Las Vegas Sun

January 30, 2015

Currently: 54° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Letter to the editor:

A plan for the needy and greedy

The Republican Party has made it abundantly clear whom it supports. Only wealthy people will benefit from Republican policies. The “common person,” a name a wealthy Republican donor gave those in the middle class, will fall by the side of the road. Remember Romney saying he’ll cut capital gains taxes for the common people, forgetting they have no capital gains to tax?

Then there’s a group within the common people known as the poor, needy, disabled and elderly. We’ve all heard about the cuts to this group’s “entitlements.” Entitlement implies not deserved but given anyway. We’ve heard mention of Catholic Charities helping this group. We’ve heard of the Medicare voucher program. We’ve heard about cuts to the food stamp program and Meals on Wheels for home-bound seniors. Are they cuts or eliminations?

It is not a stretch to believe all these cuts and eliminations are a package of money that will be distributed to the wealthy in the form of tax cut extensions and new tax cuts. If we are to believe we can’t afford the entitlements for the poor, how can we afford those entitlements for the wealthy?

What I’ve described is the Republican Party’s plan for the needy and the greedy. The needy don’t have a voice in Congress, and, therefore, they are easy to ignore. The wealthy have a large voice in Congress, and it’s a familiar one: money, which the poor unfortunately lack. Is America for sale to the highest bidder?

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 37 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. The letter writer has been drinking the far left koolaid again. He does not comprehend the need to energize the market with incentives that will create investment,and spur economic growrh. There are already 100 million on welfare. The top 1% wage earners already contribute nearly 40% of federal income tax revenures. About 50% of wage earners pay no federal income taxes--a travesty. Everyone should pay something. Re-Institure the Bush rax rates for everyone for now.Remove burdensome environmental regulations that lead to weak investment and layoffs. The left is destroying
    job and GDP growth by their policies.It's time to move on with new leadership in America.

  2. Despite the democratic chicanery, it's the Obama/Biden team who are poised to raise middle class taxes not Romney/Ryan. Romney did not raise taxes on the middle class in 4 years as Governor of Massachusetts. Obama and the dems are ready to do so on January 2, 2013. Twenty percent of the working Americans pay more than 90 percent of all the tax revenues each year. Obama/Biden want it to be 100 percent. Still, that won't be enough to balance/decrease the skyrocketing US budget deficits under Obama/Biden.


  3. How unusual. You deal in dollars except when it comes to taxes. Then you resort to percentages.
    For the record: Romney paid $3 MILLION in taxes in 2010 and $3 1/4 MILLION in taxes in 2011. How much did you pay?


  4. Dave Starr:

    So the Republican Party's "plan for the needy and greedy" is to withhold help to the "poor, needy, disabled and elderly" and distribute the money "to the wealthy in the form of tax cut extensions and new tax cuts"?

    Who do you think pays taxes in the first place? The "wealthy" top 20% of income earners, including Mitt Romney with his lower-than-your tax rate, pay 94% of the income taxes. The only thing being "distributed" to them is their own money. How is that "greedy"?

    The disabled and elderly will always receive assistance from government, whether Dem or Rep. The "poor and needy" are groups that grow with the size of government largesse. That is why work-for-welfare reduced welfare fraud and waste, and now Obama has subverted that law.

  5. It's difficult to side with the GOP when they advocate for very people that created the our economic problems. The incredible damage that the greed of a few has inflicted on this country has been overwhelming. Five trillion dollars due to low tax collections and the need to stimulate a recovery and seven trillion dollars in lost residential property values just for starters.

    And now they try to sell us on fixing the problem with a bigger dose of the same poison. Unbelievable!

  6. Since LBJ's "Great Society" began "transforming" America, trillions have been wasted on the "War on Poverty," but the left's goal of making more & more American's dependent on government largess has been a "success," exactly their "game" plan. Yet, "deep" thinkers such as Dave Starr blame Conservatives, who, BTW, want more not less freedom for all, for the fact that "poverty" has not fallen one iota but has risen to a greater height. Federal subsidized housing projects quickly fell into disrepair and became havens for drugs, gangs and criminals. Little or no oversight of funds brought graft, corruption and the theft of federal dollars by political appointees. Finally, it became such a disgrace many, if not most, public housing "developments" were razed to eliminate the problems of rats, cockroaches, gangs and theft. And Dumbocrats want to now spend more on such a failed program and such failed policies? Sure, why not? After all, it's not their money they're flushing down the toilet! It's the taxpayers and, besides, it buys votes from the parasitic class!

  7. The writer asks if "America is for sale to the highest bidder". We can only hope that they haven't already closed the deal.

  8. Pisces:

    The "greed of a few"? Congress originated the greed that inflicted the incredible damage on this country. The drive to use taxpayer money (taxed from the wealthy) to increase homeownership to win more votes set the wheels in motion that led to the financial crisis. Banks had made prudent mortgage loans and investment houses packaged them into safe mortgage-back securities for many decades before the sub-prime debacle started with Congressional prodding. Blame Congress for your $7 trillion in lost real estate values. And deficits are the result of excessive spending, not insufficient taxation.

  9. Enjoyed the letter. It just amazes how arrogant the Tea/Republican rhetoric gets when dealing with the majority of the American people. The funny thing is you rarely hear them talk about the middle class.

    They refer to the poor/very poor not in terms of trying to figure out how to help them, but paint them as the enemy, who are greedy and insatiable, a drag on our economy, they suck up precious tax dollars so they can be lazy. To every Tea/Republican, they automatically assume the poor/very poor have CHOSEN to be on that financial economic scale in life and enjoy it. Really stupid thought, if you ask me.

    And the nonsense even bleeds over. They don't refer to the rich, the filthy rich or the one percenters, they call them (gag) "the job creators." Sorry. Almost threw up in my mouth at the very mention of that hypocrisy.

    And they expect to get our votes when Ann Romney says, "that's all you people are going to get?" She says it like, you, THOSE people over there, (dismissive wave of the hand as if we are of absolutely no consequence at all and beneath her dignity), the unwashed masses, don't you people know it's my husband's turn to be President? It's his imperical right.

    Now, we got "common people."

    Never on our political landscape has the choice already been made already for the majority of voters out here. Not only on the Presidential level, but the Senate and the House too.

    I am voting all up and down the ticket straight Democratic Party. I don't care if there is an axe murderer as one of the choices. All I want to do is crush, absolutely DESTROY, this abomination the ultra-conservative Tea/Republican Party has morphed into.

    I know I'm not the only one who thinks like this.

    It's Obama/Biden 2012! and Vulture/Voucher release your 1040s!

  10. I suspect that we all are reaping and will continue reap what we sow, including Mr. Starr and others who write to the Sun and many who write to the RJ.

    We don't debate policies much anymore. Instead we demonize people, parties and philosophies. That might be OK in a dictatorship, where once you win, you can do anything you want. In a representative democracy however, once you win, you still need the defeated side to help or you can't get anything done.

    When Bush won in 2000, R's ran all over D's, and D's obstructed. When Obama won in 2008, D's ran all over R's for 2 years. Then R's won the House in 2010 and obstructed. All in all we've had almost 12 years of one party running all over the other, backing the car up and running over them again, and for the remainder of time, one party obstructing the other.

    Citizens have been cheered on to hate and demonize the philosophy, the party and the person on the opposite side. Compromise has died and with it our ability to address really serious problems.

    I refuse to join this train wreck because I know it threatens us all. I support a philosophy, I will vote a certain way but I will not vilify the current President, his policies or his party or the former President, current candidate, his philosophy or his party.

    I ask all of you who do vilify this question: Once you have done what you do successfully through one more election cycle, how do you expect whatever side wins to get any cooperation out of the side that did not win?

    Criticize philosophies and policies all you like. We should do that. Vote your party and your candidate. We should do that. But if you want to see us address some of our problems and you want to see compromise resurrected, STOP DEMONIZING, STOP GENERALIZING, STOP MAKING OVER THE TOP ACCUSATIONS AND GRANT THAT THE ENTIRE OTHER SIDE IS NOT EVIL, THEY JUST HAVE A DIFFERENT OPINION THAN YOU DO.


  11. <<Under Democrats entitlement are spread up to those working and making up to $88,000 and do not need the help>>


    Where the heck did you get that figure from? Did you dream it or did some little dodo bird whisper it in your ear?

    It's news to a LOT of people that you can get a so-called "entitlement" while having an income of up to $88,000!!! Who are you tryng to kid with a remark like that? Or is it part of your "rhetoric" as a Romney supporter that you have to post such drivel to come off sounding superior?

    Before posting such crap, do some research, ie like asking someone seeking help and what has to be proven to get that help.

  12. Corporations are sitting on $2 trillion not wanting to invest it. Corporations have made the largest profits, but still we see no trickle down. The middle class has been taking a beating wages and salary wise since the days of Reagan.

    Romney and Ryan want to cut taxes for the wealthy, strip funding from Medicare, Planned Parenthood, privatize Social Security, etc., etc. I asked, since these policy and decision makers hope to accomplish these tasks, what will they sacrifice? They are asking Americans to give, but are our illustrious leaders willing to put their children in public schools, or buy into a cheaper health plan, or give up their vehicles for cheaper models, live in less expensive quarters, and on, and on? Will Mitt Romney close his offshore and Swiss accounts? They ask us to sacrifice but they aren't willing to do the same.

  13. Business is sitting on a lot of cash. I own a small business. I could advertise more. I could expand. I could hire employees....but I don't. Should someone make me? Should government make me? No. I don't do these things for the same reason big businesses don't .... because I have great worries that the economy is not going to continue to recover or even worse, fall into another recession.

    Why do I have these worries: Because President Obama and the D's don't have a financial / economic plan that I think addresses our situation. And because Mitt Romney and the R's don't have a financial / economic plan that I think addresses our situation. AND MOST OF ALL: Because we and our leaders and representatives have lost the willingness to compromise, to see the bigger picture, to refrain from demonizing those with different ideas and views, etc.

    FORCING the wealthy to pay more, or forcing the middle class and the poor to accept less is NOT the answer. The answer our problems is to compromise where each side gets some of what it wants but not everything. Then we can all move forward, and so can the nation.

    D's are not going to make us into Europe and R's are not going to let people die in the streets. Come on people! Wake up. Neither side is THAT EVIL or stupid. Be willing to compromise and pressure your representatives to do the same.


  14. Thanks to Michel for his passion for doing the right things.For restoring common sense and decency to the debate.

    My concern is not with Democrats. My concern rests with the prescription by the far left for radical revisions to the most incredible form of economic system ever to exist--free enterprise. My concern rests with the far left's prescription for substituting government for individual liberty as the energizing force for sustaining the American population. My concern is therefore with leftist policies which I perceive as leading to an undermining of the incredible American values which have differentiated America from every other mega nation for more than two centuries. My concern is over the attitude that business owners who decide to refrain from investing their two trillion in cash somehow are believed by the left to have an obligation without any opportunity for return in profit to hire more people. That these people are perceived as greedy rather than prudent. I am concerned that this nation has tilted toward one where entitlement has to too large an extent replaced work ethic. We are in dire need of new leadership who will emphacize liberty, private initiative and work ethic as leading values.

  15. antigov syas "I don't see how raising Romney's taxes by 2 or 3% can hurt his lifestyle."

    But it also isn't going to help. Using numbers straight from the IRS, if you increased taxes on everyone making a million dollars or more by 3% (the number you suggested) it would being in an additional 18.3 billion dollars. That's only just over ONE PERCENT of Obama's 1.3 TRILLION dollar annual deficit.

    If you taxed everyone making over a million dollars a year at 100%, meaning you took EVERY cent of their income, it's only 610 billion dollars....less than half of Obama's annual deficit. Do you see how "tax the rich" may sound good....but the numbers don't actually work?

    Here's real simple math. The "Buffet Rule", making sure everyone with an income over a million dollars pays 30% US Income tax, would bring in 36 billion dollars a year. If everyone paid 1% more, and I mean EVERYONE, every person with income pays at least 1%, it would generate 782 billion dollars, more than the total income of the "million dollar club". That's almost 22 times as much as the "Buffet Rule" would generate.

    We also need to eliminate the situation where it is possible to get more back on a US Income Tax refund than was paid in (so you have a negative effective tax rate). According to the IRS, that's 81.49 BILLION dollars. We've got people getting back more than they put in to the tune of over 81 billion dollars. Please note that this is over double the amount that the "Buffet Rule" would bring in.

    So which makes more sense here, "tax the rich" or a minimal tax increase across the board with NO exceptions combined with needed reform to stop the US Income Tax from being a supplemental welfare program.

  16. Bradley,

    You should really consider the fact that when you comment without much information... it might result in inserting foot in mouth.

    You should know that the government you love so much does provide every citizen the right to handle many of their own legal matters without an attorney. At the same time paralegals are allowed to operate, the government and the courts work in conjunction to make the paperwork and procedures required so difficult that is next to impossible to handle them without an attorney... or a paralegal.

    In addition, contrary to almost any other product or service offered, the Bar Associations and the courts actually 'tell' paralegals what they can charge for a bankruptcy, while placing no limits on what attorneys can charge. They also, after making it incredibly difficult to navigate the legal system, go after paralegals if they act as anything other than 'typists'. If we explain to customers how the legal system works, the procedures... and help them navigate them, we can be accused of giving legal advice and shut down.

    To top all of that off, since attorneys are allowed to charge whatever they like, and are generally not monitored to nearly the extent we are, they can afford to advertise to a level that blows the doors off of anything I can afford to do. So yes, there are a lot of people filing for bankruptcy and most of them are paying $ 1300 to $ 2500 instead of doing a bankruptcy for about $ 550 through my office.

    When the economy improves, perhaps I can take a large risk in this tough and unfair business and expand. It would also be nice if 'I' was afforded a more level playing field by the government treating what I do with the respect and non interference that are offered attorneys.

    Please read that and then you may pull the foot you just inserted into your mouth, out of your mouth.

    Many people are appreciative for the help my office has provided and I hope one day to be able to help even more people.


  17. antigov, you must have flunked elementary school math.

    It wouldn't matter if you raised taxes on the wealthy all the way to 100%, as I already showed that would bring in less than half of Obama's single year deficit.

    "Tax the Rich" is a con game to get the poor to support the rich guy in office instead of the rich guy who wants to replace him.

    Also, when using Romney as an example of the "wealthy", please remember that Obama and Reid both fall into that same "million dollars or more per year income" category.

  18. And antigov, I'll make the same challenge I always make when people seem to think that 13.9% isn't a "fair share" for Romney to pay.....

    Tell us exactly what you EFFECTIVE tax rate was. Take your last US Income Tax return and divide your FINAL tax liability after all deductions and credits by your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) and tell us where you fall relative to Romney's 13.9%

    Hint, if you got back everything you paid in, your effective rate was 0%. The national average for everyone is only 11%. The national average for "the 99%" is only 7.3%.

    So tell us all how Romney's 13.9% is lower than "the 99%'s" 7.3%.

    And please, show me how wrong I us that YOU paid more than 13.9% effective rate on your last US Income Tax Return.

  19. Republicans can do the math. Dems can't--must not have made it thru K-12. The Republicans want to STOP SPENDING ON WELFARE. I've seen no indications that they'd even cut SS. And if Congress can't get around to fixing Medicare and SS within the next couple of years, both are going to implode and no one will get the benies.

  20. When in doubt, go to the source:

    The CBO paints a picture much different than what we are hearing from various groups. They have a particularly interesting report/projection from 2004.

    Oh, you might want to take a look at FactCheck as well:

    If FactCheck is too right wing for you, how about the NY Times?

    Or even USA Today:

    At this point, I have to think there some truth to the claim that there is more than a little "class warfare" being provoked by some.

  21. If a "flat tax" were to be adopted, as some have proposed, we would see an armed uprising within months, if not days of it being enacted. A little bit of simple math shows that tax rates would skyrocket for the majority of households and go down significantly for the top 20%.

    If you think the rich don't pay enough now, the last thing you want is a flat tax.

    Much of the recent "debate" has focused on the shrinking middle class, that we are becoming a two-class society of the rich and poor.

    That is wrong. We are indeed becoming a two class society, but it is split between those who pay taxes and those who do not, and the tax-paying group is the one that is shrinking in numbers. It is a common theme in science fiction that future societies will be exactly that, with only the tax-payers being full citizens.

    That might not be as far-fetched as it sounds looking at what is happening to us today.

  22. Bradley,

    I never said I wanted to be an attorney or that I thought I deserved to be paid as one. You assumed all of that... incorrectly of course. I simply don't agree that the government should be telling a business operating in the private sector free market what they can charge for their services.

    In the country I thought was America, that's how it was supposed to work. If I was free to charge what I think the market would bear and I tried to charge as much as attorneys do, my business would fail. Why? Because I can't give legal advice or appear and represent clients in court. However, I always thought I had the right to decide that and then take responsibility if I charged to much.

    It is just one more example of many where the government is intervening in many ways to favor some groups, disfavor others, protect the public in so many ways I can't even begin to name them.

    I am restricted in what I can do as a paralegal, as I should be, and I am fine with that...but restricting what I can 'ask' for my services is a bridge too far for me.

    I have a couple of basic concerns with government, although I find it as necessary as the private sector.

    The first is that I know that when you give money to a person that did not earn it, that person tends to be less careful about how that money is spent. That is why I favor, not no government, but smaller government.

    The second is that most of us think we have a 'better' idea as to how others should live their lives. When any of us are given tremendous powers to 'meld' the way others live their lives, most of us find the urge to exercise that power in a non benign way, simply irresistible.

    All in all, about the only thing you said that is correct in your response is that I enjoy helping people.


  23. Comment removed by moderator. Significant portion of copyright material without proper link to original source.

  24. Future - "Democrats entitlement are spread up to those working and making up to $88,000 and do not need the help."

    Those entitlements are going to people like Michele Bachmann and other croonies in Congress feeding on the teet of government funding, better known as corporate welfare.

  25. VernosB,

    I've been drinking for the last 7 hours and that still didn't make sense.

  26. Yes, I second Bradley's comment. Please take the time to examine the issues because this election is important.

    Most people writing to the Sun wholly support President Obama and D's. Some wholly support Romney and R's. I don't understand how anyone can 'wholly' support either of these parties, but we have to vote for somebody and I do understand that.

    No matter who is elected I hope Americans will demand better from these parties and their standard bearers. It is not possible to tax the rich more to rid ourselves of our problems, nor is it possible to cut taxes even more as a panacea, which is what each party, respectively is proposing.


  27. Life must be rough and long for Mr. Starr and company--with such a warped view of those around him. Only your way shows any semblance of intelligence, huh? Your way has us near insolvency. At least many Republicans are trying to work our way out of this. Yes the Bush presidency didn't help our economy. So what? Let's keep pointing fingers and do nothing but spend ourselves into extinction.

  28. For those without inside experience in our Welfare system: the employed qualify for many many social welfare programs when they have children they can not support. TANF cash is limited to 2 years consecutive, 5 years lifetime under each SSN. But, many still get (and plan for) child care payments (via state programs), additional child care credits, food stamps/EBT/SNAP, WIC nutrition assistance, Medicaid, Child Support Enforcement, LIHEA utility payments..... Many to all (except food stamps) are given freely for young children, legal or not. 57% of Mexican illegals are on American Welfare....California is broke and digging deeper. We're following right behind them. We don't need more revenue. We need to expel the illegals, cut K-12 expenditures by the 40% of illegal students, end welfare for illegals and anchor babies. Our government budgets would magically balance with surpluses--except we must front the funding and EFFORT TO EXPEL illegals. The sooner the better. Perhaps just redirecting the enormous costs of law enforcement, courts and incarceration of illegals would be enough to arrest and remove--they are NOT entitled to deportation processes unless they can show they entered the country legally.

  29. And getting rid of the K-12 support and illegal students will pay off Bush's additional $5.9 trillion in National Debt? Do we put them on the street and wait until they die of starvation? Or do they just disappear in the New Rapture when labeled?

    The Nazis did that to the undesirables: the gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews and Lazy People. Each one had their own badge design at the concentration camp. Nazi Germany was 40% Catholic and 55% Protestant. I fear what will happen if America comes close to the same statistics.

  30. Comment removed by moderator. Name Calling

  31. SunJon,

    You are always right there to point out the very worst that could happen if we do anything other than what we are doing currently about immigration.

    Can you provide any suggestions concerning what we should do about the fact that with all we do currently, many, many illegal immigrants pass into this country every year and a large percentage of them do utilize safety net services that cost taxpayers a tremendous amount of money?

    Should we just ignore it and let millions more enter that utilize even more services? Can you offer an alternative that is not: becoming Nazi Germany or doing nothing?


  32. SunJon and Company: We can expel illegals back to where they came from. Non-profits can provide bus rides south. We can bill the Mexican and other governments for the costs. The alternate "plan" we've been following is allowing to encouraging millions upon millions to keep coming here for free housing, free medical, free food, free furniture (from non-profits, freecycle, neighbors). The American taxpayers pick up the tab for everything. Sure some illegals would rather work. So would millions of Americans who cannot find work while we have 14 million illegals in NON-AGRICULTURAL jobs. How much more can our economy take? No more. Our economy cannot continue with the current level of illegals in our midst. I sympathize with many illegals specific situations but I'm not willing to forfeit my retirement, my children and grand children, our government programs, our government, our national defense to support hordes of illegals that refuse to make something of their own economies. We accept about a million a year LEGAL immigrants. And before some stray poster accuses me of racism, that's just not it. I'm of mixed dna and color blind. Stats show 57% of Mexican illegals are on welfare while only 6% of European immigrants. American kids should forget about college so we can educate illegal kids? Look at the dire straights of K-12 nationwide. If only the money could be spent on AMERICAN students...

  33. Sick, that's a load of BS. I guarantee that you never paid 31% effective (after deductions and credits) US Income Tax rate in your life.

    You may have been in a tax bracket with a BASE RATE of 31%, but there's no way your final effective rate was 31%.

    But hey, prove me wrong. Scan a copy of your 1040 showing a final tax owed that is 31% of your AGI and post a link to it.

  34. Sick, I'm not calling you names....I'm saying that what you posted was a lie.

    But prove me wrong, show us a copy of your 1040 showing that your effective tax rate (after deductions and credits) was ever 31%.

    Otherwise, go back to feeling sorry for yourself. If your blood pressure can't take it when you get called on your lies, then maybe you should stop reading/posting comments on articles here. If you CHOOSE to do something that you say puts your own heath at risk....then that's your choice. But as your choice it's your responsibility, not anyone else.

  35. Sick, go read the Terms Of Service again. Pointing out that the information you posted is untrue is not a "personal attack". It is simply people exposing your falsehoods.

    But again I'll give you the opportunity to prove me us a copy of your 1040 showing that your effective tax rate (after deductions and credits) was ever 31%.

    Otherwise just accept the fact that everyone knows you made it up. Not only did Romney pay more in total dollars of US Income Tax in one year that you have paid in your entire life.....his 13.9% effective tax rate was significantly higher than yours as well.

  36. Thanks for the reply Sick. I'll take it as an admission of your previous falsehoods. Good of you to be adult enough that when you get caught admit it.

  37. $1 Trillion a year in social welfare. Let's cut that way back. Sick seems to be "entitled" to her SSD. And every one else who makes it through the process--except that we reserve the right to reconsider if you're still disabled, say every 5 - 10 years. We can continue to assist the disabled, blind and aged--MAABD according to Welfare Division. The rest of you best start figuring out how you're going to keep on keeping on cause the tap has run dry.