Comments about ‘Letter: Entitlement programs will have to be reduced’

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 19 2012 10:42 p.m. MDT

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Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

Why entitlements? We have all paid into them. If you don't even want to discuss reducing our military then you don't know what the vast majority of our budget goes to.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Sorry David, but reality doesn't support your premise.

Taxes are lower now than any time in the last several decades, and the only thing tax cuts are accomplishing is channeling money away from the poor and toward the wealthy. Cutting taxes didn't produce jobs, it only produced skyrocketing debt. Moreover, our tax policies are wildly over-complicated and riddled with loopholes that actually provide incentives for corporations to ship US jobs overseas.

Before we worry too much about the impact of tax rates on job creation, we urgently need to just plain overhaul the tax system itself.

Finally, can we talk about the "entitlements" represented by taxpayers' massive subsidies of the oil, coal and gas industry and cost-plus military contracts?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"In taxation, I understand that most of the wealthy are S corporations that employ people"

Do you know that for a fact or has it been repeated enough by the right that it is now accepted as fact?

Even if true, I still dont understand the premise that if taxes are raised, the wealthy will stop hiring.

Taxes have been higher under Clinton, Bush 1, Carter, Reagan and every other presidents in the last 60 years. Suddenly a 3 % rise (still much lower than virtually all of the last 60 years) is suddenly going to do great damage.

The logic escapes me.

Now, I strongly agree that we need to cut entitlements. But, I also think the Military needs to be cut and the taxes could be raised modestly to levels that saw great economic growth.

One can easily make a case that top tax rates of 90% stifle growth. Same with 70%.

However you would be hard pressed to make the case at 40%. History would not support you.

Just ask Reagan.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

The vast majority of our budget does not go to the military. Defense spending is big (too big), but entitlements are bigger. The problem is entitlements are popular nation wide, so politicians (especially Republicans) try to balance the federal budget by slashing spending on the ~25% or so that is not entitlements or defense, without increasing revenue. Which ain't gonna work.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

What's so bad about "entitlements?"

Along with"amnesty," "entitlement" is being redefined by many as a bad thing. Those who respect biblical values may wish to consider these quotes (EMPHASIS is mine):

Wo unto them that ... take away the RIGHT from the poor of my people ... ! (2 Nephi 2:1-2, Isaiah 10:1-2)

... they turn aside the poor in the gate from their RIGHT. (Amos 5:12)

... and the RIGHT of the needy do they not judge. (Jeremiah 5:28)

If you are concerned about the biblical condemnations of the "sluggard" or the "idler," study the welfare program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and see how properly designed welfare assistance encourages neither.

It would a great thing to see our efforts as citizens, regardless of religious belief, align our entitlement programs according to similar principles.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Liberals love to whine that we (they always point their accusing fingers at others) are not paying enough taxes and they say taxes are lower now than at some magical reference point in the past. Baloney! Add up ALL the taxes we pay and you will find that we are NOT paying less in taxes today! Now that we have Obamacare, which the SCOTUS says is another tax, most American’s total tax burden will hit an all time high! And still it isn’t enough money for liberals and it never will be! Socialism (liberalism) is economically unsustainable; always has been, always will be!

one old man
Ogden, UT

How about tackling the BIGGEST entitlement program of all?

The one that keeps the Pentagon rolling.

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

Mountanman... How many times do I have to explain to you that "Socialism" is not inherently evil? Socialism is your public schools, highways, police and fire departments. Socialism is the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Veterans Admin. Socialism is your national parks, forests, and monuments. I could go on and on but I doubt that you can ever get the point. Socialism and Liberalism are not the same thing, and are not connected at the hip the way that Capitalism and the right wing seem to be. And, to your last point, many services have been socialized in this country going back to its founding, and we are all the better off for it.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

Mountanman... we got 14% of GDP in federal tax revenue the last couple years. Pretty much every single year from 1950-2010 was between 16 and 20% of GDP with an average around 18%. Taxes are at their lowest rates in over half a century. That's just a fact. I know you believe in the Laffer curve, well we've cut taxes so much that we're now on the left side of the curve which suggests the "sweet spot" is somewhere around the Clinton rates.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I sometimes think that newspapers would put letters/articles like this in the paper to distract liberals from their real mission to defeat conservatism.

The comment in Wikipedia site:

“an S corporation is not subject to the 10 percent of taxable income limitation applicable to charitable contribution deductions.”

is just one of those loopholes people talk about in our tax system.

Phranc
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

A little fact that no one wants to talk about as they attack the poor, only 1.67$ goes to welfare and 4.58% goes to healthcare. even if we completely eliminate both of these programs how much closer would we be to really changing spending? If people want real change cuts are obviously going to have to come from across the board and taxes are going to have to return to pre-bush tax cut rates, back to the last time we actually had a higher GDP then expenses.

Phranc
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I should add that I agree with the letter writer that investment in research and development would be a worth while, I would however add to that rebuilding or infrastructure.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ Mike in Cedar City. I would maintain that when about 35% of Americans are receiving some form of government welfare entitlement, we have moved way past your definition of socialism; fire depts., public schools or a local police dept. We have moved toward a European form of socialism that borders on communism; collectivism and redistribution!
@ alt134.. I agree that federal income taxes have gone down thanks to GWB but I was referring to all taxes, not just income taxes and if you add up all the taxes, the total is at an all time high in most states.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Until you're willing to slice at the big apple on the tree, military spending, you can tear off all the small apples and make no difference.

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

Mountanman. Did you watch the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympic games. The British sent 13 minutes extolling their socialized national health system, to great applause. But I want you to tell us what we have done to move to "s European form of socialism that borders on communism, collectivism, and (redistribution?")? I think you are overstating your case. But, be specific and share your wisdom with us all.

Oh, and Social Security and Medicare are not "welfare" Except for a few on disability these are entitlements that have been earned and prepaid over long years gainful employment.

freedomingood
provo, Utah

The most communistic thing I ever did was live and work in the military.

The only place I was forced to take public showers as well. You would think for 700 billion a year they could get some shower curtains.

The military is by far the place we spend the most worthless money. What with the american public armed to the teeth with thier second ammendment iron I hardly see the need fo much of a standing army.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "freedomingood" if "The most communistic thing I ever did was live and work in the military." Then you have not lived under communism or anything close to it. The military is more capitalistic than communistic. You see, Generals are paid more than Privates, there is a pay scale based on rank. Also, you still have personal property. If it was communistic, you could only live in government housing, eat government supplied food (no Burger King, or BX food court), and receive your supplies directly from the government. The military runs more like a large corporation, under capitalism.

To "John C. C." just remember D&C 56:17 "Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!" Poverty does not justify forcibly taking from those who have more than you do.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

To RedShirt,

We're both right, neither the poor nor the rich should covet riches. Nevertheless it remains a moral duty of the rich to voluntarily redistribute their riches to the poor so that the "poor are exalted in that the rich are made low." Voluntarily voting for candidates who believe in social welfare is a great communal way to express group commitment to Christian giving.

Of course a minority will always object. They remind me of the conservative tax evaders and liberal draft dodgers of the '60's. They refused to sacrifice a little self-interest to enjoy the strength of group cooperation.

I'm glad we can enjoy the power of cooperation under a Constitution that lets us choose our lawmakers.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "John C. C." you are wrong. I can't find the quote right now, but one of the prophets in the past 20 years said that we should fight against the government and people who would take away our choices. If we did as you do and vote for " candidates who believe in social welfare is a great communal way to express group commitment to Christian giving" we would be going against God's desire for us to learn to make those choices ourselves.

See April 2012 conference report on Elder Larry Y. Wilson: Only upon the Principles of Righteousness. In there he states that when we "compel someone to righteousness who can and should be exercising his or her own moral agency, we are acting unrighteously.” By voting for somebody who would compel you to give to the poor, you are acting contrary to Christian teachings.

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