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Published: Thursday, Dec. 13 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

All of the people claiming that the deficit is their biggest concern should be happy about the fiscal cliff, after all it cuts the deficit in half in one fell swoop. People who want to avoid the cliff should be honest enough to admit that they favor higher deficits. They might also be honest enough to admit that large deficit reductions right now will significantly slow the economy.

Grover
Salt Lake City, UT

Good letter but it demonstrates again that solving problems isn't about solving problems anymore. Most important is now who gets credit...hence who has the best shot at reelection. Is the cart before the horse now or what??

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

At least if we fall off the fiscal cliff on Jan. 1 and then reduce tax rates for the 98% back to 2012 levels, the Republicans can remain loyal to their pledge to Grover Norquist not to raise taxes, since sequestration will do that without an additional vote in Congress. Which illustrates how silly and ill-advised that pledge is.

ECR
Burke, VA

Those suggesting we let the fiscal cliff become a reality first have never had to deal with the consequences of even hinting such a thing will happen. In the recent past the threat of government shutdowns during the debate about raising the debt ceiling created chaos in the government. And that was at a time when the government didn't actually shut down. But the preparation for such an event can be challenging at best. Both government agencies and the private sector contractors that serve government will be forced into panic mode and many people's jobs and lives will be disrupted, if only for a short time. The shutting down of government operations and the canceling of existing contracts will cost billions - that's our tax dollars being wasted for some stupid, political game.

The thing to do is act responsibly now, like we should have done in the recent and distant past, and resolve this issue like adults.

  • 7:52 a.m. Dec. 13, 2012
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J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

The Federal Government has known for more than a year that it would go off the cliff. It made that decision a long time ago. Now, it's nothing more that politics. Obama thinks that he will win points when we go off the cliff. He thinks that going off the cliff will give him the leverage that he craves. He has shown that he has no respect for the people who elected Representatives (those who must pass all budget bills) who rejected his philosophy of tax and spend.

What has he done since the election to fix things? Nothing! No one thing. He has DEMANDED that everyone do things his way and then he stomped out of Washington, jumped in in expensive Air Force One and travelled from coast to coast tells Americans what fools they were for electing Republicans to the House.

What an example of a man who is spiralling down, out of control.

Let him rant. Let him tell us how stupid we are. Let him lead us over the cliff.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT
The Federal Government has known for more than a year that it would go off the cliff. It made that decision a long time ago. Now, it's nothing more that politics.

==============

And Republicans THOUGHT Mitt Romney would be in the WhiteHouse, they'd control both the House AND the Senate.

Guess who got it all wrong!

As a Norquist Tea-Party Republican, you should be estatic about having Bush tax CUTS expire.
American can finally start paying all the Bush era BILLS he spent on credit.

of course it will destroy the economy, but when did a political puritian ever let common sense stand in the way of ideology?

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

RKayser, "All of the people claiming that the deficit is their biggest concern should be happy about the fiscal cliff, after all it cuts the deficit in half in one fell swoop."

Yes, sort of, except it slashes military, which some think is a bad idea, and it slashes a lot of other spending with others think is a bad idea, and it raises taxes on most everyone, which most everyone thinks is a bad idea.

Why can't we (our leaders included) start with the common ground issues:

There is wide consensus that the deficits need to be addressed (Greece being the counter example).
There is wide consensus that government spending is too high.

Lets start there, where there is the most agreement. A compromise on WHAT to trim/cut will be difficult enough. (military or Big Bird or ???)

Taxation is the most contentious issue. Save it for last, so we don't get so bogged down in that fight, that we never get around to cutting spending.

START with the common ground.

For those in fear we won't ever get to taxing the rich more, no worries. Obama won't forget.

ECR
Burke, VA

J Thompson - your hyperbolic comments about the president are way off base. "The government" includes the House of Representatives who were the ones to set up this fiscal cliff. They agreed to set up a super committee to deal with the budget deficit as part of their irresponsible negotiations in dealing with the debt ceiling. They knew what would happen if the super committee failed in their task. And yet it was Republicans in that committee who doomed the work of the committee.

The polls show that if we fall off the cliff the majority of Americans will blame the Republicans. Whether this is fair or not one would think that it would be a wake-up call to the Republicans to get off their "no new tax" soap box and help this country move forward. But they seem to be having trouble hearing the message from the public. A combination of tax increases AND spending cuts is the only way to make it happen and both sides should understand that by now.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

BO's position calls for NO immediate spending cuts, in fact, he has called for at least $100,000,000,000 in new spending. How can you reduce a deficit when one side in the negotiation wants $100 billion MORE, not less spending? No matter how much water you put into a bucket with no bottom, you will never fill it.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

LDS Liberal,

Perhaps you would like to tell us the duties of the President? Perhaps you would like to tell us the consequences of electing a REPUBLICAN House (after all, Justice Roberts told us that elections have consequences). Perhaps you would like to blame the President for rejecting the political process. Perhaps you would like to admit that Obama has failed and that he will continue to fail as long as he rejects the election results.

Not one of his budgets has ever received a single vote in the Senate. Does the DEMOCRAT controlled Senate know something that you don't about Obama and his budget?

Look on the bright side. Obama only has four more years before he will go down in history as the worst President in American history. You wanted him. You got him. Now, man up and take responsibility for your decision to follow a failed president.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"Why can't we (our leaders included) start with the common ground issues"

Well 24-7. Can you point to any issue that is MORE "common ground" than this?

"A Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll released late on Wednesday, however, held the potential to shake up the stalemate. Three-quarters of those surveyed, including 61 percent of Republicans, said they would accept raising taxes on the wealthy to avoid the so-called cliff"

I hope for lots of spending cuts to go along with this. (2 or 3 to 1 would be great)

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

"There is wide consensus that the deficits need to be addressed (Greece being the counter example).
There is wide consensus that government spending is too high."

=====================

They should be addressed, just not now. In the recession we are having, we need more money pumped into the economy, and reducing government spending will only reduce that supply. Cutting deficits now will only send us back to 2008.

When should they be addressed? When inflation is above 2.5% and unemployment is below 6.5%, until then the answer is to increase the money supply.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Repubs want the economy to crash.

They don't want America to recover.

We've seen this movie before. It's called the last 4 years.

Of course repubs want us to go off the cliff. Of course they want the economy to crash and burn. They want millions of people to suffer. The rich will survive. But the average person won't.

Again, the GOP is trying to politicize a very serious issue to score political points in this political game of football rather than do what is best for the country. Lets hope that it backfires and we make them pay in 2014.

The GOP needs to be taught a lesson (since, obviously they didn't learn the one given just a few weeks ago) that they work for US. Get rid of their cult following (the Tea Party) and start living their pledge to us (and not to Grover Nordquist).

DO WHAT IS BEST FOR AMERICA! And not just what would hurt Obama and maybe score a few more votes your way.

STOP making everything so polarized! Work with the Democrats for crying out loud!

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@ECR
The debt ceiling thing would have crushed the full faith and credit of the United States. This isn't nearly on that level though Senator Graham wants to have that debt ceiling fight in March...

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

Darrel says,

"When should they be addressed? When inflation is above 2.5% and unemployment is below 6.5%, until then the answer is to increase the money supply."

Inflation needs to be 2.5%???? Why?? Inflation reduces the value of the dollar. Could you mean growth instead? Maybe you do mean inflation. You advocate increasing the money supply through the government putting more out there, even when they don't have it. Or should they just print more? Monkeying with inflation is not a solution. It is just a numbers game.

If we were economically healthy we could deficit spend to spur the economy, but we are to a point where the debt itself drags on our economy. We need a better approach for these times.

If we could increase the velocity of money, we could improve the economy without inflation. Make government policies all pro-production, coupled with paying "living wages". Get the stagnant money moving. Not with more government, but with business. Make the market outlooks so good that people are jumping on opportunities to create goods to fill the expected demand.

Or we can hyper-focus on punishing the rich and forget helping the economy.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Many on these boards seem to think that everyone that voted for Obama (or is a Democrat) wants massive tax increases and no spending cuts.

Many of you would probably label me as a liberal, however I consider myself an independent. (fiscal conservative and socially moderate)

I hope to see 3 to 1 (spending cuts to revenue increases). Hardly the "no entitlement cuts" view that many have of those not GOP.

If there are not reasonable entitlement cuts, I will call out the Democrats and voice my concerns.

And, I would dare to say that most of those on these boards that are painted as "liberal" are also wanting to see significant cuts in entitlements. (you "liberals" please chime in)

Personally, I see the GOP base as much more rigid in their adherence to party ideology than those on the left (and of course this is a generalization, and exceptions can be found on both.)

You may be surprised at how "reasonable" some of those "liberals" are when you actually get to know their positions.

Oh My Heck, you may even find that you share many of those positions.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

I agree with one point made above: For Obama, this is not about compromise. But it is not about getting re-elected either, since he cannot run for office again. Why is he so adamant about the measly little tax increase on the wealthy? I would suggest it is because he knows that he needs to break the stranglehold that Grover's no-tax pledge has on America's future. If he can break the GOP's myopic devotion to an absurd and inflexible pledge to a lobbyist who wants to drown government in a toilet, this country's government will be a lot healthier. This is about making the Republicans own up to their obstinate opposition to sensible tax policy. Personally, I'm willing to go off the cliff if it can reveal the GOP for what it has become.

Oh, and about the toilet, do the Republicans in Congress realize that if Grover gets his way, he will drown them too? Why wouldn't he? He has such disdain for government, why would he spare the GOP?

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

Maverick,

All you polarization comments about the Republicans are a reflection of you! You are as polarized, partisanized as they come.

Republicans don't want the country to fail. I would know, being one myself. At no rally, in no secret email, or in any other place are we urged to make the country fail to make the president look bad.

We think the president's plans lead us to Greece, i.e. failure. We are fighting failure and seeking success. If we caved to his lunatic plan, that would be seeking failure.

So do you think the Republicans are trying to make the country fail to make the Obama look bad because that is what you and your party tried to do to Bush?

You're describing what you see in the mirror, not the republicans.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

Inflation needs to be 2.5%???? Why?? Inflation reduces the value of the dollar. Could you mean growth instead? Maybe you do mean inflation. You advocate increasing the money supply through the government putting more out there, even when they don't have it. Or should they just print more? Monkeying with inflation is not a solution. It is just a numbers game.

===============

Increasing and decreasing the money supply is exactly the definition of monetary policy. With inflation as low as it is, we should be increasing the money supply, more money = more to go around, and the value of the dollar stays intact.

When there is high inflation, you pull money out of the the economy to increase the demand for the dollar. Inflation is very low right now because unemployment is high (the two almost always go in opposite directions).

Simple supply and demand.

Liberal Today
Murray, UT

I agree Kent!

All the president needs to do to fix this economy is dog style dominate the republicans so they will fall in line. That done, all else will work out with total democrat control and republican submission. Then fix the economy for good!

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