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April 23, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Taxes, charity have a major difference

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Jerry Gordon’s letter on Tuesday, “Church assistance is redistribution,” evidences many people’s confusion between communism and a utopian society; government welfare and Mormon welfare; and even Democrats and Republicans. On one side, people are compelled to contribute funds that are then redistributed, and on the other side, people voluntarily contribute their resources for the benefit of their fellow men. I’m surprised more people don’t acknowledge the significant difference.

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  1. Where people stand with regard to taxes depends on where they are. Are they part of the 47 percent who pay no incomes taxes or the 53 percent who do? The former are definitely for them, the latter defintely against. A hand up was never supposed to turn into a guaranteed hand out.

    CarmineD

  2. Bloomberg News reported this morning that 93% of the 2010 increase in wealth in this country went to the top 1%. This is the redistribution that has been going on in this country for at least the past decade.

  3. The difference in the wealth distribution at the bottom and top of the income ladder is that the one-percent got it the hard way: They earned it.

    CarmineD

  4. "The difference in the wealth distribution at the bottom and top of the income ladder is that the one-percent got it the hard way: They earned it."

    And the 99% paid it from what they earned the hard way!

  5. The term "income redistribution" refers to the tax and spend activity of government. Those who pay the taxes have no say in where the money goes on the other hand a charitable contribution is voluntary and directed by by the contributor. This seems so elementary.

  6. I admire those who give to churches, pay their taxes, earn their own way over those who cry and whine for more handouts. PERIOD.

  7. Yes, Mormons voluntarily contribute their resources for the benefit of their fellow man.... And if they don't you can be sure the bishopric will be asking why they aren't making fast offerings, or paying tithing etc. And they will be threatened with being denied temple access and other penalties for not paying their god tax, i mean voluntary contributions to the church.

    Sure, Mormons can exercise their free agency and choose not to contribute. They can also choose to not go to heaven.

    Also, Mormons call it the "Law of Consecration", not the "voluntary act of consecration".

  8. Also, letter writer. How did the mormon prophet explain the difference between communism and a utopian society back in the 40's?

    He said the utopian society comes from God, and communism comes from Satan.

    Oooooohhhhh... That makes sense.

  9. 'And the 99% paid it from what they earned the hard way!'

    Didn't you get the memo? Newsflash: President Obama BY EXECUTIVE ORDER eliminates the welfare to work requirements of the Congressional Law 1996 passed on a bipartisan bases and signed into law by President Clinton. Why? Simple. In the unlucky case that the president is reelected, he didn't want welfare recipients to complain if they couldn't and/or wouldn't find a job.

    The GAO, Government Accountability Office, recently ruled that the president's action is illegal. It's rule making and that is a function of the Congress not the president. The welfare law was up for re-authorization and should have been changed by the legislative process, if warranted, not presidential EO.

    CarmineD

  10. "And if they don't you can be sure the bishopric will be asking why they aren't making fast offerings, or paying tithing etc. And they will be threatened with being denied temple access and other penalties for not paying their god tax, i mean voluntary contributions to the church."

    Are you LDS and speaking from experience or are you making this up? Not the part about the conference with the bishop about tithing. That is true. The part about the threats and lack of temple recommendation if you don't tithe 10 percent? My understanding is that the requirement is waived for financial hardships. And the purpose of the the meeting is to ensure that the needs of the person and the family are being met, by the Mormon Church, in the absence of the individuals' resources to do so.

    CarmineD

  11. "Yes, the 1%ers are doing very well under Obama. Even better than they did under Bush, relatively speaking."

    Thanks to the inflationary monetary policies of Fed Chair Ben Bernanke. The middle and working class are paying the piper for these policies with higher consumer prices for goods and services.

    CarmineD

  12. One must be naive enough to believe that another human holds the power to deny anyone entrance into heaven. Simply false. Your beliefs in no way alter mine; nor can they. Whether or not there is a GOD, we still have "free will" and are able to make choices, as we do everyday. That is a blessing to some; a curse to others. The weak & fearful look for sustenance from others; the strong work with others on a equal basis and are willing to take chances. And, when one takes chances there are risks involved. Many are adverse to risk taking; others are not. They take the chances and accept the consequences - sometimes they lose; other times, they win. And when they win, there are always those, green-eyed with envy, who attack them for their willingness, audacity, purpose and strength.

  13. CarmineD - My personal life is none of your business.. however..

    It is not a secret that Mormons must be "full tithe payers" to obtain a temple recommend. This is official church policy.

    Every church member is required to come in to a meeting with their bishop at the end of every year to declare that they have payed their full 10% or not. Those who have not will not granted a temple recommend until they become a full tithe payer. Those who hold a temple recommend and fail to remain full tithe payers will lose their temple recommend. If you know anything about the Mormon religion, you know that the blessings of the temple are pretty important to salvation.

  14. I think the whole idea of casting some sort of bad judgment upon those who give to charity is just plain wrong. I can't even fathom a reason why it is done! Wow, not much love for your fellow man but then taxing a rich CEO, not a pop star or football player, or putting a "draconian tax" on someones' estate that would force them to sell and loose a family business and forfeit a generation of hard work seems quite ok. We do have problems that will never be solved with this type of thinking.

  15. The idea that a philandering country preacher, who was given free money to live in a big house with at least eight wives, was the only one to correctly figger out heaven and the afterlife. According to him, you must also dunk your whole head under water to get to heaven. That's why Mother Theresa, me and most of the Catholic Church will never get there - we are all dry heads. What a person does on Earth machts nicht if you don't dunk your whole head under water too. Prophets make the entire Universe so simple that even a child can navigate to heaven - if they just follow instructions from the bishop, insist that the Earth is only 6000 years old and know that dinosaurs rode on Noah's Ark.

  16. The Mormon Church is about 250th on Forbes 500 list. They get there because the wealth being 'redistributed' is going TOWARD the Church, not away from it. Capitalism is a system whereby the strongest (fittest) attract money. Any charity given by churches is an investment and a 10x minimum return on that investment is expected. No church loans a person money to get through college and then kisses them goodbye, unless their Dad is the Church, and that does happen. The life cycles of churches are definitive proof that Darwin was correct: the fittest survive best and the weak are weeded out through natural selection.

  17. Many of us provide "contributions" that are not recognized by our neighbors since they don't know what we do. Many of those contributions are not deductible but we provide for our friends, extended families and neighbors when they are in need--whether or not we do so via a church. I support the proposal that all contributions NOT be deductible for federal income tax purposes. And I support the idea that we ELIMINATE ALL DEDUCTIONS AND CREDITS and move towards a flatter tax. Sure, it'll hit the wealthy extremely hard--no tax benies for "farming." And if we eliminate the concept of "earned" versus un-earned income, we eliminate different tax rates for different colors of money. We can also eliminate tax benefits for church-sanctioned marriages versus non-sanctioned by state or church. If you really believe the sounds you babble, the "defense of marriage" camp would run to correct the tax code and save their "marriages."

  18. "President Obama BY EXECUTIVE ORDER eliminates the welfare to work requirements of the Congressional Law 1996..."

    PROVEN WRONG! See Fact Checker for the truth.

    http://factcheck.org/2012/08/does-obamas...

  19. A great example of redistribution is that of billionaire Steve Wynn in his tips redistribution policy.

  20. "CarmineD - My personal life is none of your business.. however..

    It is not a secret that Mormons must be "full tithe payers" to obtain a temple recommend. This is official church policy."

    I didn't ask because I was being nosey. I asked to determine the credibility of your opinion.

    Sadly you didn't, couldn't/wouldn't, answer my question about the Mormon Church and bishop using lack of tithing in a vengeful and threatening way. To my knowledge and understanding, as I explained already, they don't when there are justifiable financial hardships for the members, as there are now.

    I'm almost 100 percent positive that Harry Reid [aka dirty harry] tithes 10 percent. And I am equally sure he will never ever get another temple recommend. He is what is commonly referred to as a "Jack Mormon." You as a self-proclaimed expert on the Mormon Church policies, should be familiar with the label.

    CarmineD

  21. "PROVEN WRONG! See Fact Checker for the truth.

    http://factcheck.org/2012/08/does-obamas......

    Try again.

    CarmineD

  22. The issue I have with your fact check cite, and others, is that you can't objectively fact check opinions and interpretations. Which is basically what your reference does. The fact is the law was up for reauthorization BY CONGRESS. President Obama did an end around with his Executive Order. Cite a source that proves that is wrong and I'll read and agree with it/you.

    CarmineD

  23. Here are eight of the larger religious (Christian) organizations, their revenues and expenditures. How much of this money goes to helping the poor vs. lobbying Congress for Church and State alliance. (A C&S system means taxpayer money would be funneled to private and privileged religious groups and Christians would determine to whom and how much.)

    1. Jerry Falwell Ministries Revenue: $522,784,095
    2. Pat Robertson Empire Revenue: $434,971,231
    3. Focus on the Family Revenue: $104,463,950
    4. Alliance Defending Freedom Revenue: $35,145,644
    5. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops - Lobbying Expenditures: $26,662,111
    6. American Family Association Revenue: $17,955,438
    7. Family Research Council: Revenue: $14,840,036 (includes 501(c)(4) affiliate FRC Action)
    8. Concerned Women for America: Revenue: $10,352,628

    How much of Falwell and Roberson's revenue actually goes toward helping the needy with no strings attached vs. lobbyists to Congress?