Comments about ‘Letter: National spending’

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Published: Sunday, Oct. 13 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Administration after administration starved government of revenue yet left spending in place all in an effort to buy votes until the system became unworkable. Now it's too easy to blame the president who's taken the first real steps to address the health care problem, although the plan should have been a full fledged single payer system. We can do better, but we're going to have to let some adults back into the room.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Good Catch Eric.

Yes, it is easy to blame congress. But then, that would probably implicate your side as well.
Cant have that.

I remember towards the end of GW Bush second term. Gas prices and unemployment were skyrocketing and the economy was plunging.

The mantra from the right was,

"hey, the president doesn't run the country, Congress does"
The president doesn't make the laws, Congress Does"
The president doesn't spend money, Congress does"

People are rather selective in placing blame, don't you think Eric?

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Prioritize. Fourien aid. Student loans, house loans, Oil ind. retirement, work.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

The ACA is a law passed through Congress. The over used phrase "shoved down out throats" can be said of any legislation any legislation not liked by a minority and passed into law. Please refrain from this rhetoric. Unilaterally causing a default by refusing to pay our debts is worse than passing legislation dislike by a radical minority, but we should avoid "gun held to head of hostage".

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Eric.... your party line, that the government spending problem began with the election of a black democrat man to the presidency of this country... is exactly the problem. Somehow there is the train of thought that before Obama was president, we had no spending problems. That this wasn't an issue. That only in the last 5 years this has become a problem.

It complete ignores the only time in the last 100 years the government had a balanced budget, was with an equally hated democrat as president, all sides came together to balance government spending, and that it was a Republican president, and a republican congress that returned this country to deficit spending.

I don't say this as an anti-republican. I was Republican through through out those years. But as I get older, and I experience more, I realize there is truth on both sides of an argument. Comments like the above, that this began with one man - are not an honest representation of history. Lets start by reintroducing honesty...and the rest will follow.

redshirt007
tranquility base, 00

Perhaps castor oil is exactly the remedy. And yes it is a medicine that CAN go down without any sugar. I wonder if the letter writer is retired, not working, receiving a SS check and alive because of government medicare right now?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It seems that conservatives, republicans, and Tea Party people like to short circuit wisdom by changing the notion of “It ain’t what you’ve got, it’s what you do with what you got” into “It’s just what you’ve got.”

Or in this case, the wisdom of “It ain’t how much you spend, it’s what you spend it on that counts” to be “Spending is bad”.

Of course we all know that what they say is all “hogwash” because we know them to be the main spenders of other people’s money in our government(s). And usually on non government items like foreign aid to business and a huge military with obsolete equipment when we’re not at war.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Ultra Bob

I think we might get better government if we didn’t let our representative “talk across the aisle”.

I propose that we keep the people’s representative’s operational office right in the area that elected him. I would like for the people to have more access to him and outside business interest less. There is nothing to be done in Washington, government wise, which could not be done electronically from the home district.

Further, I propose that every political and governmental conversation be recorded and available to the people represented.

Just think of all the money that could be saved if we didn’t have all the government going to, living in, being in social contact with and being influenced by people outside our own district. We would still be a republic, only more so a democratic republic.

Nonconlib
Happy Valley, UT

Nice try, Eric. But let's see what you and other Republicans determine we can do without. Which specific government expenses would you recommend slashing? Which group of Americans in need would you pull the rug out from under. I am of course assuming, from the right-tipping tone of your complaint, that you would slash Medicare, Social Security, SNAP, WIC, and other programs that help those who are not large corporations or wealthy individuals. You would also gladly remove health insurance from those the ACA is trying to help.

Personally, I would prioritize budgetary matters as follows: 1. reduce our bloated military, 2. close tax loopholes, 3. introduce means testing into Social Security and Medicare, 4. raise taxes on the wealthy and on corporations, who have made off like bandits since Reagan's tax cuts (see any of hundreds of statistics on the increasing gap between the rich and the rest), 5. revise the ACA to make it more like the health-care systems around the world that provide quality care for half what we spend.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

Eric, I am disappointed in you. As a regular writer in this forum you should have remembered that the ACA was crafted with the insistence of Republican members of Congress from a Heritage Foundation and Romneycare models. They Republicans deliberately sabotaged the crafting then the implementation of the Act as we have seen the past 3 weeks. I am also disappointed that you seemed to miss that before Obama was even inaugurated the fix was in to destroy his presidency. This was all ok the first 2 years when they were able to stabilize the free fall that was inherited but since 2010 there has not been a single act implemented by Congress that has become law. What's that all about if not dereliction of duty? Yes there is plenty of blame to go around but after the debacle of Congress during the past Democrat in the White House and this one, it is obvious that Sedition is prevalent on the right side of the aisle.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Congress operates significantly differently than it has in the past.
The work week has diminished. Many/most legislators are only working in D.C., Tues-Thurs. and they are spending less "leisure" time with each other outside of working hours.
Less time is spent debating bills in session.
More time is spent meeting with lobbyists and fundraising.

The Budget Control Act--sequestration has constrained discretionary spending for the next 10 yrs.
The next thing we need to do is address non-discretionary spending.

Defense spending is out of control. For several years the GAO hasn't even been able to complete audits of defense spending because of a lack of accounting and controls.

We could further reduce healthcare spending costs by allowing the govt. to negotiate prices for prescriptions, and raising/eliminating the income cap on Medicare.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

Nonconlib:

I like much of what you say.

You seem to have some pretty good ideas. I would naturally make some adjustments to fit my own view of things more closely:

On your fourth point I would actually prefer to lower corporate taxes to bring back production to our own shores.

On your fifth I see ACA as unconstitutional (not an enumerated power) but that it would be acceptable to encourage the states to have their own health-care systems, if the people want them, fitted to the needs of each state, and obtaining first the approval of the people of those states.

States Health Insurance systems could be made simply an elective alternative to private medicine to a greater extent than at present, while there should always remain the option of NO medical insurance if individuals so choose. You could still encourage or promote basic catastrophic insurance without removing the right to choose. Hospitals and doctors should offer a la carte prices; presently we approach those institutions with trepidation and blindfolded. They bankrupt many.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:Gildas
"On your fourth point I would actually prefer to lower corporate taxes to bring back production to our own shores. "

Production is not going overseas due to tax rates, but due to labor rates. Those jobs are not coming back as long as there are people able and willing to work for $1/hr.

Where in the Constitution do we find the enumerated power for federal drug laws, a federal reserve system, food safety inspectors etc.?

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Eric doesn't pay attention to which party had added the most to deficit spending and which party has been fiscally responsible the last 35 years.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

Truthseeker:

If you're seeking truth let me offer a"different facet":

There are a lot of things that gov. does that are not enumerated in the constitution; that seems to mean to you that therefore they are somehow constitutional. I disagree.

Do you really think I am unaware that part of the attraction of outsourcing is cheap labor? We have no control over the price of labor in Asia, however, but we do have control over the corporate tax in the USA which is the highest in the world or not far off it. China's is certainly lower.

If we cut the rate of corporate tax it would go some way towards leveling the playing field. Of course we could also place a tariff on imports at any level that would serve to do the same. I think we should do both or either. Ron Paul felt that a reduction in our corporate tax to 15% would do the trick. He may well be right.

But very few talk about this but endlessly parrot the usual republican / democrat partisan positions that typically leave us with only two choices both of them bad.

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

When you seek to identify the root of a problem, it more often turns out to be an idea than a person. Obama himself may not be the root cause of our spending mess, but he embraces all of the false ideas that got us into it.

@UtahBlueDevil

Clinton was dragged kicking and screaming to the budget he eventually signed. But he did have the good sense to sign it. Maybe he skipped class the day they talked about Alinsky.

@ugottabkidn

The thing is, everyone knows what the Republican ideas were: purchasing across state lines, tort reform, no death panels, abolishing abortion funding, eliminating the medical device tax. They are all conspicuously missing from Obamacare.

The Democrats locked Republicans out of the room while they designed Obamacare, and the bill passed with no Republican votes.

Obama and Reid allowed the government to shut down in defense of Obamacare. House Republicans did the same trying to avert it. It all played out on TV, for days on end, in plain sight of everyone.

Obamacare belongs to the Democrats, and it's a disaster. Own it.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

UtahBlueDevil

Re: "It complete ignores the only time in the last 100 years the government had a balanced budget, was with an equally hated democrat as president"... (assuming Clinton)

Not true... Clinton may have been the LAST President to preside over a balanced budget, but don't get carried away with the drama-over-facts position that it hasn't been done by a Republican in 100 years. Fact is... President Eisenhower in 1960 was the last Republican president to preside over a balanced budget. That's 50 years ago... not 100 years.

----

Re: "Lets start by reintroducing honesty"...

I completely agree. And lets start with you retracting your 100 year statement that was totally dis-honest. And then maybe move on to your statement that "it's just about a black man being elected President"... And then the maybe when you say, "I don't say this as an anti-republican"... when we all know from your other posts that is far from honest.

You talk about "honest representation of history"... right in your obviously bogus 100 year comment!

If you're going to expect others to know their history and be honest... you gotta do the same.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Nate.... there are no "death panals" in OBamacare.... I've read the dang thing. It is not there. On the other hand, United Healthcare, BlueCross\BlueShield, and the rest of them do have committees that decide what treatment people do and don't get... and it is based on profit/loss... not will it improve the persons standard of living. Why aren't you up in arms about these "death panels'? They really do exist... today. Do a search on Insurance denied coverage... you will find many examples...

"The Democrats locked Republicans out of the room while they designed Obamacare," yes... and the Republicans in the House have done likewise about the budget.

"Obamacare belongs to the Democrats, and it's a disaster. Own it." Own what... nothing is in effect right now except enrollment. That is like declaring the game a loss before the opening kickoff... perhaps it will be a disaster... but the game hasn't even started yet.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Reason I prefer a Democrat President and Republican Congress...

Democrat President will not be as quick to get us involved in expensive foreign wars, and he will be compassionate. But Republican Congress controls the purse... so the president has some opposition to deal with and compromise required. There are checks to balance the president's natural desire to expand welfare programs and spend, which will be tempered by his inability to just do it without a budget to constrain him.

When we had the Democrat super-majority (and the, "nobody can stop us, we'll do whatever the heck we want", attitude in Washington)... of course anything the President wants he will get. They may even decide not to do their job and not even DELIVER a budget for 4 years... so there's no CHANCE of running out of spending room.

It happens when Republicans control everything too.

That's why I am an advocate of BALANCE (not complete control by EITHER party).

The party partisans that think the solution to everything is the final and complete elimination of the other party (or any ideas other than theirs)... is the problem, not the solution.

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

@UtahBlueDevil "I've read the dang thing."

Then you should go back and read it again. Pay particular attention to the section on the Independent Payment Advisory Board. Their power to set doctor reimbursement rates gives them control over which treatments are performed. If they set the rates at levels where no doctor or hospital will perform the procedures, they are essentially rationing health care. Even Howard Dean admits this.

"[T]he Republicans in the House have done likewise about the budget."

Nonsense. House Republicans have sent frequent invitations to Obama to negotiate. He has said consistently that he will not. That's no lockout.

"That is like declaring the game a loss before the opening kickoff."

The failure of Obamacare is as predictable as gravity.

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