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In our opinion: National debt still looms

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  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 31, 2013 8:07 p.m.

    @ Eric Samuelson- if we need jobs and economic growth then why doesn't the President approve the Keystone pipeline?

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    July 31, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    No no no no no no no. The debt is NOT the major issue we need to deal with right now. Right now, we need jobs, we need economic growth, we need more stimulus. When we have full employment, then it would be time to worry about the deficit. Cutting spending pulls money out of the economy, which reduces tax revenues, which makes the debt worse. Stimulus now--debt reduction LATER.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 31, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    None are so blind as those who will not see.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 30, 2013 10:51 p.m.

    rew:Ernest T. Bass

    "Simply not true"?

    Prove it Ernest! I gave facts - you provided nothing but fact-less rants which is typical of progressive liberals. Everything I stated is FACT based - perhaps a 10 minute review of history on Google would be a good start for you my friend. The cost of Obamacare I gave is correct ...check it.The recovery that Reagan created from the dreadful Carters years is historical fact...check it. Your credibility would hold some water if you actually tried to back up your opinions with actual facts rather than emotional hear say.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 30, 2013 10:31 p.m.

    re:Ultra Bob

    "Communism might be a great government if it had incorruptible leaders"

    What in the world are you talking about?? Communism a great government? Talk to ANYONE who has escaped from the iron curtain of Communism about how "great" this system was for them. Talk to them about how they had NO bill of rights - no freedom of religion + no opportunity to escape poverty + no opportunity to choose a career for themselves or their children and the nightmarish list goes on and on. Communism is indeed an "evil empire" as Reagan and others correctly stated (Pres Ezra Taft Benson). Communism isn't evil just because of corrupt leaders but the very foundation principles is opposite to every single founding principle of our constitution. The foundation of Communism is flatly evil - atheism+no personal liberty are the two pillars that this satanic ideology is built upon and make no mistake ...it is SATANIC!! You need a good review of history my friend!!

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 30, 2013 10:30 p.m.

    @ so-called "patriot"
    That is simply not true. Do some objective research.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 30, 2013 7:47 p.m.

    I think at this point I am basically a Conservative ready to throw in the towel. As much as I despise unnecessary and basically unlawful cabinet departments like Energy, Education, HHS etc the fact is we have them and they are never going away. I don't blame politicians- I blame the citizenry. Because what's destroying our finances is not discretionary spending but entitlements and an unwillingness to pay for them. The fact is everyone seems to want to save "safety net" programs but no one wants to pay for them. The fact is, everyone regardless of income should be paying 15 to 20% of their income to the Federal Government to sustain the spending that people have evidently voted for over the past decades. Americans seem to have no problem with Barack Obama or George W Bush rolling around in 30 car motorcades everywhere they go while the Country borrows a dollar for every two it spends. Put your money where your vote is and pay for it.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 30, 2013 5:09 p.m.

    2 bits says “I don't know of a single Socialist government that hasn't lead to great suffering and economic stagnation for the masses”.

    I ask the question: Do you know of any government failure that didn’t lead to great suffering and economic stagnation for the masses?

    Government failures from internal causes, not from foreign, are always the fault of financial corruption of the leaders themselves or the people who control the leaders.

    The type of government doesn’t matter, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, religious, totalitarian, royal all eventually succumb to the sickness of financial corruption.

    Communism might be a great government if it had incorruptible leaders. But there are no incorruptible men or women in the world.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    July 30, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    How can anyone accept social security; when they have left so much debt for their children and grandchildren?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 30, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    re:Ernest T. Bass

    Ha!! Ernest - do have any idea how much Obamacare costs? It was projected initially at 800 billion and now it is well on its way to 3 trillion and growing. It is unworkable and even Democrat's are calling it a train wreck. Where does that money come from Ernest? Recall also Ernest what interest rates were when your second favorite president was in office (Jimmy Carter)...they were 21% ++. Inflation was equally out of control and so was unemployment. Now - remember the commercial "It is morning in America again". Yes Ernest that is the commercial that Reagan ran for reelection and it earned him a land slide victory. The reason?? Reagan brought America back from financial death that your Democrats created under Carter and he did it by CUTTING what the federal government takes from each one of us allowing small business to find life again. Progressives like yourself hate it when big brother government isn't gobbling up as much new tax revenue as possible. That isn't America Ernest. You would feel more comfortable in socialist Europe where income taxes are set at 75%.

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    July 30, 2013 3:46 p.m.

    @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.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 30, 2013 3:23 p.m.

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

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    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.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2013 3:06 p.m.

    "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.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 30, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    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!

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    July 30, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    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
    July 30, 2013 1:37 p.m.

    marxist,
    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.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    "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
    July 30, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    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.

  • BYUtah Fan Herriman, UT
    July 30, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    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.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    July 30, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    Patriot

    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.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    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.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 30, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    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.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 30, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    Tyler D,

    Good summary (unfortunately).

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 30, 2013 9:20 a.m.

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

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 30, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    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.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    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.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 30, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    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.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    July 30, 2013 7:18 a.m.

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

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    July 30, 2013 3:36 a.m.

    "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.