Class Warfare and Taxes
We've got a little class warfare going on among our Readers Who Comment today as they contemplate what President Obama's stated tax policies might mean for small businesses.
Reporters Lori Montgomery and V. Dion Haynes tell the story of a small business owner who makes more than $500,000 annually and whose taxes could rise by 19 percent if Obama's proposals are enacted.
Some readers ask, "What's wrong with that?" Others say small business owners are already paying their fair share. There is the inevitable proposal from one reader that the nation go to a flat tax -- everybody pays the same rate. Several suggest that the Post has lost its journalistic bearings. It is indeed a taxing issue.
We'll start with dre7861, who wrote, "This is exactly where the tax burden needs to lie - with the wealthy and businesses. For too long these two classes have paid less than their share and on top of that they have all kinds of tax loop-holes specially written into the tax code that makes their 'burden' even lighter. To try to fund the US Government of the backs of the middle class and the poor is unfair...."
But nonlocal1 said, "...As another small business owner who has been in and out of that class, I assure you Obama and his clan are dead wrong. The americans who strive to be like the family in this story are the ones who make American great. Without Obama's onerous tax increases, they already pay far more than their fair share of taxes..."
Pebble1776 wrote, "The idea of businesses cutting employees if their taxes go up is a red herring. Businesses are running close to the bone. They are not carrying extra employees. If they make cuts it will affect their operations and just cost them money."
EarlC said, "...The individual earnings which are generated by the businesses are taxed on the individual basis. However, the net profits are taxed at a different rate. It is the profits that will possibly see the tax increases... One thing is sure, the middleclass wage earner has been paying more than its fair share of the tax burden in this country a long time."
wassavi wrote, "...I don't like the policies and I don't like where the money is going, but an extra $25k to the government from $500k in annual earnings is, conceptually, fine by me."
vernyuy said, "...This is a glaring hit piece. for someone who makes 500,000 in profit yearly, paying 143,000 in taxes, is not that much bigger than 120,000. She still goes home with 350,000. it is ludricrous to pose as if this would cripple the business community."
MBP1 wrote, "The tax burden should be borne proportionately by all. One flat rate for everyone applied to net income. No exclusions. Entitlement spending will continue to grow uncontrollably as long as nontaxpayers can vote for spending while bearing no responsibility for payment... Democracy can't continue to exist after the majority discovers that it has the keys to a treasury funded by the minority..."
mharwick said, "Raising taxes on small businesses will do just the opposite of what is intended...it will reduce revenue by reducing employment and business spending. Anyone who ever operated a business large or small knows that. Our President has never operated any business large or small of any kind."
buckdharma wrote, "The point of a lot of the commenters is that rich people suck, and any tax increase on them is a fair tax increase."
ethanquern said, "...Obama merely wants to overturn a monstrous decision by the Bush Administration to shift the tax burden to the middle class and restore tax rates to the wealthy they had before. Their whining deserves a minuet from an orchestra of the world's tiniest violins... Shame on the Washington Post for this article!"
muggzzi wrote, "Your headline should read, '2-3% of Small Business Brace for Tax Battle.' [In both print and online it said Small Businesses Brace for Tax Battle] Why do you start your "news" piece with a "point of view" title - and then ignore the 97% of businesses?... Poor journalism at the WP - perhaps due to budget cuts?"
cathy810 said, "...Class warfare is always ugly, not only are most of the commentors here perpetrating it, they are being duped in the process focusing on a pittance and ignoring the real culprits-- our own government-- left and right."
TwoEvils wrote, "Typical Republicans. Care more about the 3%-7% who are making more than enough money to live on comfortably AND save for retirement, and to heck with the 97%-93% of small businesses who could really use a tax break. This article is disingenuous, and Johnson is anything but a sympathetic figure."
markmoy said, "The problem rich Americans are facing today is quite simple - they were simply used to not paying their fair share! For a democracy to work it's essential that everyone has the feeling that their situation is improving. This has not been the case for the past couple of decades and through the election of our new President, a majority of Americans have clearly indicated that it is time for change!"
We'll close with this exchange:
RoboFlop wrote, "Brilliant, just brilliant. Let's revive the economy by providing a dis-incentive to making a profit. Let's also take as much money as we can from the people who INVEST to stimulate the economy... Liberals will spend an infinite amount of money, as long as they're convinced it's not theirs."
To which apissedant replied, "Roboflop, Apparently you don't get it. INCOME taxes tax PROFITS. No rational person reduces their ability to generate disposable income in order to avoid taxes. The only reason a business would cutback would be to increase efficiency in order to maximize profits. That is a rational response that occurs whether taxes are lowered or raised."
All comments on this article are here.
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