Mike Lee blazes new kind of tea party influence

1st-term senator became key voice in debt debate

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  • Bunnyhop SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 3:14 p.m.

    "Let's see. Lee was willing to let the U.S. default on its bills, and lose its AAA credit rating if Congress didn't PASS a balanced budget amendment"
    Absolutely completely wrong
    If a debt ceiling increase was NOT passed, the USA could still pays its debts (and social secutity and medicare) - but would need to cut elsewhere

    AND the debt ceiling WAS raised and the rating was downgraded anyhow because there is too much debt.

    If you are going to condemn LEE, at least be accurate

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 8, 2011 12:38 p.m.

    By the way, I don't disagree with the over riding principles of the tea party - rather its methods.

    The leading reason for the downgrade...

    "the ability of lawmakers to agree on effective policy."

    Confidence has been lost that the two parties can set aside politics to build reasonable consensus policy. I don't blame the S&P.... but the cost to us all is going to be really high for this stunt they put is through.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 8, 2011 12:35 p.m.

    Lets see, since the tea party did their little stunt, the US credit rating has fallen, the markets are in a free fall... and any recovery we had, is not likely gone.

    Good job... way to stand on principle. When the market returns to its Bush era levels of 6500.... we can all thank them for killing the run up that took us to nearly the 13,000 mark.

    Politics at any cost. When all your mortgages go up and credit card rates spike because they are tied to the fed rate, you can all send your letter of thanks to Mr. Lee.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2011 7:28 a.m.

    The tea party debt downgrade has put him now in front of the wave of the tea party backlash.

  • Joy Steele mesa, AZ
    Aug. 7, 2011 12:30 a.m.

    We the people have forgotten whose boss. We the people are. So did Mike Lee speak in behalf of the people or for a party? No gov. offical has more power than "we the people" have. So Mike Lee doesn't have to cave in to his party, but his party has to cave into "We the people". The Tea Party is "We the peope". Mike's bill is only your call away. Make your voices heard.

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    Aug. 6, 2011 2:24 a.m.

    @Truthseeker | 7:53 p.m. Aug. 5, 2011

    "Actually, CA is one of the most politically and racially diverse states in the U.S. and has the largest economy in the U.S."

    So I think the relevance here is largest economy maybe? Which is even more troubling given the financial state of the state...how do you screw that up?

    "The past 40+ yrs Republicans have dominated the governorships. The current U.S. House Majority Whip, Kevin McCarthy is from CA. Prop 8, favored by Republicans passed in CA. "

    I think Republicans and Democrats can stink equally...whats your point?

    "CA is nowhere near bankrupt..."

    I beg to differ...if you aren't anywhere near bankrupt, why have all the state employees had to turn in their Cell phones? Tell me about the re-orgs going on in the state government. Shall we cover some of the "Programs" the State of california has in place...akin to entitlements? You can bellow all you want about being hamstrung, ENRON, etc. but the truth is, these "limitations" are not new...you people can't ballance a budget because you lack the fortitude to do so...and your reps. carry the disease to DC

  • philaD Clifton Heights, PA
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:14 p.m.

    one vote @ 7:40

    Actually Mike Lee's propositions got shot down by his colleagues. So you can't really pin this on him can you? If his ideas had been embraced, the USA's credit downgraded and subsequently the USA fell apart, you might have a point. No one wanted to compromise with his efforts, why is Mike Lee supposed to take the heat for this, especially when democrats had YEARS to figure something out.

  • philaD Clifton Heights, PA
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:11 p.m.


    Really, isn't the real problem the debt that the USA has accumulated? I mean, if the USA doesn't have debt at this point, are we even having this discussion? Shame on those who frivolously spent the USA to this point.

    And a cheer for the tea party for attempting to slow down the debt problem in the USA so future generations are not dealing with the same issues. Even if it means downgrade, hopefully it will shake the core of the washington. We've seen way too many games and free spending for the last 50 years.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 5, 2011 7:53 p.m.

    "realize Californians fancy themselves as superior due to their geographically induced intelect and social justice endeavors, however, I think you all have lost any credibility to talk about whats wrong with government,"

    If you like Mike Lee, then you'll love the gridlock that has plagued CA.
    Actually, CA is one of the most politically and racially diverse states in the U.S. and has the largest economy in the U.S.
    The past 40+ yrs Republicans have dominated the governorships. The current U.S. House Majority Whip, Kevin McCarthy is from CA. Prop 8, favored by Republicans passed in CA. CA is nowhere near bankrupt, but is challenged, until recently, by a requirement that 2/3 approval by the legislature was required to pass a budget. Now, 2/3 approval is required to raise taxes, so the Gov. has been relegated to budget cuts (Gover Norquist badly misinformed on this topic). Then, of course there was the $40-$45 billion tab from the Enron debacle that wiped out the state surplus.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 7:40 p.m.

    Senator Lee was a major factor in the downgrade. He get to test his theory with the fire he wanted to start.

  • dave Park City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 7:33 p.m.

    the truth | 7:11 p.m. Aug. 5, 2011
    Holladay, UT

    To directly quote from S & P.:

    "we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the
    gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us
    pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be
    able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal
    consolidation plan that stabilizes the government's debt dynamics any
    time soon."

    As you can see it those that refuse reasonable compromise that cost us.

  • philaD Clifton Heights, PA
    Aug. 5, 2011 7:13 p.m.

    No spending like mad and America's huge pile of debt has caused the credit rating to slide. Why don't people understand that? Agencies know that America has no plan of paying back the mountain of debt that belongs to us.

    If the USA had more representatives like Mike Lee instead of spendthrifts who have tried to simply throw money at problems for decades now, the USA would still be the leading economical power in the world.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 7:11 p.m.

    RE: Dave


    They didn't cause anything.

    It was Obama and the Demcratic contolled sente that was unwilling to really fix the debt and deficit problems that caused the credit ratings to slide.

    unwilling to cut spending and live within our means caused the credit slide.

    The teaparty and lee were right all along.

  • dave Park City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    Mike Lee and his Tea Party folks just caused our credit rating to slide below Canada, France, the UK and more. Thank you

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    I wish Mike Lee would fight as hard for the middle class as he does for protecting the wealthy's Tax breaks.

    He was playing a very dangerous game by not voting for a bill that helped our country avoid default. His argument that having a lower credit rating and higher interest rate would not cost us more money is one of the worst examples of applied mathematics I've ever seen. But I wouldn't expect someone who believes in trickle down economics to be very good at math.

    Mike Lee is not a friend to the middle class.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 3:22 p.m.

    Isn't it a little disingenuous to complain that Mike Lee is not representing all of Utah. He was voted in to represent the majority that elected him. If Sam Granato had been elected I would hardly expect him to be representing the conservitive side of Utah. Just as I don't expect Obama to have my political interests at heart. Liberals think they can make the conservitives feel guilty for not having their interests in mind. It must work because most the republicans in congress will cave to the concept of compromise. Which in liberal speak means our way or no way.

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 3:01 p.m.

    @chinookdoctor | 10:17 a.m. Aug. 5, 2011

    Obstructionist, extremist...Ah yes here comes the name calling...so from the 2010 doctrine.

    What is it that Mr. Lee has done, specifically that makes him an extremist and obstructionist...did he defy standing law? Did he organize people to defy standing law? Thats an obstructionist in my book, and Mr. Obama, and the Justice department are the only ones I see doing that...

    I realize Californians fancy themselves as superior due to their geographically induced intelect and social justice endeavors, however, I think you all have lost any credibility to talk about whats wrong with government, or specifically how bad a Utah Rep is for the country...California is foreshadowing what is in store for this nation...raise of hands...anyone want to be bankrupt? ...Crickets...

  • dave Park City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 3:01 p.m.

    patriot | 2:45 p.m. Aug. 5, 2011

    "Mike is also a Reagan conservative" Uh, no. Reagan would be blackballed by the Tea Party and their kind.

    "liberal Marxist sludge" Nice touch referring to your fellow Americans as sludge. Your name calling is a typical example of the disrespect the extremes have for America and Americans.

    "A great sign is that the liberal left is trashing him!!" No, the mainstream GOP and left are trashing him because his positions are so far out of reality.

    Also, one cannot call themselves a patriot. Patriot is a title given by others' after patriotic actions.

  • SLMG Murtoa Australia, Victoria
    Aug. 5, 2011 2:50 p.m.

    Believe me it is not a few Liberal Democrats on here berating Mike Lee but a good bunch of Conservative Republicans as well. Lee is trying to lead the country down the garden path with his tea party ideas but he has not a clue where he is leading to. If the Republicans don't get there act together and dump the likes of Mike Lee and his tea party buddies there is not going to be a viable Republican Party left. There is a lot of smiles and snickering going on now about the Republicans and it won't be long before it will be out right, full on laughter and the party crumbles.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 2:49 p.m.

    Brother Chuck Schroeder whose back did George Soros ride on the his wealth, how many small folk did he step on, in his path for power. The financier of moveon.org and other liberal elements.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 2:45 p.m.

    really glad Mike is in the senate. With his constitutional law experience plus his knowledge in dealing with the US Supreme Court Mike has all the experience and knowledge. Mike is also a Reagan conservative and add his young age and no Washington "good ole boys" ties and you have a powerful new force in the US senate. I think Mike is going to be a leader in washing out the liberal Marxist sludge out of the senate and making sure the bills produced are constitutional. Excited Mike is there !!! A great sign is that the liberal left is trashing him!!

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    @Linus. Our monetary system is based on debt. If private individuals and the government did not go into debt there wouldn't be any money.

    Ask yourself how does money enter the economy? The Bureau of engraving and printing makes the dollar bills but they do not hand out money. The government has to get the money from us or borrow it, so they do not insert money into the economy.

    The only way money exist in our monetary system is by going into debt. The promissory note you signed to buy a car, house or what ever is money and didn't exist until you signed on the dotted line.

    Federal reserve notes are backed by treasury securities, which is debt.

    And this is why I say Mike Lee has no credibility because he is attacking the symptom and not the disease. He hasn't called for monetary reform and you know why? Because that would involve nationalizing the Federal Reserve which is a big bad word today.

    The issuing of money should be a sovereign right given back to the people of the United States instead of letting private entities issuing it as for profit debt.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 1:21 p.m.

    I realize there will have to be cuts to my future Social Security. I realize there will have to be cuts to my future Medicare. Defense spending is going to take massive cuts. All programs need to be cut to some degree. Cut my tax deductions by limiting or eliminating them. Everyone should have some skin in the game. Lets get on with what has to be done or the mess we are in will only be a portent of a catastrophic economic reality yet to come.

    If a person has a life threatening wound you dont just give them unit after unit of blood in transfusion. You stop the bleeding first; you may use tunicate to shut off the flow of blood in order to save the body. In some cases a limb may have to be amputated but all efforts are used to save the body. To put ever increasing amounts of money into the government without first repairing the wounds through which we are financially bleeding to death is foolish. Mike Lee would also have made a wise doctor.

    When out of work, I learned to economize. The Nation can too!

  • el steve o Herriman, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 1:05 p.m.

    It is amazing how many people just don't get it. We're in trouble people and it's time to wake up. Please name one person in politics who has had any foresight about the big picture - if you can they are very few indeed. Most in Washington are worried about their re-election, perks, and that's about it. Most, if not all, are too afraid to stand for any meaningful principles.

    How have the slimiest, self serving narcissists, taken over D.C.? And, driven the worlds most successful and rich country over a cliff? Hey, business as usual sounds like a good idea, right?

    There has been really no difference in Dems or Repubs for a very long time, that's been obvious to even the casual observer. As I've said before(and desnews has blocked my civil comments?)if any business leaders in the private sector were caught running their business like those in washington, they'd be sent to prison. I'm just sayin...

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 12:46 p.m.

    Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, etc... This new, young, conservative, smart, qualified brand of US senators have given me hope in congress for the first time in 30 years. I have followed Mike for some time and like his Dad Rex, Mike is a principled, smart leader that should give America hope and Utah alot of pride. The left hates these new senators and it sort of reminds me of what king George and the British thought of the American patriots during the revolution. I finished reading the best selling book 1776 (everyone should read this) and I was struck with the hate, and the total disregard that the British leaders and newspapers had for Washington, Adams, and the rest. Even with all the bad press, our patriot leaders pressed on until they finished their task and formed a new constitution and nation. It is that same constitution that the British of 1776 hated and the radical left media, politicians, Hollywood elite of today also hate. Our constitution will be kept in tact today by Mike Lee and the other fresh faces that were elected in the 2010 elections. Gives you hope!!

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 12:33 p.m.

    To all the defenders of the status quo, what are you going to do with out of control spending? Mike Lee has presented a plan for a balanced budget and control of spending. He could not vote for the bill because it does essentially nothing but put off any real decisions while we run up ever increasing deficits.

    Oh, I'm sorry I guess the bill did "slow" the rate of increase in the debt from what was otherwise planned. An increase is still an increase and we call it a cut and demand a compromise. Get real.

    chinookdoctor: sounds like alot of hate and malice coming out of Pasadena to me.

    PhillipCar: We have all got to share a little pain right now with cuts, if we do not be the deficit/debt under control we will all suffer a lot of pain in the future.

  • Christy72 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 5, 2011 11:35 a.m.

    Senator Lee has made a number of great errors. He has time to correct them. If he does not make the corrections he will be kicked out like Senator Bennett was, and like Senator Hatch is soon to be.

  • cachedout Centerville, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    Can anybody name an actual accomplishment that Sen. Lee has made during his time in office? I've asked all the Mike Lee supporters I can find and, thus far, nobody can give me a straight answer.

    Aug. 5, 2011 11:23 a.m.

    I do not doubt Senator Lee's sincerity, or his convictions, though I do take issue with his views of effective leadership. We do not elect our representatives to be obstructionists or to merely protest what they do not agree with. Surely Senator Lee understands that the Consitution is a product of difficult, often painful compromise. The very ability to govern well through negotiation and compromise is at the very heart of American democracy. One has only to read the early letters and papers of our founding fathers to comprehend the many compromises contained in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I have grown so weary of the religiosity of party affiliations, and would like to see diversity of ideas debated without all the demonizing of those with whom we do not agree. The core principles of conservatism and liberalism present good ideas on how we would like to see our country progress and , and we need to arrive at solutions as adults, not partisans with religious ferver for only one point of view. I hope see the good Senator demonstrate his willingness to not only represent all his consituents, but also respectfully work with the others across the aisle.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 11:14 a.m.

    The backlash has begun. The watershed was the Senator's announced attempt to filibuster the debt ceiling. It is time for reasonable leaders that understand the constitution was not written for a self-serving narrow minded agenda.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 5, 2011 11:12 a.m.

    Reading these comments and looking at the recommendations is very troubling.
    All Mike Lee did was try to turn this nation away from a financial cliff and put us on a path to a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility. For that he is called an extremist, irresponsible, and many other names.

    The first rule of holes: When you find yourself in one, stop digging!

    We need a plan to get us back to a balanced budget, and then pay off the debt.
    Congress has demonstrated that they cannot be trusted with our money. We need a balanced budget amendment to force responsibility.

    If one of my children run up bills like Congress did and does, they could be cut off. They would face some hard facts.

    Those who recommend the anti-Lee comments here and the commentors themselves are a huge part of the problem.

    Isaiah 5:4 And they shall good evil and evil good.

    Sad, very sad.

  • Ravenal Somewhere in, Utah
    Aug. 5, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    The only thing that keeps me from regretting my vote for Lee is remembering that Bridgewater would have been worse. It's sad that so many of our elections come down to the lesser of two evils. We need a "none of the above" option on our ballots. I can just see the news story now "In an interesting turn of events, both candidates lost tonight's election."

  • pat1 Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 10:48 a.m.

    Mike Lee's affiliation with the Tea Party does not impres me. His ultra conservatism is why I did not vote for him. The Tea Party is focused on patriotic rhetoric propaganda but has abolutely no solutions for the huge economic problems facing so many in this country. I'm so put off by the "freedom" slogans. Freedom from what? So many Tea Partiers are older retired people who have Medicare as their health insurance and receive Social Security checks. Do they want "freedom" from their health insurance and part (or in many cases all) of their retirement benefits? Does Mike Lee realize how many Utahns live out of the Wasatch Front and are just struggling to find one job that can support their family instead of several part-time jobs without benefits? Mike Lee may have the financial luxury of living his life without those worries. After all, as a congressman he does not participate in the social security program and has his own health care program. A good economy needs workers and productivity as well as fiscal responsibility.

  • bgl Santa Monica, CA
    Aug. 5, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    As witnessed by a mass of gold stars accompanying each slam of this poor, extreme and simple minded example of leadership--the people of Utah may be generally conservative, but they are not isolationists or haters. The tea party will pay and pay dearly in days to come. Sadly, so may the Republican Party for their pandering to and need for acceptance by an extreme and selfish, fractured faction.

  • Phillip Car OGDEN, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    Lee and the Republican Delegation in Utah have taken the Republican party so far to the right theyve brought the Democratic party front and center and very appealing to moderate Independents. Youll find that even people that want reform and government programs cut will change their position when those cuts effect them or someone they care about.

  • Richie Saint George, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 10:43 a.m.

    I originally thought either Bennett or even Bridgewater would be better but Lee is making me believe that seniority in Congress doesn't mean a thing. Smarts, hard work and a knowledge of what our founding fathers wanted means a whole lot more. Go Mike!

  • chinookdoctor PASADENA, CA
    Aug. 5, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    Mike Lee and most of his comrades are unpatriotic and un-American rabble rousers, fear mongerers, hate mongerers and as one poster pointed out, obstructionists. If you can't be in a democracy you should leave it. I believe that Lee has read the constitution, well, I hope he has, but I don't believe he has studied it or constitutional law. I don't trust a lot of these supposedly "of the people" Tea Party politicians because I think most of them sound like that crazy aunt or uncle we all have whose rhetoric is just shy of promoting total anarchy. They are ravenous wolves waiting to devour every cent and freedom we have, under their guidance our nation's free market, social services, constitution and families, yes I said families, will be dismantled. If one state's agenda were the only one to consider then we wouldn't live in a nation with representation from all states. I really hope that this anarchist isn't really representing the majority of Utahns, if so, you should repeal all of your elected leaders and engage in some statewide therapy on why there is so much hate and malice coming out of "Zion".

  • nick Provo, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    Gandalf, I thought you wanted to destroy the ring of power, not centralize power and increase it. The federal government now spends an annual 25 percent of GDP. Local and state governments spend 17 percent of GDP and much of that spending is mandated by federal law. Individuals and businesses spend another 15 percent of GDP each year to comply with govermnent regulations. So, 57 percent is not a big enough government?

    During the first 140 years of our nation's history when we made the greatest leap of progress in human history, governments at all levels spent an average of 7 percent GDP a year.

    So, let see. Mike Lee is an ineffectual radical because he wants a constitutional amendment to balance the budget and mandate that federal spending cannot exceed 18 percent of GDP?

    Gandalf, Mike Lee is Frodo, the ring bearer. He may seem small and insignificant, but he has what others don't. He loves freedom more than government control. He believes that our rights come from our Creator--not from some mammoth, centralized, all-knowing government on the banks of the Potomac. FRODO LIVES!!!!

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:54 a.m.


    You say the correct solution is usually in the middle. You are absolutely right, but where is the middle?

    At the extreme right you have no government which gets you anarchy. Under anarchy the people abuse each other.
    At the extreme left you have total government or tyranny. Under tyranny the government abuses the people.
    Freedom only exists between anarchy and tyranny. We need just enough government to prevent anarchy and no more. It is not about big government vs small government. It's right sized government doing the right things.

    What are the right things?

    Government should do those things that only government can do such as national defense, foreign relations, law enforcement, judicial services, etc.
    Government should also do those things that government does better than the private sector such as building roads, bridges, water systems, utilities (although many operate most efficiently as public private partnerships).
    The private sector should do the things that the private sector does best, commerce, manufacturing, production, charity, poverty relief, etc.
    There things such as religion and the press that only the private sector should do.

    We are in this mess because Government grew way beyond all reason.

  • perspicacious Salt lake city, Utah
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:51 a.m.

    Mike and Orren are both good arguments for term limits! How long can Utah stand the embarrassment of Lee spewing DeMint garbage and the Orrinating of Hatch. Their crap is only outdone by the nonsense of Waddoups!

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    Mr. Lee: ten years ago all we talked about was 9-11 and security and which party was weak on defense and so on------today it is a different message--------2 years it will be a different message. If only there was a tea party on Sept. 12 2001.

  • DefCon1 LAYTON, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    Hey Mike in Cedar City- you seem confused. You stated, "Run for Senator, it will be the best way to get you completely out of office." I'm not sure if you remember, he did run for senator and won by a great majority in the general election. Maybe you have him confused with congressman Chaffetz. Next election cycle I'd a try to pay a little more attention. With that said, I say great job Senator Lee keep up the good work.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    Shawn said, "Mike Lee has no credibility because he doesn't know how our monetary system works. It is a debt based system. How does an individual and it's government ever get out of debt when the system by design is to keep you in debt?"

    And Mike in Cedar City said to SENATOR Lee, "Run for Senator, it will be the best way to get you completely out of office."

    Poor Shawn and poor Mike!

    Wouldn't it be a catastrophic if our government didn't have any debt? Makes you wonder why the prophets advise us to avoid debt like a plague, and why they tell us to "get out of debt and stay out of debt."

    And then there are the civic minded citizens like Mike who think that if SENATOR Lee were to run for the SENATE, we would be rid of him. Mike, you might like to know that SENATOR Lee will not be up for reelection to the SENATE until 2014.

  • Informed Voter South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:34 a.m.

    Default was never going to happen. Plenty money to pay debt without raising the debt limit. Those who think that was likely show Einstein's wisdom when he said: "There are only two truly infinite things: the universe and stupidity....and I am not sure about the universe."

    Lee's influence demonstrates seniority is way over valued. Principle and risking one's re-election to fight for one's values is more important....albeit rare in Washington.Three cheers for Lee.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:26 a.m.

    Truth. "Hostile to Utah's beliefs?." Newspapers, modern democracy's ink-stained bastions of government accountability, are losing readers across the country, despite valiant efforts to stay afloat. So for more rating's, hyperboil, feeding frenzy, saddled with choosing between metamorphosing into different incarnations or shutting their doors, an ominous question becomes more pressing with each passing day, of who really is Utah's Mike Lee?. Sen. Mike Lee and other Koch brother Republicans say Obama has placed too many restrictions on oil production as gas prices rise. The Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department is none other then, you guessed it, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) that recently tallied a few more items on his growing list, off of the Koch brothers and the John Birch Society. Their under the table "Covert Operations". The Koch brothers are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers corporate interests. All while they play both ends and get filthy rich off of the Elderly, poor and middle-class, disabled, Veterans again.

    That's my truthful views.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:23 a.m.

    No one is suggesting that the deficit can be eliminated right away. To get out of this mess we must start with a first step. A balanced budget amendment passed by the House and Senate would then require ratification by the states. It would take years to get it all finalized and become part of the Constitution but progressing toward such and beginning to cut the out of control spending can save us from the economic catastrophe which surely shall be if we dont do something soon. (remember the budget is bigger than last year they just slowed the ever increasing deficit from what it otherwise would have been, and called it a cut smoke and mirrors). A balanced budget amendment will still have provisions for debit in times of defined emergency as agreed to by the Congressional and Executive Offices.

    To all who defend continual out of control spending, to all who think individuals and this Nation cannot function without ever increasing debt. Please tell how big the debt can go before we have collapse? How long can you run out of control spending before the day of economic reckoning? How close to the economic cliff are we?

  • mwd LAYTON, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:23 a.m.

    goinfishn, Christine, and all others who talk of Senator Lee as one and done. I'm confused as to what you thought he was going to do once in office, I also highly doubt any of you actually voted for him in the first place. For those of you who actually did vote for him, and are now angry with what he's doing you didn't listen to him during his campaign. No One Of Consequence-You are exactly right. I love to hear liberals complain about Mike Lee, because that just means he's sticking to his campaign promises and doing what he stated from the beginning that he'd do. Fyi goinfishn Chaffetz is in his second term so I guess your one and done doesn't apply to him.

  • carpoolmom SOUTH JORDAN, Salt Lake
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:19 a.m.

    Sad to see so many people that don't understand what Senator Lee's position was. Thank you Mike Lee for all you did and are doing. Again it proves all those that say we have to keep Hatch in for his years of experience and a freshman cannot have any influence. We've listened to those lies long enough. New blood can have great influence much more than Hatch has with 34 years in office. Even though most of these posts will be negative against Lee there are 1000's of my friends who feel the same as I do but don't write in. Thanks again Lee for caring about us and our country and trying to get the debt under control.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:17 a.m.

    Anyone who thinks Mike Lee is a strong supporter of the Constitution and the concept of original intent should go back and listen to his speech on the floor of the Senate just before the vote on the debt limit increase. He say that Congress should have its authority as provided in the Constitution limited. In other words, he does not support the Constitution as written by the Founding Fathers and wants to substitute his judgment for theirs. He cannot have it both ways, arguing original intent, but on his selective issues arguing that changing times requires a changing approach.

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    as I read these comments...it is clear many of you simply do not get the tea party or Mike Lee. He is doing EXACTLY what needs to be done. He is not seeking out the establishment on either side, he is building his own "establishment", which is the only way you change washington. Guy is a leader...he doesn't need pats on the back from dirty hands or affirmation from crooks.

    To simply go court the good ole' boys, he would eventually find himself owing to them, and then it starts...compromise turns into compromising principals, and soon we no longer recognize the guy in office.

    Those of you whining about whats good for Utah...REALLY? Thats the me first mentality that results in Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and everyone elected from California and New York...Whats good for Utah is fixing Washington...capice?

    Man I can't wait to see this board when he is in a position to take aim at activist judges, and overall unconstitutioanl behavior coming from the justice department and the oval office...exciting stuff...hope and change we could all understand.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:11 a.m.

    Thank heaven that Lee's balanced budget amendment fell short. It's bad policy that would hamstring the goverment when it needs to make emergency fiscal adjustments, and would effectively force the elimination of most "entitlement" federal safety net programs including Social Security and Medicare. That is the real objective of the so called Balanced Budget Amendment. You may fool some people Mr. Lee, but not this citizen. Run for Senator, it will be the best way to get you completely out of office.

  • goinfishn Orem, Utah
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:02 a.m.

    Mike Lee and Jason Chaffetz are only trying to make a name for themselfs. They continue to put themselfs above the interests of Utah and the country.
    One and done for both.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 9:02 a.m.

    If so many on the left and in the middle hate him so much he must be doing something right.

    If somebody doesn't stand up and say we're going in the wrong direction we will never turn things around.

    The 'enough already' message is right. That's why the opposition has given up on legitimate political discourse and has resorted to name calling to fight the positive influence of the TEA Party movement.

  • Christine Orem, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    Sen. Lee and the other tea party people need to take economics 101. They were ready to ruin the economy. I hope Mike Lee is a ONE term senator. I will not vote for him.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    Even though Senator Bennett was a supposed conservative, his influence and ability to compromise gave us perpetual excessive deficit spending even when Republicans had both the House and the Senate. Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress and the Senate are to blame. Why continue with the same people in office when the ship is sinking? Why not go with someone like Senator Lee who will at least try to plug the holes, right the ship and bail-out the water that is sinking us with increasing speed?

    Lee was not for default. He did want to make things happen to begin to control deficit spending. He is one a mover and shaker who at least has addressed the debt and deficit and been able to create serious discussion. We will not default on our debts, but we must get our spending under control or we will have an economic catastrophe the likes we have never seen.

    Lee is not led by the Tea Party, by the Kochs or anyone else. Lee is a constitutionalist, just look at his background, it is part of his being, it is how he grew up. We need 6 8 more Senators like him.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:39 a.m.

    I like how liquid the stock market is. It corrects its self constantly and those corrections are efficient. Government corrections have typically required blood-shed. If only our government corrections could be as fluid as the market, they wouldn't be so drastic.

    The longer the US keeps spending money it doesn't have, the more drastic the correction will eventually be. Get ready for inflation, you voted for it.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:33 a.m.

    Want to see how much influence Lee has?
    Just look at the way he is leading Orrin Hatch around by the nose!

    For those brain surgeons out there who fault Lee for not working with other members of congress, consider this:

    The nation's finances are heading for a cliff. Lee wants to turn that train while he can and you want him to negotiate? Oh brother. What if you were in a car and the driver was heading straight for a washed out bridge, how much negotiating would you do with the driver? I bet you would grab the wheel and try to wrest control before it was too late.

    There are some things you cannot negotiate on.

  • SunDevil9 orem, ut
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:33 a.m.

    Mike Lee is a great American. We need more elected officials with his integrity and focus on fiscal responsibility.

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    Any extremism is not healthy for the whole.

    Extremism in spending and creating government entitlements is dire.

    Extremism in budget cuts and not allowing the government to function is appalling.

    The correct position is usually found somewhere in the middle.

    I was excited to see the Tea Party emerge, but now I can see it is just a cluster of right winged radicals as far in one direction as the liberal fanatic left is in the other direction.

    What we need is Common Sense which is currently on the Endanger Representative list.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    If he has influence he would bring down the economy, the government and the constitution. The framers never designed the constitution to be a tool of a ten percent mean spirited minority. He is catering to out of state billionaires that want control for controls sake. A petition should be started to obtain his resignation.

  • Gandalf Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:21 a.m.

    Very little of what Mike Lee has done since being elected has been a credit to him. What he and his Tea Party colleagues are working hard at, intentionally or not, is very effectively weakening, if not destroying, our country. His version of the balanced budget amendment is a good example of that.

    I know it sounds like an over the top statement by me. But it's really not.

  • Dustyredcliffs Saint George, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:21 a.m.

    Mike Lee- Who - Come election time 2012

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    Senator Lee will become the conservative conscience of the Senate just as Senator Bennett became known for his willingness to compromise us into ruinous debt. Debt Spending instead of spend only what we have is what got us into to trouble. Just because that is how we run our government does not mean its the right way as Thomas Jefferson said,"I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government; I mean an additional article taking from the Federal Government the power of borrowing." We need at least 51 Senators with Lee's convictions.

  • goatesnotes Kamas, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:12 a.m.

    Lee is exactly what the doctor ordered for America. He's the right man in the right place at the right time. The best part is political calculations don't drive his decision making.

  • mwd LAYTON, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:11 a.m.

    I spoke with Mike Lee several times before he was elected to the US senate. He continually pointed out the need for a balanced budget amendment, and the need to return to fiscal responsibility. For those who say he is not looking out for the interests of the people here in Utah is an outright lie. Like him or hate him he is doing exactly what he said he would do. He was elected by a large majority to do what he is doing. For that I say well done Senator Lee. Dave are you referring to the 500 point dive the stock market took right after the President Obama signed the bill to raise the debt ceiling?

  • AzTim Gilbert, AZ
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:07 a.m.

    To Springvillepoet
    who laments Lee's "unwillingness to work with other members in Congress..." and

    to Esquire
    who blasts Lee for being "an obstructionist"

    You both have hit the nail on the head, and you don't even know why. Our country has fallen into this financial mess exactly BECAUSE no one would say NO to the spending, NO to the ever-expanding growth of the Fed, and NO to the entrepreneur-stifling regulations placed on business who create jobs. There were no "obstrucionists" when we needed them. It is precisely BECAUSE too many congressmen were willing to "work with other members in Congress" - all because it sounds so reassuring to be labeled a non-partisan, reach-across-the-isle type of person by the ultra liberal leaning media - to pass economy killing legislation that raises taxes, expands the reach of government, and cripples businesses with onerous regulations.

    Atta boy Mike Lee! You go ahead and obstruct the learching to the left! You go ahead and refuse to work with your legislative collegues who believe in failed Keynesian economics.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 5, 2011 8:07 a.m.

    Let's see. Lee was willing to let the U.S. default on its bills, and lose its AAA credit rating if Congress didn't PASS a balanced budget amendment.

    Really shocking to say the least.
    Thanks UT.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    "Lee's Growing Influence"?

    Of 10 Republicans who asked for his endorsement, he only endorsed two?

    How is that "growing influence"?

    I have said it before, and I will say it again. I knew Rex Lee. Mike Lee is the apple that fell very far from the tree!

    Lee calls his politics "principled"; Others see it for what it really is: simpleminded and naive.

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 7:51 a.m.

    Lee says he is a GOP but John Boehner says his balanced budget bill was basically out of touch, and it ran contrary to party politics.

    Lee is a good example of one man pushing his own agenda on a state and country. It may not necessarily be bad but it is not what he was elected to do.

  • dave Park City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 7:42 a.m.

    The only influence Lee and his ilk have is causing the stock market and world financial markets to take a dive. The market does not trust them to act in a sane manner when the debt talks resume in 6 months. Their tactics have caused a degradation in the full faith and credit of the United States.

    These people live in a Pollyanna world that has nothing to do with reality.

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 7:38 a.m.

    It is shameful that Lee nominally represents Utah in the US Senate. He has shown that he doesn't give a fig about the United States (and its Constitution), the state of Utah, or any of the people -- he just cares about political power and pandering to those who will give him that power. He doesn't work for the welfare or benefit of the people he is supposed to reprsent; he just works for the welfare and benefit of the people who are his puppet masters. We deserve better.

  • JDL Magna, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 7:31 a.m.

    Sometimes compromise is just that, compromise your values, compromise your promises, compromise the very survival of this Republic.

    We need a Balanced Budget Amendment to rein in the out of control Congress. Our nation is broke, we have already defaulted. The Good Faith and Credit of the United States is in her people, not Congress or the Federal Reserve bank or Goldman Sachs.

    Thank Goodness for Mike Lee, Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Jeff Flake and others like them.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 7:13 a.m.

    Mike Lee has no credibility because he doesn't know how our monetary system works. It is a debt based system. How does an individual and it's government ever get out of debt when the system by design is to keep you in debt?

  • FreeMan Heber City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 7:06 a.m.


    Finally a politician who understands the constitution and is willing to fight for it.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 6:41 a.m.

    He may have some influence in an obstructionist minority, but is it a good thing? What is his influence in the majority of even his own party? What will be his influence in crafting a deal with the other party, and important part of the legislative process? I would say the Lee is developing a reputation as an obstructionist. I would say that either he will be seen as someone you can;t do business with, or one who talks a big game but will cave in the end, just like he did on the F-35 vote. The tea party is confused, preaching fiscal restraint and saying the represent main street interests, yet they have backed the interests of huge corporate interests that are sucking the life out of the federal government. I would like to hear tea party interests explain why they want lower taxes for the wealthy, taxpayer subsidies for profitable corporations, and additional spending on programs that the government does not even want. I want to hear them say, don't spend federal money in my state or district, and here are the cuts and sacrifices I am willing to make. It won't happen.

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 6:23 a.m.

    There's a reason Utah Republicans threw out Bob Bennett, he's a big a RINO as ever lived, and for his son to go work for Democrat Granato should be embarrassing to the Bennetts. To simply cave in and do what everybody has been doing for a hundred years, and just continue to careen toward the economic and social cliff, is insane. Bless Mike Lee for standing up for something, for taking the stand, and the risk.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 6:20 a.m.

    I am thnakful that Senator Lee did NOT have the deciding vote on whether to allow the USA to default. Why would Lee put his own political views before what is best for the country?

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 5:21 a.m.

    A lot of people will want to give Mike Lee credit for taking a hard line and sticking to his convictions. Unfortunately, his unwillingness to work with other members in Congress (based upon his Tea Party beliefs) will hurt him, and Utah, in the long run. Whether we like it or not, our representatives need to be willing to work with others if they are going to do any good for their constituents. It will cost him a lot of important political capital to even work well with the majority of the GOP and conservative Democrats, let alone the more liberal members of Congress.

    Like he said, he wasn't able to move things as fast as he wanted. If he keeps pushing too hard on some issues, it will be a net loss for Utah.

  • KnitWitt Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2011 1:50 a.m.

    Good for you, Senator Lee. Keep up the good work.