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Poll: Tax reform

Taxes: Are the rich winning?

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Share your thoughts below.




  • Larry12

    The Republican party is out to get the middle class when it comes to taxes.

  • Trickdog60

    If only we could enact some of the things expressed on the show, but Congress will never get off their gravy train.

  • Rawlins Dave

    Loopholes are the issue, plus taxing capital gains at such a low rate compared to income.

  • J. Standish

    Back in the 1950′s, income taxes and salaries were more equitable. There was a thriving middle class. Now, the middle class has all but disappeared, and top executives are earning massive salaries as a result of lack of regulation of financial institutions and special interests in Congress, and these people are not paying their fare share in taxes.

  • Troy

    The tax rates are currently meaningless, since the loop holes are all designed for the rich. Yet one of the biggest benefits to the middle class, the mortgage interest deduction, is always discussed as something to eliminate. What should be eliminated is the mortgage interest deduction on more than one house, since that is yet one more loop hole for the rich.
    Take care,

  • Patriot01

    Of course they’re winning, and like the aids virus, they don’t seem to care if they kill the host organism.
    I guess they figure when the US becomes a third-world country, they’ll have enough money to buy whatever they need, including plenty of police protection.

  • William A. Styles

    All the evidence is in the book “Winner-Take-All Politics” by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson.

  • Bob5461

    Lobbyist, lobbyist, lobbyist. Clean that up!

  • Bvillanti

    WIthout a doubt… Only a small portion of the earnings of millionaires is affected by the payroll tax, while most people pay the full 7.65% (before the 1% rate decrease for 2011/2012), or when someone earning $250,000 pays a top 35% income tax rate, the same as someone who earns $10 million/year, and who may very well be paying an effective rate of 14.1% like Romney.

    The wealthier one is, the more that person should contribute, as the
    rich are in the best position to help society meet its needs. This is a
    value that I always assumed was the logic of the progressive tax system;
    that at certain levels of income, you pay higher tax rates because you
    are already able to obtain basic needs as well as many luxury goods to
    live comfortably. A progressive tax system is not about redistributing
    wealth as Republicans like to characterize calls to raise tax rates on
    high earners, but for society to meet the needs that it believes should
    be made available to its citizens….like infrastructure which we neglect investing in, though it is critical for improving our long term economic growth and productivity. But where the discourse is right now, we’re trying to get most of the rich to pay just as much as middle income earners. 

  • Jdoe

    The debt that continues to grow is a problem that must be address. Tax and spending must be brought under control. No social benefit program should be supported unless critical thinking of how it is going to be payed for, have sophisticated safeguards that prevent waste, fraud and abuse. How will it be sustained when population increases? At this point and time there exists benefit programs that are unsustainable and only kept sustainable with part taxes and a lot of borrowed money. There are benefit programs that continue to have waste, fraud and abuse.  This suggests that it should be abolished. If these taxpayer programs are not gotten rid of, based on how problematic they are by waste, fraud and abuse, then the evidence is clear it cannot be sustained.

  • Bob5461

    Why do we kid ourselves? 
    Simply put we decide not to collect enough taxes to sustain a social
    good. If this country had balance budgets since Ronal Reagan the US debt would
    be 2.1 trillion dollars. Come-on-man. Please don’t say we cannot pay for needed
    programs. We elect not to, or elect people that won’t.

  • Emyn

    Why doesn’t the media ever recognize that the bottom 50% of wage earners pay only 2% of the total of income tax collected?  Taxes are weighted heavily on the upper middle class and the wealthy. 

  • dickm

    I saw the piece. Why do the the elite think that it will help by deleting the home mortgage interest deduction? Do they realize what that would do to the housing market let alone the damage to the finances of young people that have gone to college and amassed large educational loan bills? They have a chance to be able to pay their mortgage off over time. But it really appears that this deduction helps the housing industry which translates into good paying jobs for Americans in our homeland. It was interesting that the panel all had the usual list of loopholes ( allowed deductions) that the elite left constantly harps on and that part of the piece went on for at least ten minutes. Then the discussion leader mentioned that perhaps somebody might want to look at the spending side of this issue to lower the need for all this money, it suddenly happened that there was not more than 30 seconds of chatter and it was all over and no real effort to mention any good suggestions on controlling spending.

  • Chris

    How to get Mitt Romney’s 13.99% tax rate.

    1. Bankrupt U.S. companies and steal their pensions.

    2. Take the money you stole and put it in off-shore tax havens and secret Swiss bank accounts.

    3. Bribe the U.S. Congress to write the tax laws to benefit only the rich

    4. Sit back and collect 30 million dollars for doing not 1 hour of work.

    5. Pay only 13.99% while most working Americans pay a higher rate.

    6. Time for a revolution.

  • Bob5461

    We pay 2% of the income tax? I ran numbers and it was a
    bit different. But one point that gets missed is that in the late 70’s the top
    2% got 7-9% of the personal income. Now they have 24%. The top should pay more.
    The median household income has not increase like the gdp has. It really has
    not increased much at all. The vast majority of the increase in gdp goes to top
    earners.  Here is haft the problem we are
    having with social security.

  • Bob5461

    But Chris, he only did this because he could. We let him. Fair and square. The working class needs to take back this country. Lobbyist, Lobbyist, Lobbyist!

  • Bob5461

    Hey, I like this web page. It lets you know when a new
    post is available. Other web site do an automatic refresh, disturbing your

  • Chris

    We need to demand the rule of law for the criminal rich.

    The very fact that this criminal is running for president shows how lawless the United States has become.

  • Bob5461

    Well I spoke to soon.

  • Lutjanus2969

    so much for the trickle down theory its time for the rich to pay their fair share. If the average blue collar worker has to work two hours to pay his taxes the rich should have to pay the eqivulate income tax in hours. Since time is all we have there is no reason that the wealthy cannot share the same burden and sacrifices as the working middle class. That is that they should have to pay at least the rate in prortion to their income two hours out of every eight. In other words even in capital gains they should pay at least the same as the working middle class. I know that most of the middle class pays a rate greater than 25% but I was just simplifing the example. As a Disabled retired veteran who served three tours in Vietnam I know a little about self sacrifice. The rich think that they can do a better job than the government in how this money can be spent (trickle down theory). If this were the case there would not be the the disparity of income that we see today for the rich are making more now than at any other time in history. They are not God they for the most part spend only a small fraction of their wealth to live extremely extravigate lifestyles hoarding the majority of their wealth.

  • Notbyme

    Name the wars that are financed with a credit card over the last 60 years.  Then name the social programs financed over the same time frame with a credit card.  The one that comes to mind is the medicade drug plan.  The wars I believe we are all familiar with.

  • Richard Bartholomew

    There is no way we are going to get out of this mess without substantially raising taxes and curtailing immigration of low-skilled workers. Not only should investment income in the form of dividends and capital gains be taxed at the same marginal rates as earned income from wages but we will need to recapture some of the tax preferences that the wealthy have benefited from in the last 25 years by imposing a loop-hole free estate tax.

    We can’t afford to have immigrants who do not generate enough tax revenue to compensate for the burdens that they and their children impose on our educational and healthcare systems. The burden will be even greater if they are granted amnesty and qualify for earned income credits and social security benefits.

    Neither political party seems able to tell the truth about our fiscal mess and address the issue of immigration. The gerrymandering of Congressional districts has made it almost impossible for us to reach a rational and balanced solution. Both political parties are dominated by their most extreme members.

  • Ruomra

    We must be careful not to lump those that utilize all the legal provisions of our tax code to pay the lowest tax amount possible (we all want to do that) and those that are truly corrupt/criminal.  Also, apparently the definition of “fair share” is quite different depending on your views.  Romney (who I do not support) paid around 14% while the average American paid 11% and nearly 50% of Americans paid 0%. 

    Now, I am biased against taxes.  Here’s why.  I am a small business owner.  I am “the rich” to many as my business made over $400k last year (I took home a small fraction of that).  I have two employees and I can say without a doubt, if my taxes were to go up 10%, one of my employees will loose their job.  However, if my taxes were to go down 10%, I will be hiring someone else. 

    I hire people, I pay a huge amount in taxes for me and my employees and I work 60+ hours a week.  I pay for my own retirement plan, and if I go bust I won’t have any unemployment to fall back on.  It is offensive to be lumped in with the “rich” and be told I need to pay more! 

  • c

     Leave the “middle class” alone.  Help out the “lower class.”  Let the rich do their share.  They have accountants and such to avoid even paying whet they are supposed to pay.  We don’t have that privilege.  They can invest more (extra money) so they can pay less tax on it.  We cant’ do that either.  Are the rich winning?  Heck yes.

  • K Blockland

    All you need to do is watch Bill Moyers talk about Winner Take All politics and the financial “reforms” and “bail outs” engineered by the moneyed themselves to know how impossible a “fair playing field” is.   Larry Summers, Tim Geithner and the head of GE as economic and job advisors to Obama?
    Absolutely nothing will change, except to get worst.

  • Thomascloomis

    Eliminate all tax loopholes, special privileges, deductions, and so forth!

  • Ronbo

    Congress corruption is bad. Very Bad! They write the laws for themselves. They are the 1% who are winning. And they are winning big. Very Bad!

  • Chris

    Who said anything about you.

    Tell me how multi millionaires should be paying less by percentage then the average America in.

    Also, that 50% that “pays no taxes” includes seniors on social security.

    Aside from them you should be asking why tens of millions in this country make so little money rather then why aren’t they paying federal income tax.

  • Carl

    I sent a email about a month ago in poll about means testing SSI

  • Alli

    It’s ABSOLUTELY ludicrous to believe that not everyone should pay their fair share of taxes.  What sense does it make that if one has enough money, one is not required to part with a reasonable amount of it?  Why should we, the middle class, quickly becoming the lower middle class, be required to bear the brunt of the responsibility?  I don’t get it!!!!

  • Moodman1

    The high income earners pay 15% but pay over 40% of the total federal gov tax revenue. Does that incentt the high income earners to keep trying?

  • Chris

    That bottom 50% that “pays no taxes” includes seniors on social security.Aside from them you should be asking why tens of millions in this country make so little money rather then why aren’t they paying federal income tax.

  • Ronbo

    Please note that the average and the median American is very poor compared to you. Also note that they are all paying 15% payroll tax in addition to their 11% income tax. You are paying 2% payroll tax. Add it up and they pay much more than you. Please keep your numbers straight.

  • Ronbo

    Please note that the average and the median American is very poor compared to you. Also note that they are all paying 15% payroll tax in addition to their 11% income tax. You are paying 2% payroll tax. Add it up and they pay much more than you. Please keep your numbers straight.

  • pc

    If you are going to revamp the corporate tax code down to 28% and eliminate loop holes such as mortgage interest deductions and college expenses you have actually raised taxes for those people who rely on those deductions to lower their tax burden. Generally this is the middle class. To be fair if the tax rate is going to be lower for corporations it should also be lowered for wage earners, from 28% down to say 15%, similar to non wage earners.

  • Tbfalls

     Maybe the rich get some benafites.
     But it’s the lower income that gets the most.
    The middle class workers are the one’s that have to pay the most.
    I don’t know of any other place that penalizes the hard working people and gives money to the lazy.
    why work hard when the government will give you extra money at tax time because you don’t want to work hard and make a living.
    If you get rid of all the illegal imegrants there would be plenty of jobs for every one.
    Then make it so that if you don’t work you don’t get any help from the tax payers.
    If you work and still need help that is when welfare steps in with help not paying every thing put giving some help. But only for people that are working.
    Stop rewarding lazeness. Then every can pay their fare share..
    Make every one over the age of 18 pay $1500.00 a year no more or no less evry one pays the same
    the harder you work the more you make. Then you are rewarding the hard working people not the lazy ones.

  • William J Bragg

    i’m reading the book, Winner Take All Politics, and have been a keen observer of whats been happening in my life, since 1980, and sincerely believe, from these observations that the deck is stacked, against all but the top 10% of the population, and it started in the 1980′s, this new book confirms what i have observed. The rich are getting richer, at the expense of the rest of us, and it was by design, I’m a retired Union Millwright, and worry about what kind of life my kids and grand children, are about to be exposed to, I personally have watched the working class in this country, loose ground year after year since 1980, and can see the American dream extremely slipping away from my children and their children. So my answer is yes i think that the rich are winning by design, at the expense of the rest of us. Those that do the research and don’t believe that, are living in a dream world. And thats scary.

  • Rusty Bentz

    The almost 1/2 who pay no taxes need to pay their fair share.  A progressive tax system prevents the survival of the fittest without which we become a second rate nation.

  • Dariis

    I agree with that but at least he’s an american citizen.  Barrack doesn’t even have a legitimate social securtiy card.  He’s been using a dead man’s number.

  • Ruomra

    Alli:  There you go again with that fair share.  It is all relative to your situation.  Example.  3 single mothers each with a 2 year old child and $5000 in daycare cost.  Mom 1 makes $25k/yr, Mom 2 makes $50k/yr. and Mom 3 makes $150k.  Mom 1 will pay NO taxes and actually get a refund (really a payment as she didn’t pay anything) of around $3500.  Mom 2  will pay around 7% ($3740) in Federal income tax and Mom 3 will pay a little over 10% ($16370).

    Now, Mom 1 says Mom 2 and 3 need to pay their fair share as they have a lot more than her.  Mom 2 says it is BS that Mom 1 actually get Mom from the government (wrong, she gets if from others as the government has no money of its own) and she also thinks it is BS that Mom 3 only pays 10% when she makes 3 times what she does (nevermind the fact that she pays nearly 5 times as much from a dollar standpoint).  Finally Mom 3 says I pay $16k in taxes while these other two get a free ride!

  • Equalizer

    I agree.  The black lady on the piece said it’s not fair to renters that homeowners get to deduct their mortgage interest.  I guess she forgot that homeowners pay property taxes that fund schools, fire depts. etc…. 

  • Equalizer

    Another problem is the corporations moving some of their operations overseas to avoid corp taxes then bringing the money back tax free.  Greed is really hurting this country along with politicians and Barrack.

  • Ed

    The tax disparity between the middle class and rich is actually greater than what was shown on this week’s Need to Know.  A taxpayer with wages of over 34K is paying a marginal rate of 25% Federal income tax as well as a payroll tax of about 6%.  That equals 31%.  A taxpayer with wages over 380k has a marginal tax rate of 35%, but pays no payroll tax above about 110k of wages.  A taxpayer making money from an investment or works certain investment firms pays only a 15% tax, with no payroll tax.  A citizen with wages routed to a tax haven such as the Cayman Islands pays no tax.

  • Gerald W Bradshaw

    The book “Winner[-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer–And Turned It’s Back on the Middle Class” very convincingly makes this case with respect to the question, “Are the Rich Winning?” Their conclusion is that they are and the politicians are complicit because it is to their advantage politically.

  • Charlielenkner

    It is more than just that Warren B. gets to do 17% & his secretary has to do about 36%. The whole
    tax code is skewed (blued & tattooed). If the tax code were actually fair, not regressive, made sense
    & raised the revenues needed to run the country, even with its neo-con wars of empire, and didn’t seek to destroy working class families it could be contained & explained in a small pamphlet in big print. All the special exemptions that make it damned near bigger than THE PDR & cause us to have to hire accountants to weave the maze & stay out of prison are written by the terminal colons in Congress for the personal advantage of their rich patrons & of course by extension, themselves.

  • planetkilburn

    How many times does this “bottom 50% pays no taxes” tomfoolery have to be shot down before we can move on? Everyone pays taxes: federal income tax, Medicare, FICA, state income tax, sales tax, etc. That the lowest earning sector of the population gets a federal income tax refund at the end of the tax year doesn’t mean they “pay no taxes.” Try working HARD all year, collect an income that STILL qualifies as “poverty-level,” see just how important that $350 return means, and THEN try to explain how you “should pay more” and the wealthy pay less.
    Progressive taxation is the only way to go, period. Anything else is whining. Anything else is the very “theft” that conservatives and libertarians rail against so vehemently, but in reverse.

  • littlepeople

    I think if Everyone had to pay a straight across the board 10 percent  income tax, which is to include all income from All sources, whether wages, bonuses, investments,   the stockholders, college presidents, corporations etc. all the money for paid housing for “big shots”, free cars, even welfare and unemployment money THAT would – all by itself  end all our problems, , etc.the rich are getting a free ride while middle class is suffering. In 1962 my husband and I cleared wage income of approx       $700 a month. Yet bought a new 4 bedroom house (about 21,000) and with 2 children and 2 cars.

  • littlepeople

    I think if Everyone had to pay a straight across the board 10 percent  income tax, which is to include all income from All sources, whether wages, bonuses, investments,   the stockholders, college presidents, corporations etc. all the money for paid housing for “big shots”, free cars, even welfare and unemployment money THAT would – all by itself  end all our problems, , etc.the rich are getting a free ride while middle class is suffering. In 1962 my husband and I cleared wage income of approx       $700 a month. Yet bought a new 4 bedroom house (about 21,000) and with 2 children and 2 cars.

  • planetkilburn

    There YOU go again, deliberately misunderstanding and misrepresenting the truth. Please, for the love of God, please see my post on this. And stop the pre-packaged clever-but-not-actually-intelligent talking points.

  • Clpittt

    I think a flat tax for all above the poverty level with no deductions for anything or anybody would be best.

  • Pnaile

    Since so many people know this, why isn’t something done about it. People are suffering out here!
    Love that people get rich, this is America, but taxes need to be fair. They are not now. I went for the trickle down  economy thinking it would help and all the it did was help the rich send their jobs over seas. I like trade also, but it needs to be fair. Walmart ships come to America full and go back to China empty. Now that’s not what we planned. Someone knows this and nothing is being done.Time to act!

  • anonymous

    Tax issue is not about taxes – we all know the options available for fixing the tax code. It is about moral corruption of our politicians, who with the help of corporations and wealthy individuals are incentivised (read political contributions) not to exercise the options and fix the tax code. They wrap the issue in ideology instead of dealing rationally with the economic reality of deficits.

    And it is not just the tax code, it is social security, medicare, public sector pensions, educations reform, campaign reform and the list goes on and on. Unless the voting public demands these reforms from the politicians and throws out the congressmen and senators who refuse to deliver results, US will follow the chaos and social/economic upheavals that we witness in other parts of the World.

  • Jpenguinwi

    While I feel that the rich do win in the tax game, I also think that some of the middle class wins too.  Single low wage earners with no dependents pay the most in taxes.   I find it odd that a single person making making 14k makes too much to qualify for earned income credits, while a person with a dependent can make nearly 40k and qualify.  A home or apartment costs the same for a single or a person with dependent, and food costs are not 20k for another person.  Utilities also are pretty much the same.  Also, health insurance should be taxed if payed for by the state or an employer.  I find it odd that state employees in particular have such huge untaxed benefits. 

  • Ka_el689

    Pardon me, jpenquinwi, but I would like to address your comment about state employees with “huge” untaxed benefits.  I left the private sector to work for state government.  The same benefits were tax exempt in the private sector as in the public sector.  The only difference was that my pay check was less than half of what I earned in the private sector.  The state employees are some of the hardest working lowest paid people in Oklahoma.  Most take the cut in pay so they can have some type of retirement and hopefully some job security.  I retired after 19 years, my monthly retirment check is 749.06 per month and I pay 342.00 per month to keep my health insurance.  Please, don’t think state employees are getting rich.  The only time a state employee ever gets a raise is if they take a new position or if every employee in the state gets an across the board raise.

  • Jackson

    Even though I benefit from certain tax credits and loopholes, I agree that they should be removed. A penny saved is a penny earned as we’ve all heard.

    Another thing I would suggest is taxing American companies that outsource the manufacture of their products to other countries, or else tax the American corporate stores for each foreign made item sold. Even a very small tax percentage would be extremely beneficial. We can’t re-tax products coming into the country, Bush already removed those taxes. However if we tax our own people for those products, it will encourage domestic production and discourage companies from giving our money to other countries. It will, at the same time create jobs, increase the number of tax payers, and reduce the deficit. The number of producing U.S. companies, companies capable of selling to
    the rest of the world, will also increase, potentially increasing the
    amount our country gets from other countries.Although people will suffer the price rise for some products that only come foreign, at least they will have a job allowing them to buy the product in the first place.

  • Janharman

    Seems like this affirms the Occupy Movement.

  • Janharman

    Seems like this affirms the Occupy Movement.

  • Anonymous

    What does “winning” mean?   Poor people do not provide jobs or tax revenue. All they do is take, in America!     The “rich” or “achievers”, as they should be called, provide jobs for all of us who must work for someone else in order to make a living.  Being in the middle class is better than being a serf!
         In America, one must chose to be poor. We are not forced to be poor! Chose not to get an education, chose not to got to work everyday, or chose to sponge off others, directly or through the government,  and you can be poor. It is your choice!

  • Anonymous

     Nothing affirms the occupy movement!  It is a bunch of spoiled punks and reprobates being used and manipulated by the international criminal conspiracy known by the name of Communism! “Useful idiots” they were dubbed!

  • Anonymous

    Excellent program with well-chosen panelists. I would recommend an “additional information” section to help viewers go deeper, such as this

    For example, I found the Tax Policy Center  a few months ago. It provides serious information, including a section comparing the GOP Presidential Candidates’ Tax Plans It's much better and more reliable than trying to separate the fluff from the actual plans on each campaign site, and they keep it updated. This is the kind resource that’s important to know about.
    I agree with the panelists that we need to get rid of the permanent so-called tax expenditures as they have, and are, distorting the free market. Well-intentioned or not, they caused the housing bubble which then caused the financial crisis which depended on it. A democracy needs to treat everyone fairly or it doesn’t work. That includes the tax system.

  • runi

    The Tax Code needs to be simplified–everyone should pay the same rate on all income (earned and “unearned”).  The wealthy, along with corporations (the newest member of the human family) should pay the same rate.  The costs of maintaining our ridiculously complex non-system is way too high.

    If the IRS didn’t have to wade through so much nonsense, it could actually enforce compliance in a timely manner.

  • Tashy

    The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

  • Anonymous

    You are obviously not familiar with the tax code.  Actually, a taxpayer with wages over 34.5k pays 10% on the first $8.5K, 15% on the amount between 8.5K and 34.5K and 25% on the amount between 34.5K and 83.6K.  For example if a single had wages of 60K then his or her tax would be $11,125 or 18.54%.  This is before deductions.   Ed should understand the facts before posting.

  • Anonymous

    Chris is another person who doesn’t understand the tax code.  Actually they way to get Mitt Romney’s 13.99% tax rate is to give more than 10% of your income to charity and take it as a deduction on your tax return.  However, liberals like Chris contribute nothing to society.

  • Ed

    I read the code before writing my comment.  If you look carefully I stated marginal tax rates in my comments.  It would have been too lengthy and boring to cover all possibilities.  My major point which you missed is that for high income earners pay no payroll tax for earners over 110k and it was not pointed out in the program.  Those with wages under 110k have a 6% payroll tax that those above don’t have.

  • Jmikereno

    This is a no brainer that can be fixed in ten minutes by (1) Letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire, (2) Eliminate the income distinction between capital gains and wages, (3) Eliminate the income cap on social security and medicare taxes of roughly all income beyond $100,000. It’s that simple.

  • dawn

    Their accountants can ferret out the multiple loop-holes and twist  the tax rates on all forms of income (wages, dividends, capital gains) so that their actual tax rates can be 0–35% with most being below 15%

  • dawn

    Their accountants can ferret out the multiple loop-holes and twist  the tax rates on all forms of income (wages, dividends, capital gains) so that their actual tax rates can be 0–35% with most being below 15%

  • girl

    The word “winning” is an interesting choice when talking about taxes since I don’t feel it’s a game, but if a person/family earns more than they generally need and less support for the old fashioned basics (shelter, food, clothing, health care) then yes the “rich are winning” and need to help to support those who need basics. I would hope, as a society, we have moved beyond the owner and peasant system.   
    Corporate taxes are a separate issue (because in my mind they are not people), and it appears that corporations today are not only interested in profits for personal gain of the owner(s) and reinvestment but must earn more and more to give a higher percentage to investors.  When I was younger (depositing a portion of my allowance and birthday gifts) I understood earning interest on my savings account increased my savings a little; as I grew older and earned money I became an investor (mutual funds) and liked receiving a small percentage of corporate profits; I still like earning but should I expect the percentage to increase every year!     
    Then there is the other side of the equation, taxes are for what is wanted or needed to support government programs.  So what programs do we want and/or need?  The choices now appear to be limited (but in a similar fashion to taxation choices):  cut as little as possible, eliminate everything we currently have, or don’t cut what’s important to me.
    I’m a “balancer”, both sides of the equation need to be looked at and we (people and corporations) hopefully will all be able to survive and improve our lives while helping those who are not as fortunate.     

  • Rich Patterson

     The issue of debt—any debt, anywhere, is that capital is best used where it can expand wealth by leveraging the circumstance to where new money applies.  At the end of the debt cycle, the growth or improvement in revenue flows caused by the earlier application of capital is used to pay down the encumbered debt, thus bringing the debt back to its normal state of zero, plus, possibly some leveraged gain.  If an error in judgment is made that the application of borrowed capital turns out not to produce sufficient increased revenues to repay the debt, then the borrower has lost his credibility and pays a personal price for the misjudgment.  The farther away from this fundamental textbook model the institutional circumstance applies, the less efficiently the system operates.  The price paid for the loss in efficiency is real, and if large enough, profound.  The use of debt is a sober responsibility.  In good economic times, pay down the Federal debt, in bad economic times, borrow to apply a stimulus to the economy.

  • Rich Patterson

     Let’s see.  Poverty or Riches.  I think I’ll choose poverty, because I know I am inferior and I don’t want to go against the natural order of things–the perfect meritocracy we have created in the grand land.  Social Darwinism is my religion and I pray to its great throne every day.

  • Anonymous

    The rich are winning mostly because the poor are too dumb to run in the race.
    During the Ford administration, Congress enacted the individual retirement account (IRA) that sheltered profits on pre-tax savings until they were removed to spend during the taxpayer’s golden years. Trouble is, not many people took advantage of them, and even fewer knew how to make them grow.
    Later, the Roth IRA allowed taxpayers to shelter after-tax income and allow them to withdraw savings and not pay any futher taxes at all. People liked the idea of not paying taxes up front so that they had more to spend sooner. And still, not all that many people invested in either type of IRA.
    People who make too much to qualify for an IRA have money left over to invest and object to paying taxes twice on their income. Little do the poor know that if they managed their lower earnings better, a Roth IRA would be a better deal than the rich can get! They would pay no taxes at all on their investment income!
    Same with estate tax: An estate tax is a tax on already taxed money that was invested outside of a tax shelter. A thrify person who starts at age 20 with a Roth IRA could grow it to upwards of a million dollars by age 60, and his heirs would never owe a dime in estate taxes. 
    Payroll taxes are just deductions that are put into retirement and medical savings accounts by the government to provide a safety net for retirees. What do they want to do now? Cut those “taxes” so they have more money to spend now. It’s just the fable of the ant and the grasshopper playing out in real life.

  • Lynne knudsen

    I just heard Gretchen Morganson on the Bill Moyers & Co. who wrote “Reckless Endangerment” who explained the workings of the corporations along with gov’t  to fleece the 99% of us, for years. The power is all in the hands of the moneyed who will never want to give up their power and/or money.
    It’s a pretty sad state of affairs which I’ve actually been aware of for many years. I recall, when I was teaching English to surgeons in China, telling them that corporations the world over were really controlling the world. And that was in 1989.

  • Ssredrino



    Oliver v. Halstead, 86 S.E. Rep 2nd 85e9 (1955):

    “There is a clear distinction between `profit’ and `wages’, or a
    compensation for labor. Compensation for labor (wages) cannot be
    regarded as profit within the meaning of the law. The word `profit’, as
    ordinarily used, means the gain made upon any business or investment — a
    different thing altogether from the mere compensation for labor.”

    Lucas v. Earl, 281 U.S. 111 (1930):

    “The claim that salaries, wages, and compensation for personal services
    are to be taxed as an entirety and therefore must be returned by the
    individual who has performed the services which produce the gain is
    without support… it is not salaries, wages, or compensation for
    personal services that are to be included in gains, profits, and income
    derived from salaries, wages, or compensation for personal services.”

    Conner v. U.S., 303 F Supp. 1187 (1969):

    “… whatever may constitute income, therefore, must have the essental
    feature of gain to the recipient. This was true when the 16th Amendment
    became effective, it was true at the time of Eisner v. Macomber Supra,
    it was true under Section 22(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1938,
    and it is likewise true under Section 61(a) of the I.R.S. Code of 1954.
    If there is not gain, there is not income … Congress has taxed income
    not compensation.”

    Edwards (vs) Keith, 231 F110, 113 (1916):

    “The phraseology of form 1040 is somewhat obscure …. But it matters
    little what it does mean; the statute and the statute alone determines
    what is income to be taxed. It taxes only income “derived” from many
    different sources; one does not “derive income” by rendering services
    and charging for them… IRS cannot enlarge the scope of the statute.”

    Lauderdale Cemetary Assoc. v. Mathews, 345 PA 239; 47 A. 2d 277, 280 (1946):

    “… reasonable compensation for labor or services rendered is not profit.”

  • Aj

    What is wrong with the companies, corperation, businesses, if these industies would increase peoples wages, people would spend more money, they would buy cars, homes, and everything that goes with it

  • Ssredrino


    Oliver v. Halstead, 86 S.E. Rep 2nd 85e9 (1955):

    “There is a clear distinction between `profit’ and `wages’, or a
    compensation for labor. Compensation for labor (wages) cannot be
    regarded as profit within the meaning of the law. The word `profit’, as
    ordinarily used, means the gain made upon any business or investment — a
    different thing altogether from the mere compensation for labor.”

    Lucas v. Earl, 281 U.S. 111 (1930):

    “The claim that salaries, wages, and compensation for personal services
    are to be taxed as an entirety and therefore must be returned by the
    individual who has performed the services which produce the gain is
    without support… it is not salaries, wages, or compensation for
    personal services that are to be included in gains, profits, and income
    derived from salaries, wages, or compensation for personal services.”

    Conner v. U.S., 303 F Supp. 1187 (1969):

    “… whatever may constitute income, therefore, must have the essental
    feature of gain to the recipient. This was true when the 16th Amendment
    became effective, it was true at the time of Eisner v. Macomber Supra,
    it was true under Section 22(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1938,
    and it is likewise true under Section 61(a) of the I.R.S. Code of 1954.
    If there is not gain, there is not income … Congress has taxed income
    not compensation.”

    Edwards (vs) Keith, 231 F110, 113 (1916):

    “The phraseology of form 1040 is somewhat obscure …. But it matters
    little what it does mean; the statute and the statute alone determines
    what is income to be taxed. It taxes only income “derived” from many
    different sources; one does not “derive income” by rendering services
    and charging for them… IRS cannot enlarge the scope of the statute.”

    Lauderdale Cemetary Assoc. v. Mathews, 345 PA 239; 47 A. 2d 277, 280 (1946):

    “… reasonable compensation for labor or services rendered is not profit.”

  • Zennn

    I wondered how income poured in while I sat on the couch doing nothing just because I had bought investments with savings. I never did as well when I was actually working. And the stocks I bought didn’t actually help any businesses other than the financial industry because the stock was already out there. Moreover, the more money one might be lucky enough to have invested, the more money pours in, because at a certain level it returns more than current needs, and so it compounds. It all flows up to those who already have the most. As for pay for executive officers, all their annual reports say the same thing. “we’ve gotta pay them this much to retain the ‘talent’,” Their compensation committee juggles the criteria for awarding compensation. Once in awhile it may be actually merited. I suspect that often it is just what they can get away with. Yes, they should pay a greater share in taxes to help sustain the infrastructure that allowed them to get to the level they reached.

  • Rmary

    Yes the rich are winning and they planned it that way, starting years ago by lobbying (bribing) the Congress to write the laws that make them the winners.  The rest of us, the 99%, can’t play their game because we don’t have the big bucks they use to bribe the Congress.  Yes, that’s what it is – legal bribery, and the Congress made it legal so they can be part of the 1%’s game.

  • Dennis

    That’s right!. How can wages be considered as profit, if the wages your making is, modern day slavery wages, that your just paying bills with. It’s “GREED” that man can not see in his heart. Oops!, Sorry, man does’nt have one of those. That’s why we have to return to that “GREAT BOOK”, “THE BIBLE”. The Love of money is the root of “ALL” evil!. Because, if man would search that thing we call a heart, he would “SEE” his SIN, turn from his wicked ways and help those who need “A HAND UP”!!!, so they may help others.

  • Dennis

    Here you go rich people. If by some miracle you wealthy people read this, May “GOD” give you some understanding, of this one thing. Some day, maybe one day, you will look around just out side your own neighborhood and say, “You know what?, “Maybe, that family, that single mother/father, is trying to, at the least, go to work, be a productive member in society. I see they, he/she has no car, old car, let me see what I can do to give my “American Neighbor” a hand up, that might, just might, make their life, a little bit easier”.  Hey let’s go a little bit farther. “There is Always HOPE!”. Let them donate that trailer they live in, I’m going to build them a home, for their children’s sake. “Just because I can”. WoW!, what a thought. Waite, I have to be educated to say stuff like this. No, Tech. Savey. Etc…

  • MG

    In order to answer the poll question we first need to know the definition of rich.

  • tdtan

    From the beginning of time the rich has & is still winning today!  It’s quite easy to get away with anything & everything if you got the bucks to get out of anything illegal. Any other joe blow will be convicted & be booked for life for a petty crime! Celebs. stay in jail for what; a couple of hours for stealing &/or caught using illegal drugs. People say, the rich worked their way up to the top but in reality there are fewer new rich then those inheriting that trust fund from great, great, great, great,
    grandad.If I was rich, I would negate the rule or assumption that relatives will be getting my wealth after I expire. Just because you’re a blood relative doesn’t mean you deserve the inheritance. If that was the case today, Mitt R. wouldn’t be a candidate. He got it b/c of mommy & daddy’s fortune! They will always get the upper hand & they’ll lie,cheat,steal, sin,….to keep it that way. Sad, once there were americans that can think for themselves but now, I see a lot of uneducated or just plain stupid blind sheep licking the republican’s asses! When I see them in listening to their run for the Presidency, I literally see, sheep walking blindly into the fire!

  • Bj0114

    I believe the major problem is our Military and Secret Services Organizations.  They SPEND, SPEND & SPEND, and don’t have to account for 50% of their waste, whereby the American worker has to account for every dollar.  I believe if the People and Businesses who are PROFITING from Invasions, Occupations are saddled with their Warmongering to take over Rich Natural Resources in other countries, using our military to sacrifice for them, I believe this Greed and Warmongering would stop!  As long as their lives, their children & relatives, close friends lives are not on the front line, they could care less.  The FACT that they can PURCHASE or BUY their way out of combat, needs to come to an end.  GW Bush and Dick Cheney being primary examples, yet invaded Iraq, breaking up our Home National & Air Guards, and destroying MILLIONS of American Families, by deporting both husband & wife, if they joined the National Guards, or was a member of the “voluntary Military!”  What a crock of shet!  While their families did not have to serve!
    I believe ANY PRESIDENT that invades another country their CHILDREN should be on the front lines, especially when they LIE to invade!  If they want to control the Rich & Vast Natural Resources of that country, as a matter of fact, their azzes should be on the front lines!  I am so sick of Rich Wealthy WHITE MEN, placing the Middle Class & Poor in jeopardy, to commit their crimes!  All while LYING in their media, sounding the drums to invade Iran!  I pray the American People don’t drink the toxic Kool-Aid all over again, because Israel and Big Oil wants control of their Oil and Water! 
    In addition, for what the Jewish People suffered during Hitler’s Reign, I can’t imagine they having the Will & Desire, to do this to another Race of People
    America has become a 3rd World Country, problem is, they keep this fact out of THEIR PRIVATELY OWN media, until we watch shows like Need to Know, & Bill Moyers.  Outsourcing our jobs, employing the illegals, then trying to pay Americans LESS THAN Cost of Living Wages, all while our Cost of Living escalates!  Where is the COMMON SENSE in all of this? 
    All I got to say is THANK GOD for PBS, more Americans should be tuning in to learn how they’ve been Ripped Off, and CONTINUING to be Ripped Off!  There is NO END in sight for this Criminal LEGALIZED Behavior! 

  • Lionhawk2

    I have an idea on how we can simplify the tax code and make
    it farer for everybody. The first thing is to combine income and capital gains
    tax and put them together. So if a person makes $50,00 in income and $150,000
    in capital gains, then that person will be tax on $200,000 instead of 25% of
    the $50,000 and 15% on the $150,000. but instead be taxed on an income of
    $200,000. Then we institute a progressive flat tax. here is how it would work,
    you take the poverty rate and double it, lets say for the sake of argument that
    is $40,000 so the first $40,000  of that $200,000
    is not tax. no one will be taxed on the first $40,000 of there income. that
    will turn that $200,000  into
    $160,000that he/she will pay on. then for the next $35,000 dollars (that would
    be up to $75,000) he/she would pay 10% ($3,500). then from $75,000 to $125,000
    he/she will pay 15% for that (person making $200,000 it would be $7,500 +
    $3,500) then from the rate would increase to 20% up to $250,000 so he/she would
    pay 20% on the remaining $75,000 ($15,000) so his and hers total taxes for
    $200,000 would be $26,000 or 13% (0% on the first $40,000, 10% on the next
    $35,000, 20% on the next $75,000 and 20% on the remaining $75,000) then from
    $250,000 to $1,000,000 ($750,000) you would be taxed 25% from $1,000,000
    to$50,0000 it will be 30% from $50,000,000 to $100,000,000 35%,  $100,000,000 to $1,000,000,000 40% and over
    $1,000,000,000 the rate would be 45%. there would be no deductions or loop
    holes. and since corporation are people (ha, ha, ha) then there profits should
    be treated as income and be taxed accordingly. what do you think of this plan?      

  • Frustrated

    We had a balanced budget.  We gave a tax break to the wealthiest people knowing it would result in major deficits.  Now we blame the poor, working class and the government itself for the deficit and insist on cutting expenses by cutting benefits, middle class tax breaks and government worker salaries, possibly while giving the rich another tax break.  The Republicans manufactured this crisis for the benefit of the rich.  Yes the rich are winning.  Will the people ever wake up and stop this crime against the working class and the poor?

  • indie1013

    Why is it when this discussion is aired on these talk shows and it is brought up that the rich pay a huge percentage of the taxes paid, no one ever comes back with “What does that say about the disparity of income in the US?” Because of course they are going to pay more due to the vastness of  their income. But I pay a higher percentage of my income than most of them and I make less than $50,000. And on top of that there is currently no medicare tax on capital gains. This is just so unfair. I also agree that there should be more tax brackets, that people making $250,000 shouldn’t pay the same as people make millions

  • indie1013

    Bribe them with your vote! Write your Congressperson!

     ”All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good men do nothing,” -Edmond Burke

  • indie1013

    You obviously know nothing of what it is to be poor. Are they to forego paying their rent or electric to put that money in an IRA?

  • Stinkydog1

    We as Americans have been fooled into thinking that if the rich get breaks, then that wealth will flow down to the rest of us…..
    There is no evidence that anything like this has happened in the past, nor will this happen in the future.
    Have the Bush tax cuts helped our economy? Absolutely not!, in fact they have only helped the rich….and as long as citizens are afraid to tax the rich, we will all become poorer….

  • Suedev

    OF COURSE the rich are winning. They own our legislators. They are our legislators. And they know where their interests lie. They are in it for the money and are beholden to those who can afford to pay for their campaigns, give them insider information for their financial benefit, and give them promises to employ them in the private sector when they’re done with Congress. When being in Congress became a full-time career for most legislators, their tax returns should have become public information.
    I have no expectations that this situation will change anytime soon, sadly.

  • Anonymous

    One of my farm family business owners played a trick to teach me something about taxes, and about his own character:  He looked at me and said, ” I just wrote a check to the IRS for A$ 95,000.”  Then he got the biggest smile and added, “And you know what THAT means!”  After running the gauntlet of weather, bugs, uncertain prices, and big corp processor-buyers who sometimes decide they don’t have to pay for what he delivered, my friend made a pile of money to stack against those years of loss.  Paying taxes is the small price we pay for the opportunity to prosper from our work, and the small price we pay for the protections we receive, as well as taking care of those who cannot speak for or care for themselves.  That is an honor indeed!
    Greed is the hunger to get…based on fear.  Ambition is the hunger to give based on faith, hope, and Love.  Guess what America’s true wealth and the “wealth of nations” is based upon.  But so many of us have not realized the difference.
    True business is what Love does for a living.  Abundance is based on true value of real production.  Oscar Wilde spoke it well:  “Some people know the price of everything, but the Value of nothing.” 
    The first two sentences of our Declaration of Independence say it well: “We hold these truths…All…are created equal, and are endowed with…in alienable rights…Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness.
    That Pursuit flows from Life and Liberty, and means a level playing field.  When I make 10 times the money of some working stiff in my same tax bracket, it means I have lots of extra money to buy time and power that is out of her/his reach.  His/her kids do not have the educational, nutritional, inspirational, relational power, and other opportunities that my extra bucks buy.
    Back to the level playing field that gets lost in this:  We ALL BECOME THE LOSERS when those around us are not given the opportunities.  We are NOT AGAINST WEALTH.  WE ARE AGAINST THE LOSS OF THE LEVEL PLAYING FIELD OF OPPORTUNITY.
    Adam Smith was a moral philosopher.  If you put all the economists in the world end to end, you probably would never get to a conclusion.  But Smith, Lincoln, Will Rogers, Teddy Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree:  We have freedom and justice for each and ALL or we stand to lose it.  Standing up for …All being equal…Life, Liberty, …cost Lincoln and King their lives.  In Afghanistan daughters and sons are still dying for those rights.  Why are we letting the plutocrats take those rights away?
    We have one party that refuses personhood for the unborn child, and one party that gives a level of personhood to big corporations, big unions, and big others that allows their dollars to be more powerful than our individual votes.
    It is time for a tea party where we occupy our citizenship and regain our Vision of Rights for Each and All.  We need two things now:
    1.  Cut red tape that impedes productivity, and raise the taxes to keep future generations from being taxed (without their representation) for our present costs.  After the bills are paid we can cut taxes a bit and have our desserts.
    2.  Set progressive tax rates and eliminate loopholes for a truly level playing field income tax.  The Laffer curve has been misused.  Real Americans keep being productive even when they enter the hallowed halls of higher tax brackets.  These should reflect the fact that for folks making 10K, 100K, 1 million, 10 million, the same level tax is NEVER EQUAL. 
    Like my farmer friend, I might be honored by my grandkids pouring some Irish whiskky over my grave.  I just don’t want them deciding they should run it through their kidneys first.
    God bless America!
    Liam Mac Gil Lunaigh

  • Anonymous

    No, Indie, I can’t say that I ever considered myself poor, but I grew up on an 8-acre farm, delivered milk and eggs to people who had money to buy them, and never had a new toy when I was growing up, but I used the public library a lot. I worked for a TV repair shop for 50 cents an hour when I was in the 8th grade and in a theater for 65 cents an hour when I was in high school, graduated near the top of my class and enrolled in a state university to study engineering and in ROTC to prepare for an Air Force career, graded homework papers for $1 an hour, worked in the campus museum on weekends for $1 an hour, worked in a national park as a bell boy and waiter during three summers while in college, and was the first member of my family to get a degree. I was commissioned in the Air Force, starting at $222.11 per month in base pay as a second lieutenant. The Air Force sent me to graduate school, and I taught engineering at the Air Force Academy . . .  Fast-forward 11 years: I retired at 55 from a second career as a technical editor when I got tired of working for people (most of whom majored in English) who were dumber than I was. As a VA volunteer, I drive disabled vets to the nearest VA medical center and do other volunteer work, which until this year included preparing tax returns (for people who are either too lazy or too dumb to do it themselves and don’t want to pay H&R Block to do it). I also rang bells for the Salvation Army at Christmas until I got tired of sitting in the cold watching people drop quarters into the kettle and listening to them gripe about getting solicitations in the mail during the rest of the year. My household income from pensions, Social Security, and two Roth IRAs is near the top of the lowest federal income tax bracket. I’m still not rich, but I have nothing to complain about except having to listen to other people whine about their sorry lot in life.

  • Marcin Majda

    All personal income should be taxed equally.  It is so simple, it is the only fair way to impose taxes on individuals.
    Only when this is accomplished let look at loopholes etc.

  • Anonymous

    Do you really know what your effective income tax rate is? My household income is about $65,000, and my effective rate is almost exactly 10%. I helped a single, low-income, senior friend do his taxes last week, and we discovered his effective federal tax rate is less than 1% because most of his income is from Social Security, which is not taxed unless the recipient earns more from other sources. What was disturbing is that his state taxes amount to more than 17% of his income because he pays a hefty property tax on the modular home he owns free and clear, and his state’s sales taxes are among the highest in the nation.

  • Anonymous

    I think capital gains taxes are misunderstood. If a person earns income, pays taxes on it, and has some left over to invest, taxing his profits amounts to taxing some of his income twice. The income from a Roth IRA is also capital gains, but it’s not taxed at all. What goes into a Roth is after-tax income, which grows within the account with NO additional taxes, even when money is withdrawn. Rich people (and some clueless poor people) who invest without an IRA actually pay more than someone who contributes to a Roth. Roths also can be passed on to heirs tax-free.

  • Anonymous

    Without getting into a discussion of warmongering, what I dislike, as a military retiree, is the attitude of many fellow retirees who think civilians don’t contribute in their own way and don’t deserve the Cadillac benefits we receive. Many retired colonels bellyache because their high incomes cause them to have to pay higher Medicare Part B premiums, and even more gripe about the income taxes they have to pay, while they shop at tax-free exchanges and rob their state and county of the revenue that must be borne by their civilian neighbors. Then they belly up to the bar and bitch about the socialists that are ruining the country.

  • Anonymous

    I will pray to God for you, Rich.

  • Clarence Abshire

    Everyone pays the same  percentage.  Small national sales tax.  No tax loop holes.  Every citizen should pay something.   

  • Anonymous

    During the Ford Administration, Congress enacted the individual retirement account (IRA), which allowed middle class savers to put money into accounts that would grow tax-free until age 59-1/2, when the proceeds can be withdrawn, at which time savers would finally pay income tax according to their individual current tax brackets.

    A later version, the Roth IRA, now makes it possible for savers to contribute after-tax income and withdraw money without paying taxes, and those funds, if left in the account, can be inherited tax-free. This is actually a better deal than rich people get because they must pay capital gains taxes on their profits as they are made, each year, and their estates may be taxed when they die.

    The two IRAs are personal versions of the 401(k) and 403(b) plans for employees of corporations and educational institutions, which many people have, but many more don’t use to full advantage.

    So, here are examples of benefits that the federal government has offered to the middle class, but most seem prefer to spend their money now, rather than save and let their earnings grow. Not all rich people start out rich. Some are middle class who are smart enough to take advantage of good deals that fall into their laps.

  • Anonymous

    During the Ford Administration, Congress enacted the individual retirement account (IRA), which allowed savers to put money into an account that would grow tax-free until the saver took it out, after age 59-1/2 to spend, at which time the saver would finally pay income tax according to the individual’s current bracket. A later version made it possible for savers to use after-tax income, which allows savers to withdraw money without paying taxes. This is actually a better deal than rich people get because they pay capital gains taxes on their profits. All it takes is having the good sense to pay into a Roth IRA. So, here is an example of laws enacted for the benefit of the common man, most of whom seem not to have the good sense to take advantage of them but prefer to spend their money now rather than save for later.

  • Ronbo

    The rich may provide jobs, but they do not work. The poor work (ya, there are exceptions)! The poor achieve what the rich want done. The current tax system is flat on the ends (the poor and the rich both pay 15%) except for the middle income people (they pay 40%). 

  • Chris Cottrell

    The rich are winning because everyone else is too busy looking for work and living hand to mouth. Which is a big reason why a sales tax (as I’ve noted is suggested here and there) is such a bad idea. Sales tax is nothing but another backdoor tax on the poor and middle class. Think about it. Who buys more stuff in a year? A tiny fraction of the population, or the rest of us?

  • Mike McGloin

    When we have an economic turn down, who’s usually behind it?  And who usually pays the price?  Then why do we keep putting the rich man’s party in power?  Are we really that foolish?

  • Wally Parnel

    They are winning, because no one is voting. It interfers with their video games, since they won’t vote for a job.

  • Wally Parnel

    They are winning, because no one is voting. It interfers with their video games, since they won’t vote for a job.

  • Wally Parnel

    And people keep voting for corruption, they get corruption..DUH
    Mandate mandatory voting like Australia. 98% vote there, have a good economy, very little corruption, and civic duty is important.

  • Eleanorhare

    There is no reason to tax capital gains at 15% and income from work at 35%.  This situation is unfair to the people who work for a living.

  • Prazalot

    Taxing rich with out any type of price freezing on goods and services is a joke. All the taxation is pass down to the consumer through higher pricing. 

  • Miloh45

    Until the USA gets “progressive” taxation again the USA will not grow robustly….THe USA had progressive taxation with NO lotteries in the period 1940′s thru 1970′s, but then things changed, and we decided to try “regressive” taxation….folks, regressive taxation ONLY builds 3rd world countries, not strong societies……the USA is in the process of becoming 3rd world gradually!  

  • Psarthur2125

    great show – hopefully a recording could be shared with all Americans so we all could learn. I’m a 73 year old Republican looking for a better party. I hope our children can enjoy a country like we used to have. The first step is reform amongst our representatives in Congress. Thanks to all the participants!

  • Undca

    The Bush tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 need to expire and the tax code with all of its loopholes need to go so that more fairness takes place.

  • Bill

    I just watched the show and no one talked about the plights facing the middle class. How about addressing the marriage penalty. My wife doesn’t work simply because the expenses of going back to work are almost as great as the amount of the net gain we would realize.

  • Marie

    what kind of a dumb questio is that? are the rich winning what?

  • Amys60

    How could they not be after Citizens United decision! With so many right wing PACs giving millions to the Tea Party and to right wing candidates, the amount of advertising is becoming more and more Skewed to the right.

  • Bill

    I agree. Sales tax is a regressive tax…the poor pay a higher percentage of their income.

  • Martha

    Change the words, change the concept. 

    Tax is really a Tithe to Democracy’s ideals of Liberty and Equality–and Fraternty.   I consider what I contribute to be a Tithe to my country, community, and to help around the world. It is not so much different than my Tithe to my Parish.  The cost of making things work, be there, help out, keep the peace and the health of our citizens. 

    Taxes are not a penalty, they are a way to contribute our fair share.  No one, no entity should be exempt, but indeed should have the priviledge and the honor of being a donor to democractic ideals–whether that fair share is $1.00 or a million dollars.

  • Tj

    their winning because of stupid people voting against themselves because of watching fox news they would’nt know what the truth is even if they seen on paper

  • Drm_drive

     We dont really have a choice.Its more like electing the lesser of the evils.

  • Marie

    what kind of a dumb polling question is that?

  • Drm_drive

    The laws are being made by the rich.obviously to help themselves.There are no middleclass to voice in the powers that what are we to expect from people who are perfectly happy being rich and in control,while we are on the other side?Look at the pole..10 percent say no,,while 90 percent say just like 1 in ten is “rich”.That’s the real truth.

  • MadMan

    With income inequality at levels not seen in the US since the Gilded Age, (brought about by regressive taxation that shafts the worker while coddling the wealthy investor class) there is ample evidence that the average American is being financially abused in favor of the rich.

  • RoLo

    Definitions, please: who are the rich? Based on net worth or income, or both.
     * How can it be fair for 20 percent to pay 80 percent of all taxes?
     * How is it fair that those who were industrious enough to earn higher incomes should have the fruits  of their labor re-distributed to those who worked less?
     * Is it fair that those who acquired skills, whether through rigorous HS curricula and higher education, including industrial/technical programs, should support the easy-rider, partying crowd?

  • Joseph r. Delaey, Sr.

    The Bush tax cuts need to expire, 15% tax rate should go to 35% and the defense budget needs to be trimmed some(I’m not sure how much.

  • Hwchris49

    Our tax code is very unfair. 
    We have evolved into a plutocracy. 
    The average person needs to take back our government.  As long as we elect millionaires to serve
    themselves, we will have people trying to give tax breaks to the rich and sock
    it to the poor.  We need term limits in
    congress and real regulations on lobbying.  

  • D. Comfort

    Everyone is losing under the current tax code.  It’s too complicated and causes businesses and the wealthiest to use too much of their resources to be compliance rather than focusing on making the best business/investment decisions.  Also, almost half the households now pay no FIT whatsover.  That creates another problem in that one-half our society has no stake in how the federal government spends tax revenue and further exasperates the us vs. them problem.  Everyone who is able to work and earn income should be expected to pay somehting to support the goverment that serves all of us. 

  • MadMan

    Mike: Apparently, we are not only that foolish, we are also EASILY fooled.

  • M.

    Of course the rich are winning. They wouldn’t be rich if they weren’t winning. The wealthy will always have the upper hand. Ocassionally I hope that the Republicans will win all the branches of government this November just so they will do all that they are saying they will do. They will then cause so much damage and hardship to the population that we will be rid of them for 30 or 40 years. Thank goodness for our constitution as it limits the damage any person or group can inflict on the people.

  • Wgg

    Everybody keeps attacking the rich. What’s the incentive for working if you can’t keep the money you earn. The rich pay a lower percentage of a high income – much much much more than a lower income earner. This is RARELY mentioned. The rich pay a LOT more in taxes, but the press gets hung up on the lower percentage. This is deceiving the public. Get real. We’re smarter than that!

  • Go2rj

    A very few of the rich contribute much to our society, like supporting NPR and PBS, etc., BUT the majority of the rich are bringing down the economy of the entire world due to their GREED. One of the reasons so many jobs have been lost in the USA, is because the greedy rich executives decided they could make MORE money by using off shore labor.  These same greedy rich executives are the ones who cause the collapse of many banks and financial institutions, the same ones the US government bailed out so the greedy rich could still get their massive bonuses. It will not make any difference whom we elect in the fall, for both parties are controlled by the super rich.  Short of a world wide rebellion of the poor against the rich, I do not see anything in the future but a total collapse of the world economy.

  • MadMan

    If wealth going to the top is great for those beneath, explain why it has never worked for the great sovereigns of europe?

    We started this Great Experiment precisely because the wealthy were abusing the peasantry! Our government exists for one reason: to protect the peasants (us) from the wealthy and powerful (in this instance, the monied investor class and the politically connected, lobbyists and corporations).

    Equality is equally, if not more important, than freedom. Pure freedom allows the individual to accomplish any goal with no consideration of other citizens rights. Equality is essential to a healthy democracy. The wealthy currently own the government. There is no equality.

  • Bowwowbound

    Having our current tax code the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

  • D. Comfort

    I both worked and invested.  The amount I invested was from earned income on which I had already paid the earned income rate.  I would agree that invested profits should be taxed at the same rate as earned income if the tax payer had no earned income.  In other words if investment profits were the sole source of income theus  rate would be the same as if it were earned income.  That’s the Warren Buffet position.  Of course Warren has the privilege of setting his earned income as low as he wants it to be in order to pay a lower earned rate.  Most of us working stiffs don’t have that privilege.    

  • Monte Tope

    I agree with the guests on your panel. If their comments were put into a bill that passed muster we would see an explosion of prosperity in this country, however, there are a couple of additional things that must happen simultaneously. First, as your guest said, we must have full disclosure of members of congress tax filings. Secondly, we must sever any responsibility for healthcare by employers,and Medicare must be offered to all to reduce the growth of tumors in our economy for opportunists, and insurance companies to feed on. There are plenty of opportunities for them to offer extravagant products outside the realm of employment. I have read several studies by the medical community that this saves approximately three hundred million annually, (conservatively), If my math is right, that is approximately a trillion saved in three years, and every dollar hits the ground running. The number of new small business’ would astound all.

  • Sanibaby36

    The American dream was to work hard, do the right thing and things would get better for you. It did for our parents but when the country went to only the greedy something happened. The country failed. Every great country was brought down from within. Read your history.If this continues we will be history. The rich must pay their fair share. Sorry, no one thinks it’s bad t be rich it’s that they stole it..from you ! . That is how the banks went about taking your money. They think that is legal and only business. For some it was greed for others their life savings and their pride. You can’t keep banging your head on a wall forever . Something will have to give. I pray it can be fixed, but I now have little faith because of the hatred people pour on each other. Crazy isn’t it. Those who did the wrongs are still the good guy and you strike out at your brothers who have less than you. What ever happened to the great America?

  • Sanibaby36

    The tax code was not setup by the present President. You have to go back further for blame. Sad he has to get all this strife

  • E R Kelly

    That great terrorist, Grover Norquist, has sold a bill of goods to Congress – “No New Taxes!”

    He has said that he wants to reduce the U.S. Government to be so small that he can “drown it in his bath tub”.


    That is the action of a TRAITOR to the United States!


    Throw everyone out of office who has been stupid enough to sign his pledge.  Wasn’t their OATH OF OFFICE sufficient?  Why sign any pledge by any lobbyist who has never held office.

  • Richards_1025

    A better question might be….ARE the people that work Hard…bother to educate themselves…ARE THEY WINNING?
    The US is broke….is that not apparent….with us borrowing 1.2-1.5 trillion a year, under Odumbo???
    I suggest you all….we all…give this fact more attention…rather than…”who is getting rich, and who isn’t”.
    Let’s let Odumbo play the class warfare card….
    And let the rest of us work on the REAL problem in America today. OUR EVER increasing debt.

    Let’s do it for our kids/grandkids…if not for ourselves!

  • Jim turturro

    program 7/6.  my opinion.  in reality many loop wholes as the guest referred are necessary.
    the mortgage interest and tax deduction is for the lower and middle class the only reason to buy a home.  we do it to reduce our tax burden and increase our net income for living.  a change in this loop whole would be trauma to those folk living check to check.

    the flat tax.  clergy who serve every faith would be devestated along with the military folk that
    have a tax free housing allowance.  they would be put into fiscal shock because their net lncome would be seriously reduced.

    the list is endless for each stake holder group.  radical changes as discussed in the program would
    cause the economic recovery to a relapse into a serious depression.

    paul krugman would have brought some clarity to your discussion.  this is not a time for
    austerity but stimulus.  not a bad time to borrow from ourselves and create the stimulus
    to build prosperity and thus better tax revenue.

    any progressive tax is fair.  any regressive tax is unfair.  

    do the one percent need social security? no.  there is a formula that corrects this benefit
    intended for those in need.  this formula can be improved.

    the buffet tax would be a welcome reform.  debt reduction is a matter to address in a time
    of prosperity.

    really the conversation tonight was among elites.  there are elite thinkiers among the
    working middle class.  your group would propose a violence againt ordinary citizens.
    not a good idea.

    tax should not be a dirty word.  i will pay for health care, schools, homeland secuity,
    national defense, social security, FDA and services that are for the common good.
    the program correctly noted the divided value and cultural divide in the nation.

    in the real world things are not simple.  I do not like the mandate in the affordable
    care reform.   I really do not affirm medical ins. discrimmination against those with
    pre existing conditions.   see life is complex.  americans are not stupid.
    i do not like tickets or penalities but I am in favor of justice.  I celebrate the health
    ins reform.  i would have really celebrated expanded madicare/medicate.

  • Jimturturro

    so you did not get it.  buffet paid at a lower rate than his help.  we the people would like
    to change that.

  • Jimturturro

    this was done, 2001 until 2008 now we are dealing with the after math.
    i would prefer that we press forward even with the headwinds.

  • Jimturturro

    plenty of us are winning with the present tax code.  others that are very wealthy
    are able to do more.  to those much has been given much is required…the gold
    standard for ethics and justice for most of human history.

  • Jimturturro

    again to those much has been given much is required.  it is about duty to the common good.
    even after the fortunate have given a little more they will have plenty.  one of the most gererous
    folk i know has very little, less than 1000 dollars a month.  there is a story about the widows mite.

  • Hrpalmer

    The disparity between tax rates on capital gains and those on earned income is the most egregiously unjust aspect of our tax code. It is patently unfair to pay less on the income that money earns than on income earned by the sweat of one’s brow. This favors the rich over the poor and continues to fuel the increasing disparity of wealth in this country.

  • ljmisel

    I didn’t watch this program from the begenning but found it most interesting.  We (U.S.) definetly need a simplificatioton  or perhaps a flat tax  if that is what i think it is.  We must live within our ability to pay & a fair, across the board tax system is a must.

  • Jimturturro

    i think they corrected the marriage penalty.

  • Jimturturro

    yes to part one.  not my loop holes.  mortgage interest etc.  please do not shoot us ordinary people in the foot.

  • Jimturturro

    i can not support this.

  • Jimturturro

    too radical.  it would bankrupt too many households.

  • Richards_1025

    Wait a second…Im not rich…not even close….my AGI is UNDER 18K/year!
    HOWEVER, I do have investments (from the good old days), THAT DO PAY dividends.
    So…what did I do wrong? I worked hard…I saved and invested…I NEVER made very much money (earned income)…BUT, I managed to save a little and invest in equities.
    So….in response to your last statement….AM I BEING FAVORED? Am I rich?
    Is the tax code unfair….really? Im not rich…but Im being favored by the Bush tax cuts, because Im paying a lower tax rate, on my very few dividends.
    WAIT A SECOND….all these years the Bush tax cuts….have been called….TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH. That settles it! I GOTTA be rich…right? (But…I only make 18K a year in taxable income)….Im confused. I need a liberal to explain this to me.

  • Richards_1025

    Yeah….more taxes….thats the answer. And throw in bigger government as well.
    Your an idiot!

  • Richards_1025

    The top 1% wage earners pay (in taxes) what the BOTTOM 90% of wage earners pay (the bottom 50.4% pay no taxes). Im in the bottom 50%…I pay NO taxes. But I should!

    So I ask you,,,,if the top 1%…who are paying 90% of all federal tax revenues collected….are not paying enough….JUST WHAT IS ENOUGH???
    Get your facts pal!

  • Jimturturro

    the old tried and true trikle down theory.  note corps. are doing fine right now.
    they lack confidence to move forward and invest.  or maybe they just do not care about
    this nation and what it needs right now.  those your reference have turned off the tap.
    some are just and good folk and have not turned off the tap.

  • Crystalcanderson

    The funding of 501c3 foundations needs to be discussed:  The donor has a cost basis in stock of $1.00 – the value of the stock is $100.  The individual gets to deduct the gift at $100.  The foundation pays the gain of $99 when the stock is sold.  The tax rate is 1% or 2% for foundations.  The indivual looks like a great philanthropist although the IRS has paid for the foundation in tax savings.  The individual gets to name one other voting board member and those two have full control over the foundation.  All investment earnings from that day forward are taxed at 1 to 2 percent.  Looks pretty good to me!

  • Richards_1025

    Thank You!!!! You bothered to tell the facts.
    The top 1% wage earners in this country….pay in federal incomes taxes…what the bottom 90% of wage earners pay. (Im part of the bottom 50%, that pay NO INCOME TAX). We…the bottom 50% SHOULD PAY at least some tax. Im willing to.
    If the top 1% aren’t paying enough…..I ask….what is enough???

  • Richards_1025

    Odumbo is too busy playing Robin Hood…..stealing from the rich, and giving to the poor.
    This will help us become….”The United States of France”.

  • mcav

    I’m glad you brought up foundations, aren’t they just tax shelters of some sort?  I’m on an Advisory Board and we sit on $600,000 year after year and distribute maximum grants of $5,000 more or less to 10 to 15 grant recipients.  This kind of “philanthropy” seems totally disingenuous and we only give out crumbs!

  • Roland Boucher

    You are asking the wrong question,

     The first principle of TAX FAIRNESS is every person earning the same income pay the same tax 

    that means no deductions, no exemptions, no tax credits

     The second principle of TAX FAIRNESS is All income should be taxed once AND ONLY ONCE

    this means stop taxing dividends twice, index capital gains so the sale and purchase price are with the same dollars, and tax company sponsored health care once 1/2 by the company and 1/2 by the individual receiving the benefit.

    Do this and a revenue neutral maximum tax rate would be less than 20 percent

    Roland Boucher, Chairman

    United Californians for Tax Reform

  • Abc

    Typical of PBS to advocate Obama’s divisive “Rich vs Poor” class warfare stance.  We should be doing all we can to facilitate more people becoming rich, not demonizing them and trying to redistribute their wealth.

  • Micheline

    i am not rich,i am not mid class,iam low income person,who believe ,they should tax every peson,by they salaries,not by they investment .also,mid income&some parents have a lot profit,by getting big tax credit,their morgage rate is low,how about people,who can’t afford,morgage,who live in low income house,heor her make$ 13,400.00.her rent raised to$106.00 per month,without counting rest of home bill,like,electricity,& gaz? I have been looking for another part-time job or full-time,there,no luck,so,far.So,i think,is right to tax everybody maybe equal,maybe,7-10%.but consumers will no longer pay any other tax,for example,for food,rent,tax,shoes,clothes,etc….also,Banks should,tax,nomore,than 10%.if they have loan.from treasury,the tresury,should charge just,5% to the bans,so,i pay 10%to the bank.The bank gain 5%,and the treasury gain ,too,5%. For it will be easy for every body.This is my Opinion.Sincerly,Micheline. 

  • Rich Stasenko

    we know what the problem is. what to do about it. people talk. action is needed. each of us can make the world around us better by what we do with the resources at our disposal

  • W. Demandante

    Not only do many tax breaks favor the wealthy, but the wealthy can afford tax lawyers and high-priced accountants to help them find those breaks.

  • W. Demandante

    Not only do many tax breaks favor the wealthy, but the wealthy can afford tax lawyers and high-priced accountants to help them find those breaks.

  • Microgary

    Maybe we should stop running major wars by borrowing. It might have been a nice idea not to start an unnecessary war. In the past if corporations made a profit during wartime they were called war profiteers and that was treated like treason. When we go to war everyone pitches in and sacrifices because it was the patriotic thing to do. Hiding the profit an American corporation makes overseas from taxes is also akin to treason. Has anyone been paying attention to the malfeasance British banks (Barclay) and soon to be revealed American co-conspirator banks has been doing by selling manufactured (dreamed up) interest swaps

  • Edie

    excellent discussion on our tax system and the unfairness where the wealthiest individuals and corporations pay little or no taxes through investments and staching money in offshore bank accounts like Mitt Romney and GE pays no taxes while the rest of working people pay for the Bush tax cuts for the elites. the 99% must be elected to offices and change the politics and the inequality of our society. Read Van Jones book,, Rebuilding the Dream, it will open your eyes and make you understand how you can make a difference.

  • Casey220

    Half the people pay nothing. Is that fair? If we want the rich to pay almost all the tax burden they should run the country and be our leaders.

  • Johnnycreek  The Fair Tax is a better way to collect taxes.If an item is $1.00,under the Fair Tax it is still $1.00 as the 23% tax is imbeded and NOT added on top like sales taxes.

  • Ezresale

    Out of touch. Tax and spend. Cut the spending, cut the services. If you took all the 1% wealth right now you could not pay for all the government tax needs. Which means the middle class are paying for all of this spending. Stop the spending.

  • Bettynnoel

    Loopholes need to be cut across the board and capital gains needs to be temporarily increased and never decreased to todays low. Corporate taxes are to be strictly adhered to and all Corporations must pay the full percentage with no exceptions.

  • Tim Rue

    No Taxation without representation! 

    Since we know politicians cannot keep their election promises and as such not really represent us or even the some that voted the elected in. Instead they have massive fail at budgeting and accounting, which is a symptom of spoiled addiction, leaving only one thing left to do. 

    We were given written instructions by the well experienced and wise founders of this country in a well known document expressing the spirit and intent of all legitimate US law. They recognize the rights and duty of the people to keep their government in check. But the Government has so failed, as even the founders of this country foresaw the probability of happening and why they wrote down the instructions for the people as well as provided real life example, that we would not be mislead regarding their intent.

    Amendment 16 of the US constitution states that congress has the power to lay and collect taxes, but no where is there such a statement that the people have no say in how those taxes are to be spent. For its there was such a statement it would be in direct violation of that founding document.

    That document is the “Declaration of Independence”

    What we the people are going to do, in realizing our population has grown beyond what the government can handle in genuinely representing us, is to instruct government at all level for which we pay taxes as to what they are going to spend it on in order to genuinely represent us, each one of us. I say about the taxes I pay, you about yours and the tax processors, who may be your neighbor, are to allocate your taxes based upon your instructions. Of course for those who trust the government to decide for them all or some portion of your taxes, that option is available to. We have this opportunity one a year at the very least.

    This simple and what should be obvious core change will solve many problems as government must inform the people what they need tax funding for and why leading to genuine government transparency. Other fixes include but not limited to correcting budgeting and accounting failures as we the people will do that for them so they can take more vacations till we make their vacation permanent. Also correcting biased government controlled media, for the cheats in government will have far less freedom to be spoiled as to what they do with our taxes.

    If I told my paycheck signing boss what he was going to pay me and that he couldn’t tell me what to do, I’d be fired. The Government is not a charity for spoiled ignorant psychopathic children of warfare (53% pay income tax and of that 53% goes to warfare support… and that does not represent me in any way shape of form, and you?)
    What the government is supposed to be is of organized structures for the optimization of teamwork benefits shared among the contributing members of the team and directed by the same team.

    It is a direct conflict of interest to have employees of the people deciding how much and what they are going to do. Perhaps it is the peoples failure to fund Government but fail to tell them what to do in representing the people.Direct action requires the paperwork providing the people at all levels of funding government with their taxes, to include with their income tax returns and to receive a receipt acknowledging the tax payers instructions.

  • Cladup44

     Glad to see someone calling Grover Norquist what he really is, a LOBBYIST. He is not someone who has ever been elected to anything, not someone ever appointed to any public office, not someone who has EARNED strict obedience of the majority of republicans that he now commands.  He is a LOBBYIST!

  • Kevin Faber

    Ever increasing debt? Yeah, because of the ever-increasing tax breaks for the very wealthy & the corporations in the name of “creating jobs”, & screwing over everybody else.

  • Kevin Faber

    The top 1% pay 90% of the taxes? The top 0.5% have 90% of the wealth of the country! They SHOULD pay 90% of the taxes!

  • Kevin Faber

    The greater the inequality between rich & poor, the worse of the country ultimately is. Look at France in the 1790s–or the U.S. in 1929. Don’t tell me 1929 was a good year.

  • Kevin Faber

    What’s the incentive for working? How about the incentive for working if you can’t earn enough to get by? Why is it the right always wants to give the rich MORE money to get them to work harder, & give the poor LESS?

  • Kevin Faber

    Everyone who is able should pay? So why should the people with all the clout & all the money pay nothing? Because thousands of very wealthy individuals pay nothing–& can afford to buy Congresscritters so they can KEEP IT THAT WAY. What ever happened to fairness?

  • Kevin Faber

    How can it be fair for 0.5% of the population to have 90% of the wealth? Which they do… Why should they?

    Is it fair those who acquired skills support the “easy riders”? Is it fair for the wealthy deadbeats who never worked a day to get a free ride at the expense of people who can barely make ends meet?More to the point, is it good for the country for so few to have so much wealth & so many to have none, nor any chance of GETTING any? Because more money is being spent on prisons than universities in a lot of places… And because the Supreme Court has decided in its purblind stupidity money equals speech, there’s scant prospect of that changing….

  • Kevin Faber

    “No Taxation without representation”

    Nice theory. Except, since the Supreme Court decided (in 1972…) money equals speech, the corporations & the wealthy have been able to buy Congress–legally. So it’s taxation with no chance of representation, & representation for lower (or no…) taxation…

    The only option is to amend the Constitution. Since the wealthy & the corporations will buy as many “grass roots activists” & as much advertising as they need to defeat that effort, there’s really only one answer: you’re screwed, get used to it.

    Unless you think a revisit of the Boston Tea Party is a good idea…

  • Kevin Faber

    What spending? No schools? No war in Iraq? No F-22? No Medicare? No “export enhancement” for corporations? No mortgage deduction? No tax-free muni bonds? No NOL deduction? No agricultural subsidies? No highway repairs? No FAA? How about no SEC? Oh, wait, that was what caused the ’08 crash…

    Fact is, most of the spending is going into things the federal government is locked into, like Medicare, & I don’t see AARP going along with abolishing it…

    If you look at all the spending, you’ll see there’s a strong constituency for ALL OF THEM, which is why Congresscritters promise to cut, but never actually manage it….

    And then there’s the public safety aspects, like FAA, NTSB, EPA, & SEC, to name just a few. Do you want NO REGULATION? Because that’s a direct consequence of cutting spending, too.

    Next time, try thinking it through before you say something stupid.

  • John

    I believe we should scrap the individual income tax system entirely, let people keep (most) of what they earn, and have a National sales tax. That way, EVERYBODY would be paying in to the Fed, including illegal immigrants…the rich would automatically pay more, simply because they spend more (not too many poor people buy Rolex watches or BMW cars). People on Social security would get an increase to cover the tax. Just think what a boost it would be to the economy if we had the money we earn; some would spend it, some would save it, some would invest – it would all be good for the economy. 
    The tax burden needs to be spread out, and everybody needs to be paying in – quit squabbling about rich v poor – a flat rate sales tax would be fair for all, and I bet it would only have to be between 1 and 2%. It could kick in on purchases over, say, $10.00.
    I would love to hear from someone with more knowledge of our economy on this idea.

  • Zamboniman50

    The Republican party has undertaken a posture of not doing anything to boost the economy because it would make President Obama look good,  and since there Gould is to make sure that President Obama does not get reelected, they have taken a let the economy and this country go to Hell. 

  • Fillup Space

    conservatism is an entitlement program
    a tax exemption is a welfare payment
    deficit creation is  the goal
    those exempt from taxation are not concerned about the deficit
    it is another investment to reap a windfall
    the class war began in 1980 when the Regan Conservatives recognized that the 1934 politics of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler could serve today’s Corporations and the Investor Elite just as it served the European Industrialists then
    re-distribution of middle class wealth is the economic incentive
    enslaving the middle class with  their high tax rates to the Federal Deficit is the source of tomorrows cheap  Corporate labor
    or there are  the super heated re-education camps with the brick lined class rooms
    Americas middle class is losing WWII to the Industrialists of yesterday and the Investor Elite of today
    they subvert Democracy to corrupt Capitalism
    profits are no longer earned
    profits are legislated
    the spoils go to the Super Pacs

  • shanepc1

     What a complete bunch of off-topic drivel. The topic was “Taxes: Are the Rich Winning?” not economic stimulus or the election. How is it that the Republican Party has “let the economy and this country go to hell”? For four months after the 2008 elections, the Democrats had veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate. During the rest of 2008-2010 period they controlled the House and Senate with comfortable majorities. How did they spend their time? Did they spend it creating a fairer tax system with fewer loopholes and where earnings from income and investments are taxed in a similar fashion? No, quite the contrary. They instead spent their time  creating a popular but economically inefficient and growth-hampering Financial Reform bill and  an unpopular and economically inefficient health insurance reform bill. It would be all too convenient yet intellectually lazy to simply scapegoat the Republican Party for the state of the economy, not to mention the that this contrivance would fail to comport with reality.

  • Manik Yun

    The rich are winning because our tax code maze allows them to do so. The average American taxpayer should be able to file his own taxes in 10 minutes. He knows what he has earned in the tax year. Why does he have to read the Tax Code to arrive at a figure or have to pay a CPA to do his tax returns when the IRS cannot even give him a straight answer? If the Tax Code was simple enough for the filer, the IRS could cut its audit staff in half and still catch the 10% to 20% tax evaders. This would truly level the Tax playing field. However, unemployment in that non productive sector (Tax accountants/IRS enforcers) of our economy will shoot through the roof. Our politicians will never let that happen.

  • Fillup Space

     you are ignorant of the history of deficit creation
    trillion dollar deficits were born of Regan tax cuts
    unless you state a hatred of the US Constitution you have to accept that non compromising is in violation of the founding fathers separation of powers and demand that for legislation to advance compromise is necessary

    when your personal finances are tight do you bring in less revenue?
    do you take on debt to give away something else?
    the purpose of debt is to ultimately  enjoy a higher standard of living

    did your immigrant forefathers come here to just get by?
    are you content with your social economic position?

    prove that a tax exemption creates jobs
    i can prove that the consumers demand for goods and services creates jobs

    if you can understand capitalism you can understand all that is false about trickle down economics
    Regards Ezresale !
    Fillup Space

  • Fillup Space

     you believe that living under the poverty level is a common sense choice people make to avoid paying a small percentage  as a tax on a dollar earned?
    that is a very obtuse belief

  • Fillup Space

     the Regan tax exemptions on profits from investments created the first trillion dollar deficits in 1980 that now is $16 trillion dollars
    those who pay taxes each owe $139000.oo to the IRS
    those with tax exemptions do not pay taxes and have no concerns of debt creation

  • Fillup Space

     you miss the point.
    the deficit was created the minute tax exemptions on profits from investments was put in place by Regan in 1980
     the bonds that promote and underwrite deficit spending are purchased with capital by those who are responsible for the revenue shortfall
    money formerly paid as a tax now is loaned to Gov and a profit is derived
    eliminate the conservative tax exemptions and the profits conservatives get by additional bond purchases
    a tax exemption is a revenue source in comparison to those without a tax exemption
    tax exemptions are welfare
    conservatism is an entitlement program

  • Fillup Space

    those who have tax exemptions do not suffer the $139000.oo debt to the IRS that a tax payer will pay the IRS

  • Fillup Space


  • Rh

    The question can not be answered as asked? What’s “rich” to you may be middle-class to another. Some rich people may consider $250,000 lower middle income. It’s all relative and thus makes for a poor basis in the discussion.

  • Jim663 in Philly

    They won already. The game is rigged at every turn. They own the politicians and the issues. The new decision making unlimited contributions possible takes it to a whole new level. Neither the voters nor the candidates are deciding which issues are even on the table – the monied interests are. And what they want is even lower taxes on income, capital gains, inheritance, etc. and less spending on infrastructure, education and the truly needy.

    The rest of us are like rubes being conned on the street, thinking surely we will finally find the pea under the cup. There’s no pea. The rich ate it a long time ago. The American dream was only for the super-rich in the end.

  • Twhunter123

    Jim663 in Philly has hit the nail on the head!  But it is just not the rich,that own the politicians, but also Wall Street, the Banking Industry, Medical Insurance companies and the Pharmacutical Companies.  Where does ont think all this unaccountable PAC money is coming from?

  • Travist11

    When i hear anyone try to rationalize the fact that someone investing money in a company can pay so little intaxes on the income they make wile the men and women working on the production floor sweating for their paycheck pay more, I feel a real loss of belief in this county and it’s future.

  • Mike

    Poor Dorothy can’t think of a single reason to raise the top marginal tax rates..
    Apparently she, (& others on your panel) have a little selective amnesia of their history..
    Let’s start with the fact that the founding fathers were well aware of a condition called, “heredity.”
    That’s just one reason why, many-many restrictions were originally placed on the Corporation..
    But, I simply  ask your panel this, “just how do we have a free market economy when X-Y Corporation has a 10 generation monopoly or oligopoly going for itself?” Again, our founding fathers had many solutions to this little conundrum..
    How about reading Adam Smith’s 1776 text, “Wealth of Nations” where he makes at least 12 specific mentions of Corporations and the specific fact that, “they are designed instruments for suppressing competition.?” That little inconvenient fact seems to be collectively left out by many of our, “talking heads” when they pretend to have all the answers in our, “new Global World.”
    By the way, did anyone hear that nasty word, tariff mentioned? Oh that’s right, our current manufactured, “dogma” doesn’t use that word anymore, either.
    How about when Teddy or Franklin Roosevelt had to deal with the, “Robber Barons” of their day?
    (94 & 91)% tax rates were placed on the Corporations & the Wealthy. It was not so much to tax them but to force them to reinvest into their Community. In other words, “if you want to take flight with the money & not reinvest with those who also sacrificed their lives to earn it for you, then you will pay a stiff penalty for pulling it out of all of the collective future..
    I don’t normally watch, “Need To Know” and your episode brutally reminded about why I DON’T.!

  • Eeigta

    The money invested in a company is after income taxes were already paid. It’s double taxation. That investment allows a company to grow and hire more workers. There should be no tax capital.

    It’s insulting to refer to assume production work is somehow harder and you sweat more than a business owner or a manager. It is all work.

    If you were starting the US all over. Should everyone pay the same rate. How would you pick who pays more. Success should not be taxed any different than non success. We need to indentify what the government provides and cut everything else.

  • Robert Bryan

    Times change, so taxes change. Taxes need to be like they were in the early 50s. Right now, the Bush tax cuts need to expire, and gov spending needs to be reduced, especially defense spending.

  • Bobbo

    We taxpayers under the very rich are just dumb. Why not get those trying to be elected to PLEDGE the kind of rate reform that will go back to the rates that tax the wealthy at 39% or more, with few major deductions. They MAKE their money in the greatest environment in the world. They don’t like it? Then go make their fortune somewhere else!! Why don’t they go elsewhere? Because there is nowhere BETTER!!

  • Jojomom7

    The national sales tax is a regressive tax, like all sales taxes are. Those with the lowest incomes would pay a larger percent of their income than those with a higher income. This is not the way to go or tax our people.

  • Dean in Illinois

    The gap has widened in America between the people who are wealthy and those who are poor.  It is inconceivable how rich the top 1% of our nation is.  We would just be amazed if we would be able to conceive the wealth that exists.
    The Republicans claim that the government is spending too much money.  Tax the rich and put it into balance. 
    There are two great problems that have developed in America,
    First, Politicians depend on money to run for Congress and they make the laws
    Second, the lobbyists have become too powerful with the money and influence they have on Congress– the average person is not heard
    Dean in Illinois

  • Deborah Shell

    Initially, I did not like the way the question was worded. There was no mention of taxes or tax rates as was suggested on the show. My answer to the poll question is the rich are ahead for now. They are busy and have been for the last forty years digging this “pit” for middle and lower income Americans to fall into. But as the old saying goes…they must be careful that the “pit” they dig for others, is not the one they fall into themselves! Stop all wars, close 50% of all military bases around the world, get some kind of “jobs” plan in effect to increase earnings revenues, stop all corporate entitlement moneys, close the tax loopholes for the wealthy, break up the corporate/banking monopolies and focus on getting America back into excellent fiscal condition!

  • Jojomom7

    You say they pay nothing. They pay FICA and medicare taxes, otherewise known as payroll taxes ,which is more than many wealthy people are paying.

  • Dean in Illinois

    The way to a better society is to get better education.  When our government was strong we were ranked 1st in the world.  Now our education system is ranked 32nd. 

    Our parents don’t want their children to have to work hard.  I see parents saying the teachers need to go when they want their students to work. 

  • discountbrains

    EVERONE IS SPINNING THEIR WHEELS!  OK, everyone knows various aspects of the problem and, yes, the solutions are simple, but nothing is happening!! How are you going to get something to happen? Elect more DEMs or GOP? I sort of like listening to Ron Paul, but don’t agree with some of what he says. Do you think he would change anything? It was just disclosed that almost all of Congress in both parties are multimillionaires. It appears to me all the Repugs try to do is concentrate power to the rich and all the Dems do is enable them and give everyone else welfare. THE SYSTEM WILL NOT CHANGE ON ITS OWN! Surely you don’t believe it will. Hopefully, an underground movement can be started on the internet that can peacefully change things. And, please don’t go back to the old failed socialist concept.

  • Merick Chaffee

    Joe Stiglitz tells us in his latest book that the rich own the U.S. economy & political system completely. And this is costing our nation hugely, both rich and the rest.
    He feels optimistic  that changes are possible. I don’t agree; the rich will maintain control all the way down.

  • Dorothy Adamson

    Yes, the “rich” are “winning” – but how long will this country be the America they think they know? Don’t we still want a country open and encouraging to all different people who want to work/share/enjoy the beauties of freedom? It means that each one must do/pay his/her share of responsibility/.cost and care about each other…