Simpson-Bowles is the best option currently available

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  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 10, 2012 2:37 p.m.

    Drundle..... what part of Europe should be looking at? Just like us, they have states that are struggling, and they have others that are doing very well. Spain and Greece do not represent all of europe, no more than California and Utah represent all of America. Each state in Europe is ever so more autonomous then are our states.... so "looking at Europe" means very little.

    Diligent Dave... I agree with you. It is like my youngest, he always wants something new.... but I constantly tell him that he needs to show me he can take care of what he has before he can have more. I am actually a relatively strong fiscal conservative..... I don't spend more than I have, and don't think the government should either.

    But I do disagree with the comments that come from the far right saying Obama wants to be a dictator, and the like. There is absolutely nothing a sane person could interpret as that. Yes, he wants his way, but so does everyone, both parties. Simpson-Bowles provides a footing to start from, far better than the endless name calling and characterizations that are going on.

    Lets do something.

  • Grundle West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 8:46 a.m.

    I agree with Eric Samuelsen on one thing...Look at Europe!

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 11:34 p.m.


    "...Reagan had final say on all budgets. Sign them, or veto them. Pure and simple."

    No US President is a dictator (not quite yet, anyway). Congress can and does override presidents. Reagan was dealing with both a House and a Senate that were overwhelmingly filled with Democrats. He dealt with Air Traffic Controllers, but that doesn't mean he could force his way in every battle. One has to pick their battles. Having raised and yet still raising 9 children, I have found that to be oh so true.

    The facts bear witness to this truth. Everytime (with NO exceptions) that taxes in the United States has been raised, spending has more than proportionately increased. On paper, Simpson/Bowles would work. But life is not lived "on paper". And in real life, raising taxes will put Federal government income and expenditures further out of kelter with each other.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:53 p.m.

    "As Ronald Reagan found, though promised spending cuts by Dems, he found they didn't keep their promise. "

    Give me a break. Reagan had final say on all budgets. Sign them, or veto them. Pure and simple. He showed he was willing to pursue his convections in his dealing with the air traffic controllers. He showed he would do extreme things to support what he thought was right. So lets not pretend poor Mr. Reagan was tricked by anyone to do anything.

    He new the game, he played the game (very week), and won the game very often. He knew what was in those budgets. You may not like it, but it was what it was. Reagan simply spent more than he took in... its really simple.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 12:04 a.m.

    The DesNews is dead wrong on this one.

    If simple math could cure problems, Simpson Bowles' solution might have a chance. But the dynamics of raising taxes, as they propose, is this. As Ronald Reagan found, though promised spending cuts by Dems, he found they didn't keep their promise. And the experience of all those who have kept track of raising taxes have found in the US, withOUT exception, that SPENDING ALWAYS RISES WHEN TAXES ARE RAISED, no matter what anyone promises.

    Bean counters, or accountants, often make this mistake. But they don't take into account human dynamics. When people think they have more money, whether they do not, they spend more, and then even some more yet! This is true in a household, and it is just as true in government.

    This time would not be any different.

    Editorial Boards often are people who have little real world experience themselves. That is why, IMO, they make what seem like intellectually smart, but in truth, foolish suggestions.

    Though Simpson is/was a Republican, he almost makes Jon Huntsman look conservative by comparison. And Bowles is/was a Democrat. Both are more liberal than conservative.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 8, 2012 6:09 p.m.

    @Red State - "The point is that Abe Lincoln presided over the Civil War with a staff of barely a dozen but now it takes close to 500 people to preside over a stagnant economy going nowhere? "

    You are absolutely correct. There was no CIA back then, no FBI, No Air Force, No Home Land Security, No TSA in response to terrorist acts, No NASA that had visited the moon and invented most electronics we now enjoy, No FDA, No EPA (love canal hadn't happened yet), No Federal Railroad Administration, No SEC, and the list goes on and on and on.... because we didn't need those things yet. We hadn't had a cold war, we didn't a DoE that to regulate and managed nuclear capabilities because we didn't invent that stuff yet. In fact we didn't even have an FAA yet, because aviation didn't exist.

    So what are you proposing? The the current government crawl back into a time be before aviation, global terrorism, and nuclear weapons. Sounds nice, not very realistic.

    'But the President can't go out amongst the people without a forty car motorcade? ' Please revisit your Lincoln comments, theres your answer.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 4:55 p.m.

    Oh, if it were only true that President Obama was a Keynesian. We'd be out of this mess by now. Alas, he seems to be buying at least some of the austerity argument. And we know that won't work; look at Europe.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 4:47 p.m.

    @Truthseeker and Joe Blow- obviously you missed the point of my post which was that if we're going to have a "money no object!" approach to Government then let the citizenry pay the commensurate cost. And Truthseeker- I stick by my facts and I never said Executive branch largesse started with the current administration. The point is that Abe Lincoln presided over the Civil War with a staff of barely a dozen but now it takes close to 500 people to preside over a stagnant economy going nowhere? Aren't we allegedly living in a Republic with allegedly limited government? But the President can't go out amongst the people without a forty car motorcade? That doesn't strike either of you as odd? I know it's 2012 and the world has changed.
    Let's all pay the bills for this largesse. Tax productivity, savings and investment more- that's a path to prosperity. Reward inactivity. Pay retired public sector employees full salary for 30 years in retirement. Food for thought: the Federal Reserve currently buys 70% of all debt issued by the Treasury. How does that end well?

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Dec. 8, 2012 3:27 p.m.

    Other countries have coalition governments where a minority can pull out causing a collapse. We don't have that type of system but we act like do. Its time we stopped trying to placate the fringe elements in both parties. We're sorry you're not happy about cuts in entitlements or higher tax rates but both are going happen one way or another by New Years.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 2:12 p.m.

    4601:"Paul Krugman and others believe that additional borrowing and spend is the solution."

    Not true.

    Krugman believes austerity measures implemented now before the economy and employment fully recovers (as Europe is doing) will only harm the economic recovery. Once the economy and employment recovers, Krugman believes spending and deficit problems should be addressed.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 8, 2012 2:06 p.m.


    Just because you can find it on the internet does not make it true.

    Oh, and you forgot about Bo's private plane.

    I have little doubt that Obamas vacations cost taxpayers money.
    But, without doing research, I would be willing to bet that the costs are for secret service time, meals and lodging.

    As they would be with any vacation, even Crawford Texas.

    Let me ask you. Do you have any figures about Bush's vacation costs to compare? If not, why not. It is obviously important to you.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 11:50 a.m.

    Bowles-Simpson is a start. Taxing the rich is eye wash and is a bone thrown to the far left. "What is my income doing in your pocket?" The president must present something and stop hiding in the grass only to criticize Ryan or the commission. The real issue is that the president does not believe the deficit is a problem. Paul Krugman and others believe that additional borrowing and spend is the solution. Keyensian economists and Fabian socialists, of which the president has all the earmarkings, are their guiding light.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 11:41 a.m.

    @Joe Blow- the Obama's upcoming vacation to Hawaii is expected to cost taxpayers 3,639,622.00. There are 226 White House staffers making over 100 grand per year including the President's dog Bo's dedicated and personal handler. Where's the outrage from the left? This is the alleged party of the common man?They're not exactly showing solidarity with the middle class and the needy. I wish I could afford to take my family to HI for Christmas but I can't.
    If we can't trim one thin dime from this bloated Federal bureaucracy then everyone needs to start paying a lot more in taxes. We're getting a lot more Government than we're paying for and the "rich" aren't going to make up the difference. The President has made it pretty clear that the "balanced approach" he campaigned on doesn't include spending cuts now that he's been reelected. So let these so-called Americans who re-elected him start paying for the big government they voted for.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 8, 2012 11:11 a.m.


    Well, clearly Obama either didn't feel he could bring the Democrats along, and/or he himself had problems with it.

    Jared Bernstein, former Chief Economic Advisor to V.P. Joe Biden (now at the Center of Budget and Policy Priorites) stated:

    “I mean, as much as we all love Bowles-Simpson, there were and are some big problems with it. They capped spending at 21 percent of GDP. I think that’s unnecessarily restrictive. And they cut much more deeply into Social Security than I think the president was comfortable with.”
    (The Fiscal Times Nov 2011)

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 8, 2012 10:38 a.m.

    "rate hikes on "the rich" he's asking for- it won't help the economy"

    Well, Red, if we discount anything that "only" nets $80 Billion per year,
    nothing will get done.

    I agree though, that we need more spending cuts than revenue increases.

    I am hoping for about a 3 to 1 deal.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 8, 2012 10:03 a.m.


    Agree, that the president could not implement the plan.

    But, he could have, and in my opinion, should have, been forceful in garnering support from both the democrats (had all committee dems voted for it, it would have moved forward) and from the American public.

    Obama could have done much more than he did.

    I am confident that it would have died in the house, as most things do.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 9:58 a.m.

    I disagree with the editorial in that I don't believe both sides are equally to blame. Everyone should agree that the Federal Government needs more revenue and John Boehner has offered the President more revenue but that's not all he wants. Obama also wants 50 billion in additional "stimulus spending" (which would of course be added to budget baseline) and for Congress to relinquish it's authority to increase the debt limit. That hardly seems reasonable to me and yet the Obama water carriers in the MSM won't point out the audacity of asking for more spending when we are in the midst of a debt crisis. They can only demonize Grover Norquist.
    Eight of the ten wealthiest counties in America voted for Obama so I don't understand why Republicans are called "the party of the rich". We're not. So I say give Obama the meaningless rate hikes on "the rich" he's asking for- it won't help the economy and it probably won't generate any more revenue but have at it if it makes unhappy people happy because someone else is punished.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 8, 2012 9:52 a.m.

    Alan Simpson has always been one of my favorites. Don't always agree with him, usually do, but I love his style and condor.

    If we would simply start with a simple balanced budget legislation that required in 5 years the government run a balanced budget, without raiding things like social security funds.... we would be a long way toward reaching our debt targets. It just isn't that hard.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 8, 2012 9:18 a.m.

    The president, who created the commission, saluted the commissioners' hard work but did nothing to implement their plan"


    Uhh, the president can't implement a plan shelved by both parties in Congress. Interestingly, the Senate Republicans on the Committee at the time unanimously supported it, while the House Republican Committe members unaimously rejected it. The Democratic Committee members rejected it as well in a more mixed fashion. The Simpson-Bowles Commission assumed, as their baseline, tax cuts expiring for those making more than $250,000.

    Simson-Bowles would:
    Increase out-of-pocket Medicare payments. For older Americans eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare, require drug companies to provide the discounts they would for people under Medicaid. Limit supplemental payments to teaching hospitals.

    Retirement age rises to 69 from 67 by 2075, higher incomes are subject to payroll taxes, cost-of-living increases are smaller and benefits for higher-income people shrink.

    Lower marginal tax rates. Eliminate most tax expenditures, replacing mortgage interest and charitable giving deductions with a 12 percent tax credit. Tax capital gains as ordinary income. Add an additional 15-cents-a-gallon federal gasoline tax by 2015.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    The plan that President Obama proposed called for 1.6 trillion in new tax revenues. When he did this the Republican leadership said he was in "la la land". Simpson-Bowles calls for 2.8 trillion in new revenues. The Republicans will never, ever go along with this plan.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Dec. 8, 2012 8:21 a.m.

    It would have been helpful if this article spelled out in detail the main provisions of the Simpson Bowles plan. Everyone seems to want to hide the bad news. We need to get pass that and the press should be helping us to do that.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 8, 2012 7:54 a.m.

    Stop the posturing...ah yea, a good idea DN.."It would also stabilize out-of-control growth in federal entitlement spending". No one is saying entitlements don't need adjustments, but "out of control" is hysterical right wing posturing. None of it's out of control The growth is simply benefits responding to changing economic and demographic conditions. The hysteria is fed when you arbitrarily take some of the solutions off the table.

    The country is getting older, the work force is being given less and less of the wealth and "them are the facts" so you decide with that reality what kind of a country you want.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 8, 2012 5:11 a.m.


    Simpson Bowles is far better then anything that our congress will manage to eek out themselves.

    Bottom line - it was derailed by Republicans and Democrats who are more interested in party ideology than solving Americas problems.

    And I blame Obama for not making a media tour, touting the plan.

    Is it perfect? Nothing ever is. Perfect is subjective anyway.

    But, it is the closest thing we have seen in years to a bi-partisan solution to our debt problem.

    Call/write/beg your congressmen to adopt it.