It's déjà vu all over again with national fiscal policy

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  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    May 30, 2012 8:15 a.m.

    I propose a new law called "No senator left behind".

  • swede1952 Smithfield, UT
    May 29, 2012 8:49 a.m.

    The current Senate has NOT passed a budget in 3 years. Dave Westerby makes a compelling argument. From his comments, "In the Senate, the bill has 10 co-sponsors. Missing are Hatch Lee, Bishop, and Chaffetz. Why?"

    And Hatch is seeking a 7th, unprecedented term of office. What irony! What arrogance! Unbelievable!

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 28, 2012 3:51 p.m.

    "I think the only reasonable conclusion a person can draw is that Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama want a bonafide debt crisis because it would give them an excuse to raise taxes on everybody (not just the rich)" just one comment from this icessant babble from the right of debt,debt,debt. Ok let's talk about raising taxes on everybody..a marker would be deficit per capita. Here's the facts Regan; average 23.6%, Bushl,13.9%, Clinton, 4.4%, Bushll average 11.1, '08year of crisis Obama inherite,16%, Obama, average 13.8%, highest 15%.

    So who is it that wants to raise taxes on "everybody", Republicans, Republicans, Republicans.

  • Dave Westerby Saint George, UT
    May 28, 2012 1:57 p.m.

    You rightly decry the failure of the Senate to pass a real budget as a “first step to fiscal sanity.” You said, “. . . we think it deserves shouting out loudly that our do-nothing Senate has failed to pass a budget in more than three years. Three years!” And it is also true that we’re “still waiting.” While we wait, we can turn our shouts into a “legislative scream” (a term used by Senator Lieberman) by pushing our representatives to pass the “No Budget, No Pay” Act. Simply stated, if Congress does not pass a budget, our Senators and Representatives don’t get paid. Now there’s some incentive! The bill has had one hearing in Senator Lieberman’s committee, but it needs more support from us. We need to keep shouting, even if it hurts the politicians’ ears. Right now, the bill has 52 co-sponsors (bipartisan) in the House, including Jim Matheson. In the Senate, the bill has 10 co-sponsors. Missing are Hatch, Lee, Bishop, and Chaffetz. Why? To join the national chorus of half a million people who put America first, go to They need our voices!

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    May 28, 2012 12:08 p.m.

    What are we waiting for? Vote out all incumbents in the Senate and House!! Before it's too late!!

    "Dereliction of duty" is a fireable offense. And they have been derelict for years.

    A Balanced Budget Amendment and Term Limits are good places to start getting out of this quagmire.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    May 28, 2012 9:50 a.m.

    The fact that the administration's budget was rejected 99-0 indicates that many people are just playing political games and not serving the people.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    May 28, 2012 8:53 a.m.

    The bottom line is that the United States has an ecnoomic problem. To those who's solution is to raise taxes, should realize that it would have a profound effect on families who desperately strive to live on less beacause of ever rising living costs or diminshing incomes that don't pay for needs. Solution: Work two or three jobs, or slide into poverty. In which case the government will be there to provide some of the necessities to sustain life. Great scenerio isn't it especially since it will require ever more taxes to sustain ever growing government programs?

  • ShaunMcC La Verkin, UT
    May 28, 2012 7:40 a.m.

    Carole, it is a pop culture joke/quote. I believe it was Yogi Berra who said it originally. Along with "It ain't over 'til it's over" and "If you come to a fork in the road, take it."

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    May 28, 2012 6:25 a.m.

    The US Senate has been so irresponsible in not passing a budget for three years it is simply mind boogling. Harry Reid has stepped up to the plate and struck out with his lack of leadership,allowing the debt ceiling to be raised,funding programs with money we don't have. This election cycle many more democrats face the voters hopefully these slackers will be sent packing. Obama has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams if crushing future generations with unconscionable debt and a government dependent society is his real goal. This was a much needed and excellent article.

  • vern001 Castle Rock, CO
    May 27, 2012 11:38 p.m.

    The Ryan plan will actually INCREASE the deficit. It's ridiculous to think that you can cut the deficit by offering yet more tax cuts to the rich.

    What Republicans want to do is continue corporate welfare, continue to fund defense spending and fight wars we cannot afford, while balancing the budget on the backs of the nation's most vulnerable: the elderly, the poor, children, and the disabled.

    What does it say about us as a nation that we want to give people like Romney, who makes $20 million a year, another tax cut, while at the same time cutting food stamps and assistance to the disabled?

    We do need to put our financial house in order, but doing so at the expense of the widow and the orphan is not the way to do it.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 27, 2012 11:06 p.m.

    >Red State Pride
    Earned income credit is the one proven answer to generational poverty, the one chance a lot of families have to get out of the crushing burden of poverty. Getting rid of the EIC is just about the worst piece of public policy I can possibly imagine; also the cruelest.

    Drastic cuts in public spending will add to unemployment and subtract countless billions from the economy. Whether the Keynesian multiplier really works is something nearly all economists agree on, though there are a few naysayers. But massive cuts in domestic spending will result in a multiplier, a negative one. You say 'every dollar the Fed takes from the private sector is one less the private has to spend'. That's nonsense. Federal dollars get spent in the private sector.

    This is the fundamental error made by conservatives: to state economic principles in moral terms. Public spending=bad, Private spending=good. That's neither true nor helpful. Budget cuts pull money out of the economy. Period. Right now, in a demand side recession, we need money circulating. Doesn't matter where it comes from. This is what's going on in Europe, where 'austerity' is proving a complete disaster.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 27, 2012 9:41 p.m.

    @Makid - if you look at the modern era objectively you'd know that despite what tax rates are the Federal Government will only collect around 20% of GDP in revenue. In other words, when tax rate on "the rich" under Eisenhower were around 70% the government didn't collect 70% of high income earner's income so there is really no rational way to argue that higher tax rates in America led to higher employment. There can't be a correlation logically if revenue collections as a proportion of GDP stay roughly the same.
    I will be the first to admit that Federal revenue has to increase and mainly through higher taxes on middle income earners and the elimination of nonsense like the "earned income tax credit"- but that needs to be accompanied by drastic cuts in Federal spending (to include the DOD) But let's admit that every dollar the Fed takes from the private sector is one less dollar the private has to spend, save or invest- there is no "multiplier"

  • tom jr. north ogden, uT
    May 27, 2012 8:37 p.m.

    Budgeting, as just about every individual, couple, organization, business, and corporation knows, is hard, messy, unending work. It requires tough decisions, compromises, and a fixed determination to pay the bills, save a little, and avoid debt. Congress and the President? Having no fiscal accountability, they pay the bills and that's where it ends.

    Why budget if you can borrow? Why say no if you can promise the moon and buy votes? Why worry about debt if you can hand it off to future generations?

    Our people in Washington . . . Senators, Representatives, and Presidents . . . Democrats and Republicans . . . from FDR to Barack Obama . . . have left this favored nation in a dire fix. We can't muster the will to balance a budget, and we have no possible way to pay our National debt, $15 Trillion and counting. We can't pay the annual interest on that mountain of debt, some $300 Billion, without borrowing. And what is the current Administration's answer to this monstrous problem? Borrow more money, or in more euphemistic terms, stimulate the economy. After all, it's the economy, stupid.

    No, It's the Debt, stupid.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    May 27, 2012 6:31 p.m.

    "From more than 50 years of research, we have found that when taxes are lowered, unemployment goes up as the economy goes down. When taxes go up, the economy goes up and unemployment goes down."

    So Europe, with their 50% tax rates, should have a booming economy and almost 0 unemployment. However, a quick look at their economic situation tells you that that is far from the truth.

    What REAL research has shown is that taxing and spending need to be balanced. When taxes are lowered, the economy gets a boost, which will compensate for the loss in revenue with lower taxes. If taxes are raised, the economy is hurt, but the government gets a little more revenue (which is reduced by the hurt economy anyway). The government needs to cut spending to reduce the need for increased revenue, because raising taxes will not help our economy. Our national debt is rising at an alarming rate. That is the real concern. Our economy will most likely survive, even despite Obama's policies. Our national debt, on the other hand, will not simply disappear.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 27, 2012 6:25 p.m.

    @KJB1 : whoa nellie. Before you start posting about what the WSJ "says" maybe you should actually read the WSJ. Their editorial position this weekend completely ridiculed the claim you are referring to which was made by Richard Nutting in a column in Marketwatch. Is every column printed in a newspaper reflective of that paper's editorial position/ opinion? The paper's editorial positions are not always the same as columns in the paper. Free country right?
    As far as Greece, they haven't cut any significant spending - only increased taxes and they were past the point of rescue before they even did that but the point is that Makid posted that increasing taxes increases employment and Greece has significantly raised taxes and their employment rate has gone down significantly- there is no correlation except maybe the opposite of his theory.

  • Carole Knowles EAGLE, ID
    May 27, 2012 5:07 p.m.

    Please, choose to use either "deja vu" or "all over again". It's painful to read.

  • Makid Kearns, UT
    May 27, 2012 4:34 p.m.


    Thank you for the correction. I wrote my comment a bit to early this morning and wasn't completely awake.

  • Makid Kearns, UT
    May 27, 2012 4:33 p.m.

    RSP, I didn't say anything about taxes in Greece, only here in the USA.

    There are tax rates that companies qualify for when they have hire employees, have more employees with health care, have employees with dependents and more employees working at least 35 hours each week.

    There tax breaks have been around since the 60's. Unfortunately, the current tax level is to low for businesses to take advantage of the tax rates. For companies to take advantage of the tax rates, we would need to raise corporate taxes 5% from where they are currently. All a company has to do to keep the current tax rate is to hire more people.

    Unfortunately, there are many people that think lower taxes means more employment, unfortunately, this has never been proven true, never in the history of the United States. Lower taxes however do lead to corruption of public officials, recessions and depressions.

    Temporarily lowering the tax rate to help overcome a recession is good, keeping it low once the recession has ended is bad.

    Let's raise taxes 1% for every 10% we cut from spending. That will improve the economy and unemployment at the same time.

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    May 27, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    Stop the spending and increase income. That's the Democrats' policy. The Republicans say "heck no" to that. Put the blame where it belong and that's not on the Democrats.

    Or does nobody remember the fact that the Democrats were willing to cut $10.00 of spending for $1.00 of every incrased revenue enacted?

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    May 27, 2012 2:40 p.m.

    For those of you saying that President Obama is spending too, the Wall Street Journal actually says that government spending under his adminstration has had its' slowest growth in sixty years. I suppose the WSJ in now guilty of "liberal bias"?

    Actually, red state pride, Greece has been been the poster child for the "austerity" programs that conservatives say will save us. When are they going to start working?

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 27, 2012 2:14 p.m.

    It's really sad that we have a President who trips all over himself to meet with the Iranians and yet he can't meet with Mitch McConnell or even take a phone call from Senator Kent Conrad (a member of his own party)It's a complete lack of leadership and responsibility and I don't know if the country survives it.
    I think the only reasonable conclusion a person can draw is that Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama want a bonafide debt crisis because it would give them an excuse to raise taxes on everybody (not just the rich)
    @ Makid- so when taxes are raised employment goes up? Really? How does Greece support your theory?

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    May 27, 2012 11:57 a.m.

    I pray to God that the American people can see the direction this country is headed and change our direction with good solid leadership in the White House. BHO said himself that if he hadn't turned it around, he didn't deserve to be re-elected, and here we are.

    Romney 2012

  • Well Read SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    May 27, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    I send a comment a few minutes ago. where is it?? I feel it was well thought out and deserved a hearing.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 27, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    Senate? The house is the one that just voted to violate the debt reduction agreement they passed last year.

    60 votes, not 66.

  • ComSen1 Sandy, UT
    May 27, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    "You know, a year from now, I think people are going to see that we're starting to make some progress but there is still going to be some pain out there. If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition." President Obama, 2009

    "We're not coming before you today to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem. What we do know is we don't like yours." Tim Geithner, 2012

    From Face The Nation, August, 2011
    "We're in a different place than we were in the day he did that interview. We were losing 750,000 jobs a month" when Obama took office, Axelrod said. "We've had job growth for 17 months."

    We're still losing about 1.5 million jobs per month. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 63.6% of the population over age 16 is currently employed, yet the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is supposedly only 8.1%. According to them, of the 88 million people not working, only 6 million are looking for a job.

  • ShaunMcC La Verkin, UT
    May 27, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    As with any individual or family that finds itself in financial difficulty, we must either stop spending on that which is not absolutely necessary, increase our income or a combination of both. Instead of the government working harder and longer hours to address the problem they have created, they want us to work harder and longer to pay them more taxes. I know it is hard to stop buying what you want. I've had to do it. However, we must if our integrity as a nation is to survive. The only other option (and it is dishonest) is what we are doing now. Our government is stealing to support their habit. It is not just stealing from us, but by adding more and more debt, it is stealing from our children and grandchildren. This problem will not go away until we make the hard choices. If our political parties do not have the will to do it, we need to elect those who will not go along with party politics - third party or independent representatives that will do the right thing, even if it is hard. The parties are the problem. Let's vote them out.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    May 27, 2012 9:00 a.m.

    Finally, an article that points out the failure of the Senate-truly, the ultimate in "do nothing" leadership. Thanks!!!!!!

  • CLM Draper, UT
    May 27, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    Deja vu is a contradiction in terms when you're still experiencing the nightmare. The economic meltdown continues on its devastating course. Not to minimize the absurdity of our national debt and the lack of a budget--but the meltdown is global. It all hinges on the reserve status of the US dollar--the world's currency. Foreign nations are turning away from the dollar. Other nations where huge amounts of US dollars are tied up are going into default. When the dollar goes, interest rates will escalate, and bond prices will collapse. All those who sought safety in US Treasuries will be wiped out.

    None of these such outcomes are a part of the public debate, which continues to be about the arrangement of deck chairs on a Titanic that's already run aground.

  • Simple Man Riverton, UT
    May 27, 2012 8:46 a.m.

    Can you imagine a top business not having a multi-year budget that balances income with expenses? It would only take a few years before it found itself in bankrupty proceedings.

    Yet too many politicians brush this important responsibility aside because addressing it in a seriours manner threatens their political careers. Where is the integrity in this?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 27, 2012 8:39 a.m.

    Republicans now calling for another tax cut with the deficit like it is is sheer insanity. Your pandering to the Ryan plan, with no judgment on its content and effect, is appalling! The Republicans will not deal, so is it any wonder little gets done? Ask yourself what is the end game for the Republicans. They want even more tax cuts, want to cut programs for the poor, refuse to cut programs for the rich, won't allow reductions to subsidies for profitable corporations, want preferential tax rates for passive investment income including foreign, and so on. What does that tell you? Come on, Deseret News, wake up!

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 27, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    Ok, the Republican budget is partisan, austere, plutocratic, draconian, extreme and oh yes, adds billions to the deficit. Having a majority in congress means nothing have to have 60 in the Senate or nothing goes through. The Super majority has been around for a long time, but not like this. It takes 60 votes to order lunch now. By the way the President offered 3 to one budget cuts to revenue increases and the House summarialy turned it down. The Republican candidates for President openly and proudly said they would veto a 10 to 1 budget cuts to revenue increase. How, oh how do you propose a serious conversation take place in that envirnoment?

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 27, 2012 7:31 a.m.

    Stop the spending!

  • Makid Kearns, UT
    May 27, 2012 6:35 a.m.

    Nothing can pass the Senate without 66 votes due to the rise in filibusters since the 2008 election.

    Of course the majority of the House can pass legislation that most don't like when a majority of the seats is held by a single party.

    From more than 50 years of research, we have found that when taxes are lowered, unemployment goes up as the economy goes down. When taxes go up, the economy goes up and unemployment goes down.

    Just look at history, when we had the highest tax rates in the last 30 years, unemployment was averaging 4%. When taxes were lowered, unemployment slowly increased. As unemployment increases, bubbles start to pop. As can be seen in our most recent recession and in the recession of the 90's and 80's. This also can be shown with the Great Depression of the late 20's early 30's.

    The USA is most prosperous when everyone pays taxes at a higher rate than today. Looking at the numbers, a 10% increase in the current tax levels for all incomes would lower unemployment by 3% with almost no new government jobs as the rich build tax shelters in employment.

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    May 27, 2012 4:04 a.m.

    I could not agree more. I'm certain Utahns are not the only ones frustrated by this incredibly irresponsible Senate. We can only hope that voters across the country do not re-elect the same crew that got us here. Every senator who, under the guise of securing "projects" and jobs for his or her home state, is spending us into oblivion needs to be called back home. I don't care how "conservative" they claim to be. If they are staying in office by touting everything they have done or will do for constituents, ask yourself this: how do they land those home-state "goodies"? It's not rocket science. They score these deals by promising similar projects to all their colleagues in other states. This never-ending multiplier of costly projects will not cease until we change our representation in Washington. And yes Senator Hatch, I'm talking about you!