Comments about ‘In our opinion: Reclaiming America's social compact through entitlement reform’

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Published: Sunday, Sept. 23 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If we got our medical costs down to the level of the rest of the developed world, it would solve almost all of the problems this editorial discusses. Almost all of our long term deficit projections would be made manageable by this one change.

Murray, UT

The demographics, the economic growth and the culture changed? Yes, and people in business and our government changed the demographics and culture. Now the poor will be punished?

Our birthrate was at a 35 year high in 2007, by 2011 the rate had fallen due to the recession. People out of work were responsible by holding of until they were on better financial footing.

Immigration isn't down, it's been over 1 million each year for the past ten years. Our country was at 100 million in 1920, by 1970 it was 200 million, 2010 300 million. We are growing faster than any time in history.

Maybe we need to enforce immigration laws, cut programs to foreign citizens, and cut back on the 3.5 million that come each year on visa and residency until we can aford to take care of the people we have.

KTC John
Wetumpka, AL

This is an excellent article. I applaud the author. However, I would add more than "uneven family formation" in describing the adverse impact of the breakdown of the traditional family unit. It is a self-evident truth that unless we can fix families, we will not be able to fix anything else, and this vexing family-failure problem cannot be fixed by the government. Government programs merely entrench the problems by throwing money at them in an effort to avoid the natural consequences of people's bad choices. Government programs stand in the way of creating healthy families, at best whittling away at the branches and never striking at the roots. Until we as a people re-enthrone the sanctity of marriage and the honorable rearing of children at the center of our social fabric and "compact," we will witness continued deterioration of every worthwhile institution.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

The question is this: How do you put the toothpaste back in the tube? Certainly more costly programs is not the answer. From student loans to windmills, the politicians are stumping for more perks. None dares talk of cutting back for fear of voter backlash. No one since Reagan has dared to call out welfare queens.
Where's the candidate willing to tell us the hard truth?

Humble, TX

Romney is absolutely right and should never apologize for his comments even if off the cuff. I watch the foodstamp crowd while in-line at the grocery store buy expensive food that I cannot afford. I watch them drive off in expensive cars that I could not afford. I see their expensive jewelry and dress that I could not afford. I guess that's okay because I'm just a dumb tax paying citizen without any smarts on how to beat the system.

Clearfield, UT

Posters please read the article before commenting. I have no doubt many are convinced that 47% are all freeloaders and prefer to live off the government than work. The problem is the tax code not that people are lazy and unmotivated. The 47% includes seniors collecting social security, college students trying to obtain an education, and people with disabilities. My ex-wife had a serious mental illness and collected social security disability. She had served an LDS mission and did her best to get an education and strive to be self sufficient. Tom Brokaw referred to our seniors as the greatest generation. Romney called them freeloaders. Everyone agrees that gov't spending is out of control and entitlement reform is needed. I just don't undertand how insulting people is a good strategy to win an election.

Hayden, ID

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealth out of prosperity
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

The greatest entitlement burden to our family budget is the out-of-control cost of health care. My husband is a teacher and our public employee premium is now $24,000 a year, with a $5,000 deductible. We pay 25% of the premium -- $500 a month or 17% of our take-home pay. No government tax comes close. I am offended both as a consumer and as a taxpayer, by the medical monster who has the economy by the throat.

Springville, UT

It wasn't just that Romney said there were 47%. It's how he described them. This really isn't about the inelegant use of language (with which Romney seems to have serious problems with), it's about an attitude which was revealed and which most of us find offensive. And other things were said on topics which were also disturbing. It better revealed the man. I don't buy your campaign driven rationalization and excuse making on his behalf. A discussion of the topic is fine, but come to the table in good faith, and put welfare for the rich up for discussion as well. When the Republicans do that, I'll take them, and this GOP paper, more seriously.

Forest Grove, OR

The wealth gap is the real problem--the fact that inequality is at unprecedented levels is really what is killing the 47% on the bottom.

It is just as the Savior taught, you have fat cats sitting at a table full of more food than they could possibly use before it spoils, but they are still doing all they can to keep even crumbs from falling to the floor where those poor, undeserving beggars can get them. After all, the beggars need to quit being victims take more personal responsibility for themselves!

salt lake city, utah

First of all Romneys comments were not an opening for a discussion of entitlements. His comments were simply what they appeared to be bigoted hateful distain for half of America.

Secondly, entitlement programs are always open for discussion and improvement as part of a civil societies social compact. The crisis mode displayed by this article is faux political partisinship. There is only one party wanting to destroy rather than improve and sustain the social compact. Hidden in the body of the article is proof of this desire.."that replace expectations of entitlement with opportunities for ownership.".

A civil and moral society creates a social saftey net not as a replacemnt for personal responsibility..as the above quote intimates..but rather as a response to a wealthy socieites attempt to care for those who can't care for themselves. If that compact is broken by some, fix it as best as possible, but turning the plight of the needy into a bad chapter of Atlas Shrugged is immoral.

American Fork, UT

I'm seeing the abiding respect for those affected more in the President than mitt.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Roland Keyser is right. Run the numbers. I'd add that the numbers of food stamps issued will inevitably go down as we increase employment. Passing the President's jobs bill would help there. And raising the ceiling for payroll taxes would make Medicare and Social Security solvent.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I think this is an article that provides a fair assessment of the core issue, but I think we need to consider some other facts. As the article notes, Romney and his conservative friends arrive at their numbers by including people who get favorable tax treatment such as the Child Tax Credit.

Yet nothing is said about the favorable tax treatment of dividend income that allows millionaires like Mitt Romney to pay less in taxes than school teachers, construction workers, police, the military, and others who have earned income.

Perhaps Romney and his allies should take a hard look at that "entitlement" before attaching such harsh words to those on Social Security, disabled veterans, and the working poor.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I think the real truth about taxes is that only consumers pay taxes. And all people are consumers, rich, poor, business, and just people.

Business pays no taxes, any taxes they remit to the government were part of the price of the product they sold to a consumer. Any profits that they pay income taxes on came from the price of their product paid by a consumer.

Assuming that all Americans eat, drink and wear clothes and that those things are only available through some sort of commerce (business), there are no people in America that do not pay income taxes to support our government. Except, perhaps, only those individuals who sleep in cardboard boxes in alleyways and eat from garbage cans.

It is the shame of America and to all Americans that we permit our economic system to prevent so many Americans from benefiting from the prosperity of America.

Politicians often rant about the symptoms (food stamps, welfare, no income tax) of poverty but are not willing to do any thing about the cause of those symptoms.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Nosea, that is a great comment. Thanks.


Most people are just plinking around the edges of the problem. Mandatory spending - "entitlements" and interest on the debt - are currently consuming all tax receipts. The bulk of the federal government, including national defense, is paid for by future generations in the form of borrowing. The Fed apparently believes the solution lies in devaluing the dollar so the debt can be paid back with cheaper dollars. Our sitting president believes the answer is to borrow more money to hire teachers and policemen and throw money at energy scams. How does that help? We need a turn-around expert. We need Mitt Romney.

Salt Lake City, UT

Re Esquire and Pramitist, Mr. Romney's comments were not hateful nor were they dismissive as has been indicated in many commentaries even in this quality article. They simply reflect the difficult fact that through extensive pandering the Democrat party has locked in "approximately" 47% of the vote. Entitlements, government employment, corrupt contracting, needed programs during difficult times all are used to maintain a dictatorial grasp on power even when the result is to hold the very groups that are supposed to be helped to quote the Vice-President "in chains". Why else with total failure in domestic and foreign policy would this President consistently poll so high-46% to 48%. Romney is simply recognizing this fact and noting that to win he has to get those that are not locked in to this President no matter what and get them to vote for him. He was and is right. Difficult task to do, but he seems to be holding close to accomplishing this.

Cedar City, UT

I am now drawing Social Security, and I do not consider it to be an Entitlement, because of all the years I paid into it. There are parts of Social Security that could be considered entitlements such as payments to dependents and those unable to work, but if you consider Social Security an insurance company, then benefits received are the same as any insurance benefits received. Medicare is an added benefit to Social Security, to help people on Social Security, and it could be an entitlement. Both Social Security and Medicare are needed programs, but like everything the government touches, the management of both are screw up and need reformed.
Every American deserves affordable and effective medicare, and we need to reform the system.
Entitlements are one of the major problem in America today, and they effect both ends of Te class system. The Upper Class have been taught to believe they are entitled to all they can get no matter who it hurts or kills. In the early 1900's business schools taught that there was an ethically acceptable profit a business could make. There is no such thing as ethics in business anymore.


Per Nosea's comment, did Jesus condemn truckle down all those years ago?

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