Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Utah delegation shuns compromise, fears tea party

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  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 8:15 p.m.

    To learn more about the real reasons for debt increases in the last ten years, everyone should Google up "Policy Changes Under Two Presidents."

    It's very enlightening.

  • goatesnotes Kamas, UT
    Aug. 8, 2011 10:22 p.m.

    They were "safe" votes for all four Republicans. The margin of victory in the measure in both houses was assured. They all stood on principle. This isn't a hard puzzle to piece together.

  • Thoughtful Voter Spanish Fork, UT
    Aug. 8, 2011 5:48 p.m.

    Wow, I don't know that I've seen Piagnelli & Webb article more out of touch with both Utah voters and actual facts before.

    What on earth was "silly" about saying "Hey, the sky isn't falling. We continue to receive Federal tax revenue well in excess of our non-negotiable obligations every month. Let's *not* get another $2 trillion credit card we can't pay back and force ourselves to make some thoughtful discretionary spending decisions for the next few months instead."?

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out politically, but given how close Philpot came to beating Matheson last election I'd see this as a major blunder on Matheson's part. A vote for unnecessarily increasing the debt limit is simply indefensible. We didn't need to do it to service the current debt. We didn't need to do it to pay people's previous investments in Social Security. We didn't need to do it to protect our American servicemen overseas. There was simply no compelling reason other than "discretionary spending is no fun to examine". Period.

    As Rand Paul rejoindered to McCain's charge that those standing on principle in this vote were "Hobbits", "Hobbits" were the sensible heroes, heh.

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 8, 2011 10:03 a.m.

    Thanks goes out to the Utah delegation. Excepting Matheson, we have a very reasonable group representing the interests of our state and the country.
    Who would be against curbing the big government spendathon in Washington? I guess quite a few brain dead citizens do.

  • homebrew South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 8, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    Raising the debt ceiling was needed to pay for bills already ran up. Like the costs of the wars that were unpaid for. Orrin Hatch has been in washington to 30 years. For 30 years our debt has been increasing. Now Orrin is looking to blame someone else. Hatch voted 8 times to raise the debt limit during Bush's drunkin spending spree, but voted against Bill Clinton on evereything while Clinton was able to balance the budget, no thanks to republicans. Hatch is what is wrong with washington. He is as big of a flipflopper as Mitt Romney. He will say or do anything to get elected. Trouble is, this pretty great state will replace him with someone like Mike Lee. Crazy people have no place in washington. We need a balanced approach, and compromise to solve our problems. Remember just 10 yrs ago we had a balanced budget and surpluss, without cutting social security, or medicaid. It can be done, but not the way the far rightwing crazies want to do it. On the backs of the poor, and whats left of the middle class. Tax the "Job creators" who arent creating jobs.

  • borox23 Payson, UT
    Aug. 7, 2011 9:22 p.m.

    The deal to cut the debt and raise the debt ceiling didn't go nearly far enough. Complaining about the bickering, arguing and lack of compromise (meaning the Republicans should have caved to the Democrats and made even fewer cuts and raised taxes in a recession) is a distraction from the root of the problem. By the way, if they increase taxes to increase revenues, does anybody really believe that they will not find a way to continue to increase spending even beyond current levels? The problem is the debt...Jefferson placed "economy among the first and most important of public republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared." Neither party has the guts to make the DEEP cuts that are needed. It will only be a short while until the call to raise the ceiling to avoid a crisis comes again. Depending which party has the power the opposition will stand firmly against it while the others will be in favor of it. Both parties have a serious spending problem! Even with the arguing, our rating would not have been downgraded if they had cut 10 times as much. Greece here we come

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    Aug. 7, 2011 7:30 p.m.

    Well the USA was down graded to AA+ despite the compromise. Are Utah congressmen (except Matheson) scared of the Tea Party or, of Utah voters who are tired of the decades of reckless spending that led to this financial crisis in the first place? According to polls, Americans have caught on to the insanity, it is not just the Tea Party who thinks it's ridiculous.

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    Aug. 7, 2011 3:11 p.m.

    Mr. Webb's characterization of our Republican representatives and senators as behaving in a was that was "silly" is right on. Their action was without any potential benefit for the country and was not a matter of principle but a matter of personal political benefit only. Three cheers from me for Jim Matheson.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Aug. 7, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    My oursider view Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb, Utah delegation shuns compromise, fears tea party?. LOL. And now, another GOP/Tea Party "Romance Report", brought to you by, none other then, The Koch Brothers and Grover Norquist, in their "Field Of Dreams" called "Ethanol Subsidies" Entitlements. It remains to be seen whether other Republican presidential candidates follow Pawlenty's lead and come out against ethanol subsidies. Gingrich still supports these subsidies, which he has since first supporting legislation that President Ronald Reagan signed into law, Mitt Romney, for instance, wrote in his book No Apology that he supports ethanol subsidies. They opposed Vice President Gore's plan to "tax" the sugar industry in Florida. When spending the money of others, discretionary power corrupts. We then see resources going to corporate welfare projects like Senator Bob Dole's ethanol subsidies for Archer Daniels Midland and to the Clintons' friends who wanted to handle travel arrangements for the White House press corps. With a constituency in place, "subsidies" harden into "entitlements". Expanding government entitlements for the rich ultimately hurts the poor and debases the moral quality of Utah's politicians. I watch Hatch and Lee, they'll say anything and put blinders on you, to get elected.

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    Aug. 7, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    To Hellooo | 11:34 a.m. Aug. 7, 2011

    if you read the S&P explanation, you will see that the problem was not the debt, it was the lack of cooperation among the members of congress cocerning this issue. Isn other words, the debt rating was lowered because the tea party extremists wren't willing to pay the debts already incurred by Congress, and their willingness to send the credit of the United States down the toilet just so they could get their way. Put the blame where it belongs.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2011 12:35 p.m.


    There was the other issue. Yes we could pay interest but we'd have to cut 40% of spending to stay solvent. That means furloughing millions of federal employees or delaying or reducing medicare and social security payments, or defense contracts... you know... crippling spending cuts. The kinds that Republicans want to put on the American people with the balanced budget amendment since they refuse to consider tax increases.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2011 11:34 a.m.

    So what did the compromise accomplish. What was the dread and threat, if the debt ceiling did not raise? Not default, the country had sufficient revenues to pay its interest payments on the debt. What was to be avoided at all costs? The reason for the urgency? It was to avoid down grading of the Nation's credit rating. How did that work out with the compromise? IT DIDN'T!!! The credit rating was down graded anyway. This is because the problem is not the debt ceiling; it is the DEBT. What about the so-called "balanced approach" to add more taxes for the rich. Well if you tax all earnings (wages) above $250,000 at 100%, the country still is spending $800 billion dollars a year more than it takes in. The problem is spending, which needs to be cut by at least 10 trillion dollars over the next ten years to avoid additional debt ceiling raises above the now approved 16.6 trillion dollars through 2013. No responsible, sane person can or should compromise on reducing this burden on our future. This debt more than any external or internal foe threatens the demise of our great republic.

  • Maggie Saint George, UT
    Aug. 7, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    With Hatch and Matheson I am pretty sure they pretty much sway with what will get them elected. With our young guns,Lee and Chaffets,I do believe they voted based on principle AND promises to the people who elected them.
    I agree with the writers of this article re the art of compromise under normal circumstances. These are not normal times.
    We,as a country are on the brink of becoming just another European like country and many do not see the benefit in becoming ordinary rather than exceptional. I for one am not willing to compromise the exceptionalism of my country for the mundane, so kudos to those who know when to compromise and when not to. Thank you Utah Young Guns!

  • KDave Moab, UT
    Aug. 7, 2011 8:13 a.m.

    Fortunately there were enough 'compromisers' willing to raise the debt to insane highs. Otherwise our credit rating might of been lowered.

  • Richard Saunders Provo, UT
    Aug. 7, 2011 8:01 a.m.

    Another week, another column from two self-described lobbyists angry that the unwashed masses take part in the political process. Yawn. Webb and Piganelli would have a much better argument if they could tell us what the "mainstream" Republicans, the "moderates" have accomplished. Yes, they passed a bill to prevent immediate default, but it only delays the problem. The so-called 'cuts' won by Republicans are cuts to proposed increases, and will still leave us with increasing debt. Balance the budget, nothing less. And no, Congress should not need an amendment to the Constitution to DO ITS JOB.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2011 7:38 a.m.

    So....Utahs elected representatives didn't vote in lockstep with party leadership, whats wrong with that?

    It only shows that Utahs delegation is less likely to "go along to get along", and I for one am glad they voted the way they did.

    "Compromise" was possible about 13 trillion ago. Not any more. The debt is out of control.

    Utahs representatives are LEADERS, not followers.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Aug. 7, 2011 2:16 a.m.

    Great column.