Comments about ‘Reagan looms over debt debate inspiring both sides’

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Published: Saturday, July 23 2011 10:00 p.m. MDT

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The Rock
Federal Way, WA

One can negotiate when there is room to negotiate. At present the Democrats want to maintain spending levels that will certainly push the government into bankruptcy.

We have a choice: The Republicans put forth a plan to put us on a path to balance the budget and pay off the debt. It was called Cut, Cap and Balance.

The only plan the Democrats have put forth is national bankruptcy (at least that will be the result).

Both parties have spent far too much money. Both share the blame for the current debt. There is a difference:

1. Republicans have sponsored and pushed several different balanced budget amendments over the years. They came within one vote of sending one to the states in the late 1990s.
2. Every time a balanced budget amendment has been voted on in congress, almost 100% of the Republicans vote for it (if not 100%). Every time it has gone down to defeat because of the Democrats.
3. Democrats chastise and ridicule Republicans for not spending enough. They do this in the press at every opportunity. They they attempt to blame the Republicans for the debt.

Obams and the Democrats own this impending bankruptcy.

Provo, UT

Rock, there's a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. Only one president in the last thirty years has managed to balance the budget: Bill Clinton.

It's the Republicans who are gumming up this process. They refuse to consider any plan that includes tax revenue as a variable, even though there's simply no way of balancing the budget without increased tax revenue. Obama proposed a plan that was twice as ambitious as the GOP's in terms of its ability to balance the budget and lower the debt. But the Republicans would not accept it because it included rollbacks of tax cuts and tax breaks for the wealthy. This made their position clear, as does this article: tax breaks for the wealthy are a bigger GOP priority than fiscal responsibility.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

I was too young to know anything of Reagan- but I have since learned a great deal. I have studied debate, law, politics, philosophy, and many other things since his office- and there is one thing that stands out to me about the man.

He appointed William Rehnquist to the Supreme Court of the United States - Whatever people think of Reagan, good or bad, is irrelevant to me. Rehnquist was and, with how society is heading, will most likely always be the greatest justice to ever have served this country.

His appointment alone is worthy of the highest recognition. In doing so- Reagan, though an imperfect man, left a lasting influence that had a great impact on our society today.

Springville, UT

Amazing how Reagan would be siding with the Democrats.

Belgrade, Serbia

"There was a consistency to Reagan on taxes, which was basically that he cut them when he could, but raised them when he had to. He was not dogmatic on this issue, as his current-day followers seem to think"

Take that Tea Partiers.

When he left office in 1989, federal taxes accounted for 18.4 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, compared with the 18 percent average for the two decades before he took office. By contrast, tax revenues are forecast to be just 14.4 per cent of GDP in 2011.

Pretty straightforward. We need more federal income (TAXES).

The Republicans are going to end up with egg on their faces and it will be because they let the TPers dictate to them. The Ignorant Party of Me, My, Mine (TPers) will set them back for decades. Long after the TP party is gone. I am a man without a party now. I am certainly not a dem, but it is increasingly hard to ID myself as a Rep.


"no simple way of balancing the budget without raising taxes"?

If your "budget" is too large, then a simple way to balance it would be to "cut spending".

What a novel idea! I wonder how come the "experts" didn't think of this?

the boonies, mexico

Just read this article commentors and then think a little before you comment! Please also note that we are down 4% in GDP tax revenue. That means we are collecting 4% less in taxes now than then, which is huge considering the inflation of the past 30 years. Our problem is the "instant gratification" generation wants theirs now! When did this country last build any infrastucture things like past generations did 40 or so years ago? Where is our electrical grid today, our bridges & highways, our green energy projects(wind, solar, water ect)? C'mon people unlock whatever brain power you have and think about not just now but the future and demand the same from your elected reps!

silas brill
Heber, UT

Great article.

Just in case the wingnuts missed this:

[ Yet during Reagan's two terms, he presided over 18 increases in the debt ceiling. He even publicly scolded Congress for playing hardball politics with the debt limit and bringing the nation "to the edge of default before facing its responsibility." That's a passage the White House and congressional Democrats are now fond of recycling to their advantage. ]

Merritt Island, Fl

The republicans refuse to discuss eliminating tax breaks and corperate welfare. Why does the oil companies need $4 Billion in subsidies, and they will not pay Royalities for oil extracted from public lands. The last straw was writing off the cost of the Gulf oil spill.
Next is subsidies to farming interests. I watched King Corn the other day, amazing we pay farmers above market price for commodities that should be market priced.
Wall Street brokers pay a special low rate on their business taxes, much lower than other businesses. Why? They only sell paper and contribute nothing to creating jobs. Middle class people with money in their pockets buying goods and services create jobs, not the people who trade bubble gum cards called stocks, commodities and other junk investments.

The Judge
Kaysville, UT

Another Kool-Aid drinking AP reporter.

"Bartlett noted that Reagan's tax increases took back about half of his signature 1981 tax cut." So, after Reagan's tax increases, he'd still cut taxes by 50 percent from when he took office.

"By contrast, tax revenues are forecast to be just 14.4 per cent of GDP in 2011."

According to the CBO, tax revenues will increase from 14.4 percent of GDP in 2011 to 18 percent in 2013 and a whopping 20 percent by 2015. Funny how the AP guy left that part out. What a joke 21st century journalism is.

West Jordan, UT

The GOP is just using this opportunity to fulfill their agenda. They want to do away with most social support programs and nearly all the proposed cuts attack social security, medicaid and medicare. Plus reduce corporate tax rates, again! If you can't kill the beast you hate, you then try to starve it to death. Tax rates are the lowest they have been in over 50 years. We are drowning in debt because no one wants to pay their fair share of taxes anymore. So we will cut taxes for millionaires & billionaires by cutting social security from grandma and grandpa to balance our budget. What a sad and selfish society we have become!

Sugar City, ID

I do not understand the mindset of my great, great grandfather as he left his family of 13 children to march off to war, barefooted and with his own gun, to fight to preserve the life style of the plantation owner and his slave enabled cotton industry. Nor do I think I want to. Fortunately, his sons, including my great grandfather saw life differently and became Union soldiers. I see the same philosophy manifested today as so many want to entrust earths resources and our nations wealth to the hands of the noble, aristocratic few. We call them the job producers. We march off barefooted to preserve their wealth and way of life. Taxing them would destroy our freedoms and liberties- or so they tell us.

Salt Lake City, UT

So what is the difference to day than when Reagan was President. The article seems to direct the thought towards his willingness when necessary to raise taxes. This is true, but that was based on working with the opposite party in an in control in the US House of Representatives. This group as now refuse to cut spending. So, the real difference is the person in the Office of the President, who refuse to compromise with the opposite party that is in control of the US House of Representatives. Reagan would have led the country to a consensus and a solution. This President prefers to lead it to division and the failure to find a solution. The comparison is reflective between leadership and pandering to a political base mired in 1930's solutions.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

@ Mormon Dem

Clinton did NOT balance the budget. Newt Gingrich and the Republican congress balanced the budget. Clinton even shut down the government in order to prevent a balanced budget, then he blamed it on the Republicans.

We all saw how much the Democrats will spend when they control everything in the government. After the 2008 elections the Democrats all acted like kids in a candy store with "Daddy" paying the bill.

You are correct, there is a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. Republicans will vote for balanced budget amendments and the Democrats will not.

Herriman, UT

Thanks for a great article. Funny how even the posters can't see how their postings represent the stubbornness of one side or another.

Clearfield, UT

I am confused. Sean Hannity swears Reagan never compromised and never raised taxes. Must be the liberal biased news media that is distorting the truth. Especially that bastion of liberalism the D-News.

Weston Jurney
West Jordan, UT

When Reagan took office the national debt was pushing a trillion dollars. When he left, it was up around three. He replaced "tax and spend" with "borrow and spend," and now the system he created is crushing us. We are still paying for "the Reagan recovery."

I am sick of hearing about "job creators" (who aren't creating jobs, despite huge financial incentives) whining about "spending money we don't have." We have it more correctly THEY have it. Remember the tax cuts (for the rich)? Remember the bailout (of the rich)? So why the crisis, and where are the jobs? Can't ask the rich that question Orin will jump on you for that.

Logan, UT


Your whole post is one giant cliche. Raising taxes on my boss isn't going to save social security or medicare. Think about it. You want to raise taxes on people who already pay the majority taxes so you can keep funding badly managed programs and delay the inevitable. Not exactly 'outside the box' thinking there.

Salt Lake City, UT

"According to the CBO, tax revenues will increase from 14.4 percent of GDP in 2011 to 18 percent in 2013 and a whopping 20 percent by 2015. Funny how the AP guy left that part out. "

Do you know why it is that way? Remember last December when they extended the bush tax cuts? That was a 2 year extension. CBO estimates have to assume that the 2 yr extension is only 2 years since that's what was passed. That means that the CBO projections for 2013 and 2015 are based on the assumption that all the bush tax cuts that were extended only temporarily... end.

Salt Lake City, UT

Well the "Judge", (where do you guys come up with these names) first I would like to know where the CBO said that.

And second I'm going to pont out that (although it is so absolutely obvious) the only ways to increase the percentage of taxes to GDP is to either increase taxes, or drastically shrink the size of the GDP.

So what is it you are saying that the CBO is claiming is going to happen? That we are going to significantly raise taxes, or that we are going to have a massive contraction of the economy?

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