Comments about ‘John Florez: State leaders could leave a legacy of humanity’

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Published: Saturday, Jan. 4 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "What does it say about those Utah elected leaders that espouse Christian values when they hesitate to help the needy yet are eager to help business?"

Primarily, it says that they understand the best thing we can do to help the needy is to enable and assist them to become less needy, by supporting an economy that permits them to work and earn a living. NOT by establishing a permanent underclass, and permitting bloated, unaccountable government to commit intergenerational economic-policy larceny.

Capitalism has blessed orders-of-magnitude more lives and lifted more real people out of poverty than bloated government scams ever could.

And, those bloated, vote-buying government scams -- disingenuously touted as programs to help the needy -- have destroyed more families, cities, cultures, and lives than capitalism ever could.

The Holy Father seems like a good man, and for that, deserves our respect, as well as serious consideration of his opinions on matters of religion.

But, when we need advice on financial management, admitted socialists, like him, are the worst possible source for it.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

It seems to me that Mr. Florez thinks that government is our friend. That is non-sense. How many "fathers" have abandoned their responsibility because the federal government pays mothers to have children when there is no "father" in the home? Is that a good thing? How about Social Security? We're forced to pay 15% of our wages into a system that keeps that money instead of paying our family if we die before collecting. Not only that, but the government has spent that money and left us with nothing but a worthless I.O.U.

When people work, tax revenues increase. When people do not work, tax revenues fall. Obama has shut down oil drilling on "federal land" (even though the Constitution allows the federal government to own only one piece of land not more than 10 miles square). North Dakota is booming. That State is drilling for oil . Everyone who wants a job has a job.

Government is not a replacement for God. God does not use government as His agent. Mr. Florez needs to read the Constitution. There is no provision for private welfare listed.

higv
Dietrich, ID

I didn't know charity with someone else's property was a Christian virtue. Thought it had to be given willingly. Business owners are not evil by providing products the community desires and jobs. Government is not a cure for poverty hard work and performance is. Charity out of your pocket is noble. Not your neighbors.

higv
Dietrich, ID

Where is the compassion for business owners who sacrifice so you can have jobs. There not rich and they lose money if minimum wage goes up.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

I remember watching my dad, a high school baseball coach, spend a great deal of time with the kids who had the least talent and I asked him why. His response was, "The team is only as strong as its weakest player." My dad was as moral as most people, but I think the practical utility here drove him as much as anything. He loved the game, loved winning, and he wanted his teams to experience these things too. Most of them did. But so many other benefits arose from this approach: increased confidence and motivation to succeed; greater team cohesiveness; increased opportunities for EVERYONE (increasing the weaker players' ability to contribute increased the number of opportunities for the stars to shine). And last but not least, my Dad could rightfully feel he was acting morally.

So while I agree that helping those with less is a moral thing to do, it is also the mutually beneficial thing to do. After all, unlike in baseball, "cutting" weaker players in life doesn't end their effect on the team. It only increases it. So doesn't it simply make more sense to develop rather than to ignore?

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Great column by John Florez. Pope Francis asks tough questions about morality when it comes to how we interact with each other in the economy.

One thing I've always been fascinated by is when it comes to economic philosophy, too many Christians essentially descend to a position of Darwinism, "let the strongest survive, that's the best way to run an economy", while it's the Atheists who are more often inline with the teachings of Jesus and now Pope Francis, in offering unconditional compassion for the poor.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Unfortunately, John, we've managed to lawyer and lie our way to a place where the righteousness is stronger than ever, but those old values of humanity, dignity and compassion are long gone. The religious are why I abandoned religion.

canvas1
San Tan Valley, AZ

10CC it is not economic Darwinism as you claim. It is what has created the prosperity in this country never witnessed in history. Reagan lowered taxes across the board, thereby easing governments heavy hand in our lives and what do you know happened? Revenues increased into the government coffers as more jobs were created, some months of a million increase.

Now job growth isn't even keeping up with population growth. Most needy would rather have a job than a handout anyway. we are witnessing the results of policies that diminish prosperity and job growth and your answer is more of what is and has created the problem.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Charity is up to the individual, not to government. Forced charity is not a concept that Christ taught nor is it a concept that He would ever condone. He invited all people to be like him, full of compassion, full of love, full of charity; but, he never called on government to assist him.

Only the private sector can create jobs that increase tax revenues. All public sector jobs take from those tax revenues.

There are fewer good jobs in America now than we need. Taxes have forced companies to go offshore or to close. Regulations have forced companies to go offshore to to close. ObamaCare has forced countless small businesses to lay off workers to stay under the minimum number of workers allowed before those businesses were penalized.

Government raised taxes on those who create jobs. Government wrote regulations that destroyed jobs. Government forced ObamaCare on business. Government is now whispering that if we would just give it more money it would solve even more problems. Spare us from government and from those who think that government represents Christ's teachings.

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

@canvas1

"Reagan lowered taxes across the board, thereby easing governments heavy hand in our lives and what do you know happened? Revenues increased into the government coffers as more jobs were created, some months of a million increase."

A look at a year-by-year chart of the national deficit would tell you how wrong that is. The deficit has exploded since implementing Reagan's supply-side economics, the exception being the much-maligned Clinton administration. Then the next administration came along and told us that "deficits don't matter" and we've been running in the red ever since because one administration insisted on lowering taxes while fighting two wars, and the next one's been desperately trying to jumpstart the economy by infusing it with borrowed liquidity.

Ironically, the deficit and the economy were much healthier under the considerably higher marginal tax rates of the 50s and 60s.

canvas1
San Tan Valley, AZ

Res Novae

Read my words more carefully! I said REVENUE increased after the Reagan tax cuts. The deficits have nothing to do but with the politicians insatiable appetite to spend, and that includes the Bush administration.

Point I was making is that the contrary actually happened when the rates were lowered. Revenue increased not decreased.

canvas1
San Tan Valley, AZ

Res Novae

You forget that when Clinton raised taxes the economy whimpered along with the stock market stuck in the low 3000 range. Only when Clinton lowered the capital gains taxes and slowed the growth of government spending with welfare reform pushed by the republicans did the economy explode and the dow raced up to 11000. Revenue again increased with the lowering of taxes!

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

I genuinely wonder what would happen if we did away with the safety net, as conservatives suggest. No more Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, unemployment insurance etc. I wonder if private charity would step up and fill the gap. I have serious doubts...

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

@canvas1,

Nope, the fact that revenue as a percentage of GDP remained flat suggests that cutting tax rates didn't increase revenue. That and the marginal effects on persoanl savings and labor productivity (key benefits of supply side economic theories) also suggest that tbe economic boom had more to do with the natural business cycle and the effects of massive deficit spending itself on the economy.

As further evidence, the Bush tax cuts started a downward trend in government revenue that was only reversed by the housing bubble of the mid 2000s. And bubbles only get you so far.

Of course, let's not forget the systemic changes Reagan implemented that have created the income inequality at the heart of Florez's piece here. That is the true legacy of Reagan's economic philosophy, and 10CC is spot on when he calls it a culture of Social Darwinism as we worship the golden calf of the almighty dollar.

Unreconstructed Reb
Chantilly, VA

Irony Guy,

I've always figured that if there's a place to experiment with that idea, Utah's the place. In theory the population is homogenous enough and has the organization, the resources, and ability to mobilize in a way to attack poverty without any government programs, if so asked.

Sadly, despite this potential, I share your skepticism that rhetoric would translate into deeds. "Let private charity step up" is code for "It's not my problem, let someone else deal with it."

canvas1
San Tan Valley, AZ

Res Novae, Nice try, again. I am not talking about what something suggests. The plain simple fact is that total dollar figures into the federal treasury ballooned after the Reagan tax cuts. Twenty million new jobs means a lot more tax payers ie. revenue! I have seen them. Look them up yourself. It is not what something else suggests it could be. Weak argument.

Your hypothesis seems to be derived from the same school of thought as Paul Krugman's school of economic mythology. It's all theory but doesn't translate in the real world.

You talk about income inequality. Well, look at the states that have the greatest inequality. They are the ones with the strongest union presence and highest tax rates. Funny how John Flores brings it up and not mention the the greatest escalation in inequality has taken place since Obama came into office. Obviously, his policies of favoring unions and increasing taxes are creating more of what Obama and Flores complain about.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

1.3 million Utahns, cut off food stamps.

Response?

Spend $2 million dollars against gay marriage.

'Your Christians are so unlike your christ'. - Ghandi.

bandersen
Saint George, UT

I rarely find myself agreeing with Mr. Flores for a variety of reasons, but his point is well taken here. however, the answer is not using any government funds to help the poor, it is allowing the human heart free from the grasp of government full sway in answering the call to help the poor. the poor, as he pointed out, are not being helped by greedy businessmen using the power of the government to get their tax break or incentive without helping the poor!

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

"Our governor and state legislators ought to advance policies that represent the needs and hopes of all Utahns, especially the poor, in keeping with our moral values. They have an opportunity to help those who are sick and dying for lack of health care by accepting federal funds. That they lived by their values, let that be their legacy."

Of course John is right. But it's not going to happen in Utah because of Utah's increasingly entrenched conservative philosophy. But the conservatives need to understand that unless they lighten up, they are courting revolt.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Some say the He's coming, I say He never left. As long as the spirit of things, the you matter to me and I matter to you. He'll keep sending me angels just like you.

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