Letter: Improving the economy


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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 3, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    I encourage all of you to watch the latest Frontline documentary, parts 1-4 on the breakdown of the Ameircan financial system and the failure of either Bush or Obama to deal with it. It has become a giant blackbox where the goal is to make money, not from making useful things, but from money itself. It's too scarey for words.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 3, 2012 9:13 a.m.

    Re:lost in DC

    Preceding the economic crisis, Spain had low debt and a budget SURPLUS. But, as with everyone else, they had a huge housing bubble. So, Europe, Spain included, has undertaken harsh austerity measures which has merely deepened the recession and pushed Spain into a depression.

    Which is why any plan to significantly cut govt spending before we fully recover from the recession is foolhardy. Private sector job creation has improved, but the public sector, especially at the state level, has consistently declined, holding down the recovery. Here in CA, teachers are losing their jobs. I found it quite interesting on a recent trip to UT, the numerous school building projects going on, including completely building a new school right next to the old one.

    So please point out where I said CA is in better shape than UT financially. CA actually is a smaller example of the U.S.'s increasing inability to address fiscal problems due to legislative and budgetary gridlock.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 3, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    you mean CA is in better fiscal shape than Utah? REALLY!?!?!?!?

    you admit you sources IGNORES Utah's large (children) non-working segment. When you consider that, it definitely IS austere. Or do I need to point out Utah's per pupils public school expenditures, which are either dead last or next to last, yet our test scores are in the upper half. So you say last in spending is NOT austere? REALLY!?!?!?

    OK Mark, truthseeker, et al,
    please explain to us all how Greece and Spain have spent themselves into prosperity.

    Oh, and Mark,
    if you go to the treasurydirect webpage, you can get the history of the gross federal debt by day. Enter 1/19/09 (when BO was inagurated, and 5/1/12 (latest date available), and you will see that BO has increased the debt by 5.044 trillion. No fancy left-wing estimates or qualifiers needed. Buah only increased the debt by 4.901 trillion in EIGHT years. And since $258 Billion paid out in bush's last year was repaid in BO's first and second year (TARP CPP) you can transfer $258B of bush's debt to BO.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    May 2, 2012 6:20 p.m.

    "successful economy based on austerity - Utah"

    Utah spent $5,424 per capita in 2010. That put Utah 24 on the list of per capita spending in the United States. (StateHealthFacts) Right in the middle of the pack. This number does not take into account Utah's large (non-working) child population. Hardly austerity.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    May 2, 2012 6:09 p.m.

    “The economy has failed. Obama added $5 trillion to the debt which is 33% of the entire deficit. He did that in just three years.”

    “But if you’re a deficit-obsessed voter, the clock doesn’t answer the key question: How much has Obama added to the debt, anyway? . . .There are two answers: more than $4 trillion, or about $983 billion. The first answer is simple and wrong. The second answer is more complicated but a lot closer to being right. . . . The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities was kind enough to help me come up with a comprehensive estimate of Obama’s effect on the deficit.”-Ezra Klein, The Washington Post, Doing the Math on Obama’s Deficit, Jan 31, 2012

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 2, 2012 5:22 p.m.

    re:Lost in DC
    CA gross state product in 2010 was about $1.9 trillion, the largest in the United States. California is responsible for 13 percent of the United States' gross domestic product. As of 2006, California's GDP is larger than all but eight countries in the world by purchasing power.

    Legislative gridlock=CA
    economic diversity=CA
    employment LDS Church/govt.=UT

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    May 2, 2012 5:15 p.m.

    Nice try lost in DC. Utah is hardly an example of austerity However if the real DC ever cut Utah off then we would really see austerity. Utah is also the 14th highest tax state in the union so next time the word austerity is used, look it up. If you were a real fiscal conservative then you would be screaming about giving 13 mill to contractors and frilvous law suits instead of repeating the tea party talking points.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 2, 2012 12:43 p.m.

    successful economy based on austerity - Utah
    dismal economy laden with deficits - California
    love your play on class warfare. Your standard of living is really worse than your father's or your grandfathers'? really??

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    May 2, 2012 11:41 a.m.

    For all you nay sayers such as Mike Richards, please give us an example of a successful economy in history based on austerity. Please demonstrate an example in U.S. history. The key to success and economists concur that to pull out of this we need to invest in building not warring. Never in the history of the readers of this post has a congress been so bent on the destruction of a nation as this one. This includes your friend Mike Lee, Jason Chaffetz, Rob Bishop and most of all Orrin Hatch. They govern at the pleasure of those that would destroy default and defunct for the benefit of a few rather than the whole and this is what disturbs me. Until we empower the middle class there will be absolutely no flourishing economy for everyone. There are no scraps from the table of the 1% for the rest of us and without the 99% the 1% would cease to exist.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    May 2, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    While Republican candidates seek ways to castigate President Obama, they spent the last couple of months yelling about how he caused gasoline prices to rise -- devastating the economy -- and causing ruin to all of us. According to Mitt and the others, it was all Obama's fault. He did it single-handedly.

    Now gas prices are falling. The economy is said to be slowly improving.

    But notice the silence among the hypocrites?

    Shouldn't they be thanking him if it's all his doing?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 2, 2012 8:01 a.m.


    The economy has failed. Obama added $5 trillion to the debt which is 33% of the entire deficit. He did that in just three years.

    The government locked up drilling in the West. Instead of pumping OUR oil, $1 billion PER DAY goes to the Middle East and another $2 billion PER DAY goes to the military. Want to guess how much of the military "presence" is used to protect oil shipments. Yes, the GOVERNMENT is responsible. Until Obama puts the needs of the people ahead of the radical environmentalists, HE is responsible for that $1 billion PER DAY.

    The government seized GM and Chrysler. $60 billion of OUR money went into GM, giving the government 61% ownership of GM. Canada received 12%. The union received 17.5%. The bond holders (which includes the retirement funds of policemen and teachers) received NOTHING.

    Solyndra was graft - pure and simple graft. Obama was told that the company could not survive, but he gave his political supporters half a BILLION dollars of OUR money anyway. You may call that a mistake, but I call it stealing from the treasury. Treasury money does not belong to Obama's friends.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    May 2, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    The right wing does not want the economy to improve in order to take power. This is unpatriotic.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 1, 2012 9:46 p.m.

    >Invisible Hand
    I have never said deficits don't matter. Neither did Paul Krugman, not once, not ever. Neither, for that matter did John Maynard Keynes. By the way, you've put me in the company of two Nobel laureates: I'm flattered.
    President Bush ran deficits for frivolous reasons: a useless tax cut for rich people, an unfunded expansion of Medicare, an unnecessary war of choice. Paul Krugman condemned all those decisions, as did I. Deficits are a serious problem, and our current debt is unsustainable.
    Keynes argued that deficit spending could be justified under two circumstances, and only two. The Second World War. And a massive recession caused by a decline in aggregate demand. That happens to be where we are right now. So yes, under the current rare, unusual circumstances, stimulative spending is not just a solution, it's THE solution. As for Keynesian multipliers, they absolutely are possible to measure objectively, and the studies that suggest they don't exist are methodologically flawed. We also don't have extremely high debt limits. Just moderately high.
    Look at the world. Other countries share our problems. Stimulus works. Austerity does not.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 1, 2012 8:59 p.m.

    BO blew nearly a trillion dollars in his porkulus of 2009. Those multipliers you speak of failed to kcik in and we have had the slowest, longest drawn out, weakest recovery since the depression. I have a very hard time seeing any validity to your argument given the results of the last 3 years.

    LDS Lib,
    who said bush did such a great job? The only ones trying to compare the current republican nominee to bush are the liberals because BO has such a horrendous record to try and run from.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 1, 2012 8:33 p.m.

    I do believe that Romney has the experience and the intelligence to help the economy.

    Unfortunately, he must pander to the far right rather than to do what his experience and knowledge might tell him.

    You want to know why Romney flip flops so much?

    It is because he has said or done things in the past that he thought were best.

    And he has to walk them back in favor of the party line. It would be no different if he gets elected.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 1, 2012 5:45 p.m.

    I don't believe these fear mongering talking points,and I'm comfortable voting Obama again.

  • Invisible Hand Provo, UT
    May 1, 2012 5:26 p.m.

    @Samuelsen: Your precious Keynesian multipliers are a mathematical fantasy. They are impossible to measure objectively and good studies and theory suggest that the magnitude and even direction of the multiplier may vary with the level of government debt. At extremely high debt levels, the multiplier is actually negative. What works at low debt to GDP is actually counterproductive at high debt to GDP. You and Krugman don't believe deficits matter and that we can forever borrow our way to prosperity with no limit ever. Sorry, but eventually the bond market will impose its discipline and those low teaser rates on treasuries that must be rolled over ever 90 days will become an unforgiving drag on the economy.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 1, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    "and he knows how to do it".. Where in the world did that conclusion come from. Romney has scarfed assets from failing companies but Romney has a poor record on creating wealth. Others have done better. His idea of helping GM after bankruptcy, not during bankruptcy, would have left the industry in peril, especially since no private investors would have been interested. Must economists know that.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    May 1, 2012 4:00 p.m.

    "Add to that the 2,776,000 non-military federal employees and you have paper-pushers who have to justify their jobs."

    If you go into the DEA offices in downtown SLC you will notice on one wall a large number of photos, both men and women. Some are only black silhouettes. All of these, both photos and silhouettes, are Federal DEA officers who have been killed in the line of duty.

    I see no need for any of them to justify their jobs to an ungrateful blowhard posting on a comment board. Paper-pushers, indeed.

    I imagine many of these photos are of officers that were undercover, and the silhouettes represent officers that were in missions that are still ongoing with officers that are still in harms way.

    Many of these undercover officers must also have met brutal deaths inflicted by merciless drug dealers. It sickens me to think of the end that some of these men and women would have had.

    And to think that some would dismiss their sacrifice for a talking point.

    I'd like to deeply thank them and their families.

    As well as all federal employees that work hard doing jobs without thanks.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 1, 2012 3:51 p.m.

    I'd like to point out one GOP fact....

    IF GW Bush did such a great job, while Obama sucks at it...
    Why doesn't Mitt Romney have or use GWBush endorsement?

    Would it add to or subtract from the GOP ticket?

    Be HONEST Republicans.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 1, 2012 2:45 p.m.

    >Mike Richards
    The economy hasn't failed, and is on the way to recovery,though slowly. Nor does government send money to the Middle East for oil. Oil companies do that, and profit thereby. The government did not seize car companies--it lent them money, with strings attached, and a good thing too. Solyndra was a mistake--fortunately, not a very expensive one.

    There's simply no evidence suggesting that the Bush budget deficits caused the current recession, which began in 2008. Inadequate regulation caused them, leading to bank failures, uncertainty, unemployment,and a decline in aggregate demand. Government spending has no relation to consumer spending--governments can borrow at low interest, in times of national emergency, like a major recession. The Bush tax cuts were not a response to national emergency, and were a major proximate cause for the deficit. Obama's spending is an effort to solve a national crisis.

    >Lost in DC
    When budget cuts result in layoffs, yes, that takes money out of the economy, and adds to the numbers of unemployed. When taxes are spent on stimulus, multipliers kick in--every dollar spent, results in two point four dollars in private sector growth.

  • homebrew South Jordan, UT
    May 1, 2012 2:21 p.m.

    The economy,, At the end of G.W.'s term in 2009 we were losing almost a million jobs a month. He and the GOP trashed the best economy in the world, left to him by Bill Clinton. In the last 2 years Obama's administration has created jobs every month. Not losing them like the GOP. The economy is recovering, thanks to president Obama. No Thanks to the obstructionists in the GOP.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 1, 2012 1:47 p.m.

    budget cuts do not take money out of the economy. TAXES take money out of the economy and then redistributes some of it.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    May 1, 2012 1:25 p.m.

    I do not agree with Eric Samuelsen that the rise in government debt is just a symptom instead of a cause of the recession. The debt is a reflection of a general culture that has developed over the years where people consistently try to live beyond their means. Easy credit has made that possible. This is especially true in government since those spending the money are not personally responsible for the debt they incur. They can pass that debt onto the taxpayers.

    Instead of working hard, saving up, and making prudent buying decisions, everyone wants to party like there is no tomorrow and doesn't seem concerned about the impact the debt will have against future happiness. Buy now...pay later, is not just a car commercial. It has become a way of life.

    Until we get responsible leaders in office that show common fiscal sense and set a positive example for others to follow, the ship is going to continue sailing toward the iceberg. This ship is huge and won't stop on a dime or turn quickly. The closer we get to the iceberg before turning, the harder it will be to avoid it.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    May 1, 2012 12:56 p.m.

    The biggest problem is that the Federal Government regularly ignores the Constitution. This is what has led to the serious problems we're facing with the economy, unemployment, the national debt, over-regulation, poor quality education, government corruption, etc. When we return to the Constitution, we'll return to a strong nation of prosperity, opportunity, freedom, lower taxes, and smaller government.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 1, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    The economy has failed because government has overstepped its duties.

    Government requires that we contribute 15% to Social Security and then they spent the money, leaving a worthless I.O.U. in its place.

    Government seized two car companies and then outsourced design to Mexico.

    Government locked up oil drilling and then sends $1 billion per day to the Mid East for oil.

    Government spent $500 million on Solyndra, and then Solyndra closed its doors.

    None of those self-assigned "duties" are authorized.

    Add to that the 2,776,000 non-military federal employees and you have paper-pushers who have to justify their jobs.

    We cannot compete with other nations because of government regulations. No other country can afford to buy from us, which has caused all (formerly) high-paying jobs to be outsourced where regulations are less severe.

    Now Obama wants to force us to pay union wages to further increase the cost of goods sold.

    Put an adult in the White House. Mitt Romney knows business. Barack Obama has never even had a job in business - and it shows.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 1, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    There's no question that the economy is going to be the central issue in this campaign. This requires that we carefully examine precisely what the real problems are in this economy, and think carefully about what solutions to those problems might be.

    The country is in recession right now, a recession caused by a decline in aggregate demand. One symptom of this recession--and it is a symptom, not a cause--is a rise in the national debt. Overreacting to that symptom is more likely to harm the economy than help it, as we've seen in Spain, Ireland, Great Britain. The response in those countries has been austerity, budget cuts. All those cuts have done is take money out of the economy, exacerbating the demand decline. And unemployment has soared.

    In the US economy, the private sector has been creating jobs pretty well. Unemployment has risen in those states who laid off state workers--teachers, firemen, other state employees--in a fruitless effort to cut spending.

    Absolutely nothing in the Romney plan suggests that he even understands the nature of the problem. Certainly the preposterous and mendacious Ryan budget, which Romney has embraced, will accomplish nothing positive.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    May 1, 2012 10:02 a.m.

    The choice for Utah voters has always been easy, and predictable. They will vote for whomever the GOP tells them too. Its just easier this year since its Mitt Romney.
    Personally I hope Mitt wins, I have my doubts, it can't be bad to have someone in the white house who at least pretends to like Utah.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 1, 2012 10:01 a.m.

    A huge part of the problem is that un-like other modern countries – who export fruits and vegetables, automobiles, consumer goods -- America is the world’s #1 export of weapons and weapon systems.

    Therefore – a huge sector of our economy is driven only when we are at war, or are stirring things up all over the world so we have customers to sell too.

    Republicans know this – and see the answer of improving, stimulating and growing the economy of via the huge American Military Industrial complex….either with our forces, or by selling to foreign countries.

    This is a sad reflection our national priorities, as gives forces like Al Qaeda plenty of evidence that America is not really being a Peace loving country.