Tea Leaf: Rambling about U.S., world economy

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  • Nonconlib Orem, UT
    June 30, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    Certainly a one-sided analysis of our economic predicament. To say that fear of Obamacare is at the root of our sour economy is ridiculous. Did the author forget what got us into this mess in the first place? He also conveniently sidestepped the deep structural problems in our economy that will continue to prevent a return to economic health (and not just the illusion of health we have frequently had because of various bubbles that arise from enthusiastic and undisciplined "market" behavior). As long as we have such enormous (and growing) income inequality in America, we will never have a truly healthy economy. Tax hikes and spending cuts are not the cure for the illness, but they are necessary steps in order to treat the symptoms. Let's have some conversation about the cure.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 29, 2011 4:49 p.m.

    2013 - that's the year that all the new tax increases for Obamacare go into effect. You know - all the BIG tax increases for me and you as well corporate American. I wonder why none of those tax increases were mentioned in the "broken record" tax the rich press conference today by the chosen one?? Could it be that Obama thinks that most of America is just too dumb to figure out that we DON'T have a revenue problem in this country - we have a SPENDING PROBLEM and MR Obama is the BIG SPENDER signing all the checks and tax increases. More tax revenue won't go toward the deficit - not one dime and we all know it. This new money is just more money for all the promised entitlements for Obama's supporters and all of this just happens to coincide with the coming election cycle. Hmmm, you don't suppose that our "historic president" would be so low as to use scare tactics (grandma has to eat dog food and kids go with out shoes) just so he can once again create yet another crisis to ram through his agenda?? This man is with out shame and hopefully out in 2012.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 29, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    To "Pagen | 9:24 p.m." wow, that is one of my favorite dead horses that you continue to beat.

    First off, Bush did not double the debt compared to the 2000 debt levels. In 8 years Bush increased the debt by $4.3 Trillion, which means that the debt increased by 77%, or a factor of 1.77. Now, so that we have the same comparison point, since Obama has been in office, using the 2009, 2010, and 2011 budget years only, the debt will increase by $5.158 Trillion in 3 years, and by the end of the 2012 budget year is expected to be close to $6.4 Trillion. So, 4 years of Obama gets us nearly 50% more debt than 8 years of Bush.

    So, can you tell us why Obama is so great if he is outspending Bush at a rate of over 2 to 1?

    If Bush's unfunded war is so bad, why is Obama's so good? See "Obama's Unauthorized war on Libya costs $9,421,000 a day: Are you getting your money's worth" in the LA Times.

    So, if what Bush did was wrong, why is it that Obama is good for_the_same_things?

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    June 29, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    I agree with you on all points. The objective is to have the discipline to do what is right. The problems are a non engaged electorate, spin masters and hired guns as talk show hosts. Just pay attention to the state of agitation and hatred from those who regularly listen to such shows. Can we expect rationality from such?

  • hoopsgirl Draper, UT
    June 29, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    As we listen to the constant bickering about what to cut here and who to tax there, I am amazed that never once has cuts to foreign aid been mentioned. I am tired of sending millions and billions to foreign countries, especially ones who are happy to take our aid while plotting to kill Americans. It's time for the United States to quit trying to buy allies and take care of its citizens here at home.

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2011 8:53 a.m.


    It's true that saving and building up a reserve during plentiful times is a necessary side to Keynesian economics, and if that doesn't happen, Keynesian economics will fail. Two points though:

    Do you ever see the American people (or government, for that matter) ever being responsible enough to not spend the surplus when they have it? Even if we had a huge surplus, the government would find something to spend it on. Keynesian economics is completely unrealistic based on that alone.

    Clinton's surplus is a nice talking point, but not quite as rosy as most people think. It was fueled on a massive economic bubble which burst shortly after he left office, not to mention the fact that most of the surplus was only projected, based on the current economic conditions. Anyone familiar with the dotcom burst would know that those conditions changed rapidly shortly after he left office.

    Still, even a projected surplus is better than what we have now. I'd rather have Clinton than Bush or Obama, and that's saying something.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 29, 2011 6:28 a.m.

    Obama talks about cutting out national debt by $2 trillion over 10-years ..... while requesting a $1.4 tillion increase this year in our debt ceiling.

    Makes a much sense as an alcoholic asking for more booze to help him kick his drinking addiction.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    June 29, 2011 1:41 a.m.


    Obama has set a worlds record for spending and you keep giving history lessons on George Bush. Wer'e spending ten million dollars a day fighting in Libya and have tripled the amount of troops in Afganistan the past two years. We need to fix the problem and quit playing the blame game.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    June 28, 2011 11:09 p.m.

    L left out the group that wanted to use the surplus to pay down the debt. That was the other side to Keynesian economics. The burden to reverse the trend of deficit budgets must be shared but STARTING with reversing the Bush tax cuts for the top 5%.

  • Indian Expat Bangalore, Karnataka
    June 28, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    This article is so glib. There are two parts to the business of government: income and expenses. This article only focuses on the expenses of the US gov. But what about income? Nowhere here does the writer note that the Republican Senate cried like a baby until the Bush tax cuts were extended. The non-extension of a temporary tax cut on the rich certainly would have brought money into the coffers, allowing the debt to be paid down. Where is the discussion on that point? Where is the discussion on the fact that the richest individuals in the US have an effective tax rate of 15-20% thanks to the capital gains rate? I'm a CPA so I see this firsthand every year. It's extremely unfair to the rest of us not blessed enough to be trust-fund babies.

    While the writer didn't come right out and say he's an Obama-hating Republican, it's quite clear. Deseret News, care to employ me to write about the other side of the debate? Or are we only concerned with one side?

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 28, 2011 10:56 p.m.

    Let's just blame the teacher unions...

  • Everest American Fork, UT
    June 28, 2011 10:10 p.m.

    Cutting spending will only hasten the economic collapse. Put on your seatbelts and hang on. It's necessary but it will be painful. Let's clean up this mess.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2011 9:12 p.m.

    Interesting ramblings and FDRfan I love revisionist history and unbias analysis, thanks!

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    June 28, 2011 8:55 p.m.

    How scary--obama's in the drivers seat. Put on your seat belts.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    June 28, 2011 8:53 p.m.

    What was the threshold number that so alarmed the Republicans? $12,000,000,000,000? $13,000,000,000,000? Certainly not $10,000,000,000,000.
    When the Republicans took over from the Clinton presidency, there was a surplus. A debate arose concerning what to do with the surplus. The extreme left wanted to use the money as a down payment for government programs. The right wanted to return it to "the American people" with almost all of the tax cuts going to the upper 5%. Some in the middle wanted to gear the tax break towards the consuming middle class. If people are buying then things are being made. The right won. The tax cuts to the wealthy did not pay for itself nor did it trickle down. No new jobs were created but the wealthy increased their share of the national wealth. Now all of the sudden the world is coming to an end unless we cut spending. And the Republicans would rather that happen than to undo the tax cuts to the wealthy. Well, let come to an end.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    June 28, 2011 8:25 p.m.

    The sky if falling, the sky is falling.


  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    June 28, 2011 6:35 p.m.

    Excellent commentary by Mr. Thredgold. Points very well made.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 28, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    With Obama at the helm its like having Lloyd Christmas driving the train over the edge of the canyon. Dumb and dumber. Obama was supposed to be soooo smart but then reality set it and people realized this green horn had zero experience with anything other than community organizing. No experience as a governor. No experience as a CEO. Only 1 year as a congressman. It doesn't get any greener than that. And we all elected him?? Is anyone surprised with the state of the union? You shouldn't be. The blame Bush crowd wore out that card 18 months ago and are now left grumbling silently as to why Obama and his wealth redistribution - spend and borrow - economic insanity is doing exactly as many predicted it would. There ain't no magic here folks, capitalism is being strangled to death by Obama and the ONLY remedy is to cut our losses and start over with a new president who actually knows something about economics and capitalism..... and who isn't a socialist.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2011 4:55 p.m.

    What are you talking about Mr. Obama? Vice President Biden announced months ago that the recession is over, Mission Accomplished! Tax and spend our way to prosperity. Even Paul Krugman admitted that we need another war like WWII to turn the economy around as it did in the forties. I hope it was hyperbole, our three current wars are more than enough.

  • carman Alpine, UT
    June 28, 2011 4:47 p.m.

    Jeff and What In Tucket:

    Spot on! The key issue is that once hooked on heroin, i.e. debt, the public is loathe to give back the ill-gotten gains the debt brought, and accept a lower standard of living. Even worse, the new standard of living sans the debt is even LOWER than it would have been had the debt never been incurred. The combination of interest payments, principal payments, and the higher interest rates that result from the debt binge eat into funds that otherwise would have been available to save or consume. So the result of more debt will only be a lower long-term standard of living.

    It's time to take the pain, slow the economy by stopping the spending, and then get government out of the way of entreprenuers and those who are willing to work hard. In the end, everyone would be better off.

  • gmak Spanish Fork, UT
    June 28, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    "We can get a firm handle on future government spending and bring annual budget deficits back to affordable levels."

    Yeah? Who's going to do that? Democrats? Republicans? I have no confidence that ANY politician is going to make the hard choices that need to be made.

    I'm generally a very optimistic person, but I'm having a hard time of it lately.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    June 28, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    In my home we have to balance the budget or my wife bust's me. Seems to me a balanced budget amendment is the only thing that will work. It works for Utah. Keynsian stimuli have never worked and there are many, many examples. For every dolar you put in you get 80 cents back. Guess you make it up on volume. The solution is the free enterprise system. take off the restraints and let it go. And stop spending!