Comments about ‘Letters: State is responsible’

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Published: Tuesday, March 26 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

Please, please, please Feds:

Save Utah from Utah's shortsighted, greed-driven politicians!

Salt Lake City, UT

What’s good for the goose . . . . If Utah’s federal lands should be ceded (they cannot be "returned") to state control, why not the federal lands in Nevada (84.5%) and Alaska (69.1%), where federal lands are a much greater percentage of total land than in Utah (57.5%). And why not the federal lands in Oregon (53.1%), Idaho (50.2%), Arizona (48.1%), and California (45.3%), where the percentage of federal lands is almost as great as Utah’s?

Utah may be the generically “best managed state” in someone’s opinion, but where is the evidence of Utah’s superiority or relative competence, compared to the federal government, in the more relevant category of public land management?

And what do you mean by proposing that Utah (and by implication, other western states), be put on “equal footing with the original states”? The original states differ widely in the percentage of land under federal ownership, from Connecticut (0.4%, the least) to North Carolina (11.8%, the greatest among all states east of the Rocky Mountain states).

I prefer federal control of federal land, so that all citizens of this “one nation, under God, indivisible” can benefit equally from them.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

If you want to be treated like a grown up, you've got to act like one. And the first thing a grown up does is pay her/his own bills. Utah still receives about $1.12 for every federal dollar it pays in taxes. Utah has never been self sustaining. On the other hand, liberal states, like CA, have been paying for you the entire time. We only receive about .87 cents per dollar.

Then, once you actually begin to pay your own way, stop complaining about a federal government which has been bailing you out constantly for your entire existence; a grown up would acknowledge the help she/he has received, not mock it.

Moab, UT

If it is so beneficial to have 60% or so of Utah under federal ownership, then it follows that all of the states would benefit from similar Federal ownership. Lets start with New York and see how that flies.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I am a child of God.

I am a man, husband to my wife and father to my children.

I am an American. Because of the benefits and status accorded to my citizenship.

I am a Utahn. Only because I live here. I live here because of the natural environment. Not because of any benefits that might accrue from the state and local governments.

If it were possible, I would drop my Utah citizenship in favor of just being an American.

Demo Dave
Holladay, UT

When it comes to protecting and managing Utah's world-class landscapes, I thank God that the Feds are in charge. May it always be so.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Stalwart Sentinel" but if the state controlled the lands, we wouldn't need that extra 12 cents because we would be able to keep more of the royalties from the land use in Utah.

Think of it like the Federal is renting farm land from Utah. We get back more than we spend because they control so much of the farm land. If we were to farm that ourselves, we wouldn't need extra help.

To "Demo Dave" unfortunately the Federal Government does a poor job of handling wild areas. Thanks to federal policies, Federal forsest land throughout the US have become dry old growth forests lacking the structure to prevent small forest fires from getting too large.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Land grab, indeed. All the GOP can talk about is the trillions of dollars to be pulled out of mining, drilling, stripping, laying pipe, etc. They won't be satisfied until the whole state looks like Beck Street.

Everett, 00

Utahns make up 0.904% of the total U.S. population.

Perhaps you'd feel better if Utahns were only allowed 0.904% of the U.S. land then?
[Making the State about the size of Indiana or South Carolina.]

Look what good stewards of the Land our State has already done with the land they DO control --
Uranium mining in Canyon lands,
strip mining of Kennecott,
and the ever progressive dumping of spent foreign nuclear waste of Energy Solutions.

Heaven help us if they ever get ahold of current the Federal lands being protected from ourselves!

Oil shale mining would make the Moon or Venus more hospitable and livable.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

The Feds manage it much better than this state ever will.
The State of Utah never owned the land to begin with. Native Americans have a much stronger claim to the land than Utah does.
Just last summer the Feds spent more than $50 Million on fire fighting in Utah. Does anyone really believe the state is going to come up with that kind of money every summer?
People incorrectly say wilderness is locked up but if you want to see land that is truly locked up, let the greedy Utah politicians take control, only to be sold to the highest bidder.

one old man
Ogden, UT

No, Red. Instead of gaining twelve cents on the dollar, Utah would be a heckuva mess trying to pay to properly manage all that land that is basically worthless. Unless you're satisfied to see it all destroyed.

But judging from your past comments, I'm afraid that would be perfectly okay with you.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "one old man" actually it is quite reasonable to assume that Utah could take over control of the lands that they want back. According to the legislature, the land they want back does not include national parks and some wilderness areas. That means what is left are undeveloped land that has resources that actually produce royalties of some sort.

If Utah only takes back land that makes money, why is it so unreasonable to expect that Utah would be able to profit from the land?

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Redshirt1701 "If Utah only takes back land that makes money, why is it so unreasonable to expect that Utah would be able to profit from the land?"

...and since those legislators that you trust are a bunch of "Development Vultures" all land could be profitable at least once even for the pennies on the dollar that they will sell it for.

The land belongs to ALL Americans.
Temporarily elected self serving one party Utonian's are not interested in what's best for Utah or the nation, just right here right now, them and their bank accounts.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Happy Valley Heretic" do you even have any idea of which lands they are wanting to control?

You realize that if they took control of much of the land in central and south eastern Utah that there is no market to develop that land for anything besides grazing rights and mineral rights. Nothing different than is already going on with those lands.

Also, think about what it could mean for Utah. If we can get more mineral extraction or grazing on Utah lands, that means Utah can collect more royalties. Those royalties go to pay for schools and roads. Do you not want our kids to be better educated or have decent roads to drive on?

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Really the "School Trust Lands" they've sold off half of, is gunna run out and they'll need more to sell.

I understand what your saying, I just don't believe many in the legislature are going to be pragmatic about it.

"Wait a minute... there might be legal precedent. Of course! Land-snatching!
Ah, Haley vs. United States. Haley: 7, United States: nothing. You see, it can be done!"

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Redshirt - The statement that Utah takes more in federal funding than it pays in federal taxes is not based off some abnormality or outlier year, that is the norm. So, Utah's habit is to spend more of American tax payers' money than it produces. That is what you have been doing with my money for years and years based on your utilization of the resources you currently have. How would giving you a larger piece of the pie (more state-controlled lands) resolve that? Based on your history, giving you a larger piece of the pie just means we'll have to spend even more money to bail you out every year. Why should we give you more control when you have a history of fiscal mismanagement and an inability to pay for all your spending habits?

Currently, if you had more control over more lands in Utah, it'd just be a larger tab you'd rack up that states like CA.

Also, I can't imagine where Utah would be without the "training wheels" of the LDS Church ie City Creek.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Stalwart Sentinel" you underestimate Utah. They have historically proven that they keep the state budget close to the tax revenues that it recieves. Some years they run surplusses and some years they dip into the rainy day fun.

The state does not have bad spending habbits. They have decent habbits (they could crack down on some welfare waste and fraud) and have shown that they are responsible with tax payer money.

What historical proof do you have that Utah would become a massive debtor state like California? If anything Utah's history shows that it would not run the massive deficits that California does.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Redshirt - I don't believe I underestimate Utah. I actually love Utah - the people and the land. But, my perspective is that Utah remains such a beautiful place in spite of Utah's local political inclinations, not because of them. Further, my perspective is that Utah lopsidedly benefits from two main benefactors: the US federal govt and the LDS Church. As a California Church member who lives in a state that pays more in federal taxes than it receives, I'm just wondering how much more of my taxes and tithing you need before you can get your house in order?

My historical proof is twofold: tax history and basic mathematics:

Tax fact: Since 1981, Utah has received a net surplus of 22.3 billion that it did not pay for while CA was shortchanged 489 billion.

Basic mathematics: (UT current debt - federal subsidy) means -22.8 - 22.3 = true debt is roughly 44.1 billion.

Basic mathematics: (CA current debt + federal credit) means -407 + 489 = 82 billion dollar surplus.

Please, stop pretending to pull your own weight and start to recognize the immense sacrifice liberal states make to put dinner on your plate every night.

USS Enterprise, UT

To "Stalwart Sentinel" but you do underestimate Utah. You assume that if Utah had less money coming in from taxes that they will continue to spend at current levels. The fact is that historically the Utah legislature has cut back when tax revenues have dropped.

The liberal states do no put dinner on my plate every night. My garden and businesses located throughout the supply food. The liberal states have little to do with it ouside of making it cost more because of high taxes and over-regulation.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

RedShirt - Incorrect, there is no assumption on my end. The numbers I provided are demonstrably accurate. So, what we know, without question, is that UT has been more than willing to spend other people's money for decades but then represents itself as being self-sustaining and fiscally responsible. If the Utah legislature had any integrity, they would not have spent the 22.3 billion they did not earn over the past 30 years. It is as simple as that. Further, as noted above, some of the largest economic boons in Utah have come through the Church's investments. Tithing, gathered from me and countless other non-Utah members, has been spent to boost Utah's private sector. Again, Utah did not earn these investments, we did. Yet, you reap the benefits of our labors.

I find it to be the peak of arrogance and ingratitude when someone doesn't recognize the assistance they have received. Unfortunately, I feel you have only confirmed my suspicions about many Utahns when it comes to acknowledging who has financed the infrastructure to make your "garden and business" possible. What's worse, you mock the people who make personal sacrifices to ensure your state stays afloat.

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