Comments about ‘In our opinion: Fiscal and moral responsibility’

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Published: Monday, Dec. 26 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

And yet Romney wants to lower taxes, increase defense spending, and has shown no plan that makes any sort of serious spending cuts elsewhere to even cover the deficit increases the first two actions would cause let alone reduce the already large deficits.

Salt Lake City, UT

"And although we don't endorse individual candidates, we do regularly endorse principles that we believe will give individuals and families greater confidence to make a positive difference in the world."

And you just so happened to emphasize Romney throughout all this. I can't help but get a "wink wink nudge nudge" sense out of this. I would care more... but frankly an endorsement means nothing anyway. Utah has the last primary this time and everyone knows this state was going to go to Romney or Huntsman anyway as the 08 primary shows (when Romney gets almost 90% in Utah but 51% in the state he was governor of...it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out).

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

In 1984, Bentsen, who was Mondale's VP nominee made the point about Reagen's prosperity: "If you let me write $200 billion worth of hot checks a year, I could create the illusion of prosperity."

I think that a good motto for Romney may be "Honest prosperity". There is a contradiction in economics. Consumer credit by large parts of the population is considered good for the national economy but it is considered bad for individuals. People are buying cars, big screen TVs, big houses. It generates jobs. Politicians get re-elected. The day of reckoning gets passed down to the next administration. In a sense, Obama's bad economy is a leftover from Clinton's and Bush's re-election.

Of course, Obama is trying to kick the reckoning down the road to someone else. But he is not any better or worse than his predecessors. Just not as lucky.

Tooele, UT

Re: "It is a moral responsibility to believe in fiscal responsibility."

That anyone expects to gain politically from picking a fight with such a statement is completely beyond comprehension. If we could just get politicians to actually believe and act on it, rather than throwing it around as a political gimmick, we might begin healing our Nation.

It is beyond dispute that we cannot expect long-term prosperity if we can't control demented mortgaging of our economic future. It's truly sad that economic health of nations is currently analyzed by a "debt-revenues ratio," and that no developed nation's ratio is currently positive, or even neutral.

Cynical, liberal politicians, of all nationality and political stripe -- properly esteemed below used-car-salesmen -- have exalted national debt slavery to a political sacrament, cynically promising government will solve our ills.

It won't. It can't. And it's WAY past time politicians admitted as much.

At least admitting the truth that's staring us all in the face would be a good start towards reclaiming politicians' justifiably pitiful approval ratings.

American Fork, UT

Wouldn't it be great if every individual and family had health care that wasn't dependent on their employer? That would give them a greater confidence to make a positive difference in the world.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

Using the concept of "fiscal responsibility" to produce a thinly veiled endorsement of Mitt is unconscionable given the DNews' silence on the reckless financial practices of the Bush/Cheney administration. Where was the DNews when Bush was running up the deficit on ill advised wars and tax cuts, while Cheney was uttering the now famous phrase "Deficits don't matter." If morality is equated with sound financial management is Bill Clinton, the budget balancer, now considered ethical by the DNews?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

It seems that our liberal friends disagree with the PRINCIPLE of "honesty" and with the PRINCIPLE of "responsibility" and with the PRINCIPLE of "integrity".

There is absolutely no moral excuse for the nearly $5 TRILLION that Mr. Obama has added to the deficit since he became President. Track the money and see where the bulk of it went. It lined the pockets of his supporters, whether those supporters owned a now-bankrupt solar energy company, whether those supporters were union members at Chrysler and G.M., or whether those supporters were common ordinary ACORN "employees".

That is morally reprehensible.

Lowering the tax rate will produce jobs that produce revenue from income tax; but, liberals tell us that we need to kill the golden goose by taking more money out of the private sector - money needed to produce those jobs. They know that $60 BILLION per year in new tax revenue from the "rich guy" will never pay off the $5 TRILLION added to the deficit, but they want to punish those who have a strong work ethic. They somehow think that all money belongs to the government and that private initiative should be taxed out of existence.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

For the left wing, there is only one driving responsibility: the responsibility to turn this Country into a welfare state.

The left seeks to tax productive citizens into oblivion, so that the government may have more money to fund entitlement programs for the lazy and slothful. Clearly, this is not a sustainable fiscal program.

As part of thos quest, the left knows that it must break down the general moral fabric of society. Thus, it downplays adultery, fornication, and anything else that destroys traditional marriage. The left knows that the happily married are unlikely to accept its agenda of socialism, so it does everything it can to destroy marriage.

Invisible Hand
Provo, UT

I take issue with the oft repeated phrase that our children will pay the price of fiscal irresponsibility. That is wildly optimistic. Look what happened to Greece, Ireland and Iceland when the bond market decided to impose fiscal discipline there. It can happen almost overnight. Everything is fine and we are happily enjoying our debt fueled prosperity until suddenly it's not fine, confidence collapses and markets refuse to lend. This is not a problem for future generations, the day of reckoning is closer than we think.

David King
Layton, UT

Let's be honest, neither mainstream Republicans or mainstream Democrats are serious about our financial condition. The Paul Ryan plan would not balance the budget for another 25 years. President Obama has seen an increase of $4 trillion to the national debt. President George W. Bush oversaw an increase of $5 trillion. President Clinton never had a balanced budget, and benefitted from the money taken from the Social Security trust fund. Mitt Romney's plan is to cut discretionary spending by 5% and then hope for an impossible-to-pass budget amendment. Congress doesn't need any more authority to do their jobs and balance the budget. An budget amendment is a scapegoat for politicians unwilling to cut anything.

Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate that has proposed a balanced budget within his term. He will get my vote because he is the only one willing to cut from our two biggest addictions we have, welfare and warfare.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Mike Richards,

Since we are talking about honesty and integrity, one thing that needs to be dropped from our national discussion is the argument that lower tax rates will increase tax revenues via increased economic activity.

If we start with a tax rate of 15%, every 1% drop in the tax rate would have to spur about a 9% increase in economic activity a 9 for 1 return just to keep revenues the same. It should be obvious that this sort of economic expansion is simply too good to be true.

Conservative economists do not promulgate this idea and David Stockman (Reagan's Budget Director) says the math simply does not work.

Does this give us license to tax the rich into oblivion? No. But the rich, middle class, and likely the poor as well cannot escape the fact that we need both increased revenues and lower budgets in order to get us out of this mess.

If we believe otherwise we are drinking someone's political Kool-Aid. And that someone is not likely being honest with us.


Someone please tell me how the government or any individual will ever get out of debt in a debt based monetary system.

If there isn't any debt there isn't any money. Game over.

salt lake city, utah

What's disheartning here is a lack of honest discussion. To completely ignore the reality of our circustances is very foolish. An example..GWB's deficit in '08 was somewhere around 500billion. GWB's defict for '09 (according to the Cato institute) was 1.9 trillion. Obama reduced it to 1.2. What happened? Did Bush loose his mind, did he try and set up Obama..no, the recession happened. Reality is the deficit is being driven by the two wars, Bush tax cuts,recovery measures,TARP freddie and fannie rescue, and the economic downturn. Continuing the rhetoric that Obama wants to turn us into a socialist nation, he's paying off all his friends is beyond dishonest, inflmmatory, and useless.

No amount of facts or reality checks will sway the purvaors of this hyporbole but hopefully the truly curious will listen to the reasonable arguments from both sides of the isle and further the discussion of what does fiscal responsibility really mean today.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Twin Lights,

Let's make this very simple.

If someone forced you to pay an additional $5 in taxes for every $100 dollars you earned, What would you cut? You would have to cut something. You would have less money to spend.

Would you cut your savings budget (and hope that things got better before you retired)?

Would you cut your grocery budget (and hope that you would be healthy eating junk food)?

Would you cut your entertainment budget (and cause those who provide entertainment to loose their jobs)?

Would you not buy a car (and cause the automobile companies to "reduce" workers)?

What would you do? Less income to YOU means that you will have to cut spending. Cutting spending has consequences to those who depend on YOU.

Government does not need more of YOUR money. They need to be fiscally responsible. They need to have integrity. They need to STOP SPENDING.

This is not a slave state. "Whipping" someone who is your top producer will not make him produce more. But that is exactly the mentality behind raising taxes on the "rich".

The rich will stop working when government takes away the incentive to work.

red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

A wise man once said that if something cannot go on indefinitely at some point it will stop. The runaway spending and borrowing by the Federal Govt (egged on by voters with their hand out) will stop sooner or later. The question is whether we stop it before we go off the cliff or if it stops when we crash at the bottom of the cliff.
2 Twin Lights- no sane economist will tell you that lowering tax rates on income will increase revenue- certainly not lowering e.g the payroll tax like Obama has done- that's just irresponsible. By the same token, raising taxes will not necessarily increase revenues. Historically, the Federal Govt has only collected around 20% of GDP no matter what tax rates are on income. Not many people will work for 10 cents on the dollar.
Lowering rates on taxes on investment (capital gains, corporate, dividends etc) CAN increase revenue by encouraging investment and growing the tax base. Why is that such a difficult concept for the left to grasp?

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

How can we expect Romney to exercise "fiscal and Moral Responsibility" when his campaign deliberately miss quotes Obama and then puts out a explanatory statement that in a political campaign misleading "propaganda" is acceptable. I think that the editor assumes a moral position for Romney, probably because he is LDS, that is not well supported by his campaign tactics or his business history.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

In the grand competition for the ownership and control of the wealth of the world, one of the weapons used is the notion of debt having an inherently moral dimension. This moral dimension is always expressed in money, never in terms of the quality, quantity, and worthiness of the product or service for which the debt was incurred.

I only wish it were possible that I could pay some of the debts and alleviated some of the pain of my mother and father as they struggled to survive. I wonder if my future heirs will be angry at me for my life or if, like the politicians tell us, our future children will be burdened by our debt.

The smokescreen of debt is simply a ploy to distract us from the true motivations of the candidates. All politicians seek government office in order that they may provide advantage to their own interests. Once installed they will revert to their true cause and if debt can be used to satisfy their need, there will be more debt. And if they can divert the benefits of government in their direction, away from people, they will do so.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT


The problem with your fairytales is that they assume the person just loses the $5 and gets nothing in return. In real life that sometimes/often happens, but mostly in private dealings, not the government. In fact every service provided by government is done so cheaper than if done by private enterprise.

Assume that the person receives a $100 worth of service or product from the person who was given the $5. How does that change your story?

Burke, VA

"When an individual chooses to live beyond his or her means, there is an eventual accounting for those choices."

Well said. Certainly we, as a country and as individuals have a moral responsibility to repay the debts we have incurred and, in fact, to not incur that debt unless it is absolutely necessary. The last 30 years have increased our national debt more that 14 times what it was at the end of our first bicentennial (that's 200 years of history.) Something has gone wrong.

And so it is important to add to the sentence quoted above to say that "when an individual chooses to live beyond his or her means" they need to do all they can to repay any debts they have incurred and to obtain the means necessary to do so. Incurring debt, while at the same time, choosing to live on less income makes no logical sense and it certainly makes no moral sense. Willfully incurring debt and then refusing the pay the bills one has incurred is not only childish and immature but it is morally wrong, and in most places, illegal.

So let's promote candidates who want to responsibly look at our national economy and decide to pay our debts and reduce our consumption - consumption of every kind.

J Thompson

How does the government provide goods and services cheaper than the private sector? Up to 80% of each dollar is wasted on all the levels that that dollar has to pass through before getting to its final destination.

We have been fighting the "war on poverty" since 1935. Guess what? We're losing that war and it's not because the government has not spent trillions of taxpayer dollars.

Look at what they have done:

1. Controlled rent has turned neighborhoods into slums

2. Welfare has caused millions of fathers to abandon their families rather than taking responsibility

3. Education has produced a generation of dropouts who camp in city parks and bemoan the fact that their are no jobs for people trained in the liberal arts.

4. 50% of Americans who wait for a check from Washington every month to supply them with enough money to buy dog food

Paying back debt is best done when ALL Americans are taxed at the same rate so that ALL Americans realize that there is no "rich guy" who is going to save them from their demands for a free lunch and for a nanny to tuck them in at night.

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