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Comments about ‘Kathleen Parker: Fiscal discipline predicate for free society, says Calif. Gov. Brown’

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Published: Thursday, March 6 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Jerry Brown is like all liberals. What they say to get elected is never what they do when they are in office. California's current stats of shame:
1.55 million unemployed.
4.25 million food stamp recipients
$421 billion in debt.

Esquire
Springville, UT

@ Mountanman, Kathleen Parker is a conservative columnist, just saying. So, could it be that all the issues you raise are due to Republican leadership that CA had for so many years? Try this out (I can't wait for your head to explode), in an article in a major newspaper (not Rupert Murdock owned, sorry), it states about the federal deficit: "In 2009, the deficit was more than $1.4 trillion, which was nearly 10 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. This year, the deficit will be a little more than a third that size: $520 billion, or 3 percent of G.D.P. The Treasury Department said on Thursday that the deficit fell more sharply in the last fiscal year than in any year since the end of World War II." So let me tell you something that defies the Republican propaganda. In practice, in reality, the Republicans are the big spenders and the ones to foster uncontrolled deficit spending. I don't haved room to explain why, but it's true. The GOP is bad for the U.S. economy. They talk a big game and once in power, it all goes out the window.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Esquire. What good does measuring our economy by comparing the deficit to the GDP? That tells you nothing! The United States has always measured our economy in part by the debt to GDP ratio, not the deficit to GSP! Comparing the deficit to the GDP is nothing more than an accounting trick to cover up our economic "sins" of overspending. Incidentally you should know that the GDP was revised down 2.4% in Q4 of last year and the national debt increased to $17.3 trillion. Obama's latest budget proposal calls for trillions more in spending and trillions more in taxes! So, who is it that talks a good game but once in power, it all goes out the window?

a bit of reality
Shawnee Mission, KS

I really enjoy Parker's editorials. She is one of the few conservative editorialists who comes across as both in touch with reality and honest.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Interesting… CA used to run a deficit and now they have a surplus (and assuming that surplus will go towards paying down the debt, they may soon be in the black).

But according to conservatives the governor is still a fiscally irresponsible liberal because… why… he hasn’t paid off the debt in one year? This seems analogous to blaming Obama for the same, despite the fact that his deficits have shrunk by 2/3rd since taking office (2009 was largely a reflection of his predecessor’s’ budget) – a fact which can rightly be credited to Congress as well despite their party causing the problem to begin with.

[Climbing up on soapbox] - America seems poised for a new type of politics; one of fiscal responsibility combined with a pragmatic view of government (that it’s sometimes necessary) that recognizes facts & evidence over ideology.

The far-right has had their day (with little to show for it except chaos & uncertainty) and now it’s time for the vast center to reassert its will and reclaim our politics by putting the children in the corner and letting the grownups be in charge.

SG in SLC
Salt Lake City, UT

Generally speaking, Republicans like to pretend that they are deficit-hawks, and that they are fiscally responsible - at least when the topic turns to entitlement spending and social programs; but, when the topic turns to taxes on businesses or wealthy individuals (or any taxes, really; Republicans hate taxes), or military/defense spending (especially in their home states), the Republican focus shifts to supply-side voodoo economics and subjective interpretations of constitutional mandates.

Democrats don't get a pass on fiscal responsibility, either. They are often eager to charge boldly ahead with expansions or additions to the aforementioned entitlement and social programs without much regard for where the money is going to come from, and often they also have a nasty habit of focusing on tax policy as a tool for income redistribution and social change, while forgetting that the primary purpose for taxes is to adequately fund government.

Still, in the last 60 years or so, the (historically) tax-and-spend Democrats have been generally more successful at deficit reduction than the (historically) borrow-and-spend Republicans. I would say that Gov. Brown has demonstrated that he is a fairly moderate and fiscally responsible Democrat, as Ms. Parker has pointed out.

Hemlock
Salt Lake City, UT

Gov. Brown talking about fiscal discipline is like WC Fields taking about sobriety. Both know about the subject but neither had any intention of practicing it. Send a copy of the governor's remarks to Mr. Obama anyway.

RedShirtMIT
Cambridge, MA

To "Tyler D" you are wrong. The far right is only being proven right. It is a far right policy and philosophy to actually have fiscal discipline and not run deficits. This is only a validation of conservative philosophies.

Remember it is Keynesian economics that liberals follow that say that running deficits is great, and that higher taxes don't really matter.

Your post sounds more Tea Party Conservative than liberal. The Tea Party has always said we need fiscal responsibility, and that sometimes the government is necessary (just not as necessary as a competitor in the free market).

The grownups are taking charge, and they are espousing conservative philosophies.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@RedShirtMIT – “It is a far right policy and philosophy to actually have fiscal discipline and not run deficits.”

Who are these “far right” people you’re referring to? Please tell me you’re not referring to Reagan (practically the inventor of large deficits) or the current Tea Party.

The only fiscally responsible conservatives we’ve seen in government in our lifetime is the Gingrich/Dole Congress and part of their fiscal responsibility was the recognition that taxes are part of the equation too.

When this current crop of conservatives had the chance to show the same level of fiscal responsibility ($3 in cuts for $1 of tax) they balked, instead putting limited government ideology and their “Norquistian tax allergy” ahead of fiscal responsibility – heck, in the 2012 R primary all the contenders even rejected a hypothetical $10 in cuts for $1 tax. On what planet is that fiscal responsibility?

You and I likely agree on the need for fiscally responsible governing, but one of us is seeing this trait in conservative politicians without a shred of evidence (at least since 2000).

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

If one takes an honest look at the increase in debt under Obama, 2 things will be shown as the main causes of the increase.

1) tax receipts are down (caused by the recession)
2) mandatory spending is up (caused by recession and increases SS, Medicare and Medicaid recipients)

Had these two line items stayed at Bush levels, we would have Bush level deficits.

I urge you to look for yourself.

These numbers can be found in many places, including the Heritage Foundation website

RedShirtMIT
Cambridge, MA

To "Tyler D" to name a few of the "far right" people and Tea Party members that are pushing for a balanced budget.

Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, and Mike Lee have all come out publically and called for balanced budges. Mike Lee has also introduced a Constitutional Ammendment that would require a balanced budget.

Go and google them, and you will find that it is the Tea Party that is calling the loudest for a balanced budget.

Here is more proof. From The Hill we read "Tea Party senators unveil five-year plan to balance the budget". If that isn't enough for you, read "Tea Party coalition forming to push for balanced budget amendment" in the Daily Caller. Even the Huffington Post acknowledges the Tea Party's fight for a balanced budget. See "Jim DeMint Drives Tea Party Debt Ceiling Fight Over Balanced Budget Amendment" in the Huffington Post.

stuff
Provo, UT

What? Did he study every principle of good, wholesome societies and then do the exact opposite?

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@RedShirtMIT – “Mike Lee has also introduced a Constitutional Ammendment that would require a balanced budget.”

From what I recall, Lee’s Amendment included previsions to arbitrarily limit spending to 18% of GDP and to require a super-majority to EVER raise taxes. Why the riders? Why not just propose a clean balanced budget amendment leaving it up to future generations to decide how much government services they want, as long as they don’t charge those services to their grandchildren’s credit card?

Tell me again how the Tea Party is not putting limited government ideology and their tax allergy ahead of fiscal responsibility?

Reached comment limit…

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Net net, Tyler D is commenting on what conservatives actually do when in power while RedShirt is relying on what conservatives say they will do if they get into power again. Actions speak far louder than words.

Further evidence that conservatives harm the US economy can be seen in the resulting economies wrought when they are in charge. In the past 100 years, there have only been two times wherein conservatives simultaneously controlled both Houses of Congress and the White House. What immediately followed their first stint? The Great Depression. What followed their second stint? The Great Recession.

How did America respond to get us out of the Great Depression? We elected liberals to the White House and liberals to congress for decade upon decade, thereby ushering in our Nation's most prosperous times.

One can also turn to international examples of the most-prosperous economies (nearly all left-leaning). But hey, don't go with current and historical realities, believe what Mike Lee says instead.

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Left out of Parkerr's column is the fact that Gov. Brown used tax increases combined with spending controls to reduce the deficit.

RedShirtMIT
Cambridge, MA

To "Tyler D" actually what Lee has proposed is quite reasonable.

The 18% GDP is not arbitrary. That is the historical average amount that the Federal Government has been able to collect in taxes over the past 80 years, regardless of the income tax rate.

Why wouldn't you want a supermajority to approve of tax hikes? That makes them more difficult to do, and makes congress think about it?

So, knowing that, I would assume that you agree that the Tea Party and quite a few Congressmen are working to get the US on a track of fiscal responsibility.

To "Stalwart Sentinel" if you want to get into what they do, lets look at the record of Congress and what has happened when liberals are running things and what happens when conservatives are running things. For example, on average, Democrats run congresses run deficits that are at least 2 times the size of when Republicans run things. Now, when conservatives have pushed their adgenda we were able to do things like cutting the deficit down to $28 billion, and that was with moderate Republicans. Imagine what would happen with actual conservatives in a majority in Congress.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Redshirt - I appreciate the input but before I respond specifically to your statements on the deficit, can you confirm that the only thing you have contemplated in your analysis is whether both houses of congress were operated simultaneously by Repubs or Dems? In other words, I want to confirm your tertiary understanding on the subject failed to account for things such as who controlled the White House, tax rates, inflation, etc....

Obviously, if only Congress ought be held accountable for deficits, as you apparently believe, then you'll be shattering the dreams of nearly every faux deficit hawk that's been lambasting President Obama since Tea Party repubs took the House in 2010.

Finally, as I noted above, we already know what happens when actual conservatives control Congress and the White House: we get the Great Depression and the Great Recession.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Stalwart Sentinel" the data I put out there was based on which party controlled Congress, since it is Congress that establishes a budget that the rest of the government adheres to. The President can do nothing more than sign or veto the budget.

How many budgets has the Democrat controlled Senat approved since 2010?

Actually the Great Depression and this current recession are lingering on because of Progressive/liberal policies. You see, the best economists that have track records of being correct have found that the economic policies of FDR prolonged the Depression by 7 years. Obama is little more than a bad copy of FDR.

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