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Published: Tuesday, July 19 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Great article that should be mandatory reading in every economics class in America!

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

What do you mean by entitlements and what do you mean by wages. I would be in favor of personal responsibility and personally think (even in my left leaning brain) that social welfare nets should be disigned to put people back on their feet not enable dependence. However if he includes SS as part of his wages and entitlements figure it's a very misleading number. Whatever you think of SS most recpients have worked their whole lives and contributed not just to SS but to society and the economy.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The reason people create a government for themselves is to do those things that the people can't or don't want to do for themselves. There's no disgrace in either case, it's just common sense.

The individual, who you want to be responsible for them selves, are pitted against giants in the daily battle for wealth. Those giant corporations spend billions of dollars to find ways to defeat the individual's resolve. And it is those giant corporations who would eliminate the government's help to the individual by chiding him to be responsible only for himself.

As for those other things that we just don't want to do for ourselves, they might include drinking water, food regulation, public transportation, public safety and thousands of other menial but important tasks.

Freedom is having the time, ability and the permission to do the things that the individual wants to do, not the things he must do just to survive. People who would take away the things government does for us, are actually taking away our freedom.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Ultra Bob. Name one freedom that any giant corporation has ever taken away from you! No one is forced to buy anything they produce, but we chose to do so because their products improve our lives. If you don't like corporations, don't buy anything from them, produce your own medicine, energy, cars, clothing, food, you house your computer, and on and on it goes-all voluntary. I can think of many freedoms governments take away from citizens by force. Your logic is backwards!

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

social security and medicare are necessary programs - the rest can be cut. Obama uses entitlements to hang fear over peoples heads and refuses to find real solutions. It's all about power and re-election. No real solutions will ever be found until Obama is out of office. This is NOT the GOP's problem.

metisophia
Ogden, UT

@patriot. Seems to me that social security and medicare are exactly what the GOP in Washington want to cut. How it it not their problem?

And are you including defense as a program to be cut? Just wondering.

Back to Shumway's article, somehow our nation must find a middle ground. Don't see it happening in this political climate of always accusing someone else of being the problem, but failing to see our own part.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

In bad times it makes sense to borrow, then in good times it makes sense to pay off the debt.

Problem is we borrow in good times and bad.

These are bad times, we shouldn't try to balance the budget now. But when good times return, we need to do it. When we do, all need to participate in the sacrifice.

KM
Cedar Hills, UT

Why is Obama smiling in this photo? Could it be because he has furthered the Cloward and Piven plan to overwhelm the system with costly social welfare programs until it breaks? Good job, Mr. President.

conservative scientist
Lindon, UT

Well said Mr. Shumway.

Brother Chuck Schroeder
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

We must redirect our priorities to enable self-sufficiency, implementing public policy that drives independence and innovation rather than incentivizing dependence and inertia. As national lawmakers have debated raising the national debt ceiling above its staggering $14.3 trillion legal limit, the consequences of entitlement spending which currently accounts for more than 60 percent of the federal budget loom large. Recent publications show that entitlement programs now account for a whopping 35 percent of wages, up from 21 percent just nine years ago and 8 percent fifty years ago. State government officials signed a letter addressed to federal officials on Tuesday, hoping to push their Medicaid waiver request along in a "timely fashion." The original waiver, which seeks flexibility in reforming the system locally, among other changes to Medicaid, was submitted to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on July 1. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said the state's plan "makes sense," is "innovative and homegrown," and is the result of much collaboration from stakeholders. Sorry Utah. Clarifying the role of government requires unthoughtful prioritization and a subsequent nonalignment of expenditures. Get your own monies from your Zion Bank, not our tax dollars Utah. My views.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Increasingly corporations are limiting our choices. For example, Verizon is the only option for cell phone service in our area. We only have 2 airlines serving our nearest airport, and one cable company.

"Broadband Internet service in the U.S. is not just slower and more expensive than it is in tech-savvy nations such as South Korea and Japan; the U.S. has fallen behind infrastructure-challenged countries such as Portugal and Italy as well.

In Japan, Britain and the rest of the rich world, the company that owns the physical infrastructure must sell access to independent providers on a wholesale market. Want high-speed Internet? You can choose from multiple companies, each of which has to compete on price and service. The only exceptions to this policy in the whole of the 32-nation Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development are the U.S., Mexico and the Slovak Republic, although the Slovaks have recently been opening up their lines."
(Scientific America, Why Broadband Service in the U.S. Is so Awful 2010)

ljeppson
Salt Lake City, UT

"Randy Shumway is the chief executive officer of the Cicero Group." Huh? Anyway, this past weekend my wife and I sat across from an Ontario school teacher and his wife, at lunch. They have a guaranteed health finance system up there, if you haven't heard. Also, this guy can look foward to a retirement pension of $55,000 Canadian. Moreover, Cananda has avoided almost all of the current recession by proper regulation of finance and banking. Maybe Mr Shumway of the Cicero Group, whatever that is, could have learned something from this Canadian guy. I certainly did.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

You failed to mention the following Entitlement spending:

Big Agriculture
Big Military (double digit increase this year; believe it or not)
Big Oil
Big Banks (yes, we subsidize banks through numerous programs)
Big Pharma

I'm not the least bit surprised to read this editorial in this paper though.

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