Comments about ‘What others say: Ryan forces Americans to confront entitlement costs’

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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 14 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The Ryan plan is spectacularly dishonest. You can not start reducing the deficit by cutting taxes. Yes, Medicare needs reform, but doing away with it is not the way to go. Get our healthcare costs down to the level of Germany, Australia, Japan, or any other developed country, and Medicare's future is fine.

Salt Lake City, UT

There's money aplenty to provide quality health care for all in the accounts of our largest banks, corporations, and their ownerships. THEY however have made the calculation, not mistaken, that baby boomers like me will soon be a drag on the system, taking benefits and not doing productive labor - but I am a human being, a biological agent with a soul who is entitiled to more consideration that a sack of spuds. But in buying and selling, and labor is bought and sold, things become commodities. We are commodities and have been consigned to earlier deaths. The plan is this - get those boomers in their graves ASAP.

Sandy, UT

I read Ryan's prosperity plan and it lacks specifics but so do most politicians plans. The medicare plan is interesting in the fact it gives states blocks of money based on inflation and some other factors. This idea will supposedly save money because seniors will receive money to go buy their own insurance but I see a couple of flaws that were not addressed in the plan. Can insurance companies still deny coverage based on previous conditions, which a lot of seniors will have? What if the government says they have to insure them? Won't everybody's health insurance go up to cover what will be a huge influx of older people and their health related problems?

His tax plan also lowers rates and only has two brackets 10 and 25 percent with fewer deductions and tax credits being available, but he doesn't list what deductions will be eliminated and doesn't state the income levels that qualify for either bracket.

His plan, if you can call it that, needs more specifics.

  • 2:35 a.m. Aug. 14, 2012
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Stephen Kent Ehat
Lindon, UT

Maybe with the bold choice of Rep. Paul Ryan we have witnessed the first act of governance of the upcoming Romney presidency.

In what is traditionally considered the first real test of a presidential candidate, Mr. Romney has gone beyond the role of choosing a running mate and performed what may well be considered his first act as president, if elected.

The one sorely lacking attribute of a president sometimes is the failure to use the bully pulpit to rally the American people behind a vision, to persuade them to the rightness of a cause, to garner their support for a course of action.

Unfortunately, President Obama has fallen short of his role of Communicator-in-Chief, and the people have in large part felt slighted by an Affordable Care Act that they neither desired nor can afford.

If Messrs. Romney and Ryan can articulate their vision of "we can fix this" and inspire us to join in the journey, the success of their administration will have begun even before election day.

Communicating the idea that "we are serious about this," August 11, 2012 may go down as the first day of the Romney Road to Recovery.

Salt Lake City, UT

I hate Paul Ryan's Social Security plan. It is an example in overthinking things. You don't have to open private accounts that are then backed by the federal government. In fact, that seems like the government is taking more risks than the current program. All we need to do with Social Security is gradually raise the age to 69 or 70 over the next 10 years and means test SS. If you make over say, 500,000 a year post retirement you don't receive a SS check. Problem solved. As a young person I also don't like the idea of paying for this great medicare program for my parents and grandparents, then when I go to utilize to program I get a check that hopefully pays for private insurance for the year. No thanks, how about we reform the Fee For Service medical payments structure and solve the problem versus just pushing the problem back on citizens.

Bountiful, UT

Let Paul Ryan give up his extensive government pension, so then I will be able to listen to him that I should give up my future Social Security.

Salt Lake City, UT

The Chicago Tribune's admiration of Mr. Ryan's "gravitas" doesn't change the plain fact that Ryan's budget proposals gut programs that support our national infrastructure and that aid the middle class, children and our senior citizens, while at the same time giving substantial new tax breaks to millionaires, and it actually _grows_ the deficit.

Bad ideas can delivered with "gravitas" just as easily as they can be with a wink and a smile.

Springville, UT

Entitlement spending is not really the problem. And Ryan is pushing fraud on the public. He wants to solve the budget crisis, yet he pushes further benefits for the wealthy and refuses to tough huge parts of the budget. Frankly, I think unemployment compensation and job training is better for America than enabling people like Romney to have their offshore income be tax free. And Noodlekaboodle makes a good point about Social Security. While it is not as bad as the GOP wants to make it, the solution is simple. You can means test benefits, and raise the income limit on the contribution. Refusal to do so just provides the wealthy with one more benefit that the rest of us do not get. But, that's the Republican way - socialism for the rich.

one old man
Ogden, UT

How about first looking at the "entitlements" now enjoyed by corporations, oil companies, farms and ranches owned by the most wealthy Americans, Wall Street, health insurance companies, wealthy people wallowing in special tax breaks, Congressional members like Ryan who will enjoy plush retirement and taxpayer funded health care?

The list of "entitlements" enjoyed by powerful special interests goes on and on.

It's much, much longer than any list associated with common people among us.

Lehi, UT

Every economist with any credibility says the same thing: The only way to ever reduce the debt is to take in more revenue than is spent while simultaneously reducing expenditures. This means increased taxation combined with spending cuts. Ryan's plan reduces taxes for everyone making over $200,000 per year. Ryan's plan calls for 66% of the money needed to replace these tax cuts for the rich to come directly from programs aimed at lower and middle class homes. The most notable cut is of course the Medicare program for seniors.
Paul Ryan is literally attacking Grandma and Grandpa's health care program so that the wealthiest people in the country can get more tax breaks. Is this acceptable to anyone? Really??
Paul Ryan is not serious about reducing our nation's debt. Nobody can take the Republican Party seriously on this issue until they start talking about military spending cuts. That's where the most fat is and it's where the most significant cuts need to be made. Get started.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

I guess you never heard of the Laffer curve. The higher taxes go at some point you get less and less revenue. Tax cuts have historically resulted in a larger tax revenue as the economy expands. Warren Harding cut taxes we had the roaring twenties. JFK cut taxes and got the country moving again. Reagan cut taxes and we had 20 million new jobs. Event he Bush tax cuts helped. So you think higher taxes on anyone including the rich will help the economy? The top 1% pay 39% of all taxes, I guess that is not enough. Our enormous debt will result in a serious depresson unless we get it under control

Salt Lake City, UT

@What in Tucket?
I've heard of the Laffer curve but you know it's a curve so... how do you know we're on the right side of the curve (where higher taxes means no more or less revenue)? The non-paritsan CBO and economists put us on the left side of the Laffer curve, where tax cuts reduce revenue which is exactly what happened with the bush tax cuts compared to the clinton tax levels since we're only generating about 15% GDP in revenue rather than the norm which is around 19% GDP.

The GOP wants to get rid of pre-existing condition protection when it scraps Obamacare. I know at least one person who, despite leaning conservative and being a two-time bush voter, is going to vote for Obama, and the Ryan budget/VP pick was the decider. The American people are willing to sacrifice... if it's a fair trade. Lowering Romney's tax rates to below 1% is not a fair trade.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

@ What in Tucket?

Reagan is not a good example. Under Jimmy Carter the country created more jobs on annual basis than By the way the upper 1 percent has over 35 percent of the wealth in this country. 50 years ago one percent had perhaps 20 percent of the wealth and they paid a greater percentage of their income in taxes. So who has benefits from these contrasts in tax policies? Not a real tough question.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Tax cuts can have a small stimulative effect when interest rates are high, and there's a need for more investment capital. They would have no effect now, with interests rates low and investment capital essentially unlimited.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

The Chicago Tribune editorial has it wrong. It's not Paul Ryan forcing American's to confront entitlement reform. It's the electorate in this election forcing Ryan to confront the plans he has put forward over the years. Ryan has had it easy preaching from within the safe bubble of right wing politics that are friendly to him. In less than two days, the fault lines are becoming visible.

The far right is bellowing how we're finally going to have a campaign of distinct ideas. But what we're seeing is the beginning of a GOP strategy to make their reform agenda sound like something other than what it is. By November, Paul Ryan is not going to seem like the same man many thought he was.

Cedar Hills, UT

we will never get serious solutions for our economy until Barack Hussin Obama is out of office - along with Harry Reid being removed from the senate leadership. Seriously folks - take a look at the last 4 years and all you see is borrow and spend so what is going to change in the next 4 years? Same ole same ole. Obama has ZERO experience with anything economic and we have all felt the fall out from that since 2009. The man has no idea what he is doing AND he is a radical socialist. This is just an ugly disaster for all of us.

provo, Utah

SS has it's own tax and hasn't taken anything from the general fund. It has 2.5 trillion in savings.

So what is RYAN proposing? Cut SS benefits and keep sucking the taxes away that are meant for that program? Yep.

You know what doesn't have it's own tax - the military. Defense is sucking 1 trillion dollars a year total when we have a deficit of 1.2 trillion. There's the money.

Salt Lake City, UT

I'm a liberal, but i'm willing to admit that your right in many of your points. Has Barack Obama boosted the economy, no not really, we aren't loosing jobs, but we aren't really gaining ground either. He isn't paying back our deficit. With that said, why should I trust the republicans either? George Bush did such a great job balancing the budget.....or not. The problem is the two parties America insists on reelecting seem to have two platforms. One screams about fiscal responsibility, then when they are in power they spend like there is no tomorrow(republicans). The other party makes almost no mention of fiscal responsibility, then they spend like there is no tomorrow when in power(Democrats). So stop acting like anything will change if Mitt wins over Obama. Either one will spend us into oblivion.

South Jordan, UT

Why does he want to drastically expand military spending at a time when we should be drastically reducing it?

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO


"Why does he want to drastically expand military spending at a time when we should be drastically reducing it?"

It's a matter of ideological priorities. Ryan, like many conservatives exempts military spending from the conservative default philosophy about government spending overall. But if it's funding for human services, education, etc., then it's probably wasteful spending that's adding up the deficit and we should find ways to reduce or eliminate it.

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