Comments about ‘If you think federal budget is out of woods, think again’

Return to article »

Published: Tuesday, July 2 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

"There is a growing body of evidence and rich economic studies that bear this out. For countries with debt at 90 percent of GDP, that growth can be nearly 25 percent slower, higher levels of debt mean even slower growth."---

Actually this has been debunked. It was the result of a simple spreadsheet error. Even Reinhardt and Rogoff, the authors of the study, have conceded that it is seriously flawed.

Heritage has been predicting hyper-inflation for at least five years now. How often do they have to be wrong before we stop paying attention to them.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Roland,

I don't predict we WILL have hyper-inflation, but the high debt load just makes the economy less stable and more subject to shock (not unlike a family with high debt) including inflationary cycles.

I am not saying we cannot get it under control (I certainly believe we can). But we must do so. Not in radical steps so many advocate, but in an inexorable slow march. Unfortunately, long term discipline is a skill that is lacking in Washington.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

Wow. It's Ultraconservative Day at the DesNews. An editorial and a letter doing major hand-wringing over the debt, two crazy letters about the Supreme Court, and Robert Samuelson's alarmist call for us to get rid of the Internet. Wonderful. As for this piece from the Heritage Foundation, that bastion of economic realism, quoting statistics from Rogoff and Reinhart, whose embarrassingly shoddy scholarship has been exposed and soundly refuted, this is an inexcusable abuse of editorial responsibility and judgment.

Now, if this editorial had addressed the source of our recent surge in debt (two unfunded wars, an unnecessary tax cut, an unfunded Medicare drug benefit, and the worst recession in 70 years), perhaps it might have some credibility. Or if it had proposed a realistic solution, such as increasing tax rates on those who can easily afford to pay more, then perhaps I could see some reason to publish it. And for those who will cry foul for the "job creators," consider that these wealthy folks are not creating jobs. They are sitting on their money because of insufficient demand. This is not a supply-side problem. So no conservative economic ideas are even relevant.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Holy cow! Where has this letter writer been?

He's using information that was proven false from like 3 months ago. Holy cow!

Come on guys!!! Deseret News, your credibility is on the line.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

Jim DeMint, retired Republican Senator from South Carolina, now President, of the once respected Heritage Foundation, told his staff that if they publish information utilizing spurious content, The Heritage Foundation will continue to lose the credibility it tried so hard to achieve.

Jim DeMint's assessment was prophetic.

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Our leaders know that the solution to this problem is to get the evil rich to pay just a little bit more. They can easily afford to pay their fair share. Then all our budget problems will be solved.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

The author is wrong. The government won't be starting to print money to get out of debt in the future. They are already doing that.

In September 2008, there was approximately $832 billion in paper money out there. As of June 2013, there is now $1.19 Trillion. That is nearly a 50% increase. When you look at a graph of the past 10 years worth of data, you can see that at the end of Bush's Presidency they started to print money to cope with debt. Obama has continued that policy, and now it is only a matter of time before the system crashes.

To "Kent C. DeForrest" you forget the Trillions spent on paying people not to work, the trillions given to social welfare programs, and the billions that Obama wasted on Green energy. Those have added to the debt too. The question is why do you continue to support somebody that has outspent Bush 3:1?

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

In 1941, the United States fully mobilized for war. Factories started building tanks and airplanes, 5.4 million soldiers were drafted, trained and equipped for war. Germany and Japan represented the gravest possible threat to civilized values, and the US went all in to defeat them.
Today, adjusted for inflation, US military spending is about double what it was at the height of the Second World War.
So yeah, there are cuts we still can make.

Badger55
Nibley, Ut

Eric,
In 1942, the M4 Sherman Tank was the main workhorse of the US military. Today, the M1A1/A2 is the dominant tank. The Sherman came at a price tag of $33,500 in 1942. Which translates to roughly $480K in today's money. The price of an M1-A1/A2 is between $4-7 million(as of 2012 it is around $8.85M, but they were cheaper in the 80's). There were roughly 50K Shermans built in 1942 totaling about $23.9T in today's dollars. Since 1980, there have only been 8,800 Abrams built totaling anywhere between $35.2T and $61.6T.

So, even though the US has only built roughly 266 Abrams per year since 1980(as opposed to 12,500 per year during WWII), it has cost more to build the abrams. The same is for most things in the military. Things cost much more these days than it did in the 40's. even adjusted for inflation.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

RedS:

No, I'm not forgetting those things. But without the wars, the unfunded drug deal, the silly tax cut, and the recession, our expenses would be manageable. We can certainly cut some expenses (military, SS and Medicare for the wealthy, farm subsidies, and more), and we can also raise taxes to historically responsible levels (pre-Reagan). There is no reason why we cannot cover our expenses, except for Republicans who are scared of Grover Norquist and his ilk. Giving tax breaks to billionaires and corporations while threatening to take support from the poor is a fascinating philosophy for the self-proclaimed "Christian" party.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Kent C. DeForrest" you do realize that the spending on unfunded welfare programs is double or triple the amount spent on the wars. Shouldn't we start at the biggest expense, and cut that? Since nearly 2/3 of the Federal budget goes to entitlement programs and social welfare, isn't that a good place to start?

Actually, it is quite "Christian" to get government out of the welfare business. One of the central points of Christ's doctrine is to make us free and to give us choices. Building up a massive government that makes the choices is against His doctrine. Because of that, "Christian" thing to do is to make ALL men free by giving them the choice to help their neighbor or not.

Why do you want to do the "Un-Christian" thing and force others to care for the poor?

m.g. scott
clearfield, UT

Kent

The recession of the late 70's, with gas lines, and 20% interest rates ect. was worse than this one. The only problem is that with close to 17 trillion debt and Growing, the coming Depression could be worse than the '29 one.

Eric

In the cold war 80's, we spent about 1/3 of our budget on military. Now it is about 1/6 of the budget.

Want to see a scary sight. Go to Debt Clock. com.

The Hammer
lehi, utah

@ Kent C DeForrest-

The Bush tax cut only accounted for 10% of the budgeted revenues when it was enacted. And although this led to a deficit in the year it was enacted it actually accounted for the highest revenue totals we have ever collected for taxes in the following year.

As for Medicare part D expansion it would have been a whole lot better to fund it but tax raises among Republicans are unpopular and so it passed without it. The hope is the economics of a premium support plan would actually reduce the cost of the funding of the program (this has been shown as the actual cost went down year over year).

Social securities growth can be slowed by a few things but medicare and medicaid are by far the biggest problem we have. Premium support is by far the most effective plan otherwise medicare will slowly cut out services or raise deductibles, we have already seen this over the last two years. Medicaid and other federal state partnership programs are already seeing push back from states who want and need more freedom in administering these programs. Why not get rid of onerous mandates and do block grants?

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

RedS, you refer to "Trillions spent on paying people not to work, the trillions given to social welfare programs." You really do buy into that nonsense about the 47 percent, don't you? But if you just slash that spending, guess what would happen? These people would have far less to spend, so demand in the economy would plunge, businesses would lay people off, and we'd be right back in 2009. Some solution.

Here's where you and I differ. You apparently think money should continue to flow to the top 10 percent so that they can create jobs. Unfortunately, those people aren't creating jobs because there is insufficient demand for their products. We need to solve the inequality problem first. And I don't mean through taxation. I mean through sharing the profits from business more equitably with those who create them (the workers). We also need to convince corporate America that they have a responsibility to hire Americans, not just depend on them as consumers. Once we get more balance in wealth, then the problem you're so upset about will pretty well solve itself. Unfortunately, conservative economic ideas will just make things worse in the long run.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Kent C. DeForrest" Trillions spent paying people not to work. There was $1.2 Trillion proposed spending on unemployment and SS combined for FY 2014 budget. People are using disability as a way of collecting early on SS. Next you have a record number of people on food stamps, another handout for not working in most cases. Then you have the housing subsidies, so that people don't have to work as hard to support themselves.

The economy wouldn't plunge that much. If you slashed the social welfare programs, and the waste that goes along with it, tax payers would have more money to spend. The US is the most charitable nation on the planet, and would pick up the slack that the government cut loose. Within a short time there would be charities running more efficiently than the government helping the truely poor.

As for workers sharing profits, they can do that if the owners let the workers BUY a share in the business. Otherwise they are not risking anything for the business.

If you want to balance out income, then you have to move away from liberalism. Historically income disparity increases as liberalism becomes more dominant.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Redshirt1701

Social Security and Medicare are paid for through their own revenue stream. Of course those solvency estimates show that we'll have to make adjustments but my point is... since they are paid for with their own accounts/revenue and not the general budget, they aren't the source of the deficit.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments