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Taxing the top 2 percent is just a Band-Aid

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Posted: Saturday, December 1, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:34 am, Sat Dec 1, 2012.

This is concerning the argument going on in Washington about whether or not to extend the "Bush tax cuts" for the upper 2 percent of wealthy people, which, if implemented, would run our government for 8 days, making it just a Band-Aid fix.

Also, of all people, Warren Buffett is an outspoken advocate of our president raising taxes on the wealthy. May I add that he pays just 17.4 percent after his battery of lawyers take deductions to keep him from paying more, while his secretary pays 35.8 percent in taxes?

May I also suggest that Warren Buffett, with his expendable billions of dollars, could create more businesses in the private sector, thus creating jobs which in turn would pay taxes while at the same time creating products and increasing the wealth of the United States? I think this would be a better alternative than for him to send more of his money to the federal government, which may make investments in companies like Solyndra, the lobby interest and foreign aid.

It is only reasoned logic that adding more tax burden to the top 2 percent of the people who sign the front of payroll checks will diminish those people who sign the backs of our payroll checks as more jobs will be lost.

At the present time our president is still campaigning in various states, stirring up the public with his class warfare argument, rather than working out a compromise in Washington, D.C. There comes a time for him to roll up his sleeves and get some work done, rather than just making speeches that divide us as a nation of people.

F.W. "Bill" Stamos


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  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 1:59 pm on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Are you serious ... I looked up the term "entitlement" which was rather obvious since I had stated......I wonder how Mr Crowder is defining entitlements. ... [whistling]

  • Arthur Fang posted at 5:51 pm on Wed, Dec 5, 2012.

    aplefan333 Posts: 1

    Mr. Stamos,
    Liked your comments very much.
    Shared them on Huff Post.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 4:51 pm on Wed, Dec 5, 2012.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    mr crowder: I re-read your post and have concluded that you think the system is fixed against minorities in particular Blacks. Making the statement "The majority of those elderly folks are white conservatives." is a form of reverse racism and age discrimination...you should be ashamed of yourself.

    For your information...they are the majority of the population by a long shot and have paid the majority of the money into the gov since SS and taxes began. Take a look at the racial make-up of the US in the 50's through 10's. They now receive less than one third of the money due them because of crooks like LBJ and BO.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 9:48 am on Wed, Dec 5, 2012.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    The Republicans have not hammered out a budget they have simply stated that they will close loopholes without specifying what loopholes they will close it's like we are still hearing from Romney. They continue to say they will do something but do not have the support of their own party to say how they will do it. As far as talking points go you seem to parrot the right's pretty well yourself.

  • Bill Stamos posted at 10:50 pm on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

    skilos Posts: 93

    Thank you Darrell, I enjoy your posts as well. Eric, you have the talking points of the Administration down pat but I recall the President saying, during his campaign, he wanted and expected $800 Billion from the top 2% tax payers. The republicans hammered out a budget which grants him that amount, not by tax increases but by other tax calculation means. Rather than taking a leadership roll with that figure as a negotiation point President Obama increased the amount to $1.6 Trillion, he also wants to bypass the Congress giving him power to set the debt limit.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 9:39 pm on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    How do you look up "a government program that guarantees and provides benefits to a particular group" in the dictionary, It is my understanding that the dictionary only explains one word at a time

  • Eric Barrow posted at 9:36 pm on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    Bill, Obama will not extend the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% of Americans. that is what he campaigned on and that is what we expect of him. If the repubs in congress hold the economy hostage over this issue we will certainly slip back into a recession and the American people will hold the conservatives to blame. That has little to do with your previous statement that higher taxes on the rich will stagnate our current economy.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:19 pm on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Bill, It's good to see your posts return. I think they bring an air of class and respect to this forum. I admire people like yourself who can express themselves in a way where what is said demonstrates wisdom.

    Did you ever find out why your letter below was not published? It should have been.

  • Bill Stamos posted at 6:21 pm on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

    skilos Posts: 93

    Call me Bill, Patrick it is guys like you that are the back bone of our once thriving private sector, you were pursuing the American Dream, created jobs and provided a steady tax flow into the government coffers. Darrell it is good to see you again, I have not participated in this forum as the Sentinel very rarely publishes my letters.
    Eric, am at a loss to respond further to you and regret I do not have time to write something comprehensive to establish my point. It is my belief that if President Obama does not extend the Bush tax cuts we will soon after go into another recession and you can hold me to that. I do recall a letter written by me to the Sentinel in July of 2011 that was never published. Here it is:
    Dear Editor:
    Would like to share with you and your readers something concerning why America's economy is so bad and why the Swedish economy is so good; Sweden's government did the exact opposite of every other Western government when the present world economy collapsed, they stimulated private ownership, they reduced government spending, taxes and debt. As a result their unemployment was a low 4.1% in June (last month) up from 3.8% in May. Our unemployment in the United States today is 9.2? Are the Swedish smarter than Americans?
    It is not rocket science to understand why the two economies went in different directions, when the market collapsed our federal government did everything wrong, they stimulated banks and unions to the detriment of private business, they increased spending by growing government by 25%, they increased debt dramatically and even now propose to increase taxes and expand the debt ceiling.
    Another example of a country on the move is China, they have adopted capitalism and have made it relatively easy for companies to make products and services which increase jobs for their people and their economy. Such is the way of the very creation of wealth.
    While here in America, those who produce products and services and provide jobs are depicted in some media as being the enemy of the people, they are sometimes reported as being rich and greedy and need to have their taxes increased, also the government has chosen to re-distributed their wealth rather than getting out of the way and letting them create wealth, which is something business' can do very well. It is little wonder that many corporations move to other countries to conduct their operations which also takes their production of wealth and jobs away from America. It is indeed heart breaking to witness the progressive demise of our once great economy! The solution is so very simple that I sometimes wonder if our economic condition is deliberate!

    F.W. "Bill" Stamos
    1115 S. Church St.
    Lodi, CA 95240-5711
    (209) 334-5724

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 5:39 pm on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Mr C: When 96% of the people have received some sort of Gov benefit or entitlement...it's time to draw the line.

    73% of the entitlement benefits do go to elderly care (53%) and disabled (20%). That means that 27% goes to the working(18%) and non-working (9%) households.

    The difference is that the 58% PAID for their benefits by working and paying in to SS. The PROBLEM is that the Gov has stolen the money they paid in and are now shelling out one-third of what they should be giving back to those who paid in.

    Go back $70 Trillion to LBJ and his "Great Society" and run the numbers for yourself.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:59 pm on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    I wonder what entitlements Mr Crowder includes in his statistic...I wonder how Mr Crowder is defining entitlements.

    According to the dictionary, a government program that guarantees and provides benefits to a particular group: "fights . . . to preserve victories won a generation ago, like the Medicaid entitlement for the poor" (Jason DeParle

  • Andy Crowder posted at 3:35 pm on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

    Andy Crowder Posts: 245

    75% of those receiving entitlements are elderly or disabled or both. The majority of those elderly folks are white conservatives.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 1:40 pm on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    I don't know about your taxes. What I'm saying is that there is strong historical evidence that the top earners have paid much higher tax rates at a time when the economy was strong and we have recently been through 12 years of historical low rates for these same earners and the economy has shown slow growth. What I was addressing was Mr. Stamos's theory that if tax rates go up the economy will slow down. If you have some evidence that supports this theory I'd like to see it because I don't see it in the numbers with GDP and unemployment in relation to tax rates on the very rich.
    As far as seniors go the average retiree has put enough money into SS to draw it out, at today’s rates, for 7 years so if they have been retired for more than 7 years they to are living off yours and mine tax dollars.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 10:41 am on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405


    Exactly what I intend to do and I encourage as many conservatives to follow suit.
    By starving the tax dragon and flooding the system with people who take instead of contribute, liberalism will more quickly be defeated.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 10:21 am on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    I just wonder what all of the people my taxes support are going to do when I (and millions of others) come to the conclusion that it isn't worth it, close my doors, send everyone home and file for all of the freebies they are getting? Will they call that redistribution of wealth?

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 10:16 am on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Mr Stamos: Bill if I may...what BO did with the stimulus money was pay off his cronies, donators, pet projects and unions.

    Mr Barrow: I have spent 50 years accumulating $7 Million in assets...I have lost about $5 million since '08...I have paid at the lowest level and highest level in taxes...my wealth is mine because I worked (and still am) and hired others to work...are you saying that I should be happy to give more to the government to waste?

    Don't believe that it is wasted? We as a nation have spent $70 Trillion on government programs trying to raise the lives of our citizens yet, more people are in poverty, on food stamps, jobless and homeless. BOY have they done a good job!

    Like the old saying...follow the money...and the crooks...had LBJ and his cronies not opened the SS lockbox...our senior citizens would be receiving better care and nearly three times the money on their checks.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 7:51 am on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    Although it’s not was I was talking about a large part of the stimulus money went to the private sector that’s how Obama got in trouble with Solyndra.

    Nothing in our economic history supports your theory that government placing high tax rates on the wealthy damages the economy. The fact is the opposite is true many times when we placed a heavy tax burden on the wealthy our GDP has seen robust growth and unemployment has remained low. Most recently we have seen record low tax rates on the wealthy with slow growth in GDP and high unemployment a result. The numbers are there for anyone to see that is why I say your theory is ideology and not based in logic.

  • Bill Stamos posted at 10:06 pm on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

    skilos Posts: 93

    To Eric Barrow, We must agree to disagree here; the very reason that President Obama's stimulus of nearly $900 Billion failed is he allocated the funds to grow government jobs rather that private sector jobs, this is not ideology, it is rather fact. Had he directed the stimulus funds into the private sector and to the people and removed the regulatory handcuffs from business, our economy would have been in good shape by now.
    If our cash flow is to ever be adequate again we need to create wealth rather than to distribute wealth. To have a huge and gluttonous government sucking up the wealth of the private sector is a sure way to have an economy fail. And that is my reasoned logic!

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:52 pm on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    I may be a prardox. I am a conservative who believes in trickle UP economics.

    But not for the logic presented, for me it is more about two things. First who will the money HELP the most. The additional taxes paid by the richer 20% (yes I think the top 20% should pay more) can be used to LOWER the tax burden of the lower income CITIZENS of America (meaning if you pay your taxes and are lower income then you would benifit). This is not GIVING money to them, but rather letting them keep more of what they EARN. As part of this a VERY strong policy of teaching debt-free living needs to be incorporated into the education of the AMerican people.

    This goes into the second aspect of my logic. Who is more likely to have tax reductions benifit through cash flow. The more cash flow, the more jobs create UP through the economy.

  • Rick Houdack posted at 7:03 pm on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

    Rick Houdack Posts: 188

    Irony Alert.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 1:22 pm on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Mr Bob: The logic lost in your scenario is that the $95 employs people...the tellers, attendants, mechanics, grocers, delivery drivers, warehouse workers and the mirade of other people who want to EARN their way through life.Success, money and status are a reward for effort.

    The second fallacy of your piece is that if you give $95 to someone who doesn't have or want a job, they don't spend their income in those sorts of place nor will they ever rise above that level. Heroine addicts are judged by their daily addiction costs..and they always want more...until they are dead.

    Money is spent on wants and needs...those at the bottom have the least ACCESS to those funds...those who work and those who take the risks deserve the greater amount of that $95 and will generally spend it on items they want or need. Some of them make a lot of money and spend a lot of it on desires...like big houses, fancy cars, vacations and charities (who employ a lot of higher wage earning people). What you seem to be implying is that they shouldn't get to spend their money as they see fit...or not.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 11:01 am on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    If you "give" money to the poor/middle class, you create a class of people beholden to someone/something else - they become enslaved. If they "earn" it, they spend it with dignity while at the same time producing through the work they are engaged in.

    But this is precisely what the liberal/progressives need: dependent people who actually believe they're better off not working but receiving everything from the government, their new "daddy."

  • Bobcatbob Ingram posted at 10:34 am on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

    99er Posts: 119

    Everyone who believes that trickle down economics actually helps American citizens please raise Your hands..

    ...If nobody steps forward, please consider the 'natural' law of MONEY......MONEY RISES, meaning if You give $100 bucks to a poor / middle class person, That person will spend 95% of it paying bills and buying goods, paying that $ 95 bucks to the middle man.i.e. Landlord for rent, to Safeway for food, Citibank for everything else etc etc. So the $95 bucks money begins its upstream journey... Next level is the distributors who deliver the foods /goods to the stores supplying the poor / middleclass. The distributors take that $95 and pay it to the producers who make or grow or import goods in large quantities. The producers use the $95 to pay for the goods from factories farmers etc.

    The MAGIC of money is, the same $95 bucks that helped to do work at all levels started at the bottom (poor or middle class) and 'rose' through our economic system. At each level, the rising money stimulated our economy.

    I invite you to show me where the error of money rises theory and I will admit I was incorrect and hopefully I will learn, on the other hand I believe in NOT responding to drunks, idiots or the insane.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 8:40 am on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    Mr. Stamos wrote ‘’It is only reasoned logic that adding more tax burden to the top 2 percent of the people who sign the front of payroll checks will diminish those people who sign the backs of our payroll checks as more jobs will be lost.” This is not logic it is ideology a quick look at historic maximum tax rates and unemployment shows little correlation, if any correlation exist it is for lower unemployment when taxes are higher. This makes sense because if a business owner takes profit out as pay they are forced to pay high taxes but can avoid this by reinvesting in their business. The past twelve years of historic low maximum tax rates should prove this out as the stock market has done quite well why unemployment rates stay high. It's fine if you want to sit around with your conservative friends and praise trickle down economics but don’t try to fool the rest of us that it is logical.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:54 pm on Sun, Dec 2, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Bill, thank you for the link... was very interesting, but sad. As far as Barack Obama's failed policies, the unfortunate part is that so many perceive his policies have succeeded.
    I also agree with you about Mr. Kinderman. I think Lodi News Sentinel could improve its quality if Mr. Kinderman was a regular columnist.

  • Bill Stamos posted at 3:27 pm on Sun, Dec 2, 2012.

    skilos Posts: 93

    Thank you Mr Kinderman, have read many of your comments in the Lodi News Sentinel and agree wtith you 99% of the time. You are a prolific writer.

  • Bill Stamos posted at 3:24 pm on Sun, Dec 2, 2012.

    skilos Posts: 93

    Thank you Patrick and congratulaions on your pro se win in court, very rare. Concerning the corruption in Washington, D.C., I was shocked on November 6th that the majority of voters gave Barack Obama 4 more years despite his failed policies. Did you read the article of Xavier Lerma, a Russian Journalist who has lived under Communist rule.
    His opinion is that Barack Obama has the same 'cult of personality' that Lenin and Stalin had and that he has mesmorized the ignorant in America by drinking of his cup of illusion. I weep for my country!

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 3:23 pm on Sat, Dec 1, 2012.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Mr Stamos: Warren Buffett profited from the economic down-turn: Here's how: Amer Express wanted to change from a state bank to a national one (more credit and bigger bucks). Sooo...Mr Buffet (major shareholder) went to his DC buddies (BO and cronies)(after donating $3Million plusssssss to his campaign) and got his bank status changed.

    THEN comes the good part...they cut over a million credit card owners off, went to the Fed Reserve and borrowed $30 BILLION plus under the guise that they were too big to fail,received a prefered status loan (ZERO percent interest), sold off the debt to THEIR law firms to collect (kept all of the BILLIONS of credit points owned to the cardholders {about $4 Billion in money}) then skipped their cash fat little a..es all the way to their new bank. Mr Warren Buffet is no angel.

    Check out how many law suits are currently on the dockets for AMX in CA alone...I won my first one and lost the second (so far)...without a lawyer!

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 1:33 am on Sat, Dec 1, 2012.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Hear, hear, Mr. Stamos!! From your letter to their ears in D.C.


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