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Lawmakers back balanced budget amendment, with reservations

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  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    July 20, 2011 9:05 p.m.

    CNN Sept 27, 2000
    President Clinton announced Wednesday that the federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history and topping last year's record surplus of $122.7 billion."This represents the largest one-year debt reduction in the history of the United States," Clinton said Wednesday morning. "Like our American athletes in Sydney, we've been breaking records and have come a long way."In June, the administration predicted the surplus would be $211 billion, and would increase by as much as $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

    Sept. 24, 2010 Tax.com report
    The tax cuts cost $1.8 trillion in the first eight years, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, whose reliability the last administration went out of its way to praise. Those cuts were heavily weighted toward the people candidate George W. Bush famously called "haves and the have-mores . . . some people call you the elite. I call you my base."

  • MPeace Provo, Utah
    July 21, 2011 5:15 a.m.

    If one reads the text of the bill passed by the House, they will find that because of Section 317 (b) the bill will cause no problems for those retired or on disability or other entitlements.

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    July 21, 2011 7:23 a.m.

    If the legislature had REALLY supported a balanced budget, this resolution would have been passed when George Walker Bush was in the White House (remembner Bush -- the guy who inherited not only a balanced budget, but one with a surplus, AND a plan that would have paid off the national debt by 2010 and ended up bankrupting the United States). Oh -- silly me -- Bush was a member of their political party, and therefore okay.

    The legislature is just playing partisan political games. We deserve better.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    July 21, 2011 7:25 a.m.

    I am retired and look to social security for assistance but our goverment has messed the system up by overspending the funds. If my lawyer was doing the same thing with my money he would be in jail. Where is our attorney general?

    Most responsible citizens support running our government on a balanced budget like every sensible hourseholder has to do. Truth is, our government is being run by unaccountable people who "counterfit" our dollar and overdraft our bank accounts, Chicago mafia gangland style. No wonder we are in deep mire.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    July 21, 2011 7:35 a.m.

    The preservation of our country demands a third party. The Democratic and Republican Parties are firmly in control of radical elements. Most of the prime time broadcasts of CNBC are about how DOMA is destroying families gay families. Guest after guest discusses the hard ships they face as couples who are in same sex relationships. All demand support of Democratic attempts to repeal DOMA. The Republicans are firmly in control of the top 3% who have just one goal protect the Bush tax cuts. Those cuts were heavily weighted toward the people George W. Bush famously called "haves and the have-mores . . . some people call you the elite. I call you my base.
    Our primary system has been hijacked by these extreme elements and the great majority of us are left without representation. We need someone like Jon Huntsman or Evan Bayh to step up to the plate and rescue our nation.

  • My_Comments Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    The proposed balance budget amendment must include language that restores the travesty wrought by the Supreme Court in the 1930's when they said Congress can spend money for things besides those specifically enumerated powers in the US Constitution. If Congress is spending money then they are exerting influence/authority over the that area/thing. If the area/thing is not one that the states tasked the US Government to perform via the US Constitution then the spending cannot by any rational or objective measure be seen as constitutional.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 21, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    What are they doing passing resolutions and debating things like DABC leadership and school board partisanship? I thought this was a minor "housekeeping" session for the legislative branch. It seems like it was, in fact, a bluster session and nothing of substance was done. What a waste of money.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 21, 2011 8:05 a.m.

    FDRfan and Furry

    Why do you insist on perpatuating an untruth? Clinton NEVER had a balanced budget, let alone a surplus. Gross federal debt INCREASED every year of his administration.

    From the US government printing office - responsible for ALL federal publications:

    Gross federal debt (millions) at the end of fiscal year
    1998 - 5,478,189
    1999 - 5,605,523 for an increase of 127,334
    2000 - 5,628,700 for an increase of 23,177

    Where is the surplus when gross federal debt is INCREASING? there is none.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    July 21, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    Lost in DC
    What was the argument for the Bush tax cuts? I recall the Republican language that the surplus must be given back to the people. I did not personally count the money so I don't know. Why wasn't the CNN report disputed?

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    July 21, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    I still don't think a balanced budget amendment is a good idea.

    Could you live without going into debt? Could you? Really? How are you going to buy a car or a house? How are you going to pay for secondary education? What about big ticket items like washer/dryer/refrigerator/furnace/etc? What if a loved one on the other side of the country suddenly falls ill?

    Debt itself is not the enemy, excessive debt caused by overspending is.

    Mandating a balanced budget could cripple this nation in so many ways its not even funny. How do we stimulate our economy? How do we wage war? How do we react to national crises? How do we handle environmental disasters? All that requires some deficit spending.

    I believe the best solution is requiring 2/3 support from both houses of Congress before any additional debt is authorized. If you can get a clear majority of both parties to vote for deficit spending then it is more than likely necessary. Otherwise, it is not.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    Balanced budget...

    that's new.

    'Bush Administration Adds $4 Trillion To National Debt' - by Mark Knoller - CBS News - 09/29/08

    'It'll be the 7th time the debt limit (ceiling) has been raised during this administration. In fact it was just two months ago, on July 30, that President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which contained a provision raising the debt ceiling to $10.615 trillion.'

    "According to the Pew Economic Policy Group, an extension of all of the Bush tax cuts will cost $3.1 trillion over ten years, once the costs of servicing the debt are factored in."

    FDRfan | 9:05 p.m. July 20, 2011 - Well said!

    When claiming you want a 'balanced budget'..?

    Make sure your party didn't DOUBLE the national debt when you had control last.

  • JNA Layton, UT
    July 21, 2011 9:26 a.m.

    To Furry:

    You know I am so sick and tired of leftists touting there was surplus that was inherited by Clinton. Let me remind you that Mr Clinton did not have 4 jet airliners fly into the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania wreaking havoc on our economy, as a matter of fact, I thank Heaven every day we didn't have Clinton or Gore or any Democrat for that matter in office, because they would have bent over backwards saying "we are so sorry for making you so mad at us, what can we do to help so you wont hurt us any more." There is nothing like the current Democrats to make us unsafe and weak in the world. Where oh where are the democrats like FDR and Truman?

  • activ2004 Clearfield, UT
    July 21, 2011 10:02 a.m.

    Admiral Michael Mullen CJCOS (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) proclaimed "the biggest threat we have to our national security today is our debt".

    Former Speaker of the House Ms. Pelosi, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid and Pres. Barak Hussein Obama , et al, have truck loads of explaining in disregarding the affirmations of the top military leader, not to mention their flagrant flip flopping on their campaign rhetoric against Pres. George W. Bush.

    It is mind numbing yet predictable how professed fiscal conservatives would ignore their oath of office the way retired Sen. Bennett rationalized away his oath of office. I do not know of any other way to "protect and defend the Constitution of The United States against [all] enemies foreign and [domestic]"

    There is a new Sheriff in town that boldly waves the banner of truth, integrity, honesty and true fiscal conservative values in [defense] of our God our women and children and the security of this promised land of America and who is not afraid to stand up to and aggressively counteract the social progressive cancer enveloping the United States of America.

  • Well Read SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 21, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    The Utah Republican legislature does not represent the citizens of Utah. tThey represent those far fight republicans who have hijacked the caucus system that Utah uses to choose candidates for state offices.

    I believe an open system where anyone who wants to run for state office may put up a fee and a petition with a set number of signatures of citizens who support the candidate running for the office. Much like most of the US does now.

    At this time it is not possible for anyone who wants to run for office to do so. The caucus system does not allow anyone to run who wants to do so. As stated above - the radical right have eliminated the freedom for anyone who is not approved by the radical right to run for office. It should be eliminated!

  • Well Read SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 21, 2011 10:20 a.m.

    When I fist moved to Utah from another state I heard of the cowboy caucus and Gail Razukas bunch were a joke. Sadly I found out they were for real and were not in politics for the good of the state, but for the good of their own narrow goals. Sadly Utah does not have a representative government. It has a government run by very right wing radicals.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    July 21, 2011 10:38 a.m.

    It may be easy for young lawmakers, or the very rich, to want to balance the budget by taking away the seniors Social Security, Medicare, Medicade, Welfare, Food Stamps, and anyother safety net that they might need to survive. If the lawmakers are not handicapped, it may be easy to take away the same benefits from them also.

    Most of us, that are using the safety nets have been barely able to survive. Without those safety nets, those of us that are lucky enough to have children, will have to move in with them.

    Those of us that have no children to move in with, will become homeless.

    Since 1935, when Roosevelt estabished the Social Security program, we have trusted it and the leaders that keep it strong. Can we no longer trust our politions of today ???

  • gb says SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 21, 2011 10:47 a.m.

    The only sane--that is, Economics 101 literate--voice in the reported debate is the quote from Senator Robles: that it is fiscally irresponsible to pass a balanced budget amendment. When an economy is in recession, such as ours is, deficit spending--increasing deficits--is the only way to get out of the recession. Not to mention that the country is running two wars and the government has to deal with the consequences of a recession. Of course, it depends what you are spending the deficit spending on. If it is on keeping intact state and local government employment, education, healthcare, and infrastructure these would not only boost the sagging demand now but also strengthen the US (and UT!) economy in the future. These types of spending allow private enterprise to take advantage of state of the art infrastructure, skilled and healthy labor force. The profitability of the economy improves and the wellbeing of our people is ensured.

    It is sad that we are in the dark ages at the moment: Most in our legislature (and commentators here) have not taken an Introductory Macroceconomics course or choose to overlook its basics for partisan purposes.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    July 21, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    Who was it that said to the world, on his radio show, the first week that President Obama took office:

    "If you are a Patriotic Citizen, you will hope that every thing that this President tries to do will fail

    "If you are a Patriotic Citizen of this county you will hope that everything this President does get passed, will fail or be repealed

    What Political Party, and its appendages, endorce this and have from the first week until now and ongoing, try to show that they are the so called Patriotic party(s) by blocking everything the President tries to do.

    Which TV network promotes this same distructive advice given by the said radio host during the first week of our President in office.

    What as voting citizens, can we do about it in November, to show our displeasure, in the
    those that would ruin America in order to keep their own party strong?

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    July 21, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    To lost in DC | 8:05 a.m. July 21, 2011

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but President Clinton had budgets in 1999 and 2000 that were not only balanced, but had a surplus.

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    July 21, 2011 1:29 p.m.

    To JNA | 9:26 a.m. July 21, 2011

    Sorry to burst your bubble. I'm not a "leftist" -- I'm a classic (Goldwater) conservative.

    Bush's budget fiasco had nothing to do with the 9/11/2001 attacks. It came from his unfunded tax welfare for the wealthy and his unfunded wars. He operated on a "borrow and spend" philosophy, and we're paying the price for that now.

    Your comment concerning President Clinton and Vice President Gore is without merit. Either of them would have gone after the people who attacked the United States on 9/11/2011, BUT they (1) would have done so wisely and (2) would have made sure they attacked the right people (Afghanistan -- yes, BUT Iraq had nothing to do with the attack). Where were the Democrats like FDR and Truman? We had them with Clinton and Gore.

  • nick Provo, UT
    July 21, 2011 1:46 p.m.

    Federal spending has inceased by about 25 percent during the past four years. The federal goverment is now spending 25 percent of our GDP annually, and state and local goverments are spending another combined 17 percent of GDP. Meanwhile businesses and inviduals spend about 15 percent of GDP each year to comply with government regulations.

    If you want to cover the deficit by increasing taxes, those tax increases will have to be massive. It will take much more than repealing the Bush tax cuts for top earners. You will have to repeal all of the Bush tax cuts for lower and middle class as well and impose an additional 50 cent per gallon federal gasoline tax. Then, welcome to European socialism, economic decline (stagnation at best) and perpetual 15-20 percent real unemployment.