Plodding to the cliff: Math can't be denied, politics of the situation demand compromise

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  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 9:40 p.m.

    Re: ". . . nobody in Greece pays taxes."

    We're not far from there, ourselves.

    Liberals keep promising to solve all our problems by soaking the rich, knowing all the while that there aren't enough rich to painlessly tax our way out of trouble.

    They keep promising no one with an income below $200K need worry, knowing all the while that, when the economy collapses under the weight of deranged liberal spending, only the rich will be in a position to survive it.

    They suggest their hatred for the rich is just a matter of fairness, knowing all the while that they'll be required -- in the very near future -- to unfairly stoke and exploit the class hatred they've so carefully sowed and deprive anyone who owns anything of all their property, just to stay afloat.

    American liberalism long ago ran out of new ideas, and has been forced to embrace lying to the rubes as its sole tactic.


  • Utah Dem Ogden, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 6:39 p.m.

    I am not a financial or economic guru put I don't understand why the fiscal cliff discussion only seems to be about taxes and 'entitlements/benefits' I.e. SS, Medicare and Medicaid.
    What about the earmark/pork we have heard about for years? What about the amount of foreign aid the US gives away and for the most part never receives repayment? What is so terrible about having a true flat tax or at least greatly simplifying the tax codes? Do we really need all of these federal departments? Do we need over 1,000 military bases outside the US? I'm sure there are any number of areas to look at for spending cuts.

    A fiscally conservative Democrat

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 3:09 p.m.

    Republicans aren't blameless?

    This coming from the DN.


  • John Brown 1000 Laketown, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 7:35 p.m.


    Krugman is a prevaricator.

    "No, not if the economy is still depressed," he says.

    Ah, I see. So that hidden cost only lasts until the economy comes back. What? You didn't want the economy to grow?

    Krugman is only kicking the can down the road. And what a can. Inflation. A pay cut. A pay cut for the rich, the poor, the destitute. A pay cut that gives year after year. The overspender's backdoor tax on those who can least afford it. Anyone who advocates inflation, advocates for regressive taxes on the poor.

    Krugman regularly lies in his liberal economic statements. He recently revived the old chestnut about the 1950 tax rates for the rich and growth--tax them out their noses and we'll grow GDP-- when he knows darn well it isn't the legal rate, but the effective rate that matters. And that rate hasn't changed for years on the rich despite all the ridiculous gyrations with the legal rate.

    Paul Krugman. Another example demonstrating the nobel about as worthwhile as a "fat free" label put on sugared soda pop.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 5:11 p.m.

    To red state pride: I agree with you 100% that we should pay our bills and that it is the responsibility of all of us to do so. The rich have gotten the biggest tax cuts and also the lions share of income gains for the last thirty years, so I think their taxes need to go up a little more than the rest of us. But, clearly everyone needs to pay some more.

    I also think that if people had to pay the full cost of their government, they would be happy with a little less.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 2:17 p.m.

    We're so fixated on the current debt "crisis" that we fail to see the deeper systemic illness that is causing this and other symptoms. The illness is that our system maximizes profit while minimizing wages, which creates unsustainable inequality. If we want to bring the system back into balance, we must encourage businesses to increase both employment and wages while still reaping enough profit to keep stay in business.

    Impossible? Look at Newman's Own, Paul Newman's company. He had three goals: fair labor practices, quality products, and giving all the profits away. At the time of Newman's death, the company had given $250 million to charity. A year and a half later, that number reached $300 million. This philosophy did not sink the company. It merely proved that greed is not necessary. Read Adam Smith's "Theory of Moral Sentiments." You'll find he promoted sympathy, not self-interest, as the driving motive of a healthy economy.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 11:28 a.m.

    We've got to knock some heads and get this fixed. And the word 'cliff' is now the most overused in the lexicon.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 11:13 a.m.

    Your comments on the differences between the US and Greece are excellent, spot on. I would add this: nobody in Greece pays taxes. I don't mean in the sense that their tax code is too lenient or something, I mean, nobody pays the taxes they owe. There's almost no tax enforcement, and penalties for non-payment are risible. An Athens newspaper looked at the tax liabilities of their Parliament, and found that every single legislator was in violation of the law. The only taxes that actually get collected is the VAT on tourist purchases.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    @truthseeker- you are correct that America cannot technically "default" on it's debt. However there are lots of ways we can and will default. If laws are changed so that we means test for social security or Medicare benefits then the US Government did in fact default on obligations it committed to. If you do the right thing and save money your whole life and when you retire your savings have one half the purchasing power of when you saved that money then the US Govt did in fact default on it's implied obligation to maintain a stable currency. Etc etc

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    But Republicans don't recognize math or science as valid.

    Even with his constant use of a teleprompter, Mitt wasn't able to provide any good ideas for covering the math gap in his supposed plans.

    Somehow, living in a GOP dream world is supposed to automatically solve every problem we face without adding to the "awful" burdens of the one percent and without diminishing the truly awful burdens of the 47%.

    Fantasy vs science and math.

    What a wonderful world they must live in! Dreamland has to beat reality by a long shot.

    There is a book that should be required reading for ALL Americans. It's "Who Stole the American Dream" by Hedrick Smith. Check it out and read it. You'll be sickened.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:16 a.m.

    Its what bureaucrats do.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:11 a.m.

    "We're not Greece..

    We have our own currency, and almost all of our debt, is in dollars. So our government, unlike the Greek government, literally can’t run out of money. After all, it can print the stuff. So there’s almost no risk that America will default on its debt, I’d say no risk at all if it weren’t for the possibility that Republicans would once again try to hold the nation hostage over the debt ceiling.

    But if the U.S. government prints money to pay its bills, won’t that lead to inflation? No, not if the economy is still depressed.

    Every example supposedly illustrating the dangers of debt involves either a country, like Greece today, lacked its own currency, or a country, like Asian economies in the 1990s, had large debts in foreign currencies. Countries with large debts in their own currency, (France after World War I),have sometimes experienced big loss-of-confidence drops in the value of their currency, but nothing like the debt-induced recession we’re being told to fear."
    (Paul Krugman)

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 8:49 a.m.

    How depressing that Americans reelected "Captain Teleprompter" and not an experienced executive and non- ideological leader like Mitt Romney. The President isn't even man enough to actually attend a negotiation. He's above it all don't ya know? Instead he sent little Timmy out to make his proposal which included a demand for an additional 50 billion dollar slush fund for the the President to dole out as he sees fit. Hello. This was supposed to be about reducing spending- not increasing spending.
    Unfortunately President Obama isn't the problem- he's just a symptom of the problem in America. The people voted for big government so let the people foot the bill. And that means everyone because as the editorial said- just raising taxes on the "rich" isn't going to cover the bill. Mia Love mentioned that she'd like to eliminate the federal Dept of Education and people started shaking in their boots. Oh dear - how could we ever survive without that Cabinet dept? If we can't cut spending then as a responsible citizenry we should feel obligated to pay the bills.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 1, 2012 8:43 a.m.

    Good opinion piece. We need all hands on deck and everything in the pot. Anyone who walks away deserves to be toss out of office.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 1, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    "President Obama's latest proposal is heavy on new taxes and depressingly light and empty with regard to spending cuts. The tax increases would take effect immediately, but all entitlement reforms are postponed for a decade or more,"

    The claim that the Presidents proposal is light on spending cuts is patently false. Go to his 2013 budget and there hundreds of proposals for spending cuts. What is true is that the President refuses to fundementally change the role of medicare. The ACA all ready contains medicare savings..remember the 700 billion. During an election he was going to take away your well it's nothing..we're not going to talk about it.

    Fact is Republicans are conflating spending cuts with medicare and trying to play the same old hand of destroying the program.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 1, 2012 7:03 a.m.

    Obama and the Democrats have never answered the very critical question of who is going to pay for their entitlements. Obama's plan: tax the "rich", but that will only increase revenue enough to fund the government for less than 10 days. Please Democrats, tell us who will fund the other 355 days?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 6:47 a.m.

    "There is no tax rate high enough, no discretionary spending cut deep enough, and no accounting gimmick potent enough to provide sufficient revenue to compensate for the exponential growth of the federal government's projected mandatory spending."

    If we adopted Canada's tax rates, it would pay for all of our government without any cuts. Before anyone brings up "job killing tax increases", remember that Canada's unemployment rate is lower than ours. Their overall fiscal situation is better than ours, even though they provide more social benefits, including healthcare for all. Also, their taxes are still at the low end for developed countries.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 5:47 a.m.

    Re: ". . . politics of the situation demand compromise."

    No, they don't.

    Real Americans actually embrace "the cliff."

    It was invented by liberals to hold America hostage, and its effects may be severe, but not disabling. In the long run, its cuts will produce economic benefit.

    Conservatives in the House must develop the backbone that the Americans who re-elected them expect of our leaders.

    The House of Representatives has the power of the purse. Every nickel spent must be agreed to there. They should pass and send a series of honest, reasonable tax reforms and spending cuts to the Senate. Force its cynical, politically-manacled liberals to demagogue them to defeat. That'll make abundantly clear that America's problems are all attributable to deranged, vote-buying liberals. And, in the meantime, we'll have a small down payment on the spending cuts our economy needs.

    We'll just have to grin and bear the deranged increase in taxes until the rubes wake up and demand that liberals begin to act in the interest of the Nation.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 1:27 a.m.

    "President Obama's latest proposal is heavy on new taxes and depressingly light and empty with regard to spending cuts."

    And the Deseret News expected what? That the President would start negotiations somewhere below the threshold he ran and won on? He's learned his lesson. When the other side starts from a position of "no new taxes," I'm surprised he didn't start from a position of no cuts at all. At least he's demonstrated he knows there will be cuts. The ball is in the other court now to detail the "depressingly light" increases they'll accept.