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Published: Friday, Dec. 14 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Excellent letter.

Publicly supported education, science and technology research & development (think NASA, NOAA, USGS, NIH, NSF, ect.) are as critical to our economy and long-term well being as highways, bridges, airports and waterways.

It would be an extreme case of "penny-wise but pound-foolish" to cut funding to these vitally important programs just because congress couldn't get its act together.

conservative scientist
Lindon, UT

Unless entitlement reform happens and we make significant changes to the big 4 (social security, medicaid, medicare, Obamacare) everything else will take a back seat and will lose government funding

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

Since they are just reducing the funding, not cutting the research programs, I am sure they can trim away the bloat in each program. We don't need all the 'chicken littles'. A few are plenty.

They can also quit awarding research grants to drug companies. In case you haven't noticed, big drug companies seem to be doing just fine, with record profits. They can pay for their own research. But now they take research grants from government and fund-raise privately, and then charge all patients extravagant prices for their meds, including medicare patients. Seems we are subsidizing the big rich drug companies twice, once for research and once for the actual meds at bloated prices which they claim are due to research we already paid for.

To add more insult, they reduce the production of older drugs they no longer get the high price for, but are effective, and with the shortage they create, they make people choose the newer drugs the companies make higher profits on, even though they often are less effective. We need to clear out those dens of thieves selling snake oil with government funding.

Get out the hatchet and go for it!

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

"core government functions such as scientific research, education, public safety and environmental protection"...sir do you not own a copy of the constitution..or did you mean to post this on the Tribune site?

Makid
Kearns, UT

Conservative scientits:

Obamacare (ACA) is entirely self funded and actually produces a revenue increase to the budget. Changing this would reduce the increase and cause it to be a drain on the budget rather than helping to limit the debt.

Entitlement reform is needed, however Obamacare has already started the reform for Medicare and Medicaid.

Social Security can be fixed by restoring the current reduction and removing the current cap on income. If those happen, Social Security would instantly return to solvency. Putting an income cap to stop the rich from receiving benefits would actually allow Social Security to actually save money after payments by between $7 Billion to $10 Billion each year. With the interest growing on this amount each year due to further increased savings. Benefits could be increased to further help spur the economy without causing any deficit to occur.

How about increasing the budget for NASA, it has been shown that for every $1 that is spent in NASA, the economy reaps between $4 and $10 dollars. This is from increased technology and scientific investments. Let's look at what we can benefit from with funding increases, not what we can cut just to cut.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

You should probably write to your senators (lee and Hatch) urging them to compromise. The President has compromised. It's time for the "other" party to compromise.

Also, we have a huge revenue problem. Lets raise tax rates on the upper income brackets to what they were pre-80s. It's only fair and will help pay for government functions without hurting the lower income classes. The rich have plenty of money to spare.

red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Donald- I echo conservative scientist- you should send this letter to the AARP because they have made it clear- they're getting theirs before you get yours.
So here's our quite predictable situation. No one wants their funding or benefits cut and no one wants to pay more taxes. Many want someone else to pay more taxes however. We're bleeding a trillion dollars a year and the Federal Reserve is buying 70% of all Treasury issued debt. The current administration has shown zero interest in growing the economy but significant interest in growing Government. So what's the plan? Just keep printing money? If we're going to have Scandinavian levels of government spending shouldn't we have corresponding Scandinavian levels of taxation?

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

The president compromised? He sent outrageous demands to congress including increased spending in the billions and 1.6 trillion in higher taxes, when he promised 2 dollars in cuts for every dollar of increased revenue. Then he 'compromised' to 1.4 trillion in new taxes, still no cuts. Now there is talk of fixing the taxes, but not address spending, just to get a deal. Talk about a losing plan for the country. Talk about the old plan we have had before that never works.

How about we talk about cuts? So for the current tax hike the president wants, we need 2.8 trillion in cuts, by the presidents 2 for 1 offer. The demos will never go for that.

The republicans offered 800 billion in new revenue. When the president approves enough cuts to meet the 2 for 1 promise on that much, then we can talk about more revenue in exchange for more cuts.

But the reality is the president has no intention signing any spending cut. His only goal is to dominate the republicans. He doesn't care about the country, the economy, or the people. He just wants to assert and grow his power.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

One of the biggest lies perpetuated out there by the Fair and Balanced media is that government is "too large." All that means is that repubs want to shrink social services while increasing government programs they like (like energy subsidies and defense spending).

What we really need is quite the opposite. Lets shrink the corporate entitlements and greatly increase social spending. We need to rebuild our infrastructure, invest in education, create jobs with good wages, get rid of health insurance driven health care and get a single-payer system, and invest in America.

Solutions:

1. Overturn NAFTA
2. Make it illegal (and actually enforce it) for any politician to receive money from lobbyists or companies.
3. Overturn Citizens United.
4. Break up the Big Banks.
5. GREATLY regulate Wall Street.
6. Single-payer system.
7. Increase capital gains and income taxes for the upper brackets to what they were in the 60s.
8. Greatly expand Pell Grants and student loans.
9. NO MORE BONUSES. Only after workers' pensions and benefits have been paid for can CEOs receive their bonuses.
10. Cut subsidies to Big Oil and Ag. Cut defense spending in half to spend only twice as much as China.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Only after we follow my suggestions will we turn America around and recreate the middle-class.

Which is the #1 problem repubs have. They feel like the "free market" is what created the middle-class. They feel like the "free market" can regulate itself.

Really? Who is stupid enough to believe in that? If the free market could regulate itself then why have we had 5,000+ years of a very small minority owning everything while the vast majority have served as slaves, peasants, and sweatshop workers?

Look at how Canada, Germany, and Brazil have remained untouched from the "Great Recession." They have strong central governments which have regulated their markets. Look at how few protections we have!

Look at America over the past 2 decades, CEOs lie to shareholders and workers and make off with millions while everyone else suffers. ENRON, Big Banks, Hostess, are all examples!

While some folks have enough money to build castles in Park City and car elevators in California, the rest of us suffer and work 2-3 jobs to put food on the table.

It's simple. More government intervention is needed, NOT LESS. The free market needs government to keep from eating itself.

VST
Bountiful, UT

@Makid said, "Obamacare (ACA) is entirely self funded and actually produces a revenue increase to the budget."

I'm sorry, but you have been "drinking the Kool-Aid," Makid. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has already said that Obamacare will cost $1.76 trillion over the next ten years.

As for your claim that Obamacare "…has already started the reform for Medicare and Medicaid…" the only thing Obamacare did was kick the can further down the road. Without any meaningful entitlement reform, the Medicare Board of Trustees has stated the Health Insurance Trust Fund (Medicare Part A) will run out of money in 2024. If you believe some recent information from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Medicare will run out of money three years earlier in 2021.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

The biggest entitlement is military spending. Refuse to touch that, and you're refusing to really address the problem.

David
Centerville, UT

Reduce entitlement spending & we solve the deficit spending. Defense should also be reduced.

We shouldn't have to cut much else.

Entitlements are breaking the nation.

Moderate
Salt Lake City, UT

Christian 24-7 complains that the president isn't compromising "The republicans offered 800 billion in new revenue."
800 billion is a deal that Obama offered TO the Republicans back in the middle of 2011. It was described as "a remarkably, even stupidly generous offer". John Boehner turned it down, because he believed that Obama would be a one term President.

His re-election, plus the expiring tax cuts, plus the automated spending cuts means the President Obama has 5 trillion of additional revenue coming in January. He only wants 1.6 trillion. THAT is compromise. The Republicans offering back to Obama what Obama offered in 2011? That's an insult.

worf
Mcallen, TX

Our economy is obese. There's alot of fat to trim, and we can become fit, and trim.

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