Comments about ‘In our opinion: National debt still looms’

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Published: Tuesday, July 30 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

"I'll cut the deficit by half by the end of my first term." BHO

One of the first of his many lies. He is doing everything he can to destroy American starting with driving it into bankruptcy with his reckless spending.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

accountability and consequence. Is there any for these guys that throw money at problems and no solutions.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Hatch is in a position to actually ACT on this problem. Not because of his assignment in Congres... but because he is not seeking re-election. But any politician who's seeking re-election can't TOUCH this problem. That's the sad fact of life in Congress. Every member of Congress knows this is the proverbial "third-rail" for Congress. You touch it... you die.

Increasing budget regularly is the neccessary cost to keep Democrats in office. Democrats complain about Republicans having a bigger campaign warchest... but they use the whole national budget as their warchest. They routinely buy votes using entitlment programs (which are part of the budget) to buy votes of special interest groups that NEED those entitlements, and think they can't live without them, so these groups feel required to vote for nothing but Democrats every election.

Republicans are no better. They TALK about cutting the budget on the campaign trail, but when they get in Washington they learn the third-rail-rule and decide they want to get re-elected more than they want to save the country... so they just vote "yes" when asked to increase the budget.

Salt Lake City, UT

Much like the collapse of Detroit and Greece, putting aside corruption and incompetence, financial reality is a difficult problem that most politicians refuse to address. Politicians generally have re-election as their first priority. Sound economic policy comes in a distant second. Fiscal planners count on historical models such as an expanding economy and inflation to minimize the national debt without realizing that times may have changed. As the disclaimer says when investing; Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

I have little faith in either side on this issue.

On the one side, we have a party that believes in full on Keynesian economics and the multiplier effect of government spending, which is true at times but creates more problems than it solves if employed more than sparingly.

On the other side is the party of hypocrites who say they are concerned with the debt but have done everything in their power for more than a decade to “starve the beast” of government in the secret hope of creating a Greece style debt crisis so they can swoop in and “save the day” by shrinking government and returning us to the Gilded Age.

Most Americans are generally content with the level of government they have (the need to reduce the cost of healthcare notwithstanding); they just want it to work better, more efficiently and not ask our grandchildren to pay for it.

But thanks to gerrymandering, the politicians most Americans want don’t get elected and so we’re left watching from the sidelines while these competing ideologies play poker with our future.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I think more tax breaks for the rich, more deregulation, the cutting of food stamps, and maybe another war will fix this problem!

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Tyler D,

Good summary (unfortunately).

Cedar Hills, UT

no one cares about the national debt - no one - until it effects them personally and that day is coming fast. The first personal effect from the debt will be the BIG increase of interest rates - rates to buy a car or a home. When those rates sky rocket then people will wake up but not until. Politicians will start the blame game and especially the Democrat's who traditionally spend spend spend and then spend some more and then attack anyone who tries to cut spending and brand them as not caring. Those who lend to us are going to reach a point where they lower our credit rating and increase the percent rate at which they lend to us. Those increased rates will be passed right on along to you and me. Wait until home loans return to the Carter years of 21% and the same for car loans....then you will see people wake up but by then it will be too little too late to do anything about it. Barack will blame others and his media will cover for him..same ole same ole.

Salt Lake City, UT

The payroll tax was just increased massively. This is an increased burden on middle America. Both of the major parties have participated in this. In addition to this middle America supports high sales taxes. A proposal, which I support, would impose a transactions tax, that is a tax on financial transactions - speculation. This could significantly enhance revenues but is probably DOA because financial interests control congress and the media such as yourselves.

m.g. scott
clearfield, UT


I'd like to add that I believe that a massive amount of inflation may well be in the works too, which will create a huge economic problem for everyone. And you rightly point out that when it comes to who's to blame, the 4th estate, which largely has been covering for Obama, as well as cheerleading, will blame the Republicans, starting with Reagan.

BYUtah Fan
Herriman, UT

According to the CBO in their June 2011 report, by the year 2015 payments for Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and debt interest will exceed all federal revenues. We have a choice. We can either reform entitlements or face financial disaster. That disaster will come in the form of runaway inflation, economic recession and/or skyrocketing interest rates. For those of you who remember, stagflation will seem like a picnic, compared to what is coming. So, if you who rely on social security and medicare get ready to move in with your kids and simply die sooner than necessary due to substandard or nonexistent medical care. If you are young, invest in real assets that will increase in value with inflation, while any loans against them diminish in real terms, and pray that you don't get laid off.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Runaway inflation in order to pump up the currency to cheeply pay of the national debt is what scares me most.

That would mean that no matter how hard I've worked all my life... I'm wiped out.

I've been saving for retirement all my life (believing SS will not be there). But if we keep printing money and deluting the money currently in circulation (AKA economic easing) and inflation eventually takes off (to allow the government to pay it's debts with artificially inflated dollars)... that just wipes out my savings. It doesn't reduce what I have in my account, but it makes those dollars I have put in there all my life relatively useless in retirement.

For example... If we have inflation like many countries have had... it could take a million dollars to buy what a single dollar used to buy. So even if I was able to put away a million dollars during my working life... I couldn't even buy a big mac when I retire.

That's the big problem for retirees. Not Social Security going away. But their lifes savings being wiped out by the dollars they saved becoming worthless.

Salt Lake City, UT

"So, if you who rely on social security and medicare get ready to move in with your kids and simply die sooner than necessary due to substandard or nonexistent medical care." This is a societal choice. The wealth of the United States is massively concentrated to the top 1% of 1%. Don't forget that in your calculations. But I applaud your brutal honesty. Rather than tax the top 1% of 1% we would rather consign the elderly to early death.

It's time for a socialist alternative, and it cannot wait.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The problem with your call for a Socialist alternative is... from all my studying of history, I don't know of a single Socialist government that hasn't lead to great suffering and economic stagnation for the masses.

If you want the working conditions and the pay of a Chinese worker, or North Korean citizen, or a Russion peasant... by all means call for the Socialist solution!

But if you want the prosperity enjoyed by the best engine for economic success in the world... vote for Capitalism. Even though there is some trickle down to Capitalism.... it still provides the most opportunity for people to move up economically, and it's still better than the Socialist solution.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

Tyler D:

I agree with much of what you say, but I have to disagree with your assessment of Keynesian economics. Why? Because it has never really been tried. Keynes advocated deficit spending during recession but also increasing taxes during expansion so that a surplus can be built to draw upon during economic downturns. We've been fairly consistent in applying Keynesian deficit spending during recessions, but neither party has the guts to raise taxes during economic expansion. This is a recipe for failure. The GOP, of course, is so ideologically bound to Grover Norquist that it cannot even think of exercising common sense. This is why I can never vote for another Republicant for Congress. Not until the GOP stops performing prefrontal lobotomies on itself in its effort to achieve ideological purity.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

IMO anybody who tells you "the National Debt is no longer a problem"... has been drinking to much partisan coolaid.

The problem with the debt, and why we'll never do anything about it, is... There is always ~50% of the country that thinks the debt is fine (because their party is in control). The faithful Republicans did it when Bush was in office (and running up the debt). And the Democrats do it today (while Obama is running up the debt).

But if it was/is a problem when the OTHER party is in power... it doesn't cease to be a problem when your party is in power and the debt is just LARGER.

It's the size of the debt that's the problem people! Not the party that's responsible for it!

We need to quit bickering about which party's responsible for it... and put away our partsan banners and start DOING something!

Salt Lake City, UT

"I'd like to add that I believe that a massive amount of inflation may well be in the works too." Nonsense. The recession is so firmly established that the massive inflation you fear is no where in sight. The RECESSION is the immediate emergency, not the debt.

Salt Lake City, UT

RE: 2 bits "Runaway inflation in order to pump up the currency to cheeply pay of the national debt is what scares me most." This is a very valid concern. When I call for socialism I call for a system where we agree to support the elderly in their last years - that's all. Such can be done only under a socialist paradigm. The capitalist paradigm calls for the elderly to die ASAP.

Contrary to the notion that socialism is weak and inefficient, consider the Soviet Union. It accomplished in 20 years what it took capitalism to accomplish in 200 years. Of course the problem with soviet socialism was the Stalinist brutality. This we must not have.

We have to be thinking collectively to avert the looming disaster.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

The two biggest factors in the debt are Bush's wars and Bush's (started by Reagan) tax cuts.

T. Party
Pleasant Grove, UT

@2 bits "We need to quit bickering about which party's responsible for it... and put away our partisan banners and start DOING something!"

Exactly right. It's really up to us. We need to instill the fear in every member of Congress that, if they don't balance the budget, they are coming home. Even the ones we voted for originally. Then we need to follow through.

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