Comments about ‘In our opinion: Republicans and Democrats: It is time to compromise’

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Published: Saturday, Nov. 10 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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the truth
Holladay, UT

@one old man

Really!?

All you can do is copy someone else's thought and twist it? How democratic.

If compromise is so grand,

Shouldn't the left and the democrats lead the way?

Show us all how it is done.

Hank Pym
SLC, UT

@ J Thompson 10:40 a.m. Nov. 10, 2012

*What is going on? A half-percent margin constitutes a "mandate". *

I recall Dubya won his re-election by a narrower margin & thought he had a mandate. Either, you have a bad memory or are incredibly biased?

KJB1
Eugene, OR

J. Thompson:

Yes, that's why Democrats increased their hold on the Senate. That's why President Obama the popular vote by 3,000,000 votes and the electoral college in a landslide. People were actually repudiating his policies. Sure.

Do you realize how much fun it is to watch you guys spin?

David
Centerville, UT

I obviously don't speak for all Americans, but my humble sense after the election is that Americans are expecting Republicans and Democrats to work together to get things done: fiscal cliff, tax changes, improve upon Obamacare, immigration, jobs & the economy, the Middle East, an energy policy...

As a Republican I feel that free markets, wise regulation, and limited federal government powers will maximize our abilities as a nation. But at this time Republicans are a minority party in the US. Democrats outnumber us. Republicans are going to have to compromise, take the bitter medicine and swallow it. Otherwise, I fear GOP numbers in Congress will be diminished significantly in 2014. Americans are giving Congress a chance to solve some of these problems. Lets get it done.

A caution to Democrats, however. You can't continue entitlement spending as has been done in the past. Our country is going broke because of our welfare state mentality. We simply cannot afford it and taxing the rich and printing money as fast as possible isn't going to solve this problem. You have to follow the laws of economics.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

You reach a point where nothing really matters anymore and America just crossed that line a few days ago. Liberal America has become liberal Europe. Our debt is 16 trillion... soon to be 20 trillion. Our unemployment is not going anywhere but up due to the continual tax hikes and all the while kids graduating college are faced with less hope and opportunities. You can wave the flag and live off emotion ... that is your choice but the ugly reality of an America in sharp decline isn't going anywhere. America has changed - no more the symbol of hard work and self reliance but instead has VOTED to take the hand out route - the entitlement route - the "ask what your country will GIVE you NOT what you can give to your country". JFK would be ashamed of the America of today. So would our founders. We squandered their brilliance and traded it for free stuff .... as long as it lasts that is. "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause" (Star Wars).

Wonder
Provo, UT

@David -- I agree with your last comment. I also think something has to be done about entitlements. I think Obama does too. Some Democrats may not, so that will be the struggle in the Democratic party. But you are right in saying that Republicans should agree to the tax increases Obama has proposed -- it's what the majority of the people want, whether you determine that by the fact Obama won or by polling that shows even a pretty good percentage of Republicans want it.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Elections matter, and Republicans got spanked. Let Obama govern.

one old man
Ogden, UT

the truth
Holladay, UT

Would you recognize the truth if you saw it?

one old man
Ogden, UT

David, there is a lot of wisdom in your post. Thank you.

Demonizing other Americans who don't hold extreme views does no one any good.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

The Bush tax cuts came with an expiration date for a reason. The tax cuts were going to blow an unsustainable hole in the debt if allowed to continue indefinitely. The CBO calculates that tax cuts have put the Treasury $6.1 trillion in the red.

It is way past time to let them expire for upper levels of income. Eventually, as the economy gains strength, they need to expire for everybody. We need to raise or eliminate the salary cap on Social Security as well.

The Bush tax cuts didn't ever stimulate the economy. At a certain point, taxes become too low to produce adequate revenue. That's where we are today.

Republicans can accept the reality of the election and agree to compromise or they can ignore this election, refuse to compromise and cling to the fantasy that in 2014 they will be rewarded. Good luck with that. I would remind them however, given the outcome of this recent election, their ability to predict outcomes has been shown to be a failure.

David
Centerville, UT

Truthseeker, you stated that taxes became too low to produce adequate revenue (to the Treasury). I disagree. Under President Bush the treasury realized records amounts of revenue. Even today, after the recession which dramatically reduced revenue to the government, the Treasury receives $5 Trillion dollars (you can Google it). That is a lot of money. Our problem is not a shortage of money and taxes.

The problem is federal spending. Entitlement spending is dwarfing the federal budget. Interest on federal debt is too high, eating up too much of our tax dollars flowing to Washington. If anything, I would say that we should focus on debt reduction (thus saving tax dollars that are currently going to interest on our debt), and on entitlement reform. Our nation simply cannot provide the benefits promised without going bankrupt.

How can government solve this problem in 2013? I think Simpson-Bowles is where we should start: there must be modest tax increases (not to fund a new government program!) along with reduction of federal programs and spending. If we are disciplined and do this long enough then our debt will be better and our economy stronger.

JSB
Sugar City, ID

Both parties must work together to design good laws but the Republicans should always have as a part of every bill, revocation of a part of Obamacare. Republicans have a responsibility as stewards of our constitution to dismantle that terrible law even it they have to do it piece by piece.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:David

Aside from economic crisis, federal revenue increases are expected every year as a result of inflation and increases in population.

The first tax cut — the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 — was signed into law June 7, 2001. It began to affect revenues almost immediately as "advance rebate" checks were mailed to millions of taxpayers starting that July. After the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2001, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office calculated that those rebates had already amounted to $35 billion. As a result, CBO said, federal income tax receipts fell that year, rather than posting an increase.

Total federal revenues declined not only in 2001, but also in the following two years, according to CBO historical budget figures. In
fiscal 2002, total revenues declined by $138 billion, and in fiscal 2003, they went down for a third year in a row — by nearly $71 billion. Revenues turned up in fiscal 2004, but didn't reach pre-tax-cut levels until fiscal year 2005.

The CBO said total revenues declined by 1.7%, but otherwise would have increased by 1.5%

(Factcheck)

David
Centerville, UT

Truthseeker, thank you for your clarification and input. You provide good information. I might add the following:

Total Revenue to the US Treasury:
2000 $3.7 Trillion
2001 3.5 Trillion
2002 2.3 Trillion
2003 3.5 Trillion
2004 3.9 Trillion
2005 4.2 Trillion
2006 4.7 Trillion
2007 5.2 Trillion
2008 4.7 Trillion (the Great Recession)
2009 3.7 Trillion
2010 4.7 Trillion
2011 4.9 Trillion
2012 5.0 Trillion
2013 5.5 Trillion (Projected)

As you can see, Obama has actually enjoyed more revenue to the Treasury than ever before, but has also run up more debt than any president ever.

Immediately following the Great Depression and World War II the debt as a percentage of GDP hit about 122%. It is projected that our current debt % of GDP (above 100%) will remain for the foreseeable future.

We can turn this around as a nation, but it will require discipline for a long period of time. Can politicians, who use campaign promises (Obama gave 100s of billions to Ohio auto unions and auto makers to win in Ohio this election) do the right thing?

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:David

"The Bush tax cuts contributed, along with underlying economic conditions, to a historic decline in federal tax revenue. In 2000 total federal tax revenue was as high in proportion to the U.S. economy as it had ever been. By 2004 federal tax revenue in proportion to the economy had fallen to its lowest level in almost fifty years.

In recent decades Federal revenue has generally fluctuated between 17-19% of GDP. By 2000, however, total federal tax receipts had reached 20.9% of GDP, their highest level since 1970? By 2004, however, federal tax receipts had fallen to 16.3% of GDP, which is not only the lowest level since 1970, but the lowest since 1959."

(The Tax Policy Center)

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts were responsible for just 14 percent of the swing from the projected cumulative $5.6 trillion surplus for 2002–2011 to an actual $6.1 trillion deficit. The vast majority of the shift was due to higher spending and slower-than-projected economic growth.

(Brian Reidl, The Heritage Foundation)

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

re:David

Yeah, I'm sure Obama was planning for the next election when he signed onto the auto bailout (started by Bush) soon after his inauguration.

Romney's claim: "The President gave the auto companies to the UAW"

"All the experts we talked to agreed that Romneys statement is just flat wrong. Our ruling: False."
(politifact)

Apparently Obama didn't need Ohio since he won almost every swing state--including Florida.

Where we (and even liberal economists) can agree:

Spending restraint/cuts WHEN the economy is fully recovered. (We can develop the plan now to take effect later).

Finally:

"The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie."
(Congressional Research Service)

Another CRS report "The Fiscal Cliff': Macroeconomic Consequences of Tax Increases and Spending Cuts," makes the case for allowing the upper income Bush tax cuts to expire.

last post

hubbardesquire
Alabaster, Alabama

@ one old man

Good for you! Keep your compromise to yourselves. We don't want it and we don't need it!

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

A few corrections:
Total federal revenues for FY 2012 were 2.5 trillion, not 5 trillion. (Source Tax Policy Center)

Capital gains are taxed at 15%, not 38%. If the Bush tax cuts lapse that will increase to 20%.

Although the U.S. has the highest top marginal corporate tax rate in the world, our effective corporate tax rates are among the lowest in the developed world. Anyone who says the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rates in the world doesn't understand how taxes work.

Wonder
Provo, UT

@Roland Kayser -- Perhaps the corporate tax rate needs to be lowered and deductions eliminated or cut back as some are suggesting for individual income taxes? I'm not an accountant so I never quite understand why it is better to structure taxes that way from a policy standpoint, but maybe that will keep our corporate rate more competitive with other countries. Just wondering what others with more understanding of these issues think about that. As far as capital gains taxes -- my opinion is that it would be a good idea if they go back to 20%. (And before everyone starts screaming that I just want to tax other people -- my taxes would increase if capital gains taxes go up.)

Bebyebe
UUU, UT

Let the rich leave. They sent the jobs out of the US and keep their millions in the Caymen islands. What exactly do they do for America?

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