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Letter: Balancing the budget requires a balanced approach

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  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 12:31 a.m.

    "...Romney talks about balancing the budget but promises to cut taxes and raise spending...".

    Voters have heard/seen this prescription in action...

    The last time we tried this prescription we eventually said good-bye to a POTUS whose cut taxes/increase spending formula resulted in a cratering economy losing 750,000 jobs per month.

    Yet, the rnc has verified that Ryan/romney will persist in the same prescription...on steriods.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 31, 2012 6:27 a.m.

    Too many people think that the economy is a "zero sum" game defined as a "mathematical representation of a situation in which a participant's gain (or loss) of utility is exactly balanced by the losses (or gains) of the utility of the other participant(s)."

    They think that we have to raise taxes one dollar for every dollar spent to balance the budget. What they should be thinking is how to raise tax revenues and how to cut spending.

    Spending MUST be cut - drastically.

    Revenues MUST increase - drastically.

    HOW to increase revenues is debatable. If tax RATES are increased, actual tax revenues will decline. That's a no-brainer. When you punish people for being successful, they will simply shut down their businesses and fire their employees. They've already made their money. They've already paid taxes on that money. They will NOT work harder so that the government can take away their profits.

    DECREASE the tax rates. Give people an incentive for being successful. Give them a reason to build businesses and employee more people. Tax REVENUES will increase when more PEOPLE are taxed. More people WORKING means more tax payers and more tax REVENUE.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 7:29 a.m.

    Nothing will change until American realizes that spending problems are caused by Congress, not by the President. Even then, things won't change because Americans think the problem is "other people's Congressman, not mine!"

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 7:35 a.m.

    Romney is exactly the wrong guy for the job, and the GOP is bound and determined to ruin the country unless you are rich (which most of us are not).

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 7:49 a.m.

    A very sensible letter.

    Unfortunately, the GOP won't listen.

    It will be VERY interesting if Romney wins the election to see what will happen next.

    If he does win, I can't imagine the Democrats promising to do all they can to derail his Presidency (and the nation along with it) as Mitch McConnell and his Republican thugs have done to Obama. Gadianton and his robbers are alive and well. But now they call themselves RNC.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 8:06 a.m.

    We have two choices for President in November, unless we want to throw away our vote. One choice is for Mr. Obama, who has increased the deficit by $5,000,000,000,000 in less than four years. Our total deficit is $16,000,000,000,000, so almost 1/3rd of the total deficit was added by Obama. The other choice is for Mr. Romney, a businessman who knows how to run a business.

    Given those two choices, which of the two is better qualified to handle our economic problems?

    Surely those who don't like Romney would have to agree that Mr. Obama is NOT qualified to handle the economic problems CAUSED by his administration. Obama can blame no one but himself for his mishandling of $5,000,000,000,000. He approved that deficit. Much of it came when he had a Democrat controlled House and a Democrat controlled Senate.

    Our biggest problem is the economy. Obama is a total, complete failure when it comes to economic solutions. Everything that he's tried has failed.

    Romney wants to increase tax revenues by increasing the number of working tax payers. His idea will work.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 8:13 a.m.

    Hyrum,
    If your entire assessment of Romney is based purely on the convention bits showing his personal, one-on-one service, you have not been very involved up until now?

    Private sector he has amassed his own fortune, Not-for-profit world he took the 2002 Olympics from a massive deficit to a surplus, public sector he took the MA budget from a deficit in the hundreds of millions to a surplus of hundreds of millions. He has a solid track record.

    His opponent has no record of creating wealth, just showing other people how to get money from the government. His record in government is one of record deficits with no end in sight and persistent high unemployment.

    Obamacare does NOTHING to reform medicare, except take $500 billion from medicare to pay it

    There you go again,
    Where do you get the idea Romney’s plan cuts taxes and raises spending? It cuts RATES and eliminates deductions, which INCREASES revenue. it worked for Reagan.

    Moderate,
    Get reid to allow senate votes.

    Esquire, see Hyrum comments

    Old man,
    I wish they had been successful stoppping BO. What BO has pushed through is very damaging

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 8:28 a.m.

    To Mike Richards: "HOW to increase revenues is debatable. If tax RATES are increased, actual tax revenues will decline. That's a no-brainer. When you punish people for being successful, they will simply shut down their businesses and fire their employees".

    From the 1940's to 1981, the top marginal tax rates ran between 70-91%. Corporate taxes brought in 25% of federal revenues in the fifties compared to 6% today. It was also the time in our history when the economy grew rapidly and middle class living standards doubled. If your theory were correct, that would have been impossible.

    In more recent times, the economy did much better after Clinton raised taxes than it did after Bush cut them.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    Oh, Lost and J, how I wish people like you would at least make an effort to learn the truth. It's not hard. Really.

    Just Google things like "Policy Differences Under Two Presidents" or the Wall Street Journal's "The Obama Spending Spree That Wasn't"

    But learning facts might upset your applecarts. Is that the real problem?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 31, 2012 9:16 a.m.

    "HOW to increase revenues is debatable. If tax RATES are increased, actual tax revenues will decline. That's a no-brainer."

    Well? Are they debatable or is it a no-brainer?

    I think that you can support your theory sometimes and not others.
    There is evidence that when you cut taxes from 90 or 70 percent that revenues increase.
    And I would agree with that.

    However, the Bush tax cuts did not increase revenues and the Clinton tax hikes did.

    So, it is far from a no-brainer.

    By that logic, a 5% top tax rate should make revenues skyrocket. No logical person would subscribe to that. So, that leaves us looking for the sweet spot.

    History would say that is it somewhere less than 50% but greater than 35%.

    So, how about we look for non-partisan economists and listen to them rather than a bunch of D or R politicians who are dictated a party line.

    Just because the were elected does not instantly make them economists.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Aug. 31, 2012 10:43 a.m.

    Mike R's last paragraph sums up very well the economic plan of the Bush administration. Mike hopes we have ALL forgotten how that worked out, and feels we should try it all again, this time under Romney. I'm ready to follow Mitt - when I have enough to need to know how things work in the Cayman Islands.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 31, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    Who paid tax rates of 70% or higher? NOBODY! Look at the "loopholes" that were closed in 1986. There was ALWAYS a way around paying those exorbitant rates. When rates dropped to 28%, business boomed and revenues to the government boomed.

    Tax rates MUST be lowered AND regulations MUST favor business development. If either of those factors are not present, there will be no growth.

    Look at the boom taking place in North Dakota, where oil drilling is taking plane on PRIVATE land. Obama can't stop that boom. He has stopped that from happening in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming, but he can't stop it in North Dakota. Look at their economy. Look at how many NEW employees are paying income tax. Look at how much corporations are paying in taxes because they are making PROFITS. Revenue to the government comes from PROFITS made by private business. Regulating those businesses out of America does not generate taxable profits.

    The "pass the buck" mentality that Obama has been preaching has finally come home to roost. He has destroyed our economy and he wants to nail the lid on the coffin by raising taxes.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 11:03 a.m.

    I have yet to see a small business run out and hire workers at $60,000 a year with benefits.
    They all start out hiring at MINIMUM wage - and the GOP wants to even get rid of that!

    The GOP plan is to use small businesses as a hostage and a ploy to not raise taxes on ANY business -- thus protecting BIG Corporations WallStreet and Banks making Billions and Trillions of $$$ (that bad old 1% we keep hearing about).

    Romney's economic sucess in business was to Corporate raid, split and sell-off, and then invest in FOREIGN countries and safe guard his $$$ in FOREIGN banks.

    So much for "Believing in AMERICA"!

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    old man,
    you wish I would make an effort to learn the truth? You mean like when you mistakenly thought I was talking about Obamacare when I spoke of Matheson's vote to force catholic hospitals to perform abortions if they wanted to treat the elderly? You mean like that?

    But your comment said nothing in response to what I said.

    Your article talks of two presidents. Romney has not been president. Nice obfuscation, projecting something onto Romney that doesn't fit.

    I said Romney created wealth and success in the private, not-for-profit, and public sectors. Are you really denying that? Is that not true?

    Romney turned deficits into surpluses. that is well known.

    Where is BO's record of creating wealth anywhere? It does not exist. Where is his record of turning deficits into surpluses? It does not exist.

    That is what I said, but you twisted and obfuscated.

    Before accusing someone of not knowing the truth, please do not twist their words, and please make specific responses, not just "you're don't know the truth because I don't agree with you"

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 31, 2012 11:55 a.m.

    Mr Richards,

    Yes, Reagan did lower the top marginal tax rate to 28%.

    But, lets add some context in order to show the complete picture.

    We need to be comparing apples to apples.

    Which would you prefer :

    Today's top tax rate of 35% starting at over $380,000

    OR

    Reagan's top tax rate of 28% starting at 30,000 (adjusted for inflation)

    Rest assured that the country would scream bloody murder if we went back to Reagan's Tax rates and associated brackets.

    Looks a bit different in the correct context doesn't it?

    (numbers from Tax Policy Center)

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 31, 2012 12:12 p.m.

    One more thing.

    From a SmartMoney article

    According to the CBO

    "Overall corporate tax rates in 2011 dropped to 12.1%, the lowest recorded level during the 40 years of collecting such date. This effective tax rate is less than half the historic average rate of 25.6%, and much lower than the statutory rate of 35%.

    While the statutory tax rate claim is correct (referring to claims that the US has one of the highest statutory corporate tax rates) extensive tax breaks corporations receive push their effective tax rates to the second lowest in the developed world."

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 12:21 p.m.

    @lost again

    The quote came directly from the letter.

    reagan?

    The guy who signed an abortion law that led to the murder of over 2,000,000 babies.
    The guy who gave us Iran Contra, yet couldn't recall his culpability.
    The guy who raised taxes 11 times during his reign.
    The guy who would never be accepted in the republican party as it exists in its present form.

    The republican veneration of reagan is duly noted.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 12:27 p.m.

    The funny thing about those 90% tax rates and loopholes, Mr Richards is that they encouraged reinvestment into the repective business unlike the 28% rate that has literally built Swiss and Cayman banks. Those rates and loopholes gave 'game' to workers creating good wages and the loophole of benefit packages for the middle class. They were instrumental in creating the greatest middle class in the history of the world and when the 28% tax rate came along, middle class taxes were increased, and the 1% have steadily increased more than their share of wealth. Yes, you are correct when you say no one paid 90% but they don't pay 35% either. At least with Mitt's CPA's.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 12:36 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    "HOW to increase revenues is debatable. If tax RATES are increased, actual tax revenues will decline. That's a no-brainer. "

    Right, in that to think that you need to not have used your brain. Fact is we're taking in about 14% of GDP in federal taxes, the lowest in over half a century when the norm is around 17-19% while simultaneously having the lowest tax rates in over half a century. Here's the deal. Say you reduce taxes for some rich guy by 50,000. He invests it in such a way that he makes 25,000 in profit. You tax the new 25,000 at say 20%. It's like you're saying "see, the gov't got 5,000 more in revenue" while totally forgetting that your tax cut took 50k out from revenue so you're still down 45k.

    Fact is, if tax cuts led to more revenue everyone would be on board with it. Lower taxes AND more revenue for deficit reduction or spending on more programs (maybe he can give every kid a dressage horse)? That's like too good to be true... because it is.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 2:53 p.m.

    There you go again,
    NICE obfuscation!

    did Reagan NOT cut rates and eliminate loopholes, thereby INCREASING revenue? That's all I inferred. But I guess you wanted to distract from that. Again, let me congratulate you on your masterful job of obfuscation!!

    but I'm glad you are admitting abortion is the murder of babies - most liberals do not see that.

    BTW, to which quote were you referring?

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 3:10 p.m.

    Do tax cuts stimulate the economy? The answer is: it depends.
    Conservatives like to point to Reagan. Simple: he cut taxes in the middle of a recession, and the economy boomed. But the problems we faced in the late 70s were inflation, high interest rates, stagflation. When insufficient investment capital is available for business expansion or new businesses, then yes, tax cuts for rich people can have a stimulative effect, by increasing investment capital.
    That's the exact opposite of the situation we find ourselves in now. Inflation is low, interest rates could hardly be lower. Corporate profits are high. We're swimming in potential investment capital.
    What we have is a demand side recession. UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, a tax cut for millionaires would be catastrophic. It's the exact opposite of what the economy needs. Another stimulus bill is needed, targeted at the lower middle and middle class. We need more consumers, not more investors.
    So the Romney/Ryan economic plan has exactly zero chance of working. Passing the President's jobs bill would be a small step in the right direction.

  • Alfred Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 3:17 p.m.

    "Romney talks about balancing the budget but promises to cut taxes and raise spending."

    You got that one-hundred percent backwards... Romney promises to cut spending and leave taxes the way they are. And the reason for leaving taxes the way they are is twofold: (1) taxes are high enough as it is, including corporate taxes, which are among the highest in the world, and (2) raising taxes kills jobs in a slow economy.

    And the reason to cut spending is because there's too much pork in the federal budget... for example, why does the federal government need a Department of Education? This is a state function, and where in the Constitution does it provide for the Federal government to get involved in education? No place that I can see. It's not interstate commerce... it's not defense. It's no place to be found. And if you think it's in 'promote the general welfare' it ain't there either. Education is 'specific' not 'general' welfare.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 3:48 p.m.

    @Eric
    "UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, a tax cut for millionaires would be catastrophic."

    I wouldn't say catastrophic. It just does effectively nothing to help the economy while adding more money to the deficit.

    @Alfred
    Where does Romney want to cut spending? He wants to increase defense spending, and he wants to preserve entitlements even suggesting Obama is the one that wants to reduce entitlement spending. Also he doesn't want to keep revenue the same, he wants tax cuts.

  • Neanderthal Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 3:50 p.m.

    @one old man:

    "'The Obama Spending Spree That Wasn't.' But learning facts might upset your applecarts. Is that the real problem?"

    Here's some larnin' for ya... Obama increased the national debt in just under four years more than Dubya did in eight... and more than all the presidents since day one... combined. That's alotta raisin'.

    @Mark B:

    "I'm ready to follow Mitt - when I have enough to need to know how things work in the Cayman Islands."

    Things seem to work fairy well in the Caymans... Banks there don't seem to fail like American banks... where there's been more than 500 American bank failures since 2000... (including my beloved Washington Mutual). Where would you put your money? Where would you suggest Romney put his money?

    Cayman banks don't fail perhaps because they are not required to issue sub-prime loans to jobless home buyers who are unable to show how they will make monthly mortgage payments.

    Suggest you look into investing in Cayman... if you have money to invest.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 4:13 p.m.

    @Eric Samuelsen:

    "That's the exact opposite of the situation we find ourselves in now.,, We're swimming in potential investment capital."

    Yes, there's billions of investment capital on the sidelines. The question is, why? And the answer is, fear... fear of what Obamacare will do... fear of who will win the election in November... fear of tax increases which have the general net effect of dampening the economy even more.

    "What we have is a demand side recession."

    We don't have a demand recession. Go to Wal-Mart. The parking lot is full. The store is full. There are long lines at the check-out. But look at what they're buying... foreign goods... Goods not manufactured in America by American workers. The American worker is sitting home drawing unemployment... increasing our national debt.

    There's some of your major causes for recession. And your reason for low tax revenue.

    "Another stimulus bill is needed, targeted at the lower middle and middle class."

    The last ones didn't work... So how is it that you think another will? It'll just add to our burgeoning outta control nation debt.

  • govt rocks Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 4:43 p.m.

    Mike Richards, there have been two seperate reviews of Mitt Romney's tax plan the purpose of both was to see what would happen to revenue. Using 2009 numbers, both analysis show a decline in revenue, one at roughly 140 billion and one at 180 billion. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest Romney's tax plan cuts would increase revenue.

    Bottom line is that the majority of the debt that has accrued since 2001 was due to George Bush's tax cuts, tax cuts that were never funded or that resulted in cuts to any part of the federal govt. Obama and both parties extended the cuts. The cuts have contributed more to our current debt than any other program, war, etc. that started after 2000. The tax cuts need to expire and we need to make appropriate cuts to our budget. Romneys proposed cuts to PBS, national endowment for the arts, amtrack, etc. are so small in the grand scheme of things they would make absolutely no impact. Meanwhile, it was the democrats who proposed the largest spending cuts and it was the Republican controlled house that would not even give it a debate.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 5:22 p.m.

    wrz
    Ah, the fear card. Sorry, but there's no evidence for any of that. You seem to think we have the world's most timorous businesspeople. Such a terrified lot! So afraid of their very shadows!
    So why do exactly the same economic conditions apply internationally? French and British businessmen aren't scared of Obamacare, are they? No, they likewise have investment capital available and their businesses are likewise not hiring.
    A demand-side recession is what we have, completely irregardless of what the parking lots at Wal-Mart suggest. There's always demand for lower-end consumer products.
    The last stimulus worked beautifully. The CBO says it saved 3.5 million jobs, and kept unemployment from growing even more than it did. It just wasn't big enough.
    And yes, I do think the Romney/Ryan tax cuts would be catastrophic, if combined with their proposed cuts in social spending. Long-term, the debt would blow out the ceiling. Short-term, I'm afraid of people starving in the streets. Food stamps are not just a way some frugal poor people cut their grocery bills.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 6:15 p.m.

    @Eric Samuelsen:

    "That's the exact opposite of the situation we find ourselves in now.,, We're swimming in potential investment capital."

    Yes, there's billions of investment capital on the sidelines. The question is, why? And the answer is, fear... fear of what Obamacare will do... fear of who will win the election in November... fear of the Obama proposed tax increases which will have the general net effect of dampening the economy even more.

    "What we have is a demand side recession."

    We don't have a demand recession. Go to Wal-Mart. The parking lot is full. The store is full. There are long lines at the check-out. But look at what they're buying... foreign goods... Goods not manufactured in America by American workers. Millions of American workers are sitting home drawing unemployment... increasing our national debt.

    There's some of your major causes for recession. And your reason for low tax revenue.

    "Another stimulus bill is needed, targeted at the lower middle and middle class."

    The last ones didn't work well... So how is it that you think another will? It'll just add to our burgeoning outta control nation debt.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 6:33 p.m.

    Neanderthal -- you missed again. Did you take a look at the item you rejected or did you just reject without looking?

    If you will look at facts, you will discover that Federal the rate of increase in Federal spending is far less under Obama than it has been since the days of Reagan. Most of the increased spending has been forced upon this administration by policies of previous Presidents and Congress.

    Obama is not the big spender conservatives try to make him out to be.

    But truth is not part of the conservative agenda, is it?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 6:37 p.m.

    wrz, yes, by all means go to WalMart. But then ask how many American jobs were forced overseas by WalMart itself. To name one, Rubbermaid of Wooster, Ohio.

    The WalMart push for lower and lower prices pushed many American companies out of business and displaced hundreds of thousands of American workers.

    Sam Walton prided himself in pushing Made In America goods. His successors pride themselves in putting Americans out of work.

    How in the world is that Obama's fault?

    As for me, I believe that shopping at WalMart is a form of treason.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 8:27 p.m.

    1- Raise taxes
    2- Cut spending. Any plan to cut spending that doesn't begin with cutting military spending is hypocritical.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 9:57 p.m.

    If its a no brainer Mr Richard's why did the bush tax cuts fail so badly at raising revenue?

  • homebrew South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 3, 2012 9:58 a.m.

    The Bush tax cuts, are what bankrupted this country. Turning a balanced budget into disaster. The GOP platform is calling for more tax cuts on the wealthy. SURPRISE!! The ONLY solution to our fiscal problem is to go back to the Clinton tax rates for ALL of us.NOT JUST THE WEALTHY, LIKE DEMOCRATS HAVE SUGGESTED, BUT ALL OF US. Back when the country was working. Did you know that we spend all of our current revenue on obligations such as Social security, medicare, federal pensions, and most of all INTREST on our debt, before we spend a dime on running our government. By the time we spend on those obligations, there is nothing left. WE must end our national debt, and these ridiculous intrest payments. Raising taxes, IS NOT ONE OF SEVERAL OPTIONS,, iT IS THE only OPTION.