Job creation should be a top priority, not deficit reduction

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 31, 2012 1:01 a.m.

    I think a lot of the local and state cuts, but especially local budget cuts say in education, have been result of the sinking of property values. Property taxes fund many local agencies and with this loss of revenue this has caused huge problems.

    I'm tired of picking on government workers. Government workers work hard like private sector workers. The private sector got us into this mess not school teachers or government bureaucrats.

    This is not the time for austerity. I believe Eric Samuelson has said that the debt needs to be addressed but it's the question of timing. You don't treat the patient for cancer when he's bleeding to death. Take care of the bleeding, save the patient from immediate demise and then work on the latter. This seems to make sense. Cut a bunch of government jobs will only increase unemployment and misery because the private sector at this time can't absorb these loss of jobs.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 30, 2012 9:19 p.m.


    You are absolutely correct that tax cheats are a problem in Greece. That is one reason why I mentioned the corruption factor. You are also correct that we are not very similar to Greece. Other than the obvious political utility of such comparisons, I cannot understand why folks make them.

    I agree about the scalpel vs. the axe. It sounds like our greatest differences here are in timing and debt tolerance. Perhaps my age makes me more conservative.

    One point, deficit spending cannot lower unemployment for long. Deficit spending is short term by nature. We need the private sector to provide long-term employment. In direct terms, govt. ultimately takes from rather than adds to the economy. This is not to say there are no economic benefits to govt. But they are mostly indirect.

    This is my last post. Good luck to Indiana next season.


    Not everyone who disagrees with the Austrians is a Keynesian. Both have some points. But the iconoclasts on both sides simply miss the boat and advance unrealistic "solutions".

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    May 30, 2012 9:03 p.m.

    its funny that you seem to think the rich do not have their bellies at the trough of the government. Do you have any idea the number of grants and the size of the grants given to private businesses every year?

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    May 30, 2012 7:36 p.m.

    SG, I can only assume that you somehow think that Keynesianism isn't based on ideology. It's more of a religion, really. Its failures and fallacies have been demonstrated over and over by Henry Hazlitt (Failure of the New Economics), Hunter Lewis (Where Keynes Went Wrong), F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Jesus Huerta de Soto, and on and on. Nevertheless, Keynesians insist on ignoring the real causes of business cycles (the boom-bust cycle), recessions and depressions because to do so would be heresy in the Keynesian church. By the way, I recommend that you read William H. Hutt on A Rehabilitation of Say's Law before you dismiss it so easily.

    While the posters who advocate Keynesian solutions think of them as "real economics" and everything else as "ideology," I suggest they take a first or second look at what the authors I've mentioned have to say about it. I'll be the first to admit that Keynesians are in control of government and academia, but that's not an indicator of its correctness. It's today's economic version of geocentrism. We'll be in its dark shadow until it implodes.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    May 30, 2012 5:25 p.m.

    Tell you what, Eric. I'll read Paul Krugman when you agree to read Robert Higgs and his analysis of the bogus claim that deficit spending "defeated Hitler" and pulled us out of the Great Depression. Do you remember last year when Krugman suggested that we could solve the recession if only space aliens would attack us? Isn't that tantamount to advocating war as a cure? Here's what he said:

    "If we discovered that, you know, space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months. And then if we discovered, oops, we made a mistake, there aren't any aliens, we'd be better –"

    So the cure is, apparently, to spend like it's World War III, only without all the destruction, right? The American people won't go for that unless there's a real threat of war. Sound familiar? The Pentagon is more than happy to assist.

    Problem is, it's all a fallacy. Read Higgs, and I'll be happy to read more Krugman.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    May 30, 2012 5:18 p.m.

    @Eric Samuelsen
    "Interesting, BTW, how many posters are responding to an economic argument with entirely ideological ones."

    We get a lot of that around here.

    To put the opposing posters' ideology into economic terms, many of them seem to be extremely enamored with supply-side/trickle-down economics. They contend that if government would just grease the wheels for the wealthy and the business sector through tax cuts and deregulation, then the economy would take off and jobs would be created; trouble is, history, and particularly recent history, doesn't bear that out. More often than not, Say's Law is just wishful thinking -- it isn't effective in the short run, and to repeat your previous quote of John Maynard Keynes, "in the long run, we are all of us dead."

    On the other hand, the inverse of Say's Law, namely, that demand creates its own supply, seems to have a much stronger correlation to history. This would reinforce the case for stimulus spending, particularly for infrastructure and for grants and other funding for state and local government. This would quench the declines there that are masking the job gains in the private sector.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 30, 2012 4:43 p.m.

    Check again. Reagan did cut domestic spending, but boy did he expand defense.
    Nice rhetorical overkill. In fact, federal stimulus job creation is much cheaper than you seem to think.
    I was referring to efforts to restrict spending artificially; things like a balanced budget amendment for example. Deficit spending defeated Hitler. As for Paul Krugman, you've very badly distorted his views. Suggest you read his book before characterizing it. And yes, war is a federal function, and one that actually doesn't have much stimulus effect. WW2 was a different scenario--we used deficit spending to build a defense industry from scratch. Which did, in fact, stimulate job creation.
    Interesting, BTW, how many posters are responding to an economic argument with entirely ideological ones.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 30, 2012 3:47 p.m.

    Re: one old man Ogden, UT
    "RedShirt - another half truth. Reagan may have cut taxes, but he sure didn't cut spending."

    There is no question whatsoever that the federal government can create jobs. It can provide a job that pays $50,000 ...... and it only costs the taxpayers $75,000 to fund it.

    We'd be better off if the unemployed just stayed home and we mailed the check for $50K.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    May 30, 2012 3:40 p.m.

    Now there's an idea. There's nothing like a war to get the economy going again, right? Isn't that what got us out of the Great Depression? Wait a minute. We've been spending on wars already, and it has only seemed to make matters worse. Hmm. Oh right, it needs to be another World War! There you go, Eric, see if that will help you along. Paul Krugman, after all, thinks we should spend like it's World War II again, right? That should fix it BUT GOOD!

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 30, 2012 3:06 p.m.

    >Twin Lights
    Ah, Kentucky won the championship, it still rankles.
    You're quite right that austerity has been a fiasco in weaker countries. What nobody has addressed, that I've noticed, is that Greece is crippled by tax cheats. They have a huge problem with something as basic as tax collection. I know it's a popular trope to say "we're just like Greece," but that's silly--we're nothing whatever like Greece. But austerity hasn't worked in Britain either. It's just counter-intuitive--you can't grow your economy if the first step is to shrink the economy.
    Your concern with debt load is a real one, and one I share. When people say our current debt habits are unsustainable, I agree. I think there's a time to make deficit reduction a priority. But not yet. Lower unemployment would increase demand--exactly what's needed in a demand-side recession, and would also expand the tax base.
    As for long-term controls to lower debt, I'm all for it. But let's wield a scalpel, not an axe. Some national emergencies require short-term borrowing solutions--a major war, for example.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    May 30, 2012 3:02 p.m.

    A question to all the commentators. Would the United states and its citizens be prosperous if neither had any debt under our current monetary system?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 30, 2012 2:59 p.m.

    To "one old man" again, you show your lack of research. Reagan cut spending. Read the article at PBS titled "The 1982 Recession". They state quite clearly that "In an effort to balance the budget, Reagan propose[d] budget cuts in virtually every department of government. While he cut back social programs, including school-lunch programs and payments for people with disabilities".

    Apparently he did cut spending. Unfortunately he also made deals with the Democrats that they ignored then when things started to get better, the Democrats raised spending.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    May 30, 2012 2:14 p.m.

    RedShirt - another half truth. Reagan may have cut taxes, but he sure didn't cut spending.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 30, 2012 1:27 p.m.


    Thanks. I thought Hoosiers and Kentuckians could trust each other now that basketball season is over?

    I think austerity has been a fiasco in the weakest European economies because they were weak to begin with and generally somewhat corrupt. When you start with a sicker patient, you may not employ the same strategies you would with a relatively healthier patient.

    My problem with exploiting the current low interest rate environment is that we already have a strong debt load. The world could begin picking up steam and then we start paying back the debt against a tide of rising interest rates and higher debt - making us less competitive. Instead of being able to utilize the upward economic drafts, we will be anchored to our past spending. I think it is a recipe for malaise.

    Note that I am not arguing for huge cuts nor for lower taxes. My simple point is we should not increase our debt load and we need to put the long term controls in place that will eventually lower debt.

    Yes, there are corporations that would hold loss of confidence over govt. like a club. But that is hardly new.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 30, 2012 12:41 p.m.

    Re: spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    "Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty ..."

    Advocates of capitalism adopted the maxim: The government can't give to the people what they don't first take from the people. The federal government can be compared to giving yourself a transfusion from your right arm to your left arm ..... through a leaky tube.

    If you are looking for a free ride Obama has the prescription.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 30, 2012 12:31 p.m.

    Unfortunately Eric is only half right. The best way of taking care of deficits will be to get people working becuase as that happens spending cuts will automatically be made as people become less dependant on the government.

    As for the austerity measures in Europe, they would have worked and helped to cut the deficits of countries like Greece and Spain. The problem isn't that the austerity measures wouldn't work, it is the simple fact that people wanted to keep their government benefits. In the past we had Presidents like Harding, JFK, and Reagan who cut spending and cut taxes and had a decade of growth.

    If people would accept cuts in entitlement spending, austerity will work.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 30, 2012 12:25 p.m.

    Re: "Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate."

    Good quote from Bertrand Russell -- early 20th century math/philosophy hack, "progressive" apologist, anti-religion campaigner, and avowed marxist -- though you should attribute it.

    Why his political attacks were limited to capitalism in 1928 [when his 'Sceptical Essays' were published], when all the excesses of marxism, bolshevism, and trotskyism were well known? Who knows?

    Just the nature of disingenuous evangelical socialists, I guess.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 30, 2012 12:09 p.m.

    >Twin Lights
    I do apologize. I was snarkier than I ought to have been, and yes, a civil dialogue is very much appreciated. Chalk it up to a Hoosier distrusting Kentuckians. And please forgive me.
    It's quite true that we needn't be the world's default currency. We still are, though, a reality we should acknowledge, and if necessary, exploit. I don't see much sign that the world economy is likely to calm down soon. The world wide financial crisis was tremendously devastating--much more so than most people realize--and the response in Europe has been inadequate. Austerity has been a fiasco, has it not?
    I quite agree that the Great Depression was caused by a loss of confidence. But surely you would concede that corporations are quite capable of using an imaginary loss of confidence as a club to hold over the heads of regulators. And corporate profits seem sufficiently robust to suggest that a loss of confidence is not, in this case, a factor.
    I would argue that government stimulus has worked just fine. The main cause of unemployment has been state budget cuts. It is not time, yet, to cut spending.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 30, 2012 11:37 a.m.

    We've gained private sector jobs 26+ months in a row while we've cut a million public sector jobs during Obama's term. This notion that Obama doesn't allow growth in the private sector is nonsense especially since the only reason his private sector job creation is lower than Bush's is because he inherited a trainwrecking economy that, no matter who was president, was going to lose millions of jobs in 2009. After all, Obama's worst jobs month was January 2009, the month he only spent part of in office as Bush handed him the keys halfway into it.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    May 30, 2012 11:14 a.m.

    Obama knows how to create jobs, but his political philosophy will not allow growth in the private sector. Appointing Jeff Imelt of GE, who has led the way in exporting jobs and is one of the biggest corporate avoiders of taxes, in charge of job creation was a cynical political reward to a campaign donor. Re-cycling money though the government (taxes) does not create durable job growth nor does government funded crony capitalism. Obama must decide if sovereign debt is benign as believed by Alfred Keynes and if it is, why increase taxes to reduce debt? The answer, increasing taxes allows an endless increase in government spending and not a return to fiscal solvency.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 30, 2012 11:14 a.m.


    First, I appreciate a civil dialogue. I was not snarky to you and I would appreciate the same.

    Second, the fact that we are enjoying the fruits of world financial instability and of being the reserve currency should not be a canon of our fiscal house. There is nothing written in stone that says the US Dollar must be the world's reserve currency. Also, when the rest of the world calms down, money will flow out.

    In my experience, the "confidence fairy" is quite real in financial markets. The pricing of risk is all about confidence. Much of the recent Great Recession was brought about by a sudden lack of confidence. Were the longer-term underlying issues? Sure. But the rapid deterioration and disappearance of secondary markets was all about the near instantaneous flight of confidence.

    Employment cannot be managed via govt. over the long term. Also, even though I agree that there must be allowances made for the short term, we have done that already. The Fed has virtually carpet bombed the economy with money.

    Govt. spending can act as a flywheel for only so long. What we need to now is to get the engine running.

  • Ben H Clearfield, UT
    May 30, 2012 11:03 a.m.

    It is true that some public sector employees will lose their jobs. For the longest time, the public sector has been the last bastion of life-long employment. Maybe government will run better and be more efficient if government employees have the same ax hanging over their head that private sector employees have every day. In other words, if you fail to perform to acceptable standards, you may not be employed tomorrow. It's about time.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    May 30, 2012 10:33 a.m.

    Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    May 30, 2012 10:25 a.m.

    Helloo - Since the media doesn't report contracting abuses by the Obama Administration perhaps you could provide us with some specifics about such violations. Is Halliburton still putting out oil well fires by subcontracting the KBR who subcontrats to Boots and Coots? If you want to waste and excessive overhead check out that contract.

    So please, give us some detail with some references. Thank you.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    May 30, 2012 10:04 a.m.

    Re: ECR just as a point of fact the no bid contracting continues today in the Obama administration and to many of the same companies. It is just not reported because of
    the media agenda to support this administration no matter how much corruption or incompetence.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 30, 2012 9:57 a.m.

    Spend during recessions, employ austerity measures during the good years. Even Romney understands it since he basically said as much a few days ago (I'll give him a week to flip his position). There can be some cuts made but the fact is unemployment would be 7.2% if we didn't cut a million gov't jobs the last few years between the various levels of gov't, instead of the 8.1% it is.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    May 30, 2012 9:52 a.m.

    Spot on Eric. This debt talk is plain and simple nothing more than setting the stage to default on our obligations, specifically Social Security and Medicare and lowering taxes on the privileged few. Both parties misread the results of the 2010 elections. The issue was jobs jobs jobs and neither took it seriously. It will be through growing the economy that we get it through these times and you can't grow the garden by starving it. If tax cuts worked it would have been done. It will be middle America that gets us out and forcing them into serfdom won't help.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    May 30, 2012 9:34 a.m.

    There is an excellent article in the Money Watch section of the Wall Street Journal that does a fine job of debunking the GOP myth that Obama has increased government spending. Unfortunately, DN's censors won't allow the link to post here.

    So try Googling "Money Watch Wall Street Journal." You'll need to hunt around a bit, but you'll find it. Rex Nutting is the author.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 30, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    >Twin Lights
    So you're saying that high debt drives up interest rates? Uh, have you noticed where interest rates are right now? Like the interest rates at which government is borrowing? Aren't you essentially saying that cutting spending will conjure up the confidence fairy? Is there any real difference between so called business confidence and Santa Claus?

    If the problem was that high interest rates were choking off investment, your argument might have some merit. But interest rates are low, businesses are profitable, and there's plenty of investment capital available for entrepreneurs or business growth. So the deleterious affect of debt has yet to make an appearance in any discernible way. What absolutely is driving unemployment has been budget cuts in state and local government. Those data are not in dispute.

    As for cutting debt being what's best in the long run: well, Keynes said it best: "in the long run, we are all of us dead."

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 30, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    Re: "Spoken by someone who has no knowledge of the contracting policies and procedures of the federal government."

    Actually, my last active-duty assignment was to a multi-agency OIF/OEF contract fraud task force [20+ arrests, recovery of $100M+]. I'm quite familiar with "contracting policies and procedures of the federal government."

    But that's beside the point.

    Unfair government contracting -- as rampant as it is -- is not the anchor to the recession. Rather, it's government's brutal, unfair, unseemly competition with the private sector for capital.

    It's unfair because bloated, unaccountable government just takes it. In taxes. No sales pitch, no demonstration of mutual advantage, no persuasion.

    Don't pay? Go to jail.

    And every nickel brutally expropriated by bloated, unnecessary government is a nickel that then becomes unavailable to the private sector, except as a reward to "deserving" friends of government decision makers, either through the contracting or the appropriations processes.

    Good CAN come from private industry and government working together. Now, if we could just convince politicians and faceless, motherless government bureaucrats.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    May 30, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    "The largest anchor of the recession, and the largest detractor from a sustained recovery is brutally unfair competition from bloated, unaccountable, unproductive Big Government."

    Spoken by someone who has no knowledge of the contracting policies and procedures of the federal government. During the Iraq War there were many instances of no-bid contracting and that was rationalized by the White House as necessary for the circumstances. But in normal times, government contracting bends over backwards to insure competition. It is one of the reasons that procurements take such a long time in the contracting phase. Federal contracting rules were put in place by Congress who tried to address every contracting injustice ever experienced by their constituents in private industry.

    Despite these obstacles that "bureaucrats" have to overcome, the government has been instrumental in contibuting to the needs of the private sector as mentioned by Baron Scarpia. Another success of the federal government is the agricultural extension program working through land grant universities to help American farmers become the most productive farmers in the world.

    Instead of always trying to tear down government we should recognize the good that can come from government and private industry working hand in hand.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 30, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    Why have the attitude that we need to spend - at any cost?

    Government does not create private sector jobs. Government jobs do not increase revenues - they require revenues.

    The only way out of this fiscal mess is to have more tax payers. The only way to have more tax payers is to have more jobs. The only way to have more jobs is to reduce the amount of money flowing from the individual taxpayers to Washington so that the individual taxpayers can buy those goods and services from private enterprise.

    The federal government has been charged to handle 17 duties. ONLY SEVENTEEN. It does not take 2,500,000 government workers to handle those seventeen duties. Spending must be slashed. People on the government payroll must be fired. Wages to government workers must be cut. There should be no incentive for people to leave the private sector to get a job in "government".

    When jobs are cut, when spending is cut, when taxes are reduced, when restrictive regulations are reversed, then the private sector can build businesses and hire people. Those people will be adding to government revenues instead of spending our taxes.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 30, 2012 8:00 a.m.

    Re: "We cannot create jobs by cutting jobs."

    Yeah, we can. As long as we cut the right jobs.

    The largest anchor of the recession, and the largest detractor from a sustained recovery is brutally unfair competition from bloated, unaccountable, unproductive Big Government.

    Instead of seeking new, ever more deranged methods of filching and sequestering capital away from the people and private markets, instead of feeding a mutating, metastasizing, insatiable government beast, we should be seeking ways energize the productive, private economy.

    The best way? Get government out of the way!

    If growing government and gifting unproductive, unsustainable bureaucratic jobs to the politically deserving were a valid economic model, the East Bloc would still be in business and euro-socialism would be flourishing.

    See any evidence of that?

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    May 30, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    This letter brings to mind a well-known, but appropriate story told about Milton Friedman told by a colleague of his:

    "Milton recalled traveling to an Asian country in the 1960s and visiting a worksite where a new canal was being built. He was shocked to see that, instead of modern tractors and earth movers, the workers had shovels. He asked why there were so few machines. The government bureaucrat explained: “You don’t understand. This is a jobs program.” To which Milton replied: “Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.”

    Make no mistake about it: Mr. Samuelson illustrates the thinking of economists currently in charge of Western economies, including ours (think Bernanke and Krugman). These are the kinds of people who created the mess we're in by emphasizing jobs over economic stability. First you create economic stability, then jobs will come. Creating jobs with money that doesn't exist is why we are where we are now.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    May 30, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    Let's cut all taxes on the wealthy. That way they can continue to create jobs in China & India.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 30, 2012 7:38 a.m.


    If we had a relatively low debt load, I might be more inclined to agree. But high debt levels sends signals to the markets reference inflation which, in turn, drives interest rates and investment decisions.

    I certainly think that both spending control and some level of "revenue enhancement" need to combine to get our debt under control. Doing so will result in some short term pain but will also convince businesses and investors that we have our house in order, that our economy will avoid strong inflation (or worse, "stagflation") and that investments in both assets and people are justified. None of this should be interpreted as justification for draconian cuts.

    So, I think that getting our house in order (no small challenge given the political chill) is our first priority. To be sure, it is a long term, rather than short term play. But I think it wiser over the long run.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    May 30, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    The letter is correct. I keep hearing we are getting our grandkids into debt. Well someone got me into debt too. In fact I have not been alive for one second in this country where there was no debt. From the get go debt was used to further this country.
    Don't stop now. Making a robust economy is the best bet to curbing our problem. Getting out of debt isn't the issue. Our sagging economy is. Once everyone has jobs guess who will be complaining about the debt? NO ONE.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    May 30, 2012 6:51 a.m.

    As we've seen in Europe — austerity doesn't work.

    Austerity in Europe is dealing with benefits provided to individuals, not jobs. The reason it hasn't worked is the entitlement attitude of the beneficiaries. Greece wants a bailout so they can pay their retirement commitments that start in the early fifties. I can not get those same benefits until I reach age 67. The revolt against austerity is a revolt about benefits.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    May 30, 2012 6:03 a.m.

    The analogy I've heard is that the austerity measures advocated by the GOP is, "Our house is on fire, but due to drought, we need to conserve water first." It should be the other way around -- get the economy moving (put out the fire) and then when people are working and tax revenues are flowing to cover spending, we can engage in government auterity measures that will be covered by a healthy economy.

    The GOP doesn't understand that the government is a MAJOR component of the economy. When it builds roads, bridges, and infrastructure, it uses local businesses to accomplish that work. Too often I hear conservatives proclaim that all government spending is a waste.

    Who built the Internet? Who built the railroads? Who built the electricty transmission system? Who built the Interstate highway system? Who built Hoover Dam and Tennessee Valley Authority? All were government projects that benefited industry and economic development.

    Were their failures and corruption in building the Internet and railroads? Of course, but collectively, it was for the better for the public and economic good.

    Had the government NOT built the Internet, Google and Facebook would not exist today.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    May 30, 2012 5:25 a.m.

    Excellent letter Eric. Thanks for making this important point. The tone of your letter addresses the false impression being presented by Republicans, especially the presumptive nominee, that spending has increased under the current adminstration faster than ever before when the exact opposite is true. "Spending has increased at a yearly rate of only 1.4 percent during Obama’s tenure, even if you include some stimulus spending (in the 2009 fiscal year) that technically should be attributed to President George W. Bush. This is by far the smallest increase in spending of any recent president.

    "In Bush’s first term, by contrast, federal spending increased at an annual rate of 7.3 percent; in his second term, the annual rise averaged 8.1 percent. Reagan comes next, in terms of profligacy, followed by George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and finally Obama, the thriftiest of them all."

    Yes, the deficit has risen quickly but that is because of lower revenue caused by unemployment and especially caused by the Bush tax cuts. As stated by the auther, "Growing the economy will do more to decrease the deficit than any misguided cuts in spending."

    Thanks for saying it.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 30, 2012 12:38 a.m.

    Good letter, even Mitt Romney recently said that cutting spending would sink the economy. He probably regrets saying it now, but it was true. That's the definition of a gaffe: when a politician says something accidentally, that happens to be true.