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Published: Wednesday, Oct. 23 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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ECR
Burke, VA

"If crushing the opponents of unbridled government spending marks a great victory for America, one can only wonder how bitter a defeat would be for our future."

The "victory" claims of the past week were not about a celebtration of unbridled spending. They were about the Congress finally coming to their senses and realizing (at least the majority of them did) that destroying the full faith and credit of the United States was no way to make a point about government spending. It is especially ironic that the extremists who caused the shutdown were claiming they were worried about unbridled spending but their little stunt cost us over $24 billion. And if we are all honest with ourselves we will admit that their efforts were more about denyimng the president of a vistory than it was about saving taxpayer money.

Despite what this author and many others wish to claim, appropriations bills have been passed in recent years, usually after several continuing resolutions have kept the government operating while the Congress rangles over issues. It will take honest brokers, not childish clowns, coming to the table on both sides for us to solve our fiscal issues.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Some people don't know the difference between the National Debt and the National Deficit.

And, I think they're sadly doing this on purpose.

Why?

Because focusing on the debt allows them to ignore what got us here and blame Obama for everything. If they really cared about fixing this problem, they'd also look at the national deficit and its recent 30 year history. If they were to do this, they'd find that their own would be indicted as the biggest spenders, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II. While Obama and Clinton would be seen as the cutters that, in reality, they were.

So the real motive behind this "Debt Scare" is political. The right wants back into the White House without making any real changes to its platform. They'd rather scare us into voting for them rather than actually attracting us and bringing us into their tent.

Sad really. I used to be a Republican. But I didn't leave the party, it left me.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

The last time we had a balanced budget was from the Clinton years. It took a high degree of skill and COMPROMISE between the president and the house and senate. After Bush/Cheney made such a hash of the country President Obama has cut the deficit in half. There is every reason to be optimistic if only the conservatives will come up with solutions, not merely opposition.

SEY
Sandy, UT

While I can sympathize with Steve, this recent exercise was too little and to late by several decades. Republicans have been every bit as complicit in creating economic decline as Democrats. The Medicare prescription bill passed by Republicans was every bit as monstrous as "Obamacare." This is not to mention the build-up of the military welfare state Republicans seem to be so fond of. Not mentioned enough is the primary result of the stand-off: campaign contributions rose significantly for politicians on both sides. So it depends on how you define victory.

SCfan
clearfield, UT

To ECR and others

How long do you think the "Full faith and credit" of the United States can last with this continued and growing debt? As well as, what the author mentioned, all of the "unfunded" obligations which now are reaching 100 trillion dollars? Any thoughts? Mine are, not long if the rest of the world does not see any move at fiscal responsibility coming soon. And soon is not the next 3 years of Obama, but hopefully a conservative thinking President beginning in 2017. Otherwise, there could be a run on the bank by the bond holders who will, rightfully, fear inflation of massive proportions on the U.S. dollar.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

There is no question we must get both our deficit (spending vs. revenues) and thereby our debt under control.

There is also no question that this sort of political gamesmanship does not accomplish that.

We have divided powers. You need a broad consensus in order to proceed.

Anyone who believes otherwise is either a fool or a liar. Neither are fit to govern.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

"crushing the opponents of unbridled government spending"...Steve, you've made me an opponent of unbridled hyperbolic rhetoric.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Who owns the Federal Reserve?

T. Party
Pleasant Grove, UT

@ECR

Think long term, please, when you think about full faith and credit.

@Twin Lights "You need a broad consensus in order to proceed."

Yes, and the consensus needs someone to sound an alarm and wake them up. Their current course is unsustainable.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

David Stockman, who ran the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan, said recently that the expanding debt was not caused by Democratic spending. Rather it was caused by the Republican belief that deficits don't matter as along as they are caused by tax cuts.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

People wanting something for nothing havie caused our problems in America; citizens who don't care who pays, as long is it someone else. Politicians pander to those citizens, not caring that those programs are not authorized duties of government. Then the most unprepared President in American history dictates to us his Marist ideas where some "rich guy" will pay for everythign.

Meanwhile, some newspapers that once respected the Constitution, have signed on to protect that President instead of pointing out to America that the government has no authoritity to do what it is doing.

Other newspapers cower in the background, fearing that if they print anything derogatory against this administration that they will face the President's wrath.

So what? If the principles that have made us free can be so easily traded for a moment's security, we do not deserve to be free.

Obama thumbed his nose at America. Harry Reid thumbed his nose at America. The media cheered even as they smear those brave Congressmen who stood for the Constitution.

A just God cannot bless the corruption that is taking place in America nor can just people ask for God's blessings on their corrupt leaders.

SCfan
clearfield, UT

Roland Kayser

Stockman did not like the tax cuts by Reagan and has always had a chip on his shoulder that in fact during Reagans years the economy did quite well. And, if one tries to blame Republicans for the expanding debt, are you saying that the Republicans have been cutting taxes for the last 5 years? Obama and the Democrats have had the majority power during this last 5 years where the debt went from 10 trillion to 17 trillion. Your point just does not wash with what has been happening these last 5 years. I remember back when Senator Benson of Texas was running for VP in the debate said he could create the illusion of prosperity if he could write 200 Billion dollars in hot checks. Well, how come Obama has not been able to create prosperity (illusion or otherwise) with 7 Trillion in hot checks?

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Great letter. Congratulations to Sen. Cruz and Sen. Lee for standing up against obese, overreaching government. Too bad we don't have a lot more politicians with the same wisdom and courage.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

Until we increase revenues this will never go away. European economies are rampant with examples of austerity. If we could get the trillions of cash stash back into our economy making goods and offering services, things that really make an economy run, things would look rosier overnight. This depression of debt conservatives expound is really guilt from pouring money down the foxholes of the middle east for no real discernible reason and giving carte blanche to the five sided building in Arlington.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

SCfan, The Reagan years were the foundation of current economic policy and debt. "If Reagan taught us anything it was that deficits don't matter," Dick Chaney.

ECR
Burke, VA

SCfan and T Party - You are right that there is an urgent need to cut costs and reduce, and eventually eliminate, deficit spending. Cutting the deficit in half in four years as promised is a start but it is certainly not enough. The so called "entitlements" should be re-examined based on current cost, technology, life span and every other aspect that has changed in the last 50 years. But that doesn't mean destroying or "defunding" them. Other things need examination as well. It is estimated that fossil fule companies receive as much as $52 billion in subsidies every year and the the 3 largest fossil fule companies in the U.S. made over $80 billion in profit in 2011. Our defense budget, while necessary and important, equals the sum total of the next 9 industrialized nations and is a higher percentage of our GDP than any of those coountries except Saudi Arabia. More than 50 nations - most of them industrialized nations - have a higher personal income tax rate than the United States.

While it is urgent to look at this serious problem, shutting down the government and costing us $24 buillion is not the way to do it.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

Patty Murray, as Senate Budget Committee Chair, called for conference on the budget 20 times this year (over the past 6 months once both chambers passed budgets) but was rejected by Republicans every time.

@SCfan
"Mine are, not long if the rest of the world does not see any move at fiscal responsibility coming soon."

This years' deficit is projected to be 700 billion, only half as much as it was a couple years ago. Here's the stability indicator, we actually don't need a balanced budget, we just need the debt:GDP ratio to not be growing, and preferably to decline. Consider our 17 trillion dollar debt. If GDP increases 2% a year (roughly what it has during these sluggish growth years) then that would suggest the debt should increase less than that so that the debt:GDP ratio moves in the right direction. 2% of 17 trillion is 340 billion. So a deficit of 250 billion, for example, would be sufficient to put us on the right track.

SCfan
clearfield, UT

Responding to ugottabkidn and ECR

So you go by what Dick Cheny says? You've got to be kidding. Besides, in those days of Reagan, 200 billion, even then, is nothing compared to the trillions we've run up in record time. We've gone from a trickle of deficit spending to a flood.

ECR

All reasonable thoughts. So just where is anyone in Congress or the administration talking like that? I do see it a little on the Republican side. It may take the pain of 24 billion in two weeks lost by a couple of voices in the wilderness to finally get the attention to do some of the things you propose. Or at least begin talking about them. How close is Burke, VA to D.C.? Maybe you ought to get over there and do some lobbying because the way it's going now is definately not the right direction. I worry about running out of time to fix the problem before the dam breaks and the flood of inflated money hits the economy.

RedShirtMIT
Cambridge, MA

To "The Real Maverick" we don't blame Obama, we see him as a major contributor to it. But, maybe we should listen to Obama's opinions on the debt and hold him to those ideas. Obama said "The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic."

If adding $5 trillion to the debt is irresponsible and unpatriotic, what should we think of adding $7 trillion on top of that?

From ABC's story "Obama’s Broken Deficit Promise" we find that Obama promised "I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office." He tripled the deficit after that.

airnaut
Everett, 00

I'll be happy to endorse cutting Grandma and Grandpa's Social Security and Medicare, and will willing give up MY Veteran benefits IF --

Corporations loose their Corporate welfare by the same per Percentage....

My loss of $700 annualy,
to their loss of over $700 Billion annually.

Seems only fair.

But I have yet to have anyone from the GOP or Tea-Party willing to compromise with me like that.

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