Comments about ‘What others say: It's the debt, Mr. Obama’

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Published: Friday, Jan. 25 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Truthseeker
SLO, CA

There has not been a word from Republicans, or Democrats, about the financial mess in the Dept of Defense which the GAO said they were unable to decipher through an audit, what is going on.

Longterm debt--primarily due to medical costs--is a problem. But we should look very carefully at the austerity measures adopted by the EU and the disastrous results of such measures on economic growth and unemployment resulting in a extended and double-triple dip recession.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

I agree that the debt is a long-term problem that will eventually need to be solved. But I'm with Truthseeker; austerity is exactly the wrong prescription for a national economy in a liquidity trap.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

Regan tripled the debt.

W. Bush doubled the debt.

President Obama? Has done neither.

It's the debt? Ok.

Obama factually IS doing better than any Republican President in modern history.

Bush raised the debt ceiling 7 times.

Obama? 3 times.

FYI, the Republican controlled House has passed the least amount of legislation in history. 3%.

And enjoy a 10% approval rating.

Why do we pay them $175,000 a year to avoid doing their jobs?

VST
Bountiful, UT

Is not now the time for this administration and the Congress to seriously consider implementing the recommendations of Obama's own empanelled Bowles-Simpson Commission? Should we not get our financial ship pointed in the direction where the USA economy will not become the next Greece?

David
Centerville, UT

Pagan, If the House & Senate were both controlled by the same party, then legislative work would move. But because we have divided government, Democrats refuse to cooperate with Republicans and Republicans will refuse to cooperate with Democrats to get big things done, like the federal budget and deficit, immigration, etc.

Which party do voters trust more to run all branches of government? Do voters trust one party to control all branches? Those questions will be answered in less than 2 years. Until then, we will suffer with very little getting done in DC due to both Democrats and Republicans.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

Well conservatives. just cut the DOD budget by 10% so we know you're being serious about the debt.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

@ David, which party do we trust?

Trust is elusive, and must be earned but let us look at history:

When Democrats reclaimed the Senate majority in the 2006 midterm elections, cloture filings shot up from 68 in 2005-2006 (From Dems) to a record 139 in 2007-2008.' (From Republicans)

The filibuster tool, used to halt legislation has been used by the Republican party almost DOUBLE from the time the Democratic party was out of power.

W. Bush signed the Iraq and Afghanistan war, the Patriot Act and the Bank bailouts with Republican majority, it is true but with some Democratic support.

Under President Obama, there have been, I believe over 400 Filibusters and the Republican controlled House has passed only 3% of any legislation.

Which party do you trust?

Neither.

Which party negotiates to move legislation forward?

The Democratic one.

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

No more taxes? What about ending subsidies for oil companies, and about one in four corporatons pay no taxes. The problem is that Republicans want to solve the debt problem on the backs of the elderly, and the poor. They don't talk about the bloated defense budget at all.

David
Centerville, UT

Pagan,

I find your view of Democrats interesting. Do they negotiate? They rammed Healthcare down our throats and we all (including Democrats) are now discovering what is actually in the law.

Obama stated that Republicans can come along for the ride, but will have to sit in the back of the bus. Is that a statement of working together and negotiating?

The Senate has failed to produce a budget in over 4 years and did not work with the House on budgets. Is that negotiating behavior?

Both parties have behaved poorly. The Republicans in Congress seem to recognize the spending problem that they have, and are making efforts to correct it. They thus far have not had a willing partner.

The fact that filibuster and clotures have increased represents the fact that there has not been an atmosphere of negotiating. Dems ram things through without allowing GOP input, and the laws that are getting rammed through are very much against the current GOP goals.

You bringing up filibuster actually disproves your own point. The Dems are in power and could choose to negotiate, but they don't.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:David

You are factually incorrect.

Healthcare reform was developed in bi-partisan committees over several months. But it became clear over time the Republicans were not engaged in good faith. For example, after being part of the committee, Senator Grassley went back to Iowa and repeated the lie about death panels.

Republicans had no interest in healthcare reform other than to prevent it from happening.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Charles has it easy just saying what people want to hear and disregarding the consequences.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

I don't think even a Tea Party person wants to abandon the poor. The Deseret News showed a national debt of $70 trillion not $16 trillion. The larger figure includes medicare, social security and medicaid. Every man, woman, and child owes $52,000 if you use the lower figure. This debt as it grows with Obama's increasing spending may be a disaster in the making.

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

@Truthseeker

"But we should look very carefully at the austerity measures adopted by the EU and the disastrous results of such measures on economic growth and unemployment resulting in a extended and double-triple dip recession."

100% agreed. The deficit is a huge issue, make no mistake. The debt will take at least as long to pay down as it took to accumulate. But the insistence on radical spending reductions right now ignores the reality that the economy remains very fragile. As long as that is true, we can either substantially reduce the deficit *or* strengthen the economy and reduce unemployement, but we cannot do both simultaneously. Those who don't understand the tradeoffs involved should take a crash course in macroeconomics.

I'm in favor of revitalizing the economy now, then addressing the longterm consequences of the national debt.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

I'm always entertained when people say "run the gov't like I run my own finances." When most people are in debt over their heads. The answer for gov't is the same as for the rest of us--pay it down gradually while you increase your earning power. Most of us have to do that. And that is Obama's approach. The Republican approach is to borrow more for weapons and cut our income at the same time. Insane.

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

@Screwdriver

"Well conservatives. just cut the DOD budget by 10% so we know you're being serious about the debt."

As someone whose job closely involves DOD budget and spending, I have to object! :)

But in all seriousness, DOD's budget can certainly absorb cuts. However the cuts need to be sensible and committed to strategic goals. The looming sequester cuts imposed by a disfunctional Congress do neither. The sequester cuts were intended to be mindless to force Congress to come to a budget agreement. They failed.

Each fiscal cliff, sequester, debt ceiling showdown, and threatened government shutdown has become a stream of internal crises for the government, wasting thousands of hours and millions of tax dollars as the government and contractors are forced to react to budget uncertainties and take appropriate steps to prepare for ever-changing numbers. I wish the American public had a better sense of the costs imposed on them by a Congress that cannot get its act together to do its job. It is an outrage.

Copy Cat
Murray, UT

The truth about debts

Pagan says:

"Regan tripled the debt." (Not quite. This is a lie.)

"W. Bush doubled the debt." (Not quite. This is a lie.)

"President Obama? Has done neither." (True so far, but he is more than halfway there with half a presidency to go)

"Obama factually IS doing better than any Republican President in modern history." (This is a lie, evidence to follow)

Comparing 8 years of Bush and Reagan to 4 years of Obama is apples to asparagus.

Here is an oranges to oranges (term to term) comparison, highest to lowest raise in debt:

Reagan raised the debt 78.8% his first term
Reagan raised the debt 61.4% his second term.
Obama raised the debt 53.6% his first term.
GW Bush raised the debt 40.9% his second term
GW Bush raised the debt 34.2 his first term.

Note that Obama is in the middle.

His first term is WORSE THAN EITHER OF BUSH'S TERMS.

Enough of the lies already!

Copy Cat
Murray, UT

Obama factually IS doing WORSE on debt than EVERY REPUBLICAN and democrat PRESIDENT in modern history with the exception of Reagan.

But then Reagan inherited a total economic meltdown and double digit inflation, which he turned into a productive and prosperous economy, and he inherited the cold war, which he won resoundingly. A win in both columns!

Obama inherited a tough economy and a war. I doubt 4 years more will put a real win for him in either column, and it won't be Bush's fault.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

Obama has reduced the annual deficit a larger amount the past three years than any other president in history (seriously, the deficit for fiscal year 2012 is so much lower than the deficit for fiscal year 2009 that this is actually true).

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Copy Cat - "His first term is WORSE THAN EITHER OF BUSH'S TERMS."

Yes, but by your own figures, Obama is better than both of Reagan's terms. Tell me again why conservatives think Reagan is the greatest president ever? I can't figure it out even after your 2nd post since Obama inherited an economic meltdown worse than Reagan's and he also inherited TWO wars... wars that when started, the then current president did what no president in history has (to pay for them); he lowered taxes... TWICE.

The modern Republican party has zero credibility on the debt issue.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

(True so far, but he is more than halfway there with half a presidency to go) - Copy Cat

How can you have 'half' of something...

when you are 'more' than halfway done?

Something doesn't smell right.

If Obama added ONE dollar to the debt, it would technically be 'more' debt than any other President.

Don't claim others are 'lying' simply because you are using semantics.

For Obama to be on par with Republican spending...?

He would have to increase the national debt to $30 trillion dollars.

Has he done so?

Then stop lying about it.

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