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Letters: False victory

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  • ECR Burke, VA
    Oct. 23, 2013 5:30 a.m.

    "If crushing the opponents of unbridled government spending marks a great victory for America, one can only wonder how bitter a defeat would be for our future."

    The "victory" claims of the past week were not about a celebtration of unbridled spending. They were about the Congress finally coming to their senses and realizing (at least the majority of them did) that destroying the full faith and credit of the United States was no way to make a point about government spending. It is especially ironic that the extremists who caused the shutdown were claiming they were worried about unbridled spending but their little stunt cost us over $24 billion. And if we are all honest with ourselves we will admit that their efforts were more about denyimng the president of a vistory than it was about saving taxpayer money.

    Despite what this author and many others wish to claim, appropriations bills have been passed in recent years, usually after several continuing resolutions have kept the government operating while the Congress rangles over issues. It will take honest brokers, not childish clowns, coming to the table on both sides for us to solve our fiscal issues.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 6:49 a.m.

    Some people don't know the difference between the National Debt and the National Deficit.

    And, I think they're sadly doing this on purpose.

    Why?

    Because focusing on the debt allows them to ignore what got us here and blame Obama for everything. If they really cared about fixing this problem, they'd also look at the national deficit and its recent 30 year history. If they were to do this, they'd find that their own would be indicted as the biggest spenders, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II. While Obama and Clinton would be seen as the cutters that, in reality, they were.

    So the real motive behind this "Debt Scare" is political. The right wants back into the White House without making any real changes to its platform. They'd rather scare us into voting for them rather than actually attracting us and bringing us into their tent.

    Sad really. I used to be a Republican. But I didn't leave the party, it left me.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Oct. 23, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    The last time we had a balanced budget was from the Clinton years. It took a high degree of skill and COMPROMISE between the president and the house and senate. After Bush/Cheney made such a hash of the country President Obama has cut the deficit in half. There is every reason to be optimistic if only the conservatives will come up with solutions, not merely opposition.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    While I can sympathize with Steve, this recent exercise was too little and to late by several decades. Republicans have been every bit as complicit in creating economic decline as Democrats. The Medicare prescription bill passed by Republicans was every bit as monstrous as "Obamacare." This is not to mention the build-up of the military welfare state Republicans seem to be so fond of. Not mentioned enough is the primary result of the stand-off: campaign contributions rose significantly for politicians on both sides. So it depends on how you define victory.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    To ECR and others

    How long do you think the "Full faith and credit" of the United States can last with this continued and growing debt? As well as, what the author mentioned, all of the "unfunded" obligations which now are reaching 100 trillion dollars? Any thoughts? Mine are, not long if the rest of the world does not see any move at fiscal responsibility coming soon. And soon is not the next 3 years of Obama, but hopefully a conservative thinking President beginning in 2017. Otherwise, there could be a run on the bank by the bond holders who will, rightfully, fear inflation of massive proportions on the U.S. dollar.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    There is no question we must get both our deficit (spending vs. revenues) and thereby our debt under control.

    There is also no question that this sort of political gamesmanship does not accomplish that.

    We have divided powers. You need a broad consensus in order to proceed.

    Anyone who believes otherwise is either a fool or a liar. Neither are fit to govern.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    "crushing the opponents of unbridled government spending"...Steve, you've made me an opponent of unbridled hyperbolic rhetoric.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    Who owns the Federal Reserve?

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    @ECR

    Think long term, please, when you think about full faith and credit.

    @Twin Lights "You need a broad consensus in order to proceed."

    Yes, and the consensus needs someone to sound an alarm and wake them up. Their current course is unsustainable.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    David Stockman, who ran the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan, said recently that the expanding debt was not caused by Democratic spending. Rather it was caused by the Republican belief that deficits don't matter as along as they are caused by tax cuts.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    People wanting something for nothing havie caused our problems in America; citizens who don't care who pays, as long is it someone else. Politicians pander to those citizens, not caring that those programs are not authorized duties of government. Then the most unprepared President in American history dictates to us his Marist ideas where some "rich guy" will pay for everythign.

    Meanwhile, some newspapers that once respected the Constitution, have signed on to protect that President instead of pointing out to America that the government has no authoritity to do what it is doing.

    Other newspapers cower in the background, fearing that if they print anything derogatory against this administration that they will face the President's wrath.

    So what? If the principles that have made us free can be so easily traded for a moment's security, we do not deserve to be free.

    Obama thumbed his nose at America. Harry Reid thumbed his nose at America. The media cheered even as they smear those brave Congressmen who stood for the Constitution.

    A just God cannot bless the corruption that is taking place in America nor can just people ask for God's blessings on their corrupt leaders.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    Roland Kayser

    Stockman did not like the tax cuts by Reagan and has always had a chip on his shoulder that in fact during Reagans years the economy did quite well. And, if one tries to blame Republicans for the expanding debt, are you saying that the Republicans have been cutting taxes for the last 5 years? Obama and the Democrats have had the majority power during this last 5 years where the debt went from 10 trillion to 17 trillion. Your point just does not wash with what has been happening these last 5 years. I remember back when Senator Benson of Texas was running for VP in the debate said he could create the illusion of prosperity if he could write 200 Billion dollars in hot checks. Well, how come Obama has not been able to create prosperity (illusion or otherwise) with 7 Trillion in hot checks?

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    Great letter. Congratulations to Sen. Cruz and Sen. Lee for standing up against obese, overreaching government. Too bad we don't have a lot more politicians with the same wisdom and courage.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    Until we increase revenues this will never go away. European economies are rampant with examples of austerity. If we could get the trillions of cash stash back into our economy making goods and offering services, things that really make an economy run, things would look rosier overnight. This depression of debt conservatives expound is really guilt from pouring money down the foxholes of the middle east for no real discernible reason and giving carte blanche to the five sided building in Arlington.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:39 a.m.

    SCfan, The Reagan years were the foundation of current economic policy and debt. "If Reagan taught us anything it was that deficits don't matter," Dick Chaney.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    SCfan and T Party - You are right that there is an urgent need to cut costs and reduce, and eventually eliminate, deficit spending. Cutting the deficit in half in four years as promised is a start but it is certainly not enough. The so called "entitlements" should be re-examined based on current cost, technology, life span and every other aspect that has changed in the last 50 years. But that doesn't mean destroying or "defunding" them. Other things need examination as well. It is estimated that fossil fule companies receive as much as $52 billion in subsidies every year and the the 3 largest fossil fule companies in the U.S. made over $80 billion in profit in 2011. Our defense budget, while necessary and important, equals the sum total of the next 9 industrialized nations and is a higher percentage of our GDP than any of those coountries except Saudi Arabia. More than 50 nations - most of them industrialized nations - have a higher personal income tax rate than the United States.

    While it is urgent to look at this serious problem, shutting down the government and costing us $24 buillion is not the way to do it.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    Patty Murray, as Senate Budget Committee Chair, called for conference on the budget 20 times this year (over the past 6 months once both chambers passed budgets) but was rejected by Republicans every time.

    @SCfan
    "Mine are, not long if the rest of the world does not see any move at fiscal responsibility coming soon."

    This years' deficit is projected to be 700 billion, only half as much as it was a couple years ago. Here's the stability indicator, we actually don't need a balanced budget, we just need the debt:GDP ratio to not be growing, and preferably to decline. Consider our 17 trillion dollar debt. If GDP increases 2% a year (roughly what it has during these sluggish growth years) then that would suggest the debt should increase less than that so that the debt:GDP ratio moves in the right direction. 2% of 17 trillion is 340 billion. So a deficit of 250 billion, for example, would be sufficient to put us on the right track.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 12:04 p.m.

    Responding to ugottabkidn and ECR

    So you go by what Dick Cheny says? You've got to be kidding. Besides, in those days of Reagan, 200 billion, even then, is nothing compared to the trillions we've run up in record time. We've gone from a trickle of deficit spending to a flood.

    ECR

    All reasonable thoughts. So just where is anyone in Congress or the administration talking like that? I do see it a little on the Republican side. It may take the pain of 24 billion in two weeks lost by a couple of voices in the wilderness to finally get the attention to do some of the things you propose. Or at least begin talking about them. How close is Burke, VA to D.C.? Maybe you ought to get over there and do some lobbying because the way it's going now is definately not the right direction. I worry about running out of time to fix the problem before the dam breaks and the flood of inflated money hits the economy.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Oct. 23, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    To "The Real Maverick" we don't blame Obama, we see him as a major contributor to it. But, maybe we should listen to Obama's opinions on the debt and hold him to those ideas. Obama said "The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic."

    If adding $5 trillion to the debt is irresponsible and unpatriotic, what should we think of adding $7 trillion on top of that?

    From ABC's story "Obama’s Broken Deficit Promise" we find that Obama promised "I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office." He tripled the deficit after that.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Oct. 23, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    I'll be happy to endorse cutting Grandma and Grandpa's Social Security and Medicare, and will willing give up MY Veteran benefits IF --

    Corporations loose their Corporate welfare by the same per Percentage....

    My loss of $700 annualy,
    to their loss of over $700 Billion annually.

    Seems only fair.

    But I have yet to have anyone from the GOP or Tea-Party willing to compromise with me like that.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    Re: "The 'victory' claims of the past week were not about a celebtration of unbridled spending."

    Yeah, they were.

    The common sense faction, led by Cruz and Lee tried desperately to stop reckles, feckless Democrat vote-buying, but were opposed at every turn by tax-and-spend liberals, of both parties, who are now attempting to take cover under a modification of the old Kerry duck-and-cover -- "I was against it before I was for it, and now I'm against it again."

    Theyv

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    Hopefully instead of another tantrum, the tea party will review the framework of government, modern economy or have Texas secede and move there.

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    @ECR "It is estimated that fossil fule [sic] companies receive as much as $52 billion in subsidies every year."

    Then let's eliminate those subsidies, along with subsidies to any other businesses -- including green energy companies. If a company needs a subsidy from the taxpayers in order to stay in business, it shouldn't be in business.

    "While it is urgent to look at this serious problem, shutting down the government and costing us $24 buillion [sic] is not the way to do it."

    It takes two sides to shut down the government. Your side proved it was willing to shut down the government in order to retain Obamacare, which promises to be a worse budget-killer than anything else going. Obamacare is already a fiasco, and will end in disastrous failure.

    Not just the website: the entire program.

    We had to try.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    If proof is in the pudding lets take a closer look. Guess what...the recent democratic presidents have reduced deficits significantly compared to their republican predecessors and indeed the stock markets have also done better under democratic white houses. Lets hope voters are taking note.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:58 p.m.

    louie

    The power of the purse is with congress. You might want to check which party was in power in congress for the biggest deficits (democrats), and which party has been in control of congress during the 'balanced budget' years (republicans).

    The largest deficit ever was the year the democrats had the house and senate and presidency, 10/2009-9/2010, during the planning and the execution of the budget process.

    Yes the deficit is dropping, now that the republicans have the house.

    Actually I don't think you wanted to know that, but there it is anyway.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    atl134

    At 2% growth, paying off our debt is like paying off a credit card by making minimum payments. We need much more growth than that, and so far it hasn't happened. Even I, who knew Obama was not up for the job, thought that the economy would recover on its own before 5 years. What's stopping it? Not Bush.

    louie

    Just need to jump in as Badgerbadger said. The real increase in debt, going from about 10 trillion to todays 17 trillion began when Obama, Reid, and Pelosi had 100% control of government. No fillabusters possible from the GOP. They are still there. Bush is long gone. I hope voters are taking note.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Oct. 24, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    A couple of things that still shock me. I know it shouldn't but it does. A complete lack of acknowledgment on the part of the right as to why 7 trillion was added to the debt the past 5 years. Maybe because it's now beyond any reasonable argument that a demand driven recession (the worst one in modern history) has to have government spending to avoid a depression.

    7 trillion is just 7 trillion.

    The second thing that still shocks me is couched in the falsehood that Obama broke his promise to cut the deficit in half by 2013. 1.4 trillion to 700 billion, on track to be 500 billion in 2016..next stop 0 (Hillary). Cutting deficits to nearly a third of what they were when he took office (Bush-1.4 trillion), all the while preventing a depression should logically earn him credit as a fiscal conservative. But, no he's a spend crazy socialist. What ever happened to facts?

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    m.g. scott and Badger

    As hard as you try you cannot blame the Obama presidency for the recession and the immediate aftermath. the final Bush budget, effective through September 2009, saw a deficit spending of over a trillion dollars. The subsequent deficit totals are less than half of your $7 trillion estimate. By the way, had taxes on the wealthy been raised to the Clinton Era levels we would have seen less deficits.

    In addition, since the peak of the recession, end of 2009, job growth in the private sector has been approximately 6 million, probably the highest in any four year period.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    To "louie" actually we can blame the Obama presidence for all of the aftermath that the nation has suffered since July 2009, when the recession ended.

    Obama has seen to it that the number of regulations and laws that businesses have to comply with has increased significantly. His policies are seen as anti-business. You can't get businesses to grow and expand when the government is not only telling the nation that CEOs are evil but are also enacting regulations that cost a lot to comply with.

    If you want to go back to Clinton Era tax rates can we also go back to Clinto era regulations?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Oct. 24, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    RedShirt, no we can't go back to Clinton Era regulations, unless you want to completely ignore the fact it was Clinton Era regulations that were primarily responsible for the great recession. Even Bill Clinton has said ooops, my mistake.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    To "pragmatistferlife" How about we go to Pre-Clinton era regulations. That way we avoid the Clinton era policy that pushed banks to lower their loan requirements and end up with many sub-prime loans. I would think that going back to Reagan era regulations and tax rates would be better.

    The point is that if we rolled back the tax laws and regulations back to a pre-2000 level, then took appropriate action to further remove government from the banking and health insurance industries, you would actually help those industries. If banks were held 100% responsible for their loans, you wouldn't have as many bad loans. If insurance companies were not mandated to do as much as they are, they could provide insurance to us at a cheaper price with more benefits.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 24, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    RedShirt

    I do not understand your argument that taxes should be less when regulations increase? And why do you feel the growing disparity between the wealthy and the middle class needs to be nurtured by reducing taxes on the wealthy? What are the measures that suggest Obama is not anti-business. The stock market has doubled in three years, profitability of companies are at all time highs, and productivity of the average American worker is at an all time high.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Oct. 25, 2013 7:19 a.m.

    We can either voluntarily slow and stop the train speeding toward the cliff, or pour on the coal and pretend the cliff doesn't exist. The "full faith and credit of the United States" will mean nothing when the interest bubble bursts and the federal government is unable to meet its obligations. But everybody seems to be more interested in pointing fingers and blaming someone else than in finding the resolve and the strategy to cut back the scope and role of government.

    The only sustainable solution is to restructure entitlement programs to make them sustainable in the short term, phasing them out in the long run; return responsibility for individual well-being back to individuals, and divest much of what is done by the federal government back to the states where it can be accomplished competitively among the states. Can we do it? Only if we support folks like Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, who seem to be the only ones who get it.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    Oct. 25, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    To "louie" it is simple. You claim that if we raised tax rates to the same Clinton levels that the federal government would be able to collect more taxes. That is a lie because since the Clinton era new taxes and loopholes have been added. Just those new taxes and loopholes would result in less tax revenues. Along with the tax loopholes you have added regulations that cost businesses money. If businesses are spending money on compliance with regulations, then they have lower profit margins or fewer products sold. Lower profit margins or few things sold means that there is less profit to collect taxes on.

    The other problem is that the US is experiencing its lowest labor participation rate in over 30 years. That means you have fewer people earning money and paying taxes.

    So, tax rates are just a superficial argument that does not really resolve anything. The loopholes and regulations are what really cause problems for tax collection.