Jay Evensen: Will next Congress compromise or draw swords?

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  • DVD Taylorsville, 00
    Dec. 15, 2012 3:31 p.m.

    Were the members of Congress elected to promote and defend an ideology of one side or the other to the point of a dictatorship-like "my way or the highway" stance? Or were they elected to represent us in a democratically themed republic?

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 8:48 a.m.

    Compromise is when Conservatives roll over on their principals but the reverse is never true.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Dec. 14, 2012 8:27 a.m.

    I think the compromise is going to come in the form of letting tax cuts expire for the top 2% and do little if anything else.

    I'm a Democrat and yes we need more than increased taxes for wealthy Americans. We need real entitlement reform.

    So why is that some of us here, who come from very different political persuasions, can say that but Congress can't?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 14, 2012 5:48 a.m.

    The problem is that we have differing party ideology.

    One may think. "lets deficit spend now and pay back when times are good"
    But then the next party comes in power and would rather lower taxes than pay back the debt.

    Perfect example - Great economy under Clinton. Surpluses could have been used to pay back the debt but instead were returned to taxpayers.

    Can you imagine if a corporation changed CEO's every few years and each CEO had a very different long term strategy?

    The company would flounder.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 10:07 p.m.

    @Eric Samuelsen

    I agree completely with you. Government should do deficit spending when times are bad, and pay down the debt when times are good. If we go into austerity mode right now, we'll have a double-dip recession for sure. And it is bad enough as it is.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 13, 2012 8:47 p.m.

    "If you want to see what's wrong with Congress "

    Let me finish that for you.

    If you want to see what's wrong with Congress look no further than the Senate Minority leader who filibusters legislation that he himself introduced.

    How can you get any "wronger" than that?

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 8:34 p.m.

    @JoeBlow- for goodness sakes...Romney and Ryan campaigned on saving Medicare as we know it for those 55 and older and yet they were portrayed as "pushing Granny off the cliff". Meanwhile Obamacare took half a trillion out of Medicare and did the Democrats get criticized for that?
    Democrats passed Obamacare with zero Republican support and now (as Mr Evensen pointed out) 16 Democrat Senators want to delay or end the tax on Medical devices that was intended to help fund Obamacare. Can one person on the left point out the hypocrisy? Just one?
    My biggest problem with Romney and many other Republicans is that they will noy admit that the DOD can get by with less money. I served in the Army and as far as I can tell the US military is basically a giant diversity training seminar (other than Special Ops God bless 'em)
    If you want to see what's wrong with Congress then look at the bill that would help victims of Hurricane Sandy. Pork for days. They cannot help themselves. The Country is flat out broke, broker than broke and they still insert pork barrel projects into any legislation

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 4:08 p.m.


    "And, I would dare to say that most of those on these boards that are painted as "liberal" are also wanting to see significant cuts in entitlements. (you "liberals" please chime in)"

    Define significant. I'm probably pretty rare in wanting changes in the COLA increases for social security. As for Medicare/Medicaid/Obamacare I want single payer universal healthcare which increases spending (but of course is a more efficient not-for-profit insurance system so the cost savings to people/employers in the form of not buying their own private market insurance would more than offset the gov't spending increase).

    As for tax increases:spending cuts, a return to clinton era tax rates is about 450 billion a year I think in revenue and since I think the fairest way to get to a balanced budget is through taxation levels similar to that of our last balanced budget and then cutting spending to make up the rest that leaves about 700 billion for spending cuts so that would leave me at wanting a 3:2 spending cut:tax increase ratio.

    I don't think we need a balanced budget. Just cut it in half. Still use the 3:2 ratio.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 3:46 p.m.

    If we get rid of the tea party obstructionists? Yes, then we'll have a Congress that actually works.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 2:41 p.m.

    Swords, of course. They're drawing swords, and everyone knows it.
    As for Joe Blow's challenge, my own view is hardly idiosyncratic--it's the mainstream view of most macro-economists--but it's not mainstream among politicians. The truth is, the deficit is not that big a deal, and is not the crisis that needs to be solved. We're in a liquidity trap, and more government spending is needed.
    The time for austerity is when unemployment is low and the economy is booming. At that point, I'd be all for spending cuts. Not now.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 13, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    Mr. Evensen's closing line is indisputable. "As the recent past has shown, politicians can solve problems or draw ideological swords and engage in endless battle. They cannot do both."

    We have to send the message loudly and clearly to all of our representatives that we want work and solutions not political point scoring.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 13, 2012 5:54 a.m.

    Many on these boards seem to think that everyone that voted for Obama (or is a Democrat) wants massive tax increases and no spending cuts.

    Many of you would probably label me as a liberal, however I consider myself an independent. (fiscal conservative and socially moderate)

    I hope to see 3 to 1 (spending cuts to revenue increases). Hardly the "no entitlement cuts" view that many have of those not GOP.

    If there are not reasonable entitlement cuts, I will call out the Democrats and voice my concerns.

    And, I would dare to say that most of those on these boards that are painted as "liberal" are also wanting to see significant cuts in entitlements. (you "liberals" please chime in)

    Personally, I see the GOP base as much more rigid in their adherence to party ideology than those on the left (and of course this is a generalization, and exceptions can be found on both.)

    You may be surprised at how "reasonable" some of those "liberals" are when you actually get to know their positions.

    Oh My Heck, you may even find that you share many of those positions.