Nathan B. Oman: Without compromise, fixing deficit is a fairy tale

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  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Sept. 1, 2012 8:32 a.m.

    Mr. Oman said, "Republicans ought to start thinking about the kinds of tax increases that they will accept. They should seek to eliminate distorting tax deductions and limit the rise in marginal rates."

    Just what "distorting tax deductions" does he seek to eliminate if not those enacted for big corporations and the grand concessions given to capital gains income? "Limit the rise in marginal rates?" He means keeping the bulk of the tax burden on the middle class while cutting government services to the poor.

    I don't promote class warfare. That was started with the help of our own Sen. Garn (1982) allowing S&L's to be more reckless, then be bailed out. Most Utah conservatives have the same mindset--in the name of encouraging competition. Our "patriots" attacked unions, allowing corporate collusion to keep wages low. Conservatives claimed to be pro-small business all the while Big Agriculture claimed the market and drove out the middle class farmers and small processors. Now we have two classes--the owners and top management of huge corporations and their low-wage employees.

    No, I don't seek class warfare--just a level battlefield on which to defend ourselves.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Sept. 1, 2012 7:10 a.m.

    Mr. Oman must be a conservative. He didn't mention defense spending.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 31, 2012 8:48 p.m.

    The problem is that we have a BIG Deficit problem. It can not be, nor will not be fixed in a year, or a 4 year term.

    We have congressmen on who want it fixed Yesterday. Bad news. That will not happen.

    It took a long time to get into this position. And it took a concerted effort of both R and D leadership (or lack thereof). It will take a while to fix.

    We need to start chipping away at the problem. Inaction gets us a continuation of the current unsustainable system. No one wants that.

    Action will require significant cuts in entitlement and military spending. And any rational plan will also require that we increase taxes from the current historical lows.

    Cutting spending is unpopular. Raising taxes is unpopular.

    Man up and come to an agreement that neither party loves, but puts this country on a sustainable path.

    Stop demanding that your congressmen give you exactly what you want.

    Beg them to give this country what it needs.

    Get beyond partisanship and demand action for your sake and for the sake of this country.

    You can either get nothing of_what you want, or some_of whats needed.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 10:31 a.m.

    Fixing the deficit and debt will be a fairly tale if we also don't consider addressing both the spending and revenue side, and military spending.

  • Ford DeTreese Provo, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 9:48 a.m.

    Yes, I can say "death spiral." And yes, we're in a bit of a pickle here. We've been financing our economic growth with debt for quite some time now, but bringing things back into balance isn't as easy as saying, "Presto, I'm just going to cut entitlements." That money circulates through the economy and helps keep the whole house of cards from collapsing. So we can't just whack $1 trillion from spending.

    Whatever we do, we must do it gradually, and we must start by replacing some of our debt with tax revenue. Increasing taxes is the only arithmetically feasible (and responsible) solution, unless some of Nate's fairy friends can come to our rescue.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 9:38 a.m.

    While Nate's main thesis here is correct, and a good lesson for the GOP in political reality, I would take issue with his statement, "The Republicans are basically correct in their assessment of America's fiscal woes. The problem is not that the state takes in too little money in taxes but that it spends too much money on entitlements."

    It is not arithmetically possible to balance the budget with only spending cuts, particularly cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Last I checked (5 seconds ago), the federal deficit is well over $1 trillion. But cutting a trillion bucks from government spending would cut exactly $1 trillion from the economy, since that spending is being financed by debt or, in other words, out of thin air. It's not like we diverted that money from some other sector of the economy.

    Cutting $1 trillion in government spending would therefore be the equivalent of shrinking the economy by 6.7 percent, far worse than the Great Recession. And, of course, the Republicans would not allow an infusion of money from government (stimulus) to halt the free-fall. Can you say "death spiral"?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    If the Romney/Ryan team wins, the deficit will increase markedly. Republicans will get their tax cuts through congress, they always do. Every single Republican will vote for the the cuts and many Democrats, like, say Jim Matheson, will be too afraid to vote no. They will never get their plan to change Medicare to a voucher system through congress though, public opposition will be enormous.

    That will leave us with less revenue and more spending, a bigger deficit in other words.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 7:32 a.m.

    The conservatives in the U. K. passed higher taxes on the wealthy. Why can't we? The GOP is not about resolving this mess. They have low hanging fruit that they ignore. They are about income redistribution to the wealthy. It's so obvious.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Aug. 31, 2012 7:02 a.m.

    This editorial, by the noted Mormon scholar, Nathan Oman, is stating the obvious, we need compromise. We can't make any progress until the conservatives regain their senses and give up their irrational budget balancing fantasies. To solve our fiscal woes everything must be on the table, increasing taxes, cutting the military, means testing entitlements, and bringing American healthcare costs back into line with the rest of the world.
    I think many liberals would go for all of the solutions, but I doubt that the conservatives would go for any of these solutions except for cutting entitlements.

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 6:48 a.m.

    The author of this article is right. Eventually our political parties will have to grit their teeth and deal with each other. Neither party will win a filibuster proof majority in both the house and the senate, and also win the presidency. Even if Mitt wins and the republicans keep the house they won't get 60 seats in the senate, and after the actions of the republicans the last 4 years you are absolutely out of you mind if you don't think they will pull the same filibuster card the republicans did the last 4 years.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Aug. 31, 2012 12:16 a.m.


    Every republican Candidate for the POTUS swore in front of everyone in America they would never ever accept a 1 dollar raise in taxes for a 10 dollar cut in spending.

    If elected, if they raise taxes, Ryan and romney will face the wrath of those who control the republican party, as well as the well deserved mocking scorn of everyone in America who watched those candidates make that promise.