A real budget solution

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  • Mr. Bean Miami, Fla
    Aug. 11, 2011 9:29 p.m.


    "If you don't address the revenue side, and the biggest 'entitlement' (military) it's not going to work."

    You act like the revenue side is not addressed. It is addressed. The revenue side is taxes. We have a taxing system and taxes are too high. The government has to live within its revenues. If it can't, then budgets have to be cut. The fact of the matter is, the government will spend all it can get its hands on... whether from taxes, borrowing, or both. As we can see, borrowing has gotten out of hand - now $14.4 trillion - and in ten years more like $20 trillion. It's time for the government and our politicians to wake up and see that we are not only broke as a nation, we are bankrupt.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 8:27 p.m.

    If you don't address the revenue side, and the biggest 'entitlement' (military) it's not going to work.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 6:23 p.m.


    As I read the plain English of the tenth Amendment, it talks about two sets of powers. One set is the powers given to the Federal Government and the other is the powers reserved to the people. The two groups of powers must by accepted math and logic comprise all the powers in existence.

    Therefore my contention that what ever the national government does for the people as requested by the people or their representatives, cannot be unconstitutional.

    Also nothing in the tenth Amendment says anything about how the people have to go about asking their government for help.

    Question: If one part of the Constitution conflicts with another part, which part takes precedence? Is it the first or the last part of the conflict?


    I don't make any distinction between public and private tyrants. All men become tyrants when given the opportunity.

  • wrz Miami, Fla
    Aug. 11, 2011 4:55 p.m.


    "WRZ: Canada has never had a home interest deduction and their housing market looked pretty solid..."

    That's because they never had one. Take something away that people count on is where you get the adverse effect.

    "ANYTHING can be done IF it is set to phase in over time."


    "How about a 1% tax that is called a 'war' tax or 'support our troops' tax...let's see a politician oppose that!"

    Call it what you will. But, once a new source of revenue is identified by politicians and tapped it will grow like the morning glory weed in your garden. And it will never go away. Politicians can always find new ways to spend all the revenue they can get their greedy hands on.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 11, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    Most families have a negative net worth. Mortgage for a home, loan for a car, student loans to get started in a profession--the sum of these far exceeds annual income for most families. The letter writer considers these people irresponsible. I consider them my neighbors who are trying their best to grow their families and contribute to the world around them.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    WRZ: Canada has never had a home interest deduction and their housing market looked pretty solid when I was there last month. ANYTHING can be done IF it is set to phase in over time. People said in the 80's raising the Social Security age would be catastrophic so they did it over 30 years. We need to move in a positive direction and talk real money not the pipe dreams that both parties have offered to this point. How about a 1% tax that is called a "war" tax or "support our troops" tax...let's see a politician oppose that!

  • wrz Miami, Fla
    Aug. 11, 2011 2:22 p.m.


    "How about this solution; change the tax code to a flat tax and eliminate deductions..."

    Eliminate the charity deduction and institutions that rely on charitable contributions would soon disappear. Eliminate the home mortgage deduction and the housing market would sink further into the abyss.

    "...have a 1% national sales tax..."

    Yeah, right. A 1% would begin to grow and eventually reach 10, 15, 20 percent or even higher. Never underestimate the greed of the politician.

  • homebrew South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    Families dont spend more than they have,, What do you think caused the housing crisis? People taking equity out of their homes and spending it. Then, when the bubble burst, They dont have anything except bills. Kinda like our financial national crisis. This didnt just happen, we have spent like this for 30 plus years. Ask Orin Hatch how long he's been going along with this. About 30 plus years. Coincedence??

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 1:09 p.m.

    The only "budget" that either party has produced that actually risked talking actual cuts is the Ryan plan. It was passed by the House on a straight party line vote. So that much is true of what has been claimed above. What has been missed however is that in the 10 years of the Ryan plan, the budget would still not achieve balance. So who is kidding who here??

    Both sides are still trying to score points on the other rather than risk talking about real cuts. Brett is right that cutting deductions from the tax code while lowering rates would work, but that too has so far been off limits as a tax increase. S&P just called their bluff...no serious cutting OR taxing talk, no AAA rating.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 12:32 p.m.

    To lost in D.C.: Then someone should show us a sample budget that spends only 14% of GDP, or even 18%. The fact that none of the proponents of the amendment will do that suggests to me that the budget they produced would be unacceptable to the vast majority of Americans. They know that, so they won't give us any specifics.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 11:23 a.m.


    I guess you missed the part in "cut, cap, and BALANCE" that would prevent spending going to 18% when revenue is only 14% of GDP since it would result in the budget not being balanced.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 11, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    Compromising defense when terrorists are waiting to attack will not save money, or lives, or freedom. I have no idea what a reasonable amount would be if someone culled out all the pork from the defense budget. Surely there is waste. Is that waste 10% or is it 50%? How many air force bases do we need? We need enough to do the complete job.


    Ultra Bob,
    The 10th Amendment states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    Nothing in that amendment grants the people authority to ask for anything extra constitutional. The Constitution LIMITS the government. It prohibits it from doing anything not authorized. It also limits what the people can demand from their government. The people cannot ask the government to do something that the people have already prohibited the government from doing. If the people want to add authority to the government, they first have to amend the Constitution.

  • Jash Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 10:05 a.m.

    Re: Roland

    The 18% of GDP spending rate is actually relatively close to the 40 year average of tax receipts in the US.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 9:51 a.m.

    This nation has had a balanced budget before without an amendment to the Constitution. The "pass an amendment" stunt by the Tea Party is devisive and unproductive. It is wasting precious time.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 9:49 a.m.

    Ninth Amendment:

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Tenth Amendment:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    "The powers not delegated...are reserved... or to the people", says that the people have the power to ask their government to do those things they desire. Even when it is ask by their elected representatives who are the peoples voice in the national government.

    Accordingly, there can not be unauthorized, illegal or unconstitutional requests for help from their national government by the people.

  • Brett Marietta, GA
    Aug. 11, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    Ultra Bob

    You are extremely naive to think that public tyrants do not extract their fee.

    At least with the private tyrants, I can choose not to pay their fee. I do not have that choice with the public tyrants.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    The facts of life are that as independent individuals we are weak, ineffective, unprotected and unimportant to the others in our society. It is only when we add our voice to the collective group of like minded individuals that we have power, strength, protection and importance.

    In the real world, the only group that has even the most remote interest of our group of individuals is the national government. That's because only in the total nation does the people still have the power to require that the rules of society benefit the people as much as the giant private tyrants of the world. Even so, in every case where a benefit is given to the people, the private tyrants must extract their fee.

    The goal of these tyrants is to eliminate the strength and power of the people to require a part of the benefits from society by weakening, limiting and making the national government ineffective. In a world where the giant tyrants are growing by leaps and bounds, the minions of their group, like the Tea Party, are working to reach their goal by their "cut, cap and balance".

  • Brett Marietta, GA
    Aug. 11, 2011 9:17 a.m.

    Mike, I don't disagree with what you have said.

    However, just because defense is enumerated in the Constitution does not mean that it should have a blank check. Do you really think we need to spend $680 billion a year on defense? That's more than what the rest of the world spends on defense put together.

    Even though you can make sizable and reasonable (even for Dems) cuts in Social Security (by raising the retirement age) and means testing medicare, Democrats are unlikely to agree to these if the GOP doesn't give on something. I don't want to give on increasing taxes because I think it's harmful and there are better ways of raising revenue.

    But if we show that we are willing to compromise, by cutting defense, we may get the more significant, meaningful cuts in entitlements.

    For successful negotiations BOTH sides HAVE to give some. Even if one party is entirely in the right (pun intended), the other party will not agree unless they FEEL like they have gotten something.

    The GOP needs the senate if they are to make real change in fiscal policy. We wont be able to do that if we look obstinate.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 11, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    The budget deficit under Mr. Obama is almost as large as the defense budget, Social Security and Medicare. Of those three programs, only defense is enumerated in the Constitution. Congress in not authorized to spend money or to raise revenues for Social Security or Medicare.

    Raising taxes will not generate revenue, it will reduce revenue. The government has tracked the relationship between tax rates and revenue since 1981, when the Reagan tax cuts went into effect. Revenues when up when rates were reduced. Revenues when down when Clinton increased the tax rates. Revenues went up when Bush decreased the tax rates. Even the most stubborn tax hike advocate must admit that reducing tax rates increases revenue.

    Mr. Obama has refused to give direction for reduced spending. Mr. Reid has refused to give direction for reduced spending. The House HAS presented a bi-partisan plan to reduce spending. Mr. Reid told us that the House plan was dead on arrival. Mr. Obama told us he would veto it.

    It is the Democrats who have created this problem and it is the Democrats who prolong it.

  • Earl Sandy, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 8:39 a.m.

    The amounts of money being debated by both political parties is minuscule compared to the seriousness of our debt problems. It's like trying to pay off a debt by paying the minimum requirement on a credit card. At that rate, the debt will continue to grow rather than decline. It has been estimated by Lawrence Kotlikoff (using CBO estimates) that our GDP will have to increase by 12% immediately and into perpetuity to keep up with current and future commitments.

    The fact is that we're broke far beyond the scope of these ridiculously partisan bickerings. Credit rating groups should've downgraded our government's financial condition years ago. The fact that Standard & Poor's waited this long is indicative of the collusion that exists among them, government and the financial industry.

  • KDave Moab, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 8:14 a.m.

    Wow! The Tea Party has only been around for a few months, and allready they are responsible for our 14 trillion going to 20 trillion National debt. Not to mention the ratings downgrade. Can you say Scapegoat?

  • Brett Marietta, GA
    Aug. 11, 2011 8:03 a.m.

    I also think it's time conservatives deeply consider cutting defense spending. Between 2001 and 2009, overall spending on defense rose from $412  billion to $680  billion, a 70 percent increase. Really? We need $699  billion?

    It's ironic that many conservatives want to eliminate wasteful spending and increase competition yet allow such to occur in the military. I have a hard time believing that we need $680 billion a year for the military. We couldn't maintain the best military in the world with $600 billion, $550, or $500?

    Do we really need ALL of the international bases? Do we have to give no-bid contracts? Couldn't we focus more on intelligence and high tech stuff to decrease the need for troops?

    I wish conservatives would deeply consider these issues.

  • Brett Marietta, GA
    Aug. 11, 2011 7:55 a.m.

    Increasing taxes is not the only way to increase revenue.

    You can actually increase revenue by eliminating corporate and individual loopholes and deductions while even lowering the overall tax rate. This strategy of increasing revenue does not have the disadvantage of inhibiting economic growth.

    To those of you who want to raise the tax rate on the "rich" to Clinton levels, this is inadequate. The white house's numbers suggest that would bring in additional $60 billion/year. That doesn't make a dent. Why do you care so much about raising the taxes on the rich? It is such a poor solution.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    This analogy of a family is incorrect. Should the family stop paying mortgage payments already incurred to affect political elections? The international economy in an attempt to recover may not need a huge jolt to credit advocated by the default seekers for short term political gain. The writers is spot on in his acknowledgement of his foolish postion and advocacy of the tea party debt crisis.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 11, 2011 7:15 a.m.

    First of all the old comparison of family finances and govermental finances is just foolish. A government can just print or restrict money and inflate it's way out many debt problems. Obviously with consequences, but try that with your home finances. A government can go to it's bosses and demand more income to pay it's debts. Try that with your boss with a 9% unemployment rate.

    Lastly, you assume that a debt holder wants the debt paid off at some point. Ask the bank if they want you to pay off your credit card and quit using it. I recently got a credit report. The stated reason for my credit not being perfect..I hadn't gotten a new credit card recently enough. I could have the highest credit rating available if I'd just keep getting new credit cards.

    If you want to crash this economy just eliminate all debt.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 7:06 a.m.

    When the tea party takes actions that lead to a credit down grade instead of dealing with the issue, leading to higher interest rates and higher taxes as a result, then it is reasonable and easy to say the tea party is irresponsible. Yes, we have to address budget and the deficit, but making demands for cuts in selected programs while voting for more spending in other program, and refusing to increase revenue even through closing loopholes, cutting off subsidies, and eliminating special tax credits, is a path of destruction, and the tea party is leading that charge.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 2:50 a.m.

    If you were truly interested in a real budget solution, you would suggest specific cuts.

    Also, how can anyone be serious about a new budget if they automatically take out any discussion on raising revenue/closing tax loopholes?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 12:07 a.m.

    Cut, Cap, and Balance limits spending to 18% of GDP. Taxes bring in 14% of GDP, leaving us with a large deficit in perpetuity. The only way to control it is a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.