Las Vegas Sun

March 1, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Government isn’t very efficient

Another view?

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A recent letter to the editor, “Church assistance is redistribution,” stated that giving to a church is a form of redistribution that helps the less fortunate. Giving to a church or charity is a voluntary action. It is quite different when the federal government redistributes wealth.

First of all, the government, not the citizen, decides who is the less fortunate. Second, the government does not voluntarily get its money from the citizens, it seizes it through taxation.

The government also does not always redistribute money to the less fortunate. We see all too often how the government plays favorites with certain individuals, groups and businesses at the expense of others. The government also spends taxpayer money in the most inefficient manner.

Mitt Romney has been in both government and private business. He recognizes that individuals know better than government how to spend our money. We are the most generous nation when it comes to giving to private charity. Just look at any natural disaster and you will see the American citizen on top giving to charity.

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Previous Discussion: 33 comments so far…

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  1. Stop all subsidies to business.

    Close all tax avoidance schemes.

    Make it illegal to hide income in tax havens.

    Call capital gains and dividends what they are: Income, and taxable as income.

    Tax all corporations a minimum of 30%, and more for shipping jobs off shore.

    Try cases against CEO cheats and thieves and put them in jail when convicted. Consider it a "deterrent".

    Cut the military budget and strictly monitor the contractors, and stay out of wars.

    Raise the upper bracket tax percentage.

    Create a single payer universal healthcare system with cost controls.

    Return and updated Glass Steagall Act to again keep our role in causing the global economic crisis from happening again.

    Remove the income limits for contributions to Social Security and Medicare.

    Stop removing funds from Social Security to put in the General Fund.

  2. Strictly enforce the separation of Church and State,

    Eliminate the churches "non-profit" tax exemption, since they are getting more involved in the business of the State.

  3. Very good letter,Romney donates about 25% of his income to charity. Biden gives almost zero. Obama about 1.5% and Kerry will not even tip his waitress. What hypocrites are the Left.All they seem interested in doing is getting their hand deeper into our pockets.They are like vultures.

  4. Peacelily nailed it. We can boil it down to this. If we fix these two problems, the rest of our economic problems will disappear.

    1. Adopt a single payer universal healthcare plan. We spend hearly twice as much on healthcare, as a percentage of GDP, than industrialized countries with single payer plans.

    2. Adopt a tax code that is simplified and designed SOLELY to bring in revenue to operate the Federal Government, treats income from all sources equally, and is not designed to favor certain economic activities over others.

  5. When asked, Warren Buffett, the president's poster child for the rich paying more and the famous Buffett Rule, answered he could best decide how to spend his money not the government.


  6. In my opinion, Peacelilly has some ideas that have merit and others that do not.

    'Stop all subsidies to business' - I don't like them either but many industries compete globally and other governments subsidize their industries. If we don't, how are our industries competitive?

    Close all tax avoidance schemes. I agree but neither of our two parties supports this... see the D's control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency from 2008 to 2010 for example one. Plenty of examples of R's not doing it either exist as well.

    'Make it illegal to hide income in tax havens'...That is already illegal. I think Peacelilly means to make the havens illegal. We can't take that action against other nations banking setups.

    'Call capital gains and dividends what they are: Income, and taxable as income.' ... We could do it but it would likely result in less risk taking and investment.

    'Tax all corporations a minimum of 30%, and more for shipping jobs off shore.' - We are already at a competitive disadvantage globally and this would make it worse.

    'Try cases against CEO cheats and thieves and put them in jail when convicted. Consider it a "deterrent".' .... Yeah, I'm all for that! Let's start today.

    'Cut the military budget and strictly monitor the contractors, and stay out of wars.' .... I support that as well.

    'Raise the upper bracket tax percentage'. Good idea but with our government spending and our big debt, tax increases can't be limited to just the wealthy.

    'Create a single payer universal healthcare system with cost controls'.....If we can't fix our free enterprise health care system, I support a government run system. The ACA takes a run at fixing our system but I don't think it will be successful.

    'Return and updated Glass Steagall Act to again keep our role in causing the global economic crisis from happening again.' ... I support this but am mindful of the banks claim that without massive size, they cannot compete against massive financial institutions around the world.

    'Remove the income limits for contributions to Social Security and Medicare'.....Amen! Should have already been done!

    'Stop removing funds from Social Security to put in the General Fund.' ... another Amen!

    None of this will be done until and unless we institute public financing of Congressional campaigns and lobbying reform.


  7. Bchaps comments about North Las Vegas are laughable. we are all living in a liberal led nation that is in danger of bankruptcy and being taken over by China.Bchap you are really off your game .

  8. Future 3:08: We need our money to maintain and save (for emergency funds, for retirement, for the kids) so we are able to remain independent despite the next recession. Give us a chance to remain independent rather than fall victim to government employee "decisions" on how much we are in need or not.

  9. How much was Reverend Sun Myong Moon worth when he crapped out. MILLIONS!!!! Many of these religious zealots are the biggest con artists in the world.
    Fine line between religion and cult.
    Many of the tenets of the Mormon "Religion" touch on the bizarre.

  10. A local 45 year old mom of adult children is facing another stint as a homeless person. She has NEVER held a job. Now she's asking one group, via email, to offer suggestions. She says she's losing it all but she's asking for help paying her electric bill 'cause they won't start service at a new address unless she pays the bill. Doesn't sound homeless. Sounds like she needs to cut back on electrical use. Several in the group have suggested she contact Welfare, various churches that will assist with utility bills, offered to buy the things she can't move to the new place. I'm not helping this one. She asks over and over again and has turned this group into her personal charity.

  11. What exactly constitutes paying a "fair share" ?? I keep hearing this from the president and all his supporters but I have yet to hear what the fair share is.

    All I know is the income tax code is complicated and both democrats and republican use the same accountants to figure tax income owed. IS there a mystical amount one should pay in addition to the taxes he/she owes?

    Would someone who pays no income tax be paying their fair share?

  12. I believe everyone should pay something. That's why the current tax system is grossly inadequate. Tax avoidance is our national pastime. It's probably more popular than baseball.

    The 47% that Romney brought up is absolute nonsense. It's much closer to 100%. Everyone over the age of 65 is on Medicare. Most of the mortgages in this country are backed by the government. I got school loans and grants to go to UCLA in the 1970s. What kid that doesn't come from an affluent family can afford $50,000 a year to go to college? None. Everyone in this country that lives a normal life expectancy is going to get some type of government assistance. That's why everyone should pay.

    There should be an income tax on people making over $1 million a year and a draconian inheritance tax to knock down the billionaires that are causing negative externalities throughout the economy. The rest of the government should be financed either with a flat tax or some type of sales tax.

  13. I am always amazed at how people can demonize Mitt Romney for how he spends HIS money but give the Obama family a pass on how they spend $1.4 billion of out money. Yet Obama can chastise "fat cats" and millionaires and billionaires but acts like one on our dime.

  14. Having the vast majority of financial assets in the hands of a few million people is a fiasco. At the turn of the 20th century Europe was in the hands of about 100 families. Two world wars, several revolutions and millions dead resulted in a tremendous wealth shift. Obama's not chastising the rich. The rich eventually end up getting slaughtered when the situation becomes hopeless. The Jews are still trying to get assets back that were taken from them during World War II.

    Read about the history of the" Hope Diamond". Many owners ended up losing their heads. Some were heads of state. Nearly all were rich.In the United States the wealthy have to have private security, bulletproof clothing, blast proof automobiles and multi-million dollar gated homes to protect them from poor uneducated psychopaths. We need affordable housing, medical care and education. If we don't get that there will be a revolution in this country in the next hundred years. I lived through both the Watts riots and was a policeman during the LA riots. It gets nasty when the bodies start to pile up.

  15. The vast majority of the people in this country will always be relatively poor and up to their necks in debt. Wealth gets redistributed through taxation and crime. Sam Walton from Walmart fame was asked years ago what was the biggest threat to retailing? His response was" theft". Walmart will lose close to $4 billion in pilferage this year. One way or another people get what they need.

  16. Excuse me Thompson, but do you think that money appropriated by Congress are to be spent that same way as private money? Or with greater care and prudence?

  17. Comment removed by moderator. Borderline personal attack.

  18. Bradley,

    No honest person can claim this is all Obama's fault, nor can one say he has no responsibility for some of it. Bush was in office for 8 years and ran up debt. Obama's been in for 4 years and has run up more debt.

    Bush had 9/11, the war on terror, two wars and a recession to deal with. Financially, he did not deal with them well. Obama had an economic meltdown and recession to deal with in his 4 years and he has not dealt with that well, at least in my opinion.

    Bush should have done less or taxed more. Obama should have concentrated less on traditional Democratic goals and more on rebuilding the economy and increasing employment. He also should have paid more attention to deficits and debts.

    Again, in my opinion, neither man has an overall record that he should be proud of, although both have had some successes.


  19. In response to the letter and others, I still believe a person who gives away their money to charity does a better job of it then the government, and more efficient, maybe this is why the tax deduction exists for those gifts..
    Are people here really going to complain about someone taking a deduction for charity and end up with a lower tax bill and ultimately a lower rate?? Where is the compassion for your fellow man that is on hard times? Without big donors many programs would vanish.

  20. Michael.. They didn't have a recession to deal with. They had the only "Great Recession" in the nation's history. Recessions and depressions tend to run their course fairly quickly. It took 24 years for financial markets to fully recover after the 1929 meltdown. There is no economic event that we can even compare this mess to so it's very difficult to figure out if were doing well or not. We currently have one of the fastest growing economies in the developed world. All the rest are sliding back into recession territory and some countries have seen their unemployment rates go up by several points. By this metric were doing pretty good.

    In terms of charities many of these are corrupt beyond belief. The fraud in this arena is never-ending. It's not an uncommon event for these organizations to steal most of the money they take in and or provide outrageous compensation for administrators. There are organizations that do in-depth analysis of the myriad of charities in this country. How many of these charities get top ratings? Not that many.

  21. When Ada was first adopted as the standard programming language for many government projects, we had a saying: Remember that an elephant is a mouse designed to government specifications, then think about Ada being a government designed programming language.

    It is hard to imagine that it is any different when it comes to government run charity programs.

    Over 1 million charities. What a joke! 272,000 dropped out of the game because they refused to file their informational paperwork as required by changes in the law. I wonder how much money those idiots were stealing.

  23. Mr. Chapline I am not sure about your comment. Does anyone critic you about how you spend your money? Do you feel you or I have the right to critic Adelson or Romney on how they spend their money. At least I don't think I do. I am making reference to the White House payroll. $1.4 BILLION for fiscal year 2011.

    My comment was about the 469 members of the White House staff, almost half making over $100k per year. Including a full time pet handler making $100k per year and a full time film projectionist. Mr. Goodman that was the "prudence" I was referring to.

  24. As a final comment to Mr. Chapline and Mr. Goodman. If GWB was spending that sort of money just to run the WH staff I would be just as upset. I, as an ex-taxpayer, think that is over the top!

  25. Gerry,

    I know people who support Obama want to say things are OK, but the numbers say otherwise:

    GDP Growth 1.25 %
    Durable goods orders down 13.2 % from August
    Median household income down from $53,718 to $50,678 since the "recovery" started in June 2009

    This was a deep recession and it won't end overnight... but.... there are things that could be done to increase employment.. like an 'all in' domestic energy policy for one example.


  26. Not a deep recession. $20 trillion in losses from peek to trough. More than twice what the entire country was worth in 1980. A depression in all but unemployment. It takes a very long time to get the wealth back. The fed estimates at least 12 years just to get unemployment back to 5%. Plus recessions occurr every few years. There will be at least one more recession before things start to normalize.
    In addition world growth is lousy which makes our recovery more difficult. Many problems....few solutions.

  27. Mr. Hageman good comments. The world is not cooperating either. The problems in Europe are manifest and China's economy is cooling down. One of the largest economic factors facing the country this moment is what will happen Jan. 1st and how will that affect middle class incomes.

  28. How many programs do we need to feed citizens?
    SNAP EBT food stamps, food banks, free lunches, free breakfasts, free dinners (mobile trucks handing it out), non-profit supplied food vouchers for the grocery stores, food at shelters. Now Obama is consulting with the Mexican government on how to give American food stamps to illegals as they come across the border....

  29. Bchap
    Guess earlier post was a little boderline spicy.Sorry about that.But you insist on bringing North Las Vegas, and my living there into your posts which I find in poor taste since it is personal in nature.But since you insist, you will find my current personal opinion on the North Las Vegas situation in the below letter to the editor of the RJ. I have supported the Demoractic City Council members in NLV,not the Republicans.

  30. Michael O. Kreps - "First of all, the government, not the citizen, decides who is the less fortunate. Second, the government does not voluntarily get its money from the citizens, it seizes it through taxation."

    "All Americans are facing tough times, with many working two jobs just to make ends meet and more families turning to the government for financial assistance. From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes, and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Multi-millionaires are even receiving government checks for not working.

    "This welfare for the well-off -- costing billions of dollars a year -- is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate, many who are working two jobs just to make ends meet, and IOUs to be paid off by future generations. We should never demonize those who are successful. Nor should we pamper them with unnecessary welfare to create an appearance everyone is benefiting from federal programs," Dr. Coburn said.

    These billions of dollars for millionaires include $74 million of unemployment checks, $316 million in farm subsidies, $89 million for preservation of ranches and estates, $9 billion of retirement checks, $75.6 million in residential energy tax credits, and $7.5 million to compensate for damages caused by emergencies to property that should have been insured. All and all, over $9.5 billion in government benefits have been paid to millionaires since 2003. Additionally, millionaires borrowed $16 million in government backed education loans to attend college. On average, each year, this report found that millionaires enjoy benefits from tax giveaways and federal grant programs totaling $30 billion. As a result, almost 1,500 millionaires paid no federal income tax in 2009.

    GOP sen.: Feds send checks to millionaires for not working

    A leading Senate conservative is taking aim at tax breaks that he says amount to welfare for millionaires, a line of critique that usually comes from liberal Democrats.

    Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) released a report detailing special tax breaks for wealthy income earners that could give members of the supercommittee common ground for raising tax revenues.

  31. RevNV, thank you for posting the link to my statement so people could read the context of my statements, how I felt my patriotism on Independence Day.

    It was not about my supporting a North American Union, It included what I could see one day potentially occurring based on the global economic and political realities beginning to surface today.

    In fact, I do not recommend a USE, because of what I see and experience in the USA. In my opinion we are too big. I am against such unions. However, it will be a real struggle to maintain the status quo in the future, due to the increasing competition for resources and trade advantages.

    In fact, I have written repeatedly that I think the U.S. should be broken into 3-4 sovereign countries. So what you write about my beliefs is false.

    You appear to infer that what I said is something against the U.S., which is totally wrong. I believe my thoughts can be understood very well by most normal people, if not by the extremist ideologues.

    I might add that Independence Day means more than the independence of a nation to me. It also means my personal independence from fear, hate, and servitude by any source. I am one of those who is truly free, because my freedom doesn't depend on others, or governments.

    I am free from within, I am able to love and share, contribute, value myself and others, as well as the unique qualities and gifts of each person.

    I am free to make choices based on a solid set of liberating values which I gained through spiritual experience, growth, knowledge and understanding. This coupled with some degree of curiosity and intelligence moves me to inquiry on many subjects. However, above all subjects, I value people most of all. All natural creation is what I value most on earth.

    Governments, ideologies, systems, theories are secondary, though necessary. The latter are dependent on the existence of normal people contributing to the success of civilized society and caring for what we have been give stewardship over.

  32. Clarification: By "latter", I refer to "governments, ideologies, systems, and theories" which take secondary importance to people, who are the primary important concern.

  33. Government could be more efficient if we could get the Congress to do some work.

    I think we need to get the cameras out of Congress and get rid of Lobbyists. Then, we might get some Congresspersons who would have to hunker down and produce.

    Their penchant for the camera performances is getting ridiculous.

    Most voters are not voting for representatives to perform on the Congressional stage of division and drama.

    The public can follow their actions by reading the Bills and/or Congressional Record. However, that doesn't mean that what is entered is not part of the Congressional Comedy Hour.

    Maybe we need an Oscar category for the Best Congressional Performance in a Fictional Comedy/Drama.

    We also need to ensure that each Congressperson goes through an intensive educational session(s) on the art of compromise.