Robert Bennett: Raising the debt limit is necessary


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  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    To those who say (then) Senator Bennett did nothing, what ignorance. Spending and all other bills require voting; if you are in the minority on a particular vote, you have done all you can. To be accused of complicity in the passing of that measure is false accusation. We as a nation are where we are because of the demands of a majority, no matter how narrow the divide. America, blame yourself. It is frustrating; men like Lee have difficulty in dealing with it. Men like Bennett have difficulty, also, but deal with it better than the Lees. Pure and not-so-simple.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 3:42 p.m.

    Re: "The Clinton administration raised taxes (without a single Republican vote) in a deficit reduction plan that succeeded in creating surpluses by the late 1990s."

    Yeah -- a deficit reduction plan that only worked and created surpluses because Reagan-era and Clinton-era, Republican-Congress spending controls were in effect.

    You won't get an argument from real Americans on the issue that deranged spending by liberals in both parties is to blame.

    But, regardless of who you blame -- insane, out-of-control spending has simply got to stop.

    Perpetuating business-as-usual, politically-motivated, vote-buying spending -- as Congressional and Obama-regime liberals are currently holding America hostage for -- will never produce a fiscally sane result.

    It simply can't happen. Ever.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    Re: "Just remember, that in order to balance that budget 2 things need to happen."

    And, since Obama has already imposed the largest tax increase in America's history, isn't it about time we started with the the spending cuts?

    Re: "Our problem isn't liberal spending on programs of social uplift."

    Our problem is deranged spending -- period. Blame American politics' irrational profligacy on whoever you like, we just need it to STOP.

    The glaring, obvious problem liberals won't come to terms with is that we simply spend too much. They'd clearly rather blame Republicans than actually address the problem.

    It's as if they feel entitled, as a matter of "fairness," to another 40 years of manic profligacy, to match the last 40. And, they're unwilling to discuss sanity until they get it.

    Remember Dr. Einstein and his definition of insanity.

    It clearly applies to ALL political vote-buying.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    Who voted in this Congress of Drunken Sailors? Nope, I didn't, I supported people like Ron Paul and looked in vain for people like Jim DeMint and Ted Cruz on many of our local polls.

    I did tentatively support Mike Lee and am now glad that I did.

    This insanity has got to stop, and it would be a good thing if we did not rail on the few sane people in the Congress who try to stop the madness and do not want to put off taking a stand - yet again.

    Wake up America!!

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon: "Just remember, that in order to balance that budget 2 things need to happen. 1. reduce spending, 2. INCREASE revenue That means Raising taxes, doesn't it?"

    NO it doesn't! Liberals wrongly think that raising tax RATES == increased tax REVENUES. It doesn't.

    If we want to increase revenues to the government we need more people to go back to work and pay taxes. That means we need a robust economy where businesses can grow and hire new people. It means letting working Americans keep more of their paycheck so that the difference between working and being un-employed or "disabled" incentivizes more people to work.

    BTW: I completely disagree with your premise that we even need more tax revenues. The government currently brings in about $2.5 TRILLION annually (more than it ever has). That should be more than enough for the government to provide its necessary functions.

    Unfortunately, even if it were $10 trillion a year, it wouldn't fund all the things liberals want the government to do. We have a SPENDING problem not a REVENUE problem.

  • Gordon Jones Draper, Utah
    Oct. 8, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    When Bennett took office, the national debt stood at about $6 trillion. By the time he left it had grown to about $14 trillion.

    During his 18 years in the Senate, Bob Bennett voted for 132 out of 133 appropriations bills on final passage in the Senate. Appropriations bills are the bills that actually spend the money.

    The size of this debt and its growth trend is what should concern us far more than today's fight. The Congressional Budget Office warns that "the high and rising amount of debt that CBO projects under the extended baseline would have significant negative consequences for both the economy and the federal budget."

    Yes, there is a short-term problem, but the long-term problem is horrendous. Congressional Republicans are attempting to get a handle on that long-term problem, a problem for which Bob Bennett shares responsibility.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    @procuradorfiscal - "Sure it is -- but only because of the deranged spending spree liberals have been on for the last 40+ years."

    I get that liberals aren't your thing, but if we're going to discuss federal budgets, let's be honest.

    Going back 40 years to 1973, deficits were consistent but not huge. Starting with the Reagan administration spending and deficits exploded. Reagan raised taxes six times, but his budgets increased spending even faster. The first Bush administration raised taxes. The Clinton administration raised taxes (without a single Republican vote) in a deficit reduction plan that succeeded in creating surpluses by the late 1990s.

    According to the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy priorities, Federal deficits since 2001 have had four primary causes - the Bush tax cuts (of 2001 and 2003), the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan and the economic crash of 2008. Absent those four factors, we'd currently be running a small surplus or a very small deficit.

    Our problem isn't liberal spending on programs of social uplift. Too many of us believe the lie that we can tax cut our way to prosperity.

    Oct. 8, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    Why do we listen to anyone who helped put us in this situation? We just keep digging the hole bigger and bigger.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Oct. 8, 2013 4:54 a.m.

    Hayden, ID

    Shaun. Baloney. A Federal Budget Lesson for you.

    Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:

    * Annual family income: $21,700
    * Money the family spent: $39,200
    * New debt on the credit card: $17,500
    * Outstanding balance on the credit card: $172,710
    * Total budget cuts so far: $3.85
    Got It !!!!!
    3:34 p.m. Oct. 7, 2013


    Nice example.
    Just remember, that in order to balance that budget 2 things need to happen.

    1. reduce spending,
    2. INCREASE revenue

    That means Raising taxes, doesn't it?
    Something Republicans have been dead set against.

    Also remember, that 80% of ALL wealth in America belongs to the 1%.
    Something Republicans have also been dead set against.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 11:12 p.m.

    We would have run out of money earlier in the year, yet us raising the taxes of the rich in 2013, has postponed this need to raise credit limit. Things are good. Economy is growing, and deficit is dropping, wars are ending, and costs of health care are dropping. We will be okay; all agree tax code should be made simple, then we just need to reform Medicare and Medicaid.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 10:58 p.m.


    Great example!!!! Only we are a fairly well of country, relatively speaking. Perhaps we should put one zero back on so the liberal posters can see how a upper middle class family ends up bankrupt. (Yes, this does happen.)

    * Annual family income: $217,000
    * Money the family spent: $392,000
    * New debt on the credit card: $175,000
    * Outstanding balance on the credit card: $1,727,100
    * Total budget cuts so far: $38.50

    We have a spending problem. We are trying to live a 400K lifestyle on a 200K income. It doesn't work. (But when we talk numbers, liberals tune out, or go to sleep, which why they don't get it.)

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 10:39 p.m.

    Doug 10

    I can play that math game too.

    ALL the revenue from taxes won't cover SS, medicare, and unemployment. If we borrowed no more, we couldn't take care of entitlements, even if we had ZERO military. We couldn't pay the interest on the debt either. And all those parks that are closed, would have to be run by volunteers. Every discretionary program would have to go.

    We have to address and curtail entitlements, not add another one called the ACA, or anything else.

    A raise in the debt ceiling must have a spending ceiling too, or it will be meaningless in the long haul.

    The only real hope to fix this is to get all able Americans working productively, to raise the economy so much that the increased revenue can cover what we already owe. NO HOPE of that CHANGE with this president. Employment and income is still diminishing.

    So far the federal government has lived by "Eat, drink, and be merry, for soon we will be broke!" I am not so young, but I can see disaster coming in my lifetime.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 7:52 p.m.

    Re: "Raising the debt limit is necessary"

    Sure it is -- but only because of the deranged spending spree liberals have been on for the last 40+ years.

    Beyond that, notwithstanding disingenuous liberal hype, no one is seriously suggesting we stop paying our debts.

    Responsible politicians ARE suggesting, however, that liberals compromise to abandon at least some of their big-spending ways, implementing controls to gradually get America onto a long-term debt reduction plan. One that can halt these annual debt-ceiling circuses, and move us toward REDUCING, rather than endlessly raising that ceiling.

    And, there's certainly no better time to highlight liberal profligacy, and the desperate need to curtail it, than during this debt-ceiling battle -- a time when the burden should be on those demanding ever more and more debt, to justify it.

    Of course, they can't. So they'll undoubtedly resort to the their time-honored tactic of changing the subject and vilifying common sense.

    It's truly sad that it still works for them.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 7, 2013 7:36 p.m.

    I find it hard that anyone takes seriously a crowd that applauds and cheers on Cruz and Lee for their stance of no compromise - then the same crowd complains that Obama and Reid wont compromise. As the old saying goes - some speak with a forked tongue.

    They expect one side to compromise - while "their" side is told to never compromise.

    Do they not understand the concept of compromise - that each side must give some. When only one side is being asked to compromise with nothing in return, that is called extortion.... something that is criminal in most civilized countries.

    What we are witnessing is a reply of the hard headedness that ripped this nation apart some 150 years ago, though this time over something of much less gravity. This is just for chest thumping rights - not any greater good. This is the most unpatriotic of behaviors - where party is placed above the good of a nation.

    If the Republicans actually win this battle, by forcing the default of this nation, they may have won will seem hallow when compared to the damage it will have done. It will be handing the reigns of power over to the Chinese.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 7, 2013 7:26 p.m.

    A Washington Post/ABC poll released Monday found that while the public's ratings for the president and both parties in Congress remain negative, disapproval of Republicans has grown in the past week. Seventy percent of Americans now disapprove of how Republicans in Congress are handling budget negotiations, up from 63 percent last week.

    A Pew Research poll also released Monday found that 38 percent of Americans blame Republicans more for the shutdown, while 30 percent blame Obama, and 19 percent blame both sides.

    A third poll by CNN/ORC found that majorities of Americans are angry at everyone involved with the shutdown: Sixty-three percent say they're angry at Republicans, 57 percent say they're angry at Democrats, and 53 percent say they're angry at Obama.

  • Informed Voter South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 7:13 p.m.

    Another reminder it is good Benmett is no longer in the senate.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Oct. 7, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    Mountanman and the others who are so dead set on the nation defaulting on the money we owe - there is a way out. Let's talk about cutting the budget:
    1. Let's look at the defense budget - why do we spend as much on defense than the next 15 industrialized nations combined? Is it because there are defense contractors putting money in the coffers of Congress?
    2. Let's look at every aspect of spending and eliminate pork barrel spending by having clean budget bills without anyone's pet projects.
    3. And let's look at Social Security even though it is currently solvent; the day will soon come when it isn't.

    Now let's look at revenue. Return the tax rates to what they were in the Clinton Administration. We squandered our opportunity to pay off a sizable portion of what was the under $6 trillion by giving tax breaks that overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy. It will need to be a combination of both revenue and cost custing to get us where we need to be but it is possible if we send grown-ups to Congress who are interested in serving the nation and not just their egos.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    @Mountanman - interesting illustration of the US budget. Let me add some context.

    In 2000, our national "household" income was about 21,000; our national household spending was about 18,000. In 2001 our national "household" voluntarily gave up 1470 in income; in 2003 we gave up another 708 in income, but we kept increasing our spending and our debt. In the course of things, our income goes up a little bit most years so it eventually recovered but we ran up a lot of debt in the meantime. But we kept spending more than half our budget to deep the moat around our house.

    In 2009 we hit hard times and our income dropped - from 25,239 to 21,049. And despite lots of talk, we have refused to raise our household income.

    If a real household did that, you'd say to them, "Quit our job as a waiter and go back to being an airline pilot." Because they still have the same bills as before. If that household can make more money and pay their bills, wouldn't you tell them to do that?

    Cutting spending is only half the answer.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 7, 2013 3:34 p.m.

    Shaun. Baloney. A Federal Budget Lesson for you.
    * U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
    * Fed budget: $3,920,000,000,000
    * New debt: $1,750,000,000,000
    * National debt: $17,271,000,000,000
    * Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000
    Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:

    * Annual family income: $21,700
    * Money the family spent: $39,200
    * New debt on the credit card: $17,500
    * Outstanding balance on the credit card: $172,710
    * Total budget cuts so far: $3.85
    Got It !!!!!

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    Bob makes a good point. Raising the debt ceiling is definitely needed. However, more important is cutting the size of the federal budget which means cutting departments and welfare.

    Cut the budget, even by 3-5% (AT LEAST), freeze spending at 2010 levels and raise the debt ceiling, but only in that order.

    Failing to do that, we will see even greater threats to our economy and prosperity as a nation.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    @mountainman. The republicans in the house do not want to reduce spending. All they want is to make sure the spending goes to their interest, big business and tax cuts for the wealthy.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 7, 2013 1:44 p.m.

    I think we need to clear the air on taxes, and spending. Probably the best bet is to have the feds stop funding anything at the state level anymore. It is time that citizens of a state got to fully appreciate where their money was going. Utah DOT and Schools should not get any federal funs - same for all states. Let the states collect those taxes - and let those taxes be representative of the true cost of offering those services to those states.

    Things have gotten too defuse. We see fringes of the interplay between federal spending, and the tourist towns that surround our national parks. What is the real cost to provide power to small Utah communities... to provide roads.... communications. People seem to assume the right to these benefits now... less alone medicare and medicaid.

    I think a lot of people would change their tune if they fully realized how dependent that all have become on subsidized government benefits - beyond just the social services. The link between spending and benefits is too defuse, and politicians are counting on people thinking it is the other guy who will be impacted.

    Lets clear the air... draw some direct lines...

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 7, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    @ Shaun. Precisely the point! Congress needs to stop spending money we don't have but only the House is willing to do that! The President and the Senate think money grows on trees!

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    People seem to forget that America is the only Super Power on planet Earth. We have a military that the sun never sets on. We are on every continent. We dominate commerce and warfare. Our budget is 3X the size of the next closest one. American as a country is supreme when rated as a maritime power in the 20th and 21st century.
    Our debt is nothing compared to the money that our country generates. I can have debt that within the means of my income. The US income is so vast that we can have a lot of debt. With my home and car etc... I have more debt than my income. And I can manage it. As a business its good to have some debt, and can be good to utilize it. Lets stop panicking at every step.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 7, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    Bennett could take a page from Joe Lieberman's playbook and run as an Independent. When Joe lost the Democratic primary in CT, he ran as an Independent and won.

    But I'm guessing Bennett is enjoying his life outside the asylum that Washington has become.

    Obama compromised the last time the Republican's wanted to blow up the economy, which is why they pulled it again. Obama is right to hold the line this time--he should've done it last time.

    We cannot have this brinksmanship every few months. It is not good to bring the good faith and credit of the U.S. to the brink. How many downgrades do we want?

    Obama cancelled an important Asian summit to deal with this mess.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    Senator Lee, his staff and extremist supporters need to read this.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    Yes we need to pay our bills. But the government needs to be reminded that their are consequences to saying YES to every lobbyist, special interest group, and political campaign donor who wants the government to spend even more money.

    If they constantly think that money just grows on trees (or printing presses) and that there is no limit to out of control spending, our country will continue on the pathway to bankruptcy.

    Both parties are complicit in our $17 trillion debt and in adding another $1 trillion every year or so. Senators like Bennett did his share to get us into this situation, but Obama and like-minded Democrats seem to want to head this way with a "pedal to the metal" mentality.

    What can fiscally responsible people do to slow it down, let alone stop it and reverse it? All attempts so far (shutdowns, threats of defaults, entitlement reforms) are met with fierce resistence and demonization from the left (e.g. throw granny off the cliff).

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 7, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    This whole thing started because House Republicans thought they should hold the economy hostage until Obama and the Senate agreed to defund or delay Obamacare.

    The Senate voted on the House measure. It failed.

    The House has not put a single Senate measure up for a vote. Boehner falsely says he doesn't have the votes to pass a "clean" bill. He has enough Republicans willing to vote for a clean bill along with Democrats. And, if he didn't, he could put it up for a vote and it would fail. He would be proven right.

    Obama has never said he wants "unlimited" spending. He cannot override the Budget Control Act, (also known as sequestration) which right now is shaving 1.5 trillion off the debt over the next 10 yrs. Raising the debt ceiling means we are paying the bills we already owe. The House and Senate could easily vote on a continuing resolution, keeping the sequestration, to keep the govt going.

    The House and Senate passed budget resolutions in March. The House has refused to meet with the Senate to work out the differences.

  • apm22 sparks, NV
    Oct. 7, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    Why should we believe a career politician? Why should we believe any politician at this point? All they do is bully us with eternal crises.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Oct. 7, 2013 10:55 a.m.

    It's time to live in reality. And reality is a 17 trillion dollar debt. Time to pretend it doesn't exist. But I think they are going to cave and waste it. But the thing is, the finacial collapse will happen either manually or automatically. It's inevitable. I would rather have a 17 trillion dollar debt than a 50 trillion dollar debt which is exactly whats going to happen if we keep ignoring it.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Oct. 7, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    If the Government was paying their debts there would be no need to raise the debt limit. You can try to convince me 2+2=5 all day long. I can't believe people think printing money backed by nothing is paying bills. It's called inflation.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    Bob Bennett shows once again the reason he got booted out of office. He just does not get it.

    The problem is not that we are not raising the debt ceiling quickly enough. Indeed, then Senator Barack Obama eloquently justified the reasons to vote AGAINST raising the debt ceiling in 2007, and things have only gotten worse since then.

    The problem is that we are spending far more than we take in, and at a faster rate than even when Bennett was in office.

    We are in a sinking boat with hundreds of holes in the bottom Politicians are arguing about how big a bucket to use to bail it out, but no one except a few Republicans are even talking about fixing the holes in the boat. Spending comes from the holes, and bailing will never stop the sinking. We MUST plug the holes!

    Every time in the past the debt limit was raised with a promise to cut some spending, the spending never got cut. Same with tax increases to fix the problem.

    Congressmen addicted to spending and promising bogus spending cuts must be voted out. Bennett was a good start.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Oct. 7, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    Anti Bush-Obama - I think you've misinterpreted the situation. It is not, as you suggest, a case of going to the bank to "raise my credit limit rather than pay the debts I have." It is, in fact, going to the bank to raise my credit limit so I can pay the debts I have, the ones I've already committed to paying. It's a simple concept made difficult by people who have an agenda and see no other way to have their voice heard because that can't win in the arena designed by the Constitution..

  • Ronnie W. Layton, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    For some people this article is a sign to them why Bob Bennett should still be a senator. To others, it's a sign it's good he is gone.

    Raising the debt ceiling without drastic cuts, is ignoring the problem. Bob Bennett did nothing to prevent us from getting here. Why should we take his word he could get us out?

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Oct. 7, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    I should be allowed to go the bank and make them raise my credit limit rather than pay the debts I have. Thats real smart.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    "The sky is falling; the sky is falling." If we don't increase the federal debt limit, the sky will fall on us! So says former Senator Bennett. He and Uncle Orin used to pretend their support of a Balanced Budget amendment, which has long been a plank in the Republican Party Platform. Now, however, they are exposed as the big government proponents they really are.

    I say take the bitter pill, bite the bullet, return to sanity even if it requires sacrifice. Kill the giant dragon that eats the hopes and prospects of our grandchildren.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    We need more senators like Bob Bennet - a very prudent and capbale man. Senator Bennett, please run for office again against Mike Lee!. Senator Lee evidently does not have the best interests of the American people in mind unfortunately. Senator Lee seems to represent only the extremist minority of the Republican party. Utah can do much, much better.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    Why isn't it considered? For the very same reason that vast numbers of citizens, including members of the House and Senate, haven't considered the importance of fiscal responsibility for 50 years? It's call insanity and it originates in citizens and then converges with cowardly congressmen from both parties who point the finger at the other party! This is Obama's lack of leadership and the selfishness of Congress, plain and simple. Don't even try to tell me that our President hasn't put his blueprint on all of this irresponsibility. He relishes it and so do most of our representatives from congress, both Democrat and Republican! The most deluded of all are those here that belong to either party and continue to shout the predictable line--'it's the other guys fault'. A criminal class if there ever was one.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    @Mountainman. Roland is right. Congress passed these money bills already and the president signed them. It is extortion to pass a money bill and then say we are not going to fund the bill unless you give us what we want.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    You know, I'm not a Republican anymore, and I probably never will be again. Can't see any end to the insanity, frankly. But I find myself agreeing more and more with Bob Bennett. Why did we ever boot him out of office? Oh, yeah, I remember. It was so we could send that Mike Lee dude to Washington and bring constitutional government to the brink of extinction. That's why we did it. Seems like such a wise choice.

    Bob, have you ever considered starting a moderate party? I think it would win every election, except for a few of those House seats from crazy conservative gerrymandered districts. But this seems to be the only way we might ever see sanity in Washington again. I think you and a few of your old buddies from both sides of the aisle ought to give it a try. Jon Huntsman is already with you.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 7, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    Roland. I fear you missed the point. Obama says he will NOT negotiate and wants unlimited spending, unlimited credit. It is necessary to balance our income with our spending but Obama isn't willing to even talk about that. Its Obama's economic malfeasance that we are trying to overcome. By the way don't you think its the American tax payers and our grandchildren who are being stiffed? I am proud of the GOP for standing up for economic sanity because Obama and the Democrats are not.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 7, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    Please. Let's negotiate everything - taxes, spending, the works.

    AFTER we raise the debt ceiling.

    Should we fail to do so we risk losing not just our credit rating but out status as the world's reserve currency. Then watch what happens to interest rates (for the rest of your life).

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    Every single bill presented to the treasury represents funds that were legally and lawfully appropriated by congress. Failure to pay any of these bills therefore constitutes a default. Due to this, many legal experts believe that Treasury lacks any legal authority to pick and choose which bills to pay.

    Here's something else I would like my conservative friends to consider: Let's say the debt limit is breached and the Treasury Dept. does prioritize payments. Treasury is an executive branch agency, which means that you giving President Obama the authority to decide who to pay and who to stiff. Is that your end goal?

  • Zac Ogden, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    I watched Jack Lew on three different programs, and heard his "creative accounting", ummm no "cooking the books", no that isn't right...oh yeah, "extraordinary measures" comment.

    But, my questions go to Bob Bennet. You were in office for a long time. Why is it we always need to do this? Why do we get empty promises from you and the other old politicians about controlling the spending? Why is it always, from you old politicians, "we need to raise now, and talk later"? Maybe there are enough of us out here that are finally tired of your old politician excuses. Maybe there are enough of us that are finally tired of the exemptions and special rules you make for yourselves, while leaving us serfs to deal with your laws (that you can't even take time to read, let alone understand, before approving them).

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    Seems that a dose of reality makes many uncomfortable but they contuinue to look to the government to change things.

    The government has been in the drivers seat the entire time the country has been headed downhill financially. It is too difficult for government members to say no to the money that flows to them as a result of their office.

    A good example would be the 9 + million dollars that came to Senator Hatch from health insurance companies who hopes he will continue to support the high cost of health care in this country.

    It does not matter the party that is elected as each have proven incapable of turning off ongoing cash flow out of the federal government.

    However when $.41 of every tax dollar goes to feed the military that has to be one of the things to look at when you talk cost reductions. American Medical Association says that 50% of their funding is wasted yet we keep funding them. There are options to cut spending but those elected do not want to cut spending. We also need to increase revenues.

    Looking to government to do either is absurd... no matter the party

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Oct. 7, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    Oops. I meant to say, "..the CBO estimated that at the current rate we would have eliminated our total national debt - at that time about $5.0T - in about 10 years. That was 14 years ago.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 7, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    Anyone with a brain knows there will come a time when we can't live in red ink. Someday we will have to cut spending and live within our means. Interest on our national debt alone will eventually destroy our economy. Obama said he will not negotiate and wants an open check book, no spending limits and unlimited credit with no spending restrictions. That is economic suicide!

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Oct. 7, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    "We cannot keep spending more than we take in, so what goes away?"

    Sorry high school fan, but your one sided perspective - what goes away - is not the only answer. Certainly the government needs to spend only that which needs to be spent. We need to stop pork barrel spending that is perpetuated by both siders of the aisle. Legislation should always be "clean" without attached amendments that fund somebody's pet project in their district or state.

    But cutting government spending is not the only way. Near the end of the Clinton Administration, when the country actually had surplus budgets primarily because of the robust economy, the CBO estimated that at the current rate we would have eliminated our total national debt - at that time about $5.0T.

    Yes, the economy sunk into a recession immediately afterward putting that goal in jeopardy, but the biggest change was the enormous tax cuts implemented by the incoming Bush Administration. President Bush famously said we should be able to keep "our money". He failed to mention that it was "our debt" that needed to be paid. Return the tax rates to what they were in the prosperous Clinton years to start.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 6:23 a.m.

    Okay Robert Bennett , if we accept your theory wholly then only one question remains, how the heck did we get here?
    You served in the senate for a long time and did nothing to stop this mess.

    Next time answer this question, how do we solve this mess? We cannot keep spending more than we take in, so what goes away?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Oct. 7, 2013 6:06 a.m.

    After the ACA Government shutdown extortion hostage back-lash fiasco,
    So that Republicans can have a ghost of a chance winning ANYTHING this next election?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 3:20 a.m.

    It's that kind of level-headed thinking that got him booted from the Senate.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Oct. 7, 2013 12:29 a.m.

    Nice to see there's at least one sane Republican left.