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Published: Tuesday, July 12 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Int'l Businessman

There you have it. I believe I just witnessed the DN editorial staff call Republican members of Congress immature and irresponsible. I guess this is what happens when you abandon reason and turn your back on the rest of the country to keep a pledge that only benefits your most wealthy constituents.

Salt Lake City, UT

Capitalism has ALWAYS been an unstable and volatile system. History shows that. We are about to find out just how unstable it is. The result will be a catasrophe which will make 1929 look tame. I think its time to go on to a democratic brand of socialism, but I blanche at the suffering this transormation will entail. The Deseret News is right on this one.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Good editorial, if anything you minimize the possible risks of not extending the debt ceiling. A crash far worse than the crash of 2008 is entirely within the realm of possibility.

Burke, VA

"So it makes no sense for Congress to run up a tab in its budget bills and then turn around and block the Treasury from paying those bills by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. Such a vote would be the height of hypocrisy.

"Passing a balanced budget is the equivalent of cutting up the credit cards, and that is a smart idea. Refusing to raise the debt ceiling is the equivalent of cutting up the credit card statements, and that is idiotic."

Such clear and concise analysis, not to mention blunt statements, are just what needs to be said in regard to the current crisis, created not by the over spending but by those who think that political theatre is a game, regardless of how many lives it negatively impacts. Thanks you so much, DN, for speaking the plain truth in relation to this congressionally made crisis that could be avoided by simple honestly in meeting our obligations as a nation. Extortion is an ugly word, no matter who is praticing it.

Springville, UT

These are words of wisdom. It would be easier for me to empathize with the Republicans on this, but they keep voting for more spending on the programs they like, Recently, Hatch and Lee voted to keep a duplicate F-35 engine that the Pentagon did not want and said was wasteful. So if Hatch and Lee are truly serious, why do they keep doing this? They SAY they want to balance the budget, so how are they going to do it when mere cutting will not do it but will instead actually increase the deficit? They are more about advancing personal greed, selfishness and narcissism than they are about the common good. They get teary eyed about the Constitution, then spit on one of its basic reasons for being, the common welfare of the people. Against the prevailing assumptions of the right, if the dire consequences of the game being played by the Republicans come true, it will lead to the loss of our freedoms, bit by bit. Our nation is more threatened by the right than by the left. Be responsible and raise the debt limit, then stop being hypocrites on government spending.

Uinta Basin, Utah

The 14th Amendment was passed right after the Civil War. The purpose of the language cited was intended to stop the southern states from refusing to help pay for that war. There is no way that clause can rightly be interpreted to include a presidential power to borrow money 143 years after its ratification. This ludicrous concept is being put forth and advocated by the progressive wing in a bid to create an even more so Imperial Presidency.

So, by what authority does the country borrow money? Article 2 describes the creation of the Executive office and its limited powers. There is no such power to borrow included in that article. Article 1, Section 7 states All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives. Article 1, Section 9 states No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law. It seems clear that if the President is borrowing money without the authorization of Congress he is doing so as a citizen and not the Executive. Therefore, he is responsible for repayment of those loans, not the American public.

Uinta Basin, Utah

Who would loan money to the President under such questionable circumstances? Probably the Federal Reserve, since they only print fiat money anyway, and they would likely get little static from the near worthless institution of Congress. Would anyone else have standing to take him to court?. If he lost such a suit would we have to bail out the banks that unlawfully loaned him the money? Seems like a no-win situation for the now and future taxpayer.

Salt Lake City, UT

Your excellent insights will fall on deaf Republican ears. They would rather see the country collapse than abandon their intransigent cut-spending/no-taxes pledge.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Everyone is ignoring the "why" question. Why are revenues down? Why are people not investing in new factories, new businesses, new jobs? Why are sales down in virtually every business?

Until those questions are answered, spending more money will just aggravate the problem.

The fact is that America is no longer worth the risk. Taxes on businesses in America are excessive when compared to other countries, otherwise no company would have "out sourced" its production. Now that Americans are no longer buying high ticket items, there is no reason for any business to pay those excessive taxes to design, build and sell items that will no be purchased by Americans.

Excessive taxation caused the problem. Excessive taxation was caused by excessive spending. Excessive spending is the reason that Congress wants to raise the debt ceiling.

Congress is too immature to fix the problem that they have created. The President is too immature to tell Congress to stop spending. Businessmen are mature enough to know that spending their hard earned money to build factories and create businesses in America is a losing proposition. They can do the math. Congress needs to do the math.

Salt Lake City, UT

We need to prepare ourselves for the worst possible outcome, because we may have become ungovernable. The situation can be made easier if we see all of our dealings and interactions as social ones between human beings. A lot of you, if not all, need to read Marx's "Capital." To Marx all relationships are social relationships. This is obscured by the practice of buying and selling everything including human labor power. Once that happens we can no longer see one another as human beings. Maybe we can voluntarily cooperate and increase pariticpation of labor in its own management. We should probably not adopt Marx's negative view of cooperatives under capaitalism, because such may be what saves us. We must be prepared to deal with each other as human beings, not objects, if the worst happens.

I undetsand the taboo which exists around Marx. There is a lot of fear about Marx. Mainstream economists, the gang that can't shoot straight, won't touch him. But Marx is to economics what Freud is to psychology. If the worst happens there is opportunity. But economists for the most part will be useless in getting us through.

salt lake city, utah

Taxes are the reason production has been outsourced..let's see I pay a US worker $25 and hour to build a widget (still barely a living wage) or I can pay a worker in Mylasia 25 cents an hour..oh yea and I can hide my profits in the Caman Islands. Show me a company that moved it's production off shore and paid the same wage or higher as they did in America and maybe I'll start to buy your logic. Average coporate taxes were around 15% last year, regardless of the rate they were suppose to pay. That compares favorably with the rest of the world.

Let me answer your first question (not my answer by the way but the answer provided by most credible economists). Why are revenues down? Low, low, low, demand. People lost their wealth when their house price went belly up. If you lose $100,000 worth of wealth instantly and two years later it's still gone, I don't think you're going to rush out and buy that new boat, house or car. Spending does keep demand up when private wealth has disapeared.

Sandy, UT

There should have been a Balanced Budget Amendment years ago, but the vote-buyers in both parties would rather bankrupt the country and hoodwink the populace than display any degree of maturity and responsibility. We should be totally disgusted with the debt-and-spend Republicans and the tax-and-spend Democrats. Both have failed to do the right thing, and both have had their own pet spending sprees at the expense of the taxpayers and future generations of people who have to try to build a life in this country.

Clearfield, UT

An interesting argument but very wrong.

I own a credit card. It has a credit limit. If I maxed out that card and did not increase that limit the bank will not allow me make additional charges to that card.

To "irresponsibly shred the credit card statements" as the author puts it would be part of a deciding which bills to pay. If I do not have the means to pay all I must choose which are most important. In my case, paying a morgage, utility bills and buying food for the family would naturally come first.

Failing to raise the debt limit simply forces the US to live within its income and puts the president in the uncomfortable position making the difficult decision of what programs and bills take priority.

Additonally, the president is not required by law to spend every cent in the budget. The argument that he will be breaking the law either way is speculative at best.

USS Enterprise, UT

To "JayTee | 8:32 a.m." a balanced budget ammendment wouldn't be good unless you can disconnect the Federal Government from being able to print money. Think of it this way. If a dishonest congress decided that the $3 Trillion in taxes wasn't enough, and they needed an additional $500 Billion, they could print their way to a balanced budget.

To those of you who are worried about what will happen if the debt limit isn't increased, we have a historical example of what will happen.

Read "Default from 1979 offers clues on debt crisis" at CBS News. The Government defaulted in May 1979, and apparently very little happened when that occured.

That episode in history was soon forgotten, and we now have nearly the exact same thing going on.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

To T-Jeff: When did the 14th Amendment expire? The specific situation that warranted its drafting is irrelevant, i its still part of the constitution.

It seems to me that the two parts of the constitution that you cite are in conflict with one another. It is illegal for congress not to pay for funds that it has already appropriated, which is what would happen absent a debt ceiling increase. So if congress breaks the law, what does the president do? Use the part of the constitution that directs him to see that the law is upheld.

If this happens, impeachment would be congress' only remedy. Let's hope congress regains its collective senses, doesn't break the law, and doesn't force the President into making that choice.

South Jordan, UT

The only thing that will happen on August 2nd is that this nation will get to see where Obamas priorities are. We still have tax revenue coming in. Obama will just get the chance to pay US debt holders or pay for social programs. Also we will finally reach a balanced budget. I say don't do anything.

red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

There was a WSJ interview with Stanley Druckenmiller (former fund manager and billionaire philanthropist and big time t-bill owner) Anyone interested in this subject should read that interview.
The fact is that Congress doesn't set the debt limit and the President doesn't either. The debt limit is ultimately set by the people (or Countries, Pension funds etc) that buy that debt. Who knows what might happen? Treasury rates could go down if we pass Aug 2nd with no increase. No one can predict that.
We can predict that if the US continues on it's current spending pace with no reforms put in place to control spending then more than likely something really bad is going to happen.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Revenues to the Federal Government in fiscal year 2011 are $2,173.7 TRILLION dollars.

Mr. Obama did not collect over $400 billion when he added the payroll reduction deduction. That means that he would have collected $2.573.7 TRILLION had he not given back money.

In 2007, revenues were $2,568.0 trillion, which was an all time high. In other words, except for Mr. Obama messing with revenues, the federal government would have had all time high revenues for fiscal year 2011.

As pragmatistferlife pointed out, BUSINESS revenues are down because people have no personal credit and no cash. Most of us are upside-down in our mortgages, We owe more than the house is worth. No equity means no ability to borrow on that equity. Most of us have used all the credit cards that we're willing to use, knowing that we have to pay for those purchases. We simply don't have any way to buy anything that we absolutely don't need. That means that we won't be helping BUSINESS to increase sales. We can't. We don't have the money.

Taxing us more will not solve the problem.

Miami Area, Fl

"Taxes on businesses in America are excessive when compared to other countries"

And many of those countries with lower corporate tax rates have higher individual tax rates. The money gets collected from somewhere.

How many of those countries with lower taxes than the US spend TWENTY FIVE PERCENT of their budget on military?

Lastly, our country thrived with much higher taxes than they are today. If lower taxes are the answer to everything, why are we not thriving today, as taxes are at some 50 year lows?

Tooele, UT

Re: "None of the possible answers are pretty, especially in light of a still-weak economic recovery."

Not true.

The debt ceiling is the one last, shining hope we have of forcing venal, liberal politicians into fiscal responsibility.

ANY other possibility is better than continuing down the path to national suicide the liberals have placed us on.

If President Obama wills it, he certainly can make good on his demagogic threats and begin the final dismantling of the American economy. We can't stop him until the 2012 elections.

But, if that's what he decides to do, the onus must and will fall on him -- his is not required to default on the unsustainable debt. At least, not yet.

Our economy still produces sufficient revenues to meet our obligations as they come due, so long as needless, bureaucratic bloat is cut elsewhere.

It's his mindless dedication to needless government bloat that is neither justifiable nor understandable.

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