Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee oppose new debt deal

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  • Free Man Provo, UT
    Aug. 4, 2011 1:54 p.m.

    The partisan grandstanding that has replaced reasoned compromise in Washington is a pathetic outgrowth of an apathetic nation. A minority of citizens even vote - what did you expect? Our elected officials over the past 40 years have raided our Social Security system coffers thereby putting a good safety net for our citizens in jeopardy. This system was put in place by a caring population and is a Godsend to millions after decades of contributions to the nation. It should remain.

    Senator Hatch first ran on a TERM LIMITS platform. Odd that he is still in office these many decades later. He then, as now, panders to the political winds of the day. Does anyone remember that he was best friends with Ted Kennedy, and that they co-authored much legislation? Or that he was known as a good collaborator because he could get things done for the good of the country, not just his party? It is time for him to retire. However, I do not begrudge him gratitude for the efforts that he made in his career - even if he became just one of the good ol' boys.

  • ReaganFan Midvale, Utah
    Aug. 3, 2011 12:59 p.m.

    I commend Senators Hatch and Lee for taking a tough stand on this issue. The "cuts" made in this bill were mere decreases in future spending. Unfortunately, the rating agencies want to see cuts in CURRENT spending; otherwise, we really face the threat of a downgrade and higher interest rates. Our Utah Senators understand the importance of righting our fiscal ship with meaningful reforms as opposed to cheap Washington DC lip service.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 2, 2011 9:16 p.m.

    Bluejean, problem with your whole "were socking it to the rich" is that as my income has risen, my nominal tax rate has decreased. For example, for most of the year I don't pay any social security taxes. I right off the top pay 4 percent LESS than the average middle class worker - and my employer pays 6 percent less tax. So even though my rate is supposed to go up, it actually goes down once I cross over 106k in income.

    Add to that the deduction I get for second home, my tax deferred income, I am doing just fine, thank you very much.

    Do I want to pay more? Not really. But I am hardly being soaked. I mean, come on. Lets stop the pity party for the poor overly educated and financially well to do. It am perpetually amazed by how many people have bought off on this line. You can't tax someone into poverty.... or equality. Where in the world did this come from. Show one example of this ever happening.

  • bluejean Farmington, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    OK, lets increase taxes, on those who have worked hard and educated themselves more to have a higher income, into the mix and mess- then sit back and watch what happens. Results: revenue will decrease even more as the rich take their business elsewhere and lobby for more loopholes. Guess what? Business isn't motivated by lousy profits swallowed by high taxes and socialist-esque principles.

    What this argument is all about reveals the fundamental core of the American spirit. Shall we provide opportunity to the poor to raise them to a higher financial level and then, when they get there, allow government to tax them into equality?

    If you really want to destroy free enterprise, and make us financially equal, then for sure, continue to support the Democrat's idealogy. Sit back and observe as you contribute your paycheck willingly to the poorly administered agenda that your elected officials decide is best. What a utopia! You won't have to think anymore, just work, pay taxes and play on facebook! Individuality and intelligence would only be needed at the highest levels of power.

    Clearly, this leads to the end of the American Spirit, integrity, industry, ingenuity. Selfish millionaires aren't the problem.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 2, 2011 2:25 p.m.

    In the end, the system worked as designed by the founders, and neither side got what they wanted - which is just fine. It is unfortunate we will never truly know until Hatch is out of office the convictions of his heart on this one as he voted soley to match what his voting district wanted. He may have beleived how he voted, but I doubt it.

    Alan Simpson said it best when he took both sides to task. The dear Speaker of the House' plan to have a bipartisan commission make recommendation on spending cuts, when only just months before a bipartisan commission had done just that, showed that this was more about taking credit than actually achieving results.

    Mr. Reid was no better, forcing his Republican counter part in the house to play his hand first, and expose the lack of support he actually had. It was politics at its finest, but hardly our country at its finest.

    And to the Republicans tha blame Obama for the budget, yet fail to recognize that their party owns the power of the purse, show that this is about team upmanship, not the country they care most about. Patriotism at its lowest.

  • perspicacious Salt lake city, Utah
    Aug. 2, 2011 2:13 p.m.

    Yes Orrin and you were right there when Bush got us into costly wars based upon lies and cut taxes. And of course you voted for each! And dear Orrin where were you when congress failed for 12 years to solve the immigration issues?

  • really? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 11:37 a.m.

    My support for Pres. Obama is now officially over. He once again showed me how little he cares for his "base" and caved in again to the tiny minority of tea party nutjobs. How can anyone with a shred of honesty in their brain not see the need to find at least some new revenue in tackling the debt issue? No one has to like it, or even support it, you just have to acknowledge the necessity of it. You have a huge amount of debt? Stop spending so much and try to find a way to bring in more money - its a simple economic principle that all Americans understand. I will never vote for any of the current crop of republican presidential contenders but I will certainly not vote for Pres. Obama ever again.

  • MelancholyMe Ogden, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 10:02 a.m.

    We as a nation now have more people getting handouts than we have people paying into to pool. We have run out of money, and yet we are unable to stop the entitlements that we promised.

    Our fate is sealed. Our government will collapse as a result of corruption, over spending, and poor management.

    Everyone hold on and enjoy the ride.

  • goatesnotes Kamas, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    With all the negativity registered here, we sometimes devalue the privilege to come into an online forum board like this and spout off to our hearts' content. For all the problems we face, and the unresolved challenges ahead, let us never forget, the informed as well as the uninformed, may shout it from the housetops without fear of reprisal, imprisonment and death.

    That's worth celebrating once in a while . . .

  • nitestik FORT MYERS, FL
    Aug. 2, 2011 9:24 a.m.

    The short way to spell HYPOCRITE is HATCH. Whenever a republican is in the White House, the debt ceiling goes up with his blessing. Whenever a Democrat is there, he suddenly finds his inner fiscal conservative. Thank goodness he's not playing politics with this issue, huh?

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Aug. 2, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    People people people we as a nation never have to go into debt period. It is a farce brought on by corporations. We can issue money debt free into the economy but we gave that authority away to the federal reserve and now we pay interest they create out of thin air.

    It's magical isn't it.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    Aug. 2, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    In order for us to get control over the budget, we have to freeze spending. That means what the government got in 2011 is what they get for 2012. Romney proposes to do that and increase just for inflation minus 1%. Zero base budgeting then, if Romney is elected, requires each government agency to justify requests for increases. There is no automatic 8% increase in the baseline budget after that.

    Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has proposed merging all programs where there is duplication. He says the GAO has found $200 billion per year spent on duplicated programs. But to listen to the Democrats you would think the Tea Party wants to kill everyone's dog and throw old people out in the snow. There is no justification in the attacks on the Tea Party by Democrats other than for partisan political reasons. There is no truth in what they are saying.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    Aug. 2, 2011 7:40 a.m.

    Most folks do not realize that ther eis an automatic 8% increase built into next years federal budget. Congress doesn't have to do anything for it to happen. It is the new baseline budget that becomes the floor which Congress THEN adds additional increases. so when you see the Democrats whining about "cutting" they are talking about reducing the an additional amount over that amount.

    To put it another way, the 2011 base is $100 but the base for 2012 is going up to $108.00 automatically. Then, on top of the $108.00, Congress proposes to add more money. The so called cutting they are talking about comes from the amount Congress proposes to add beyond the new 2012 baseline. So a 3% increase is really an 11% increase from 2011 level. The so called cutting is nothing but a big lie.

  • TMR Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 1, 2011 11:07 p.m.

    Shame on Hatch. In his head and heart he knows a "yes" vote is the right vote, but serving one more term is more important than the economic well being of the country. Lee is a nut; that much he proved during the campaign; however, Hatch has had his moments of lucidity during his long service. Tea-partiers may clog the D-News comments, but this eccentric group is a minority, except, of course, amongst delegates, and this is the contingency that Hatch unfortunately has to impress.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 11:01 p.m.

    It is easy for Hatch and Lee to oppose the deal. Their vote is irrelevant. They knew the bill would pass, so they knew their vote would not matter. Let's see how they feel when their vote really does matter.

    Hatch is a marionette totally having his strings controlled by Lee. It is pretty pathetic to watch.

  • durwood kirby South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:58 p.m.

    Time for Hatch and Lee to go. They've both been there too long. Oh yeah, Bishop and Chaffetz too.

  • SamESmall Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 6:54 p.m.

    Good to see our Senators standing together. It is a bad deal--no real cuts in spending.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 6:24 p.m.

    Hatch and Lee support two wars but are wishy washy on the funding of them. Perhaps 9-11 bankrupted us and we refuse to believe it; maybe the enemy did win. I am confident Hatch is in favor to continue sending Israel 3 Billion every year just because we should put them up on a pedastal (never mind all the wars they drag us into).

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 6:18 p.m.

    Hatch hopes to be in office 42 years; same with Mr. Lee. Neither has ever run a business; their passion is to live off the government, shrink the government so they have a Tues-Thursday work week and tell the rest of us to believe in capitolism.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 3:58 p.m.

    To "Furry1993 | 1:45 p.m." but Clinton never produced a balanced budget. The best year was about $23 billion in deficits. We haven't had a surplus or balanced budget since 1963.

    Here are the figures for the Gross National Debt during the Clinton years:

    Year Gross Debt (millions)
    1991 $3,598,178
    1992 $4,001,787
    1993 $4,351,044
    1994 $4,643,307
    1995 $4,920,586
    1996 $5,181,465
    1997 $5,369,206
    1998 $5,478,189
    1999 $5,605,523
    2000 $5,628,700
    2001 $5,769,881

    A balanced budget or surplus should be indicated by a decrease in the gross national debt. Where is the balanced budget?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 3:54 p.m.

    after the dust settles if we still get our AAA rating downgraded then Mike Lee was correct. Stay tuned over the next few months.

  • Daryl Acumen PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 3:50 p.m.

    Senator's Lee and Hatch correctly understand that this budget "deal" solves nothing. All it accomplishes is kicking the REAL discussion down the road a couple of feet. Without a balanced budget amendment, it's just the same old rhetoric on a different Washington afternoon. We expect leadership form Washington, and with the exception of Senators Lee and Hatch, I haven't seen very much of that. If anything, this whole ruse has underscored the need to replace Obama and to take the Senate in 2012.

    Senate Majority Leader Hatch anyone?

  • floridian navarre, fl
    Aug. 1, 2011 3:40 p.m.

    @ Howard Beal et al:

    It is the defense budget and those troops who are paid through it that allow social security, medicare, and all the other programs in the federal budget to exist. Having served 23+ years in the AF I recognize that waste exists, but to arbitrarily establish a future defense cut not based on projected threats is absolutely unacceptable. By establishing "triggers" the WH and Congress have,
    IMO, recognized that agreement will not take place so they are going to "punish" each party's "favorite" part of the budget. That is certainly no way to run a government. Washington D.C. has failed us, again!

  • really? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 2:56 p.m.

    Sens Lee and Hatch are two of the most hypocritical Senators currently in office. They both know that a great deal of the current debt was created by republican spending during the Bush years. They also know that a balanced budget amendment is not practical and would not take effect for at least 2 years while the states voted on its ratification. They both just want a reason to disagree with the president and pretend to be "sticking to their guns." BTW, I was a Obama supporter prior to this deal. He will no longer have my support due to his unwillingness to fight for new revenue (taxes) to pay down this debt. Anyone who thinks that big oil should keep getting tax breaks while our country is trillions in debt needs to have their head examined.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 2:49 p.m.

    Neither party seems to want to address social security, medicare, or the defense department, the three biggest slices of the budget pie. With the interest being so extreme on the budget, any real budget solutions that leave these slices untouched is smoke and mirrors. It's time to face the reality.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 2:08 p.m.

    WhatsInItForMe said: "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. ...

    -- SENATOR Barack H. Obama, March 2006

    Doesn't practice what he preaches, does he?

    Liberals, spin it however you want. Won't matter. He said it!

    And now the rest of the story...

    In fact, every Senate Democratincluding Barack Obama and Joe Bidenvoted against boosting the debt ceiling, while all but two Senate Republicans voted in favor.
    It was Bushs fourth debt-ceiling hike in five years, for a total of $3 trillion.

    How many times has Obama tried to hike the debt ceiling?

    Some people learn from their mistakes while other continue partisan politics always.

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 1:45 p.m.

    To WellBehavedWomen | 12:38 p.m. Aug. 1, 2011

    Actually, no. President Clinton didn't need a balanced budget amendment to produce balanced budgets (with a surplus each time) the last two years he was in office. He just did it because he was a good financial planner (and he had to fight Gingrich and other Republicans to a standstill to get the balanced budgets). This whole balanced budget amendment rhetoric is just political gamesmanship. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • jimhale Eugene, OR
    Aug. 1, 2011 1:26 p.m.

    It is time for all good men to come to the aid of the country.

    That means that Romney, Huntsman, Hatch, Lee, Chaffetz and others now need to get on to a positive track for 2012.

    They all need to get behind Senator Tom Coburn (R-OKLAHOMA)'s $9 Trillion deficit reduction plan...or something like unto it.

    He would cut $8 Trillion and raise $1 Trillion...a balanced approach if we ever saw one...over a ten year period.

    This current budget deal is a tiny step in the right direction. It is the best we can do at this moment...with this President and this Senate.

    But the next president had better be pointing us to a way to balance the budget.

    An Amendment would be a grand thing. But we need a vision of how it can actually be brought to pass.

    Clearly, Obama has no such vision.....even out ten years.

    The GOP must do better.

    As someone important once said "It's a vision thing."

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    Re whatsinitforme

    Obama just became the first president in my lifetime to make serious cuts in government spending. Doesn't that prove that Obama was right in 2006? Since he was able to make real change to the debt issue when no one else could doesn't that mean that he is providing good leadership?

    Yes he increased the debt limit, but unlike every other president since Eisenhower he also reduced spending by a significant amount. Half truths are half lies too.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 1:23 p.m.

    @Esquire: Would that be anything like "We have to pass the Bill to see whats in the Bill"? I like that approach.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    @Nick: "The road to serfdom cometh."

    The GOP and their rich friends in big business have been working on that plan since the Reagan era. America's middle class hasn't gained any ground in 30 years, and we've been losing for the past 5. Extinction of the middle class is all part of their plan to put all the wealth and power into the hands of those 5% and let them run things the way they see fit. The real estate market crash was engineered to boot out millions of homeowners so their houses could be bought up by investment firms for next to nothing. High gas and food prices put a damper on consumer spending and a shrinking job market means more and more of us go off to join the "working poor" at McD's or Wal-Mart. It's class warfare and as it continues we'll soon all be making just barely enough to rent a roof over our heads. They want to put America back on a level with China and Mexico so it will be profitable for them to manufacture things here again.

  • jimhale Eugene, OR
    Aug. 1, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    I am glad Senator Lee's word is his bond. But what the debt limit increase is really about is the word/bond of the United States Government not Senator Lee's personal word/bond.

    The Congress (current and past) has ordered all kinds of spending. Now the government needs to get in and borrow the money to pay for those obligations. Doing less would be dishonest. When you don't meet such obligations, you can expect your (personal or governmental) credit rating to be down-graded.

    Holding the debt limit increase hostage so that the GOP could get the White House and the Democratic Senate to get serious about the deficit - obviously against their will - was a good plan.

    But now, the government needs to pay the obligations Congress has already authorized.

    For Lee or Hatch or Chaffetz or Romney to now oppose this deal is irresponsible. This battle is over.

    There will be plenty of fighting to do in the follow-up aspects of this bill as the new committee reports its recommendations. And the deal requires a Congressional vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment.

    But the next real battle about spending is the 2012 election.

  • E. Matscheko St. George, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    Just like voters will oppose Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee at the next elections...

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    This is appalling to me that our senators would rather sabotage our economy than compromise with democrats. Hatch got my vote the last 2 elections, but he wont be getting it again.

    As a moderate Lee never got my vote. I will never vote for an extremist from the right or the left. People who are not willing to comprise are incapable of accomplishing anything in Washington.

  • Danish American Payson, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    Raises debt limit $900 billion. Lowers spending this year $7 billion. $7 billion this year when Obama is spending $401 Million dollars a day more than we take in. The deal doesn't seem like it does a thing. They should vote against it. And where is the Senate's budget plan. This bill contains a gimmick to pass a budget, the deem to pass, that doesn't allow for a vote. The same gimmick they rammed Obamacare through with. This is a horrible bill as it stands now and should be voted down.

  • Kearns_Dad Kearns, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 1:06 p.m.

    I'm sad that Hatch and Lee work for tea partiers and not for all the Utahns that elected them. I'll be unable to support either of them. There must be a bump in the debt ceiling (commitments already made, not new spending) and cuts in "unnecessary gov't spending" - Mr. Obama. A Balanced Budget Amendment won't fix it and will pretty much insure that each recession becomes a depression. Just ask non-political Nobel economists. Cuts aren't going to happen overnight and tea partiers are ruining the GOP. Sorry...I'm becoming more and more unhappy with the tea party movement. I guess we'll know for sure at the next election if Obama gets 4 more years.

  • WellBehavedWomen Highland, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 12:38 p.m.

    Without a Balanced Budget Amendment, we will just be back in this mess in a few years. We cannot keep spending money we don't have and mortgaging our children's future. Senator Hatch and Lee are right to oppose this deal, it is a good start but falls short on real long term reforms.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Aug. 1, 2011 12:38 p.m.

    Quote of the Century on the U.S.'s Big Debt:

    "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. ... Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

    -- SENATOR Barack H. Obama, March 2006

    Doesn't practice what he preaches, does he?

    Liberals, spin it however you want. Won't matter. He said it!

  • bballjunkie Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 12:38 p.m.

    I support both hatch and Lee thanks for saying no to this joke. My kids as well as yours are screwed. We better get people in place or this will get so far out of control the rest of the world will stop wanting to deal with us.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    This deal won't do anything. There are ways of saving more money than the politicians claim to save. There are ways of cutting costs without disrupting anything that the government currently does.

    According to Bloomberg's article "U.S. Auditors Say Duplicate Programs Cost Billions" there are hundreds of billions of dollars being wasted on redundant programs. Even if there was only $100 billion saved, that right there is $1Trillion in 10 years.

    Turning Medicare over to private companies would save another $30 billion/yr. Currently Medicare loses money to fraud at twice the rate of private insurance. So, according to "Medicare Fraud: A $60 Billion Crime" at CBS News, we could save a lot just by getting government out of Medicare WITHOUT reducing services.

    Last year the Federal Government spent $165 billion on long term unemployment, giving people 99 weeks of unemployment checks. If we cut that back to the original 26 weeks, that would save us another $100 billion. Plus, it will further save money by forcing people to humble themselves and to do the jobs that they claim American's won't do. For every person that starts working, that further cuts unemployment costs.

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 11:50 a.m.

    While I have certainly not always agreed with Hatch it is sad to see him become the step child of Mike Lee- what irony that the senior senator from Utah now takes all his political direction from a guy that pursuaded a couple thousand very conservative Utah voters to support him and thus avoid a real test of his political power by having to defeat Bennett in an open primary and now Hatch is little more than a lap dog so he can try and have six more years and not leave in disgrace- very sad day in Utah politics

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 11:34 a.m.

    The Amendment process of the Constitution was designed by the framers to be difficult with more than majority and an extended ratification process. Senator Lee and Representative Jason want to force it be done by a simple quick majority vote. This is an unconstitutional position.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 11:29 a.m.

    Mike Lee was already a clown. By aligning himself with Lee, Hatch too became a clown. Both need to go at election time.

    This is not a time to hold the US taxpayer hostage. Both should be listening to the majority of Utah and vote FOR the proposal. It isn't perfect but that is because they CHOSE to waste seven months before addressing this crucial bill. They harmed the economy and public faith by putting it off THIS long.

  • sid 6.7 Holladay, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 11:29 a.m.

    "My Word Is My Bond"????? BWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

    I seriously did a "Spit Take" with my morning coffee when I saw that quote by Hatch.

  • williary Kearns, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 11:16 a.m.


    "Debt default is merely "fear mongering" by the Democrats."

    And economists all over the world.

    And Wall Street.

    And investors all over the world.

    And Speaker John Boehner.

    And Mitch McConnell.

    Yep, big conspiracy theory created by the Democrats!

    FYI - Balancing the budget simply cuts off further debt spending. How will you address the already existing debt? While conintuing tax cuts? Simple math says both cannot happen.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 11:07 a.m.

    We are not in danger of a default. We will still make our payments, though it may come at the expense of some less-than-vital services. We could shut government down, if necessary, to reduce expenses so we can keep our loan commitments. Debt default is merely "fear mongering" by the Democrats.

    We simply need to get our spending under control. We should get our rating reduced, because our debt to income ratio is simply embarassing.

    I am not a tea partier, but I do believe Hatch and Lee are right on this one. We need to balance our budget! In addition, we can't keep giving this President more money to spend that we simply don't have!

  • nick Provo, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 11:03 a.m.

    The deal envisions increasing the federal debt over the next ten years from about $14.3 trillion to $22 trillion. Without the deal, the debt would have increased to $24 trillion. So, we should all be delighted that we are only increasing the debt by $8 trillion instead of $10 trillion. If that is all we can do, then this nation is finished. We do not deserve to be free. The road to serfdom cometh.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:59 a.m.


    Just a simple question I have invested in social security for 30 years, so I should get less than you because you happen to have been born ten years before me? I am ok with that if I can quit paying into social security for the next ten years.

    It is interesting we hear the concept of shared sacrifice, I think the new definition of sharing is don't touch my stuff, sacrifice everyone else's stuff. Facts r stubborn keeps pointing out the fact that without cuts to entitlements and defense, as well as increasing taxes, we will never get a handle on our debt.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:58 a.m.

    Of course they would both oppose it. It's more political grandstanding. They would rather run this nation into oblivion than accept any sort of compromise.

    Remember this, remember their stand against the future of this nation. Vote them both out when election time comes.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    @brent t co,

    You're pretty generous with someone else's money. Some of us have been investing in SS for 40 years. Not our fault congress robbed the fund to pay for other stuff. Paul Ryan has the right idea on this. Fix it for the future by making changes that don't affect those retired or about to retire that have figured SS into their planning. Nice to be so tough, but not practical. Too many of us senior voters to allow such nonsense.

  • facts_r_stubborn Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:38 a.m.

    Lastly, I must refute again the warn out contention of many tea party true believers and others that we can pay all our current obligations without raising the debt ceiling in the short run. Sorry, the math just doesn't work.

    Again, in summary, interest on the debt, Medicare, Medicaid and national defense equal 80% of federal spending. By comparison, NASA is six tenths of one percent of the budget. Discretionary spending is about 8%. At the same time we are borrowing 40% of our current outlays. That means 60% is paid for with current revenues. There is a 20% gap between the cost of entitlements plus defense and tax revenues. Without entitlement reform, 100% of all other expenses, (indluding defense), will need to be eliminated in order to balance.

    In 1965, entitlements represented about 28% of the federal budget. Today they are nearly two thirds. In 1975 medical care expenses represented 8% of GDP. Today, they are 20%. The facts don't lie folks.

    In a recent poll nearly 80% of voters want a balanced budget. In that same poll, 84% did not want any entitlement cuts. Wake up America. We have seen the enemy and the enemy is us.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    @ mohokat, the BBA was introduced about 3 days before the house voted on it. No hearings were held, there was virtually no public discussion on it, and no consideration of how it would actually work. Your House GOP buddies could actually propose something real, or they can keep putting forth gimmicks and then turn around and vote for more spending on their pet programs. They are just playing political games to deceive in order to gain political power. Who is going to win under their proposals? Government contractors and Wall Street. Certainly not those of us in the middle class or retirees.

  • williary Kearns, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:29 a.m.

    When will someone come on Fox News and help their viewers and hosts understand that raising the debt limit is only guaranteeing that the US has the ability to pay off debt that has already been committed too?

    This isn't a "blank check" as Boehner likes to use as his scare tactic. This is simply allowing the government to make payments on legilsation that has already been passed.

    This isn't putting a check on Obama, it's paying for things that Clinton, Bush and Obama have already committed the country too.

    It's really that simple.

    On the BBA, I love the idea, just don't see a great way for it to exist. What would the Republicans have done to pay for Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, etc. with a BBA in place? Clearly, the large obligations of the federal government, like wars and disaster relief, would have to be taken into account. And as it has been stated already, what happens if you put measures in the budget for these possibilities, yet they don't happen that fiscal year? Some loopholes would need to be worked out, but it's worth the discussion.

  • goatesnotes Kamas, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:26 a.m.

    Facts is right -- the big fact here is the conversation has changed, and that's hopeful.

    A year ago before the 2010 mid-term elections a $1.9 Trillion increase in the debt ceiling was unopposed by both Democrat controlled houses of Congress, and even a few months ago there were discussions about a second "stimulus" bill worth hundreds of billions in more borrowed debt.

    Now the conversation is about a BBA and real spending cuts and caps.

    The debate about our economic survival can now begin, and the upcoming presidential election will be less about politics and more about what matters. When the country elects even more patriots determined to put our fiscal house in order, we'll all be better served.

  • facts_r_stubborn Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    Finally, failure to reach a deal at this point, and allowing a default does not work, and will make it much more difficult to increase revenue through a growing economy. Failure to honor our current obligations will make it much more difficult to tackle the real driver of our current deficits, (i.e. exponentially increasing health care costs, and entitlements, especially Medicare.) Social Security can be fixed, and must be with relatively minor adjustments to future retirees retirement ages, means testing or a combination of factors.

    Medicare is a much more difficult, but not impossible nut to crack. It is sad that so much of our political energy as a nation is focused on baseless rhetoric and political demogoguery on both sides of the aisle. The fact is that our current woes correspond with less cooperation in Congress not more. The idea that this crisis is the result of "go along, get along", just isn't factual.

    We should be focussing on how entitlement programs can be reformed and re-structured, not not on some broad generalization about cutting spending accross the board. Every program should be scrutinized, modernized or eliminated based on the merits.

    Where is the beef?

  • facts_r_stubborn Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:13 a.m.

    Again, the fervor and emotion of the tea party, much like the original one in Boston, has served as a motivating factor. However, ideals without specific plans cannot govern anymore than chaotic outbursts could win the revolutionary war against Britain. Ideologues without pragmatism and and understanding of our system of checks and balances under the Constitution, do not understand the Constitution, even if they are attorneys and have memorized every word.

    The obvious fact is that compromise was necessary between big and small states, pre-federalists and pre-republicans in order to produce the Constitution by the thinnest of margins, against all odds.

    Senator Lee and his tea party constituency should understand that majority votes are needed in order to effect real change. While I admire the passion, failing to honor our Constitutional system will not succeed in the long run. Not every American voter agrees with a conservative limited government perspective, we are divided. Even many conservatives defend their benefits.

    Our system allows for a majority rule, while protecting the rights of the minority. Checks and balances. Better to make the best deal possible and position politically for the Presidency and a Senate majority in the next election.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:10 a.m.

    Just curious.. why are there so many posts about Utah "representatives" and Utah situations made by an abundance of people from out of state? Don't they have newspapers in their states?
    Just asking-----------

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:59 a.m.

    Lane - it is because they don't allow budgets to be carried over, just like another organization I know uses the same rules. We can't by legislation have any government being a "profit" center - and yet if they do the right things and cut cost, they hurt their ability to have budget rolling forward. It is a very broken, but well oiled machine.

  • facts_r_stubborn Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    So many ungrounded opinions here again. Fact is Senator Hatch is not pandering toe the tea drinkers anymore than Senator Lee is, and I would argue, that unlike Lee, Hatch as the long record to prove it.

    Hatch as sponsored or co-signed a balanced budget amendment 17 times, Lee, once. Hatch came one vote short of passing a BBA in 1998.

    Hatch has voted numerous times not to raise the debt ceiling in prior administrations dating back to President Jimmy Carter. He voted against raising the debt ceiling in the Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama administrations. Now of course, Lee was not in the Senate back then, so we don't know how he would have voted while he was in grade school.

    I don't agree with either Hatch or Lee on voting no now, because we have got all we can get this go 'round. I'm a pragmatist and I'd like to live, (quite literally), both economically and politically to fight another day in round two. Rome was not built in a day, and Republicans need more votes in the Senate.

    But please, folks let's get our facts straight on Hatch's record.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:56 a.m.

    Lee is taking this position because he doesn't think - he doesn't have to. He's the Tea Party darling. Never mind that he voted to force the Air Force to take the overpriced, unnecessary and unwanted F-35 engine - the Tea Party doesn't pay attention to what people do, only to what they say.

    Hatch is taking this position because he's terrified of the Tea Party - he doesn't want to go the way of Bob Bennett. He figures that if he can tap dance to the right hard enough for the crazies he'll survive the state convention, and that once he secures the nomination he'll coast to re-election because he's the "R" on the ballot.

    Both positions are toxic to our republic.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:51 a.m.

    @ Esquire I do not remember anyone saying we should not honor and pay our past obligations. Attention to balancing the budget? I guess you didn't hear that the Repubs presented a balanced budget amendment which was shot down by The Great Pretender and the Dems. And why not. That would handcuff them in the future from their buying votes spending. Would you please direct us to where we can see and read The Great Pretenders plan. So we can really understand his involement.And yes this debate has been good for the American people. More people are now aware of the direction this Country is headed in. And for the Kool Aiders if it was not for the Tea Party this would have never happened. It would have been business as usual. Sorry Charlie hopefully it won't be business as usual anymore!

  • goatesnotes Kamas, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:44 a.m.

    I'm not the least bit impressed with the political deal that has been struck. A $2.8 Trillion increase in the debt ceiling is not good news.

    It does little to address the underlying economic realities with which we are faced as a country. When the rating agencies signaled they expected $4 Trillion in real spending cuts, not illusory fictions, what did the politicians do?

    Gave them $2.8 Trillion in more debt with yet another bicameral bipartisan committee to "study" how we intend to come up with the balance of cuts still short of what the rating agencies demanded.

    That real economic debate will now begin in earnest, and few if any of us should be the slightest bit interested in who is scoring political points.

    The neoconservative dream of ever-expanding empires filled with democracies is dead, and so is the dream of progressives that a new era of liberal progress would become reality by borrowing and taxing.

    Economic reality will trump both agendas and the Tea Party desire for smaller government will now become self-fulfilling because the government we have created has shown itself for what it is -- unsustainable.

    Let the real debate now begin.

  • carpoolmom SOUTH JORDAN, Salt Lake
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    Thank you Senator Lee. What a hard thing for you to do. Hatch I'm sorry for our country it took you so long to get on board and it's just too late for me and hopefully others as well. You voted for so many programs especially while Bush was in office that put our country in this situation. That is when you should have stood up and said no more spending when you had the power. To blame Obama and the dems now is just ridiculous.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    I am proud of our senators for sticking to their guns and demanding a balanced budget ammendment. Sen. Lee ran his campaign on the promise that he would seek to balance the budget. He should be congratulated for pushing that agenda. It doesn't matter to me if Sen. Hatch is holding fast in order to gain favor with people in the party or if he is doing it because it is the right thing to do because in the end it is the right thing to do. I certainly hope that our senators and reps will not pay any attention to the lunatic fringe posting here who are calling for higher taxes and continued high spending. It is they who will ruin our country.

  • Madden Herriman, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    I am a bit torn really. On one hand, I did write all of my Congressmen and told them essentially "you made your point, I support your approach more than most approaches, but it is time to compromise because the risks here outweigh the possible benefits of holding out."

    On the other hand, it is that compromising attitude that has so often been used to drag us where we are today. For politicians, compromise = both sides spend money they don't have to buy supporter and lobbyist votes for their next election. The Tea Party IS extreme (and frankly needs to cave on raising taxes to pay the debt off), but if they hold the line on spending, their "extreme" views woudl actually pay off 20 years from now.

  • Utah Dem Ogden, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    IdahoStranger - absolutely. After working for DoD for 35 years and being a financial manager I am guarantee there were (to use a government phrase) fraud, waste and abuse in funding of various programs and activities. Flying across the country for a 30 minute meeting when it could have been done through video conferencing, sending people TDY (business trips) which turned out to be mini-vacations, etc.

    I would much rather have seen many of the 'pork barrel' funding stopped.

  • justaguy Out There in, WI
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:30 a.m.

    This whole budget mess has been a joke, an excellent illustration of how myopic and paralyzed Washington has become. They have shown they are not capable of effectively solving the countrys problems. Shoot, they can't even recognize them! All the noise about how not raising the debt ceiling will keep us from going further into debt is baloney. Raising the debt ceiling is about being able to pay the debt weve already incurred. All this wrangling has been over whether or not to pay the bills we already owe! This so called hard line stand against more debt should have taken place months and years ago. Those fool tea-partiers picked the right fight but at totally the wrong time! Theyve done nothing more than make economic recovery harder.

  • duck Saint George, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    I'm a Republican and proud of it, but I'm ashamed of our naive Senators. This political grandstanding to make their point has to stop! What's more important is what's immediately best for America. This bill may not be perfect, but it's the only one that will pass and stop our nation's bleeding. Get on with it and now!

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:03 a.m.

    Anyone else been there and witnessed the same thing?

    USN Retired


    Absolutely! A colonel here in the National Guard had not used all his budget for a year and knew if he didn't use it all and more that he would be cut for the next year - so he ordered himself a mahogany desk at over $17,000. Not needed and a waste of money, but he wanted to have more money to spend the next year. Any business that ran like that would be out of business pretty soon.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 8:48 a.m.

    Of course they oppose it. They oppose anything that they think will create havoc for President Obama and ultimately the Nation.
    They want to assure their political careers and the way our State elections are operated with caucuses they don't get a chance to be voted on by the people of Utah. Only the extreme right wing delegates at convention.
    Politics should not be a career.
    Candidates should be elected by the people and for the people, not a extreme minority in a party convention with numbers smaller than a high school.

  • Winglish Lehi, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    Get rid of the Bush tax cuts, bring the troops in the Middle East home, pass a balanced budget ammendment, debt probllem solved.

    These people who believe in trickle-down economics are a joke. The money has already been spent. It's not going to repay itself without an increase in taxes. Likewise, there must be a balanced budget in order for us not to get into more debt. This is the easiest mathematical problem in the world. Why does the Tea Party continue to fight the only solution that will solve the problem, increased revenue? Why does the far left fail to support a balanced budget ammendment? Neither party is working in our best interest. We need the Blue Dogs, America!

  • IdahoStranger NEWDALE, ID
    Aug. 1, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    Isn't it amazing that if anyone even suggests we cut some of the defense budget, they are accused of being unpatriotic.

    I have been involved with the military for some 20 years and its obvious that money is being wasted.

    Anyone else been there and witnessed the same thing?

    USN Retired

  • IdahoStranger NEWDALE, ID
    Aug. 1, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    The Best Deal will be No Deal!

    No more "using the Credit Card" - no more increase in the interest payment.

    Avoid Interest - it is a fearful master.

    Get out of debt - the only way to really restore the good name and credit of the United States.

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    DN moderators strike again. I posted a comment expressing my contempt for Hatch and Lee, and they didn't publish it. Let me try again:

    I don't support Hatch and Lee.

    Hatch is doing nothing more than pander to the tea party so he can be elected. He isn't working for the welfare of the United States and its citizens, and the people of Utah.

    Lee is once again showing his ignorance and incompetence. He isn't working for the welfare of the United States and its citizens, and the people of Utah. He's just showing himself (again) to be nothing more than a political hack.


  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 8:17 a.m.

    you missed the part about no balanced budget amendment, yet you say it has everything the repubs wanted? Why am I not surprised?

    You seem to be claiming that hatch and lee comprise ALL the repubs, excluding Boehner, McConnell, etc, and so forth who will be voting YES. Why am I not surprised?

    Everyone knows that were hatch NOT facing a stiff re-election challenge in 2012 he would be voting FOR this deal.

    What about BO's promise that everything would be debated out in the open? I guess he lied - again.

  • williary Kearns, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 8:14 a.m.

    I love when Hatch says "My word is my bond."


    You mean the guy who has been in office for 30+ years, and ran on TERM LIMITS, now claims his word is his bond?


    These two, and DNews posters, continue to prove why Utah has politically become one of the most radical places in the country.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 8:04 a.m.

    Give the Republicans everything they want and they still vote no. Why am I not surprised?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 8:03 a.m.

    @ mohokat, you think this debate has been good for the American people, putting the world economy on the edge? If the tea party kiddies were serious and were highly principled, they would acknowledge that our past debt has to be paid, then turn attention to actually balancing the budget. This requires a mix of new taxes and/or tax reforms, plus cuts. Instead, they vote for their pet programs benefiting Wall Street and defense contractors and who knows who else and seek to beat up the middle class (whom they claim to represent). They are playing a game and it will destroy us if they get their way.

    As for your shot at Obama, the White House has been involved every step of the way. Don't kid yourself. If you don't understand the politics of Washington, then it would be best to zip it.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 7:49 a.m.

    we haven't had a single bill to address the debt-limit issue come into the Senate that has been subject to an open debate, discussion and amendment process on the floor."

    There is Harry Reids efforts for you. The Senate has not presented a budget in over 800 days. Way to go Senate! A bunch of empty suits.

    Obama was left ingnored by both parties in the last days of this sham. Everyone realized the The Leader was in fact The Great Pretender

    The only ones who were putting anything on paper was the Republicans lead by the Tea Party. Face it Kool Aiders without the Tea Party this debate would not have taken place. It would have been business as ususal..

  • Flame53 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 1, 2011 7:42 a.m.

    What a joke. I saw Lee on CNN last night. Wolf Blitzer asked him about the debt deal. He answered with a plug for his new book. That's not TEA Party, that's ME Party.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 7:35 a.m.

    They were both passed in the fast lane. They should both exit office and get someone to help the United States and Utah, not bow and scrape to the conservative bloggers with cell phone access.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 5:55 a.m.

    Of course Hatch and Lee are opposed. Hatch is desperate to appeal to the crazy right/tea party, and Lee is part of that same group which is trying to destroy the country. Are they trying to create chaos and try to fulfill their own religious predictions? It is so off the wall. Default will only give us a permanent de facto tax increase and just make the deficit even worse. Pass a simple debt increase, then battle over the budget issues. Why the dangerous games? The faction of Lee and Hatch (sort of) are crazy and will do more harm than good.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Aug. 1, 2011 12:14 a.m.

    I can only vote out four people -- Colorado's two senators, our house rep and Obama. And if this bill passes that I certainly will. Washington is gutless again. We needed to just default, pass a balanced budget amendment and as a start to spending cuts eliminate the Social Security program 1/1/12 assigning FICA withholding to paying off the national debt... in other words do the right thing, spend what we have, get out of state and local government, get out of peoples private affairs (like retirement), drastically shrink central/federal government and programs, and get out of debt!

    Instead we just delay (again) the inevitable, passing folly onto our children and generations to come rather than facing up to our mistakes and setting things right.

  • Informed Voter South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 12:12 a.m.

    How can this reporter be so far out of touch to say this deal prevents default. That is dead wrong!! There would have been no default without a deal. He has either been duped by the histeria or he is a willing participant in perpetuating the myth of default. There is plenty of revenue each month to avoid default on debts! The reporter is sophomoric at best. Wise up.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    July 31, 2011 11:50 p.m.

    I oppose Senators Lee and Hatch.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 31, 2011 11:08 p.m.

    Hatch and Lee are right to oppose this deal. It solves nothing except allowing unrestrained spending as before with a new debt ceiling.

    Even an balanced budget amendment is a farce, as it will be unenforceable, with every year an "emergency" allowing exceptions.

    Better to defeat this deal and "eat our peas" until a real deal is done.

    We are a nation impoverished by wasteful spending, but it is not in the Defense Department (although some savings can be made there).

    Only someone with little regard for, or understanding of, our national security would agree to a scheme that will be making massive cuts in defense before all other possibilities have been exhausted.

    While I am heartened by the fact that this bill reportedly contains some significant cuts, I am very troubled that the debt increase (and resulting tsunami of spending) begins immediately, while the biggest, and non-specific, cuts are scheduled for the future, and which are not actually binding upon future congresses to execute.

    The immediate cuts, will be mitigated to a very small degree by the reported agreement to include foreign aid, and Homeland Security within the "security" area of cuts, not exclusively DOD.