperous or to make something of yourself? What happened to your Americanism? Have you no foresight to think that you might come into considerable wealth? Will you then want your neighbors to tax you out of the fruits of your labors? What school in the United States teaches the pursuit of happiness, which is best exhibited in ownership of goods and property, properly earned by your investment in your labor and manifested hope. What happened to the Golden Rule?

You apparently have no ambition but to be idle and live off others.

JUNE GRIFFIN, Dayton, Tenn.


Spend gift money on Sandy survivors

Please give your Christmas gift-giving practices prayerful thought this season and donate the money you would spend on regular gifts to the survivors of superstorm Sandy. I remember all the volunteers and donations that came here to Chattanooga after the tornadoes and it made such a difference to our general morale. It is our turn to return the kindness, and what better time to do it?

CHRISTINA DOBSON


Rights will be taken one at a time

I was afraid it would happen, and it did, because Dick Morris had it right -- Republican malaise was directly responsible for the re-election of Barack Obama, leading to four more years of the unprecedented ruin of this country. Our rights will continue to be taken from us slowly, one at a time, so we won't notice. Because voters didn't believe the polls. This huge mistake was made by conservatives in November's election. We cannot allow this to happen again.

Therefore, I am renouncing my membership in the Republican Party. I'm not a Democrat, not a Republican, not a Libertarian, not an Independent, a Tory, a Whig, a Mugwamp, a Progressionist, a Communist-Socialist, none of these. I am starting my own party -- the American Conservative Party, and hope to win the White House with this party in 2016! Go ahead and laugh -- but there are more conservatives in this country than liberals. Just not enough of them got off the couch to vote this time. I will try to reverse that in four years. Stay tuned.

JOHN BERGEN


GOP domination mutes voting fervor

I got a kick from the letter of an area voter, whining that voter fraud had swayed the presidential election, despite over a million popular-vote difference.

There certainly is no drama voting in Tennessee, as it has been a Republican state for years. Only in a handful of states does a person's vote have a chance to actually decide the election. The only positive from this is that Tennessee, as with most other states, doesn't have to see (or mute) the mindless political commercials. While it may feel good to vote every four years, the excitement has "left the building." Think about it.

TOM BAKER, Hixson

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June Griffin, your mindless repetition of the notion that taxes are about taking from others out of some laziness ignores the fact that taxes are not simply about giving money as handouts, but about paying for the labors of people employed in government.

That's right, your tax dollars go to paying people for working. But you seem to be blithely dismissive of that, not even giving it any consideration.

Why? Do you think that the government doesn't provide benefits to those people of ambition you so laud, that the employees of the government shouldn't enjoy some compensation for their labors?

Maybe you should follow the Golden Rule yourself. Maybe you should consider that your idea is one that dismisses and attacks others with no real thought to it.

You apparently have no real integrity and just wish to attack others.

JOHN BERGEN, voters didn't believe the Polls. It was the Republican spin machine that fell in love with their own polling, rather than tried to understand the voters.

Sorry, but your message of doom and gloom? Isn't selling. Stop trying to peddle it. Realize that your message is flawed.

Also, that party name is taken. But do keep believing that there are more of you, there's actually less...but more people willing to pretend to be conservative while lacking in rectitude.

Tom Baker, that is the one benefit of not being in a state that has electoral meaning.

December 13, 2012 at 7:25 a.m.
Livn4life said...

There you go again happy, I hope you enjoy it when the all powerful, all knowing, all everything government you seem to enjoy totally takes. Granted, in your defense, there must be something in the air when June Griffin writes something that makes sense(Wink). As for the Republican/Democrat debate, one more time, BOTH PARTIES ARE FAILING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. But that doesn't seem to matter as long as the perspective you like or I like is presented in some form. We are being constantly lied to and for all practical purposes, we are already sliding down the fiscal cliff. I suppose it will take a lot more economic collapse to make someone finally admit it and then blame it on someone else. So we strap in for the longhaul and laud that government which employs and benefits so many, including people who will not strike a lick at a snack. As this goes on, I expect you to become morehappywiththebulbsandgovernmenttakeover/management.

December 13, 2012 at 11:05 a.m.

Livn4life, false claims are still false claims. Yours are as bad as June Griffin's, and you still have yesterday's lies from Rush Limbaugh on you.

Your name calling isn't an argument, but it does demonstrate the real problem with your own agenda. Namely that you create false claims about what others believe in order to discredit them. But that just discredits you.

But hey, keep praying for that economic collapse, which you will find a way to blame on somebody else yourself.

December 13, 2012 at 12:57 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

JUNE GRIFFIN, your letter is just more of the same old worn-out government hating right-wing talking points. Thanks for adding yet another childish rant to the list.

When you talk about the rich being taxed "even more" you imply that the poor darlings are already being taxed too much. But for more than 10 years we all have enjoyed practically the lowest effective tax rates than at any time in the past 60 years. And if it's true that reducing taxes creates jobs, we should have jobs coming out our ears by now. But where are those jobs?! While many in the middle class have lost good jobs, their savings, their health insurance, their homes, and most of us have had to tighten our belts to the point of hurting, the rich haven't skipped a beat, they've gone on to amass more money than they know what to do with. Yet, where are those jobs, Mrs. Griffin? We're still mired in a deep recession, with high unemployment. If the "job creators" are going to create jobs, then what are they waiting for??

As for this from you: "Do you have no ambition? Do you have no hope or incentive to become prosperous or to make something of yourself?" What in the name of all that's holy does that have to do with anything?! Every major poll shows that a vast majority of Americans (as high as 65%) are in favor of raising taxes on those who make over $250,000. Do you honestly believe that all of those people, me included, are lacking in ambition just because they/we don't share your nonsensical knee-jerk attitude about taxation? Even many wealthy people are admitting that they don't pay enough in taxes.

Then there's this: "What happened to your Americanism?" Yes, let's talk about "Americanism." Since when did stashing huge sums of money in offshore accounts in order to avoid paying taxes become the patriotic thing to do? Since when did it become patriotic for corporations to ship their jobs overseas so they could hire cheaper labor? Corporations are concerned only with increasing profits; patriotism doesn't even enter into their thought processes. But somehow, in your eyes, just making money is virtuous in itself and all the rest of us who speak out against their self-serving methods are the ones lacking in "Americanism." Okaaaaay then.

I know from many of your previous letters that you profess to be a Christian. Just wondering, what part of Christ's message that we should sell all that we own and give it to the poor do you not understand? What part of his admonishment that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven do you not hear? I find it odd that you seem to be so passionate about defending the rich as the ideal Americans, and you chastise the poor for being lazy and lacking ambition.

You mention the Golden Rule. Apparently you interpret it to mean that we're supposed to amass as much gold (money) as we can in a lifetime and to hell with those who don't.

December 13, 2012 at 3:21 p.m.
NirvanaFallacy said...

"In 2009, the top 1 percent of U.S. income earners earned 17 percent of income, but paid 37 percent of income taxes. The top 5 percent earned 32 percent of income but paid 59 percent of taxes, while the bottom 95 percent paid 41 percent of taxes, and the bottom 47 percent paid no income taxes" - http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2012/10/30/equality-of-opportunity-not-income-is-needed.html

You tell me, if the targeted 5% of taxpayers already pay close to 60% of ALL federal income tax revenue, what the heck would you consider their proper "fair share" - 70%, 85%, 100%?

December 13, 2012 at 5:50 p.m.

Ah, playing games with percentages.

That disguises more than it shows.

Try asking how much the bottom 47% has for every dollar the top 1% does.

December 13, 2012 at 8:20 p.m.
NirvanaFallacy said...

Well happy, that still doesn't answer my question. Would the top 5% paying 70% of income taxes satisfy you? Would that satisfy your envy?

Here's an example of a fun game that Obama likes to play. It's called emotionalizing. This example is taken from his debate with Hillary Clinton in April of 2008.

“Moderator:  And in each instance, when the (capital gains) rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased. The government took in more money. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

Obama: “What I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”

The problem with Obama's game is that no one can offer any definition of what is fair.

December 13, 2012 at 8:44 p.m.
una61 said...

For Marx, fairness was: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

I prefer living in a society where people are unequally rich rather than a Marxist society where people are equally poor.

I don't think there are enough 5 percenters to cover Obama's debt.

December 13, 2012 at 10:37 p.m.
Easy123 said...

the bottom 47 percent paid no income taxes"

What about payroll taxes, sales tax, or any state taxes? Oh, I guess those don't count, right? It's all a ploy to demonize the poor. Let's just tax the heck out of the poor, right? Hell, they don't pay any taxes anyway. They can spare some more, right?

"I don't think there are enough 5 percenters to cover Obama's debt."

That's not end of the plan. Any increase in "revenue" is positive. What are you bitching about? I guess you'd rather just cut spending AND taxes, right? Because that work so well for us before...

December 13, 2012 at 11:33 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

In the 1960's, the top bracket was paying 91% tax rate, still paying for the very expensive WWII. We have had two wars that we did not finance; it appears that although spending could be less and what is spent could be more efficient, we are behind in collecting for our two wars.

December 14, 2012 at 7:10 a.m.
NirvanaFallacy said...

Ikeithlu says "the top bracket was paying [a] 91% tax rate. . . ." The rate was set at 91% but no one actually paid that amount. Instead of focusing so much on what the rate was/is, try looking at the amount of revenue that was being brought in at that rate. Most incorrectly assume that higher tax rates = higher tax revenue. However, history proves this is not the case.

December 14, 2012 at 2:14 p.m.

NirvanaFallacy, that's the failing of your thinking, that it's about envy.

Nope. It's about entirely different principles.

Try recognizing them instead of projecting your feelings on others. Fairness isn't rigidly defined, it's not fixed in place. But if you want to work out how much everybody objectively benefits from the government, feel free to work on it. You might be surprised how much wealth came from the government's support.

But i don't chase quotes and selectively edit them to miss what a person said. You can look up the whole of his words on your own. But the reality is that the Laffer Curve mythology has only lead to the burgeoning debt that the same people who created the situation are complaining about.

That's the real problem.

December 14, 2012 at 2:43 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

NF, your 5:50 pm post (yesterday) is laughable. It's a common ploy by conservatives to present percentage comparisons such as yours as "evidence" that the rich are already paying more than their fair share. But The real measure of fairness is the percentage that they pay OF THEIR INDIVIDUAL INCOME - not the percentage of EVERYONE'S TAXES ALL ROLLED INTO A BUNCH.

The rich derive their wealth almost entirely from investments, trusts, and income other than wages and salaries, and consequently pay a much lower capital gains tax. They also enjoy various deductions and loopholes that are not available to poorer or middle class people. The wealthiest 400 Americans have the same combined wealth as the poorest half of Americans -- over 150 million people. Even if the numbers in your comparisons are correct, after taxes the rich still have truckloads of money for discretionary spending, while the poor and middle class have little to none. So of course the bulk of the taxes should come from those in the top percentile! But you conservatives keep trying to shame and blame the poor and those 47 percenters by using your bogus charts and analyses to make it appear that they are not paying enough.

You can't get blood out of a turnip - although you right-wing nitwits will die trying. You want the people on the lower end to pay more taxes? Well, start ragging those "job creators" to create some jobs. Good paying jobs. They've enjoyed over 10 years of tax cuts so they've had plenty of time to stimulate the economy with all that increase in wealth that they've amassed. If the money is not trickling down - and it's not - then where is it all trickling to? Answer: offshore accounts and more lucrative personal investments. If they actually create more jobs it's only in the area of private security, maintenance crews for their mansions, limo drivers, and personal pilots for their private jets, etc. Yeah, they're pretty good about creating those sorts of jobs.

December 14, 2012 at 4:40 p.m.
NirvanaFallacy said...

Happy, please enlighten me, what are these principles? Are we suppose to just accept that while you can't define fairness, you just know it when you see it. Government policies should be based on objective standards that can easily be defined. Your arguments are based solely on these subjective and emotionally based arguments that cannot be defined.

Complaining about who or what caused our country's debt does not solve the problem. That's the real problem.

December 14, 2012 at 4:49 p.m.
fairmon said...

I don't agree that most of those receiving assistance lack ambition, some fit the description but a small percent. I would like to see that rare hard working government employee in action. Most, other than the military, are over paid under worked pompous asses that act like they know everything about everything. Most act as though we are fortunate the government allows us to keep any of our earnings. The government does provide many essential services but the cost of delivery is ridiculous. Wasteful and discretionary non essential spending is mind boggling.

December 14, 2012 at 5:02 p.m.

NirvanaFallacy, you're the one harping on about fairness. I'm not.

You're presuming it is, just like you presumed it was about envy. Until you repudiate those actions of yours, I don't see much point trying to inform you of anything. You've already projected emotions onto others, that precludes actual understanding.

Of course, the way you present your arguments as about objectivity and attacking subjectivity and emotion, just demonstrates the foolish arrogance of the posturing logical. If you were truly being logical, you'd realize how pretentious your position is. If you truly wanted to work on some objective analysis, you'd do so, rather than spend so much time attacking others on their emotions and subjectivity. That only shows you're a hypocrite, since that is itself a very emotional position, especially given how much claimed "logic" is really not as objective as its proponents contend.

But actually, I've been told on these forums that identifying the problem is essential to solving it. In this case, part of the problem in finding a solution is people like you who don't even realize they're part of the problem. For example, by contenting it's about envy.

As long as you keep thinking that, you'll resist any solution since you can just use that excuse to blame others.

Can you even recognize that?

fairmon, most people I've met tend to be pompous asses that act like they know everything about everything. But good luck finding waste in government, most of the time I see somebody doing that, they end up spending dimes to save nickels.

December 14, 2012 at 7:42 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Bulbs, I always find it amusing that these right wingers accuse us of "envying" the rich when their own envy of them couldn't be more obvious. It is their very desire to be like them that prompts their shameful boot licking and obsequious praising of their wealth. It is just one more way that demonstrates how irrational they are and how much they have to depend on false perception to make their argument.

December 14, 2012 at 7:59 p.m.
Handleit said...

I have to agree with some of the previous posts about jobs. Where are the jobs the GOP leaders promised? These people that ran on the premise of being good christians and concerned about their fellow Americans. They have failed miserably. The party of no has succeeded with one no. NO JOBS. Christian charity my foot.

December 14, 2012 at 8:12 p.m.

Rickaroo, a lot of them do think they're just going to be rich...if only they don't have to support those useless poor people, dragging them down and keeping them from opportunity.

It's interesting how skewed perspectives can become.

December 14, 2012 at 9:01 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

'Rights will be taken one at a time'

Clear within Holy Scripture is the fact that God allows Presidents of Nations to rule. Clear within Holy Scripture is the fact that God may use Presidents of Nations to be instruments of Punishment to those Nations. President Obama may be doing a very good job for The Lord God of Hosts in His Chastisement of the United States of America.

Ken ORR

December 15, 2012 at 9:52 a.m.
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