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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banderson, just as you are waiting for UltraBob to tell you his plan to replace the economic model we have now, so is America waiting for Romney to reveal his plan to help America.

I do think we need to cut some entitlement spending. Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, which I paid into, is not entitlement spending. I deposited money into these programs, I should get my money out of it.

These cuts shold also include entitlements we give to large corporations. Why do execs at large corporations receive huge salaries and insane bonuses when they run ocompanies into the ground or laying people off so they can ship jobs overseas?

Casa Grande, AZ

What Mitt wasn't correct about is that the majority of people that don't pay federal income taxes are REPUBLICAN and WILL be voting for HIM NOT OBMAMA!

According to the Tax Foundation, eight of the top 10 states with the highest percentage of people who don’t pay federal income taxes are decidedly Republican.

Provo, UT

Romney was not discussing the entitlement problem, he was discussing who would vote for him. I've read several speeches and articles he wrote about entitlements and the gist was we need to get serious about how to pay for them. I've searched Obama's speeches and can't find any where he even recognized we have a problem. I would realy like to have a private recording of Obama's meetings with his supporters. Probably more of the bible lovin, gun totin red necks?

Idaho Falls, ID

Thank you for this article.

There are legitimate needs for government financial help. And Mitt Romney has stated that we ARE a compassionate people and WILL take care of those in need.
But here are some actual scenarios:

A woman I know of gets food stamps because her husband doesn't work. They have so much bread that they feed the extra to the ducks on the downtown river.

Two families had premie babies. One family that works and had health insurance but still struggles financially was left with a $20,000 co-pay bill. The other family are cradle to grave welfare recipients and have figured out how to not have to work. Their bill after Medicade was $0.

A hard working family comes to a dermatologist but they have to use over-the-counter treatments for their warts and other skin issues because their insurance doesn't cover enough. Another family with medicade comes in and has warts and everything else "taken care of" without paying a cent. All the kids on welfare are sitting in the waiting room playing with their smart phones.

These scenarios are real per the receptionist and family of the babies.

Salt Lake City, UT

O'really of Idaho Falls - What is the point of your stories?

Are you suggesting that we work harder to eliminate fraud from the system?
Or do you suggest that there will always be fraud, so the system must be eliminated?

Your stories are about government programs such as food stamps and welfare, but people take advantage of the private sector as well. I've heard of people who get a couple months of their apartment rent paid for because they know the right things to say to the local bishop. There are urban legends of a person working a soup kitchen who watches someone drive up in a fancy car and stand in line for a free bowl of soup. There will always be people who take advantage of charity. If you end these programs to end the fraud, what will happen to the truly needy?

William Gronberg
Payson, UT

Send a check for $47 to the political party of your choice.

William Gronberg
Payson, UT

Here is even a better idea.

Send a check for $47 to the party of your choice or attend more $50,000 a plate dinners.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT


What I want is to redefine the Capitalistic game, to the change the rules. We are engaged in a fierce competition using rules that were created centuries ago. There was a time when labor was a major part of a product and distances between places and nations confined the action to the local citizens.

Today labor is taken from all over the globe and the need for labor is greatly reduced. Utah workers have to compete with workers in China and India where living conditions are different. Yet, most of us can only purchase our needs from American businesses at prices set for Americans. The game has changed.

I believe that business is the child of the society wherein it exists. When business is confined to a local area, there is a balance between the players that keeps the game going and benefits everyone. If a business buys products made in china and sells them to people living in America there is no balance and society goes down.

Any government would be good if operated by “Good” men, but since there are no “good” men, Capitalism has the same fate as the others.

Washington, UT

I'm not sure I even follow this meandering, goes nowhere editorial. Who wrote this? And it ends up talking about leadership, but mentions no names? Romney has more leadership in his little finger than Obama has in his whole phony persona. Yes, talk about leadership, and the complete failure of it from Obama. Any leadership on the economy? zero, none, zilch. Any leadership on foreign policy? none again, complete abdication. Any leadership with congress? again, none. For two years he refused to even talk to Republicans or include them in any policy or legislative discussions. Then he spends the next two years talking about how Obama's failures are the fault of the Republicans in Congress? Did he mean to say Harry Reid and the Democrat controlled Senate? The man is delusional.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

By one measure of household income my wife and I are in the poorer half of U.S. households last year. That's OK. I know we are still far richer than most of the world, especially in non-tangibles like freedom and security. I'm willing to give up more than my share of future prosperity to help solve our current crisis, but I would invite those richer than us to join in.

What entitles them to pocket their Romney-Rich tax breaks? Have you felt any of the billions given up in tax breaks to the rich trickle down or create jobs lately?

The first reforms should include restoring our traditional capital gains and estate taxes.

Conservatives once disparaged estate taxes as death taxes. Don't let that bother you. You don't want your children to grow up as spoiled, entitled brats do you? Rather we should disparage untaxed estates as unearned, inherited royal entitlements.

Don't you worry about the return of the estate tax, though. If Congress fails to extend the Bush era tax cuts for 2013, your heirs still won't lose a penny of your inheritance unless you are a millionaire.

Saint George, UT

Ultra Bob, I understand your point about a world economy, and about the importance of local business. You, however, are still stuck with a decision. You can't have part socialism, part communism, and or part capitalism. You have to make a decision about what you believe. I'm certain that bad men can rise in any system. Communism and socialism have proven they can do more damage to humanity than capitalism. Capitalists don't put people to death by the millions. the problem we have here in capitalistic america is that weak men have allowed corrupt officials and selfish men to control them. If men believed in god, liberty, and free markets, socialism and communism would sease to exist and capitalism would function with greater fairness, a fairness that is never seen with socialism. In the absence of God, liberty wanes, and men and women turn to Government to solve problems, an unfortunate turn of events that only leads to ills greater than what might have been addressed if unalienable rights had been protected.

William Gronberg
Payson, UT

Mr. Bandersen:

The capture and trade for black slaves, their transportation to the Americas and their forced labor caused millions of deaths. It was all about people and companies making money and private property rights.

""If men believed in god, liberty, and free markets,..."

There was no shortage of churches and slave owners in them in the USA, Brazil, Cuba, etc. Slavery was widespread in the South even with a Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and a Bill of Rights. The Constitution required a few more amendments, a Civil War and about 85 years to properly regulate slavery out of our nation.

"Communism and socialism have proven they can do more damage to humanity than capitalism.”

The rule of Marxist-Leninist Socialists have caused about 100 million deaths.

The rule of National Socialists have caused about 60 million deaths.

But Mr. Bandersen, how many deaths have been caused by the Democratic Socialists of Western Europe????

There are far more people coming to “capitalist” North America and semi “socialist” Western Europe than are leaving. That is the real world in 2012. Both regions are magnets to millions of human beings.

Susan in VA
Alexandria, VA

Social Security is not Entitlement, I paid a ton of money into it and now what I receive is what I paid plus interest. Quit telling me I'm lazy because I no longer work. I earned that right.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

(7:20 p.m.) O'really's anecdotes inadvertently advocate for a single payer system, where all can be protected and share the burden of health care costs. Count me in.

Utah Native
Farmington, UT

Perhaps things have changed, but in 1998 when our family was out of work (right after we had purchased a new car), I went to apply for food stamps. We had zero income, but were turned down because of that new car (that in actuality the bank owned). The rules were pretty stringent then - have they changed? My husband did any odd job he could to bring in money, even if it cut back on the "handout" of unemployment. I don't think it's situations like these that Mr. Romney has a problem with. I would suppose that as a former bishop and stake president, he has seen families who really just wanted a handout rather than a hand up, who would rather freeload than share the load of their own financial obligations. While he does need to be more "elegant" in his articulation of such ideas, I don't think it's wrong to assess the situation and see what can reasonably be done to solve these issues. Any able-bodied person who can work should have to work for what they receive, something along the lines of the CCC enacted by FDR.

Third try screen name
Mapleton, UT

More significant than entitlements is the complete lack of confidence in our laws and lawmakers. Congress gets a 15% approval rating. Yikes! And who can blame us?
When you look at the mess created by Congress as they dealt with welfare policy, mental health and immigration, it is hard to have much confidence in them.
And when they take to ignore their own laws (as in immigration) they look all the more foolish.
Not to mention their combined rap sheet. Since when do we trust our governance to felons and adulterers?
One response is to take ALL laws lightly and ignore the rule of law where possible. That's called anarchy. And an unknown number of individuals from all political views are silently doing just that.

Gray, TN

It appears that liberals do not understand the tax code. When DIVIDENDS and Capital Gains are taxed at a lower rate than "regular income", it ENCOURAGES investment. The people that put their EARNINGS that were already taxed at the "regular income tax rate" into an investment - stock market, private companies, 401k, Bonds, etc. this money greases the wheels of enterprise. They also put their savings AT RISK - there's no guarantee those invested funds will have an increase in value - in fact, they could LOOSE value - the money is at risk.
Let's say that Wage Earners chose to NOT put their earnings into investments - how would entrepreneurs obtain money to create NEW business, New products, conduct Research and Development, etc.? If these new projects pan out, then there will be Profits that will be TAXED from both the company and the investors. There is already "double taxation" on Corporate Dividends (the corporation pays taxes on its Profits, and the shareholders receiving the profits pay taxes on that SAME money again, albeit at a lower rate).
It's not a problem with not enough tax payments to the government - it's about too many government expenses.

Gray, TN

When I heard Romney's comments - the first thing he said was, "there are 47% of the people that are going to vote for Obama - NO MATTER WHAT". Then he started to breakdown who was included in those 47%. I did not get the impression that Romney was putting down the elderly, the truly poor, or those that have previously paid into Social Security and Medicare - I think he's smart enough to know these segments. You'll notice Romney stayed clear of any "race" or "nationality" segments that may be included in the 47%... so he's not trying to make a point about that either.
His point was about those that there are those that like "Big Government" and all that it provides them -- and Romney's not for Big Government. This is his voting base. He'll have to work to convince the others why his leadership will provide them with a GOOD government and opportunity.

  • 8:14 a.m. Sept. 24, 2012
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Idaho Falls, ID

My point in sharing these real life scenarios is simply to illustrate the ironies of the system, the waste and abuse that goes on. I don't have the answers as to "how" it should be done, but the system needs to be tightened up so that the help goes to those who really need it and that our tax dollars don't get fed to the ducks.

Smith River, CA

England was killed by an idea:the idea that the weak, indolent, and profligate must be supported by the strong, industrious, and frugal-to the degree that tax consumers will have a living standard comparable to that of taxpayers; the idea that government exits for the purpose of plundering those who work to give the product of their labor to those who do not work. The economic and social cannibalism produced by this communitst-socialist idea will destroy any society which adopts it and clings to it as a basic principle-any society Dan Smoot FBI agent 1968

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