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Opinion

In our opinion: On finances, many Americans are no better than the government

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  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 13, 2014 10:27 p.m.

    Most people (about 97%) will spend everything they earn and not save a penny. While all of my friends were buying boats, motorhomes, big screens and thousands of other extras, many of us were putting small portions away. We knew that the only way to survive is to have savings, 401-k's, and mutual funds. Little by little saving was and is the only thing saving some of us as we are getting older. The rest still have their extravagances but no savings. The reason they are in debt is lack of self control.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 9, 2014 1:17 p.m.

    RBB,

    No we won't sell our military, we give it away free (not really free because it costs us a great deal of money) every time a republican president takes office.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    April 4, 2014 7:34 p.m.

    LA Mormon,

    If you are going to use the entire GDP, you have to either put tax rates at 100% or you have to add all US debt. Last year the Feds took in $ 2.78 in revenue. With $17 Trillion in debt, the government owes 6 times as much as it brings in. Thus, your analogy should be a guy having an income of $100,000 and owing $600,000 on his house. Of course this analogy does not work as the homeowner can sell the house. What is the federal government going to sell? Our military?.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    April 4, 2014 2:47 a.m.

    One old man - facts are inconvenient, like the fact that Obama has had the five largest deficits in US history. And your argument about the slowest rate of debt increase - that is because Obama took the $800 Billion stimulus package of Bush (which was supposed to be a 1 time thing) and made it a permanent part of the budget. By the end of his term Obama will have amassed more debt than All presidents before him COMBINED!

  • LA Mormon West Valley, UT
    March 29, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    The comments about President Obama and the debt are way off base and just ignorant. The United States of America has a AAA Bond rating. The nations annual income is almost $17 Trillion in GDP. That means the US only has one dollar in debt for every dollar of income it produces annually. To put it another way the US is in very good financial shape. To put in terms of personal income the US makes $100,000 a year and has only a $100,000 mortgage on the house. Most Americans have far worse debt ratios. By the way the US has never missed a bond payment in our history. Never not once. How many average Americans can say that? The US should be spending more money to rebuild schools and our internet infrastructure which are falling behind the rest of the world, but it seems people are not smart enough to understand basic economics nowadays. Great article. Most Americans are financial fools.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    March 28, 2014 7:54 p.m.

    Chris B, the same was said about Ronald Reagan. The National Debt increased 7-fold under his tenure and was the cause of the much consternation in the 1980's. I remember those days well and the precedent he set of unrestrained borrowing is a lasting legacy of that administration. The problem in America today is that people are political party partisans. In reality, both political parties are essentially the same. They both tax, they both spend, they both have their welfare favorites, and they both are in the tank with special interests and are beholden to large corporate donors. The only way things will change in America is if Americans dump the political party line mumbo jumbo and start becoming smart voters.

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    March 28, 2014 6:55 p.m.

    "Among all households where at least one person is employed full time, less than a third have savings that equal one year’s income. More than half of all working households — 57 percent — have less than $25,000 in total savings, not including home equity."

    Hard to tell how much of a problem that is without putting some context to the numbers. At first glance this appears alarming, but if you broke it out into different age groups it would be more telling. Is this supposed to be representative of people 10 years out from retirement (which would be extremely troubling)? Or just the general population? Need more info.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 28, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    It's hard to comprehend how anyone could possibly blame Obama for increasing debt -- except that it's the easy thing to do. Much easier than placing the blame where it really belongs with Congress and a string of Republican presidents as far back as Reagan. The truth is that debt under Obama has increased at a much lower rate than at any time in recent history except under Clinton.

    But hey, facts are such inconvenient things.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    March 28, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    Unless we want to look like India in the next 25 years we better shore up Social Security and Medicare. Otherwise tomorrow's seniors will be competing with other panhandlers out on our roads. Americans are bombarded to spend like drunken consumers through advertising, by fammily and friends, and even past Presidents (remember GW's famous plea after 9/11). Assuming debt is encouraged in almost every facet of our society. I never bought into it but the majority have. It's a reality and as a society we have to deal with it.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 28, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    This is no surprise. With all the payday loan outfits, bankruptcy outfits, zero down easy terms deals around, there is no shortage of ways the irresponsible can get into trouble and then be preyed upon.
    And none of it is the presidents' fault.
    People just make poor decisions, and more and more expect them to be free of consequences. I just bought a trailer from a kid who got sucked in by the lure of low payments for years longer than he'd want the trailer. It cost him, but I didn't get the impression he learned anything from it.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    March 28, 2014 7:09 a.m.

    Government gets to print money to pay off debt, I don't.

  • heidi ho Fort Collins, CO
    March 28, 2014 6:03 a.m.

    There is nothing more comforting than having liquid savings, a paid for home and money in the retirement fund. I think a lot of the savings dearth is a reflection of the lack of preparedness in other areas of life, such as spirituality, making amends, inventory, cleaning the proverbial spiritual house etc. It's a package deal.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 12:46 a.m.

    When we have a "leader" in Barack who has added almost as much to the national debt as all past presidents combined its not a surprise many follow his "example".

    Spending more isn't the answer Barack