Comments about ‘Gov. Gary Herbert pushes to keep Utah off 'federal crack'’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 9 2011 5:00 p.m. MST

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DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

BRAVO! to Gov. Herbert and all the Legislators who help bring this about and keep us from the addictive lure of all that "free money" with numerous strings attached.

I am sure some liberals will rant about "we are letting other states take "our share" of all that federal money" but that is sort of like complaining that we are not yet addicted enough to illegal drugs.

We need to get Washington to be tighter with "our money" than even our own Legislature and Governor are. But, I am not very optimistic that fiscal sanity will return to Washington any time soon.

Taylorsville, UT

It's a step in the right direction and hopefully he can expand this ideal of self governing state from the federal blackmail terms and conditions attached to all federally funded programs.

High priority should be with education funds, Medicare and Medicarid funds, and get this state back to a state of self governmenrt for local needs without government interference.

Most people don't realize or understand that with federal funding their is blackmail to rob states and citizens of its rights and freedoms. It imposes unwanted federally mandated laws on the citizens and state constitutions.

Salem, UT

That is one measure of federal dollars but Utah is still a recipient state when it comes to federal dollars- depending on the source we still receive between 1.05 and 1.25 dollars for every dollar sent to the Feds- so while the Gov can hang his hat on one number the reality is still that in the federal redistribution game we are still a welfare state- down considerably over the last few decades as our economy here has matured from extraction and farm bases but the reality is we are still a welfare state when it comes to the Feds

International Cougar Fan
Tacoma, WA

Another reason why I love Utah.

Herriman, UT

I am always amazed when our leaders brag about not being on the federal crack, as they call it, when we still receive more in federal money than what we contribute tax-wise. We ARE on the federal dole for as long as we continue to do this. So when our leaders brag about how we stand up against the Feds or how we aren't on the crack I just cringe. Why? Because the majority are on the koolaid and refuse to acknowledge it.

Florien Wineriter
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Does the governors figures include salaries of employees at Hill Airforce Base, Dugway, and other federal government employees in Utah?

Abe Sarvis
Cedar City, UT

Utah still receives $1.07 from the federal government for every dollar in federal tax collected here, so it's not exactly "off" federal aid.

And as long as Gary's addicted to the personal crack of corporate campaign donations and kickbacks, this sort of posturing isn't really meaningful, anyway.

Beverly Hills, CA

"DN Subscriber | 10:50 p.m. Dec. 9, 2011
Cottonwood Heights, UT
BRAVO! to Gov. Herbert and all the Legislators who help bring this about and keep us from the addictive lure of all that "free money" with numerous strings attached."

Yeah because we should give away 13 million in Utah taxpayer money from Utahns.

BTW, before you get all Bravo mr. governor, these are the same hypocrites who took and USED Federal stimulus dollars. These are the same hypocrites fighting for excess defense spending to keep jobs at Hill Air Force Base. You are fooled easily by a sound bite.

South Jordan, UT

When I'm home in the middle of the day because I'm sick or something, and I watch TV (which I normally don't do), I get sick and tired of all the adds for lawyers who offer to help people "get the money they're entitled to..." I figured out that they run those adds in the middle of the day because that's when they can reach a higher percentage of lazy bums since the people who pay for the entitlement are all off working. As a nation, we all think we are entitled to everything, including "free money" from the feds. Just like there are some who think we should get all we can, there are others out there who would like to tell the feds to keep all their money, including many in our legislature and representing us in Congress. The Governor appears to be attempting to strike a balance between these two unrealistic opposing forces, and I applaud him.


Maybe some money to pay your public employees would be nice. Many of the public employees in this states have the lowest wages in the area. If we want to attract the best and keep the ones we already have we need to have an incentive. Lawmakers say we don't get enough money to have higher wages because there is so much federal land in our state that doesn't generate state income. Then they turn down the federal money that could go to help make the wages more competitive with other states. Another area that money coulkd go towards in the perpetual building and rebuilding of I-15 between Payson and Salt Lake City. I have lived in Utah for 22 years and have only seen I-15 construction free during the Olympics. I wonder who owns these construction companies and how many campaign contributions they make. I think it is great that we don't get an excessive amount of help, but some might be nice.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

So is all of that construction in Utah County being paid for by the state or are we using some of that federal "crack"?

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

The governor's chart is very misleading, it shows federal funds received per capita, but a more accurate measure is "federal dollars received for every dollar paid in." Because Utah doesn't pay much into the federal government, it doesn't get back much relative to other states. A 2005 Tax Foundation study shows that Utah gets $1.07 back for every dollar it pays in, which ranks 29th among the states. (New Mexico ranks first at $2.03 per dollar paid in) So before the gov gets too self congratulatory maybe he should take a look at this data.

And despite all the anti big government hot air coming from "red states" some of them are the biggest beneficiaries of federal funds.

safety dictates, ID

Funny Howard that you are the only one who picked up on this. Is spending on infrastructure considered crack? Will Utah Republicans, in the next breath, start railing on the Federal Crack pusher, Harry Reid of Nevada? Using the same criteria Senator Reid has more to brag about than Governor Herbert. Is spinning to deceive considered being honest with your fellow man?

Provo, UT

RE: Mr. Beal - I think it is acceptable to utilize federal funds to maintain and improve I-15, particularly when the highways that go through our state provide vital links for shipping across this country.

RE: XelaDave, EJM, Abe Sarvis, and liberal larry - Even if we are a "welfare" state in that we receive more than we contribute, I interpret this data to mean that we still utilize less per capita with the dollars we do receive than other states, "welfare" or not. No guarantees, but perhaps if the federal government didn't own and restrict so much of the land within our state we would have more people to contribute to the federal government coffers to better balance what we use.

RE: Florien Wineriter and JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt - I don't believe that federal dollars paying federal employees for federal facilities located within Utah should matter to this conversation. I would hope the governor and other leaders in this state would lobby any large employer to stay in Utah and continue to provide jobs, whether the Federal government or some other business.

Eureka, UT

This is nothing but Tea Party spin doctoring. Sure we have one of the least amounts per person spending of Federal dollars but we spend more Federal dollars then we put in as a state. The reason, we have larger families. I know here in Utah we value our families but another way of looking at these numbers could show that we put an unfair burden on them because we have the lowest spending per person in education and any number of other social programs that are designed to help families. Maybe instead of spinning numbers to get political gain we need to look at some of the problems we have in our state and try and solve them with whatever means we have at our disposal and then brag about our results.

South Jordan, Utah

Why is it a good thing for us to get less federal dollars than other states but still be taxed at the same rates as those in other states?

Osawatomie, KS

All I can say is "whatever"! It's like the repetitive attempt the "way too conservatives" in UT try every couple years to not receive federal education dollars. Ya--then I believe the state budget people show them the "reality" and they go "Oh"! You mean there would be no way the state of UT could afford to educate the thousands of children it produces without using federal funds? DUH!

To all those commentors claiming that not being tied to "federal strings" is a good thing: if states did not discriminate against minorities, actually took care of their own poor, and paid attention to the needs of those with the most needs WITHOUT being legally forced to do so by the federal government, there would be no "federal" strings. Unfortunately, including in UT (the state that demands that people with disabilities waste huge amounts of money in nursing homes first, BEFORE being allowed to use less state monies for care outside of nursing homes--the state where state legislature members voted to build their parking garage over providing dental care for those who are poor and disabled) state governments don't do this without being FORCED to do so!!!

William Gronberg
Payson, UT

The Governor's crack comments are dubious at best. Governor Herbert would be the biggest pusher in Utah if this fictional event were actually proposed.

If the Federal government tomorrow decided to physically relocate from Washington DC, Governor Herbert would be the leading advocate for Utah. He and the Republican legislature would do their very best to attract a government relocation to Utah. Then those federal dollars would not be called crack, it would be jobs and smart business.

P.S. Governments do really move in our time. Germany from Bonn to Berlin. Burma, Brazil and Australia to the hinterlands.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

It is silly to compare Utah to Virginia and Maryland. For the geographically challenged, Virginia and Maryland sit next to Washington, DC. A vast majority of people who work for the federal government, both as employees and contractors live guess where? Of course they will have a higher percentage of their economy dependent on government expenditures. Where do compare say to Kansas, Idaho, or Mississipi?

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

A few month back wasn't the governor one of the most vocal critics of the military's plans to increase efficiency, and cut spending at Hill Airforce base? I guess "crack" turns into "good medicine" when it is coming to your home state.

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