Senate Dems' sequestration replacement plan raises deficit by billions, then lowers it

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  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 11:30 p.m.

    @FT "Congress spends and appropriates funding."

    Right. The budget surpluses you list were achieved in years that the Republicans controlled Congress. Was this the point you were trying to make?

    "Last time I checked the House was controlled by the GOP."

    Right again. And the Senate is controlled by the Democrats. The Senate has not produced a budget in years, in spite of their legal obligation to do so.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 5:57 p.m.

    A little civics lesson. Congress spends and appropriates funding. Last time I checked the House was controlled by the GOP. Also, when you're checking your facts on deficit spending you can easily see the Federal surplus's from 1998 to 2001. We're all fortunate Americans weren't buying the snake oil that Mitt and the GOP was selling last Fall. Here are the surplus's as reported by the GAO.
    1998 $69.2 Billion Surplus $97.33 Billion Surplus
    1999 $125.6 Billion Surplus $172.76 Billion Surplus
    2000 $236.4 Billion Surplus $314.78 Billion Surplus
    2001 $127.3 Billion Surplus $164.9 Billion Surplus

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    Truthseeker, FT,

    I posted numbers from the treasury department, obtained from a US government webpage.

    Where do your numbers come from?

    There can be no surplus when gross federal debt increases.

    We did NOT take in more than we spent. YOU CANNOT DO THAT WHEN DEBT INCREASES!!!!

    And FT, dems have a better track record? REALLY?? NO ONE has EVER run the kinds of deficits BO has run, and they are LOWER under a repub congress than when he had a dem congress. Bush ran lower deficits with a repub congress than with a dem congress

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 4:13 p.m.

    @Tolstoy "how did it become Obama's fault that congress could not do its most primary job responsibility of passing a budget?"

    I didn't see where anyone was blaming Obama for that. We're blaming him for originating the current sequester plan. He's blaming everyone else, because that's who he is and what he does.

    Responsibility for the no-show budget goes to Harry Reid and the Senate.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Feb. 28, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    @Something to think about--our big mistake of today effects a much larger number people:

    * large percentage of people dependent on government
    * a debt exceeding the total value of our combined possessions.
    * our children to start school at four years old?
    * a tax increase followed by another in just a few weeks.
    * arming other countries with WMDs
    * releasing thousands of convicted criminals

    It is something to think about.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 3:00 p.m.

    Re: FT

    Let's for the sake of argument assume your comment that the "Democrats have a far better track record than the GOP when it comes to mamaging the counrty's fiscal check book."

    Well, with Obama and an added 4 + trillion and growing debt increase, he has trumped all bad Republican management by a long shot. Remember when (if you are old enough) Senator LLoyd Benson of Texas was debating Dan Quale? Famous quote from him. "I could create the illusion of a good economy too if I could write 200 billion dollars in hot checks." 200 billion back then was the budget deficit. Question, why hasn't Obama been able to create even the illusion of a good economy with 4 trillion in hot checks? Something is terribly wrong with what is going on today, and sooner or later this ponzi scheme spending will collapse. And fingers will be pointing in all directions.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 2:43 p.m.

    To "Truthseeker" you are wrong. According to the US Historical Tables, we never ran a surplus. A surplus would show up as a decrease in the Gross Debt. The following is taken from the Historical Tables for the Gross Federal Debt:

    Year Gross Debt (millions)
    1991 $3,598,178
    1992 $4,001,787
    1993 $4,351,044
    1994 $4,643,307
    1995 $4,920,586
    1996 $5,181,465
    1997 $5,369,206
    1998 $5,478,189
    1999 $5,605,523
    2000 $5,628,700
    2001 $5,769,881

    The closest was the 1999-2000 budget that resulted in a $23 billion deficit. Nice try, but we have not had a surplus in nearly 60 years.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 2:43 p.m.

    Re: Truthseeker

    No silly me. I didn't realize that wealth earned overseas or in a particular state was not subject to federal taxes.

    By the way, just what jobs ARE permanent? And I'd be happy to be an actor getting millions for "part time" work than working in a permanent job. Who wouldn't?

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    Lost in DC-
    For the sake of arguing it's true the debt slightly increased during the Clinton years but that was because of the interest accruing. We actually ran a surplus (taking in more revenue, than what we spent) because the amount of revenue or taxes we collected was greater than our spending. Since Nixon, no GOP President has done that and recently Democrats have a far better track record than the GOP when it comes to managing the country's fiscal check book. Outside of a few red states, the GOP continues to loose national appeal because of their hypocritical leadership and lack of results when they have had power. The latest self created sequestor is just another example of their poor leadership. If the national debt was truly the issue they would try to do something similar to what Clinton accomplished, which is raise revenue and cut spending. Currently, their doing all they can to reattain power, nothing more.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    how did it become Obama's fault that congress could not do its most primary job responsibility of passing a budget?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 28, 2013 2:00 p.m.


    Silly me. I thought the topic was the federal tax code. States can create loopholes for paying state taxes, but they can't create ways for companies to avoid federal taxes can they?
    Of course some entertainment dollars are used abroad-- shooting in foreign locations. But these aren't permanent jobs.

    Re:Lost in DC
    Budget deficit numbers do not include Social Security

    Near the end of Clinton's term in office, the govt was running a budget surplus.
    Debt held by the public reached 49.5% of GDP at the beginning of President Clinton's first term. It fell to 34.5% of GDP by the end of Clinton's presidency due in part to decreased military spending, increased taxes (in 1990, 1993 and 1997), and increased tax revenue resulting from the Dot-com bubble. The budget controls instituted in the 1990s successfully restrained fiscal action by the Congress and the President and together with economic growth contributed to the budget surpluses at the end of the decade.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 12:44 p.m.

    Re: Truthseeker

    You kind of walked right into that one. Yes there is a loophole for a lot of Hollywood, and it comes from over a billion dollars of tax benefits given by various states in our country for movie production. I don't mind, because it does in the long run bring revenue to various states, and better them than some foriegn country. And speaking of outsourcing, you bet, Hollywood does film a lot out of the country. Didn't you know that?
    Titanic for one, out of hundreds, was made entirely in Mexico. Only one or two of the James Bond films has been done in the U.S. I could go on, but it's not necessary.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    The news coverage of sequester cuts is embarrassing. In Chicago the clerk of the federal court told reporters he would have to close down ONE DAY A WEEK because of the cuts. Really?
    As we discovered from the ICE detention releases, the White House has deniability. They just blame the cuts on career bureaucrats.
    So, reporters are reporting knee-jerk rumors of the worst cuts made by bureaucrats looking for job security.
    The 2% cuts in growth are actually insignificant, unless you want to cut where it has maximum hurt. People who do that ought to be fired from their jobs.
    Let the sequester begin. Those of us in the real world have already seen layoffs and pay cuts. It's time federal workers had some skin in the game.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    we never ran a surplus.

    according to the US treasury gross federal debt at the end of FY:

    1997: 5,369,206
    1998: 5,478,189

    INCREASE of 108,983

    1999: 5,605,523

    INCREASE of 127,334

    2000: 5,628,700

    INCREASE of 23,177

    Gross federal debt INCREASED every year under slick. Where is the surplus? it does not exist when gross debt increases.

    if the wealthy libs support those policies, why do they take very last tax deduction to which the current law entitles them? If they support the policies, why do they not show that support by voluntarily paying more than they owe? They can lead by paying higher taxes.

    If Buffet was really concerned about "paying a higher rate" than his secretary, he'd restructure his compensation package so less of his income came from sources taxed at a lower rate. "Do as I say and not as I do" by wealthy libs is really getting old.

  • Something to think about Ogden, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 11:57 a.m.

    re: worf

    Bigger than slavery?

    Bigger than the mistreatment of the native American peoples?

    I thought Obama's first election was the biggest, no wait, it was Clinton's election, No it was that Catholic guy Kennedy, no, etc....

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Feb. 28, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    Of course they did --- that way they can spin it to "look how big a spending cut we did". The sad thing is that a large number of people will believe it.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    Lest all you neo cons forget not one Republican voted for Clinton's deficit reduction bill in 1992 because it raised taxes. History proved this to be one of the best economic bills passed in our time that helped us run a surplus a few years later. That was until the GOP took control and set us on this current path. Thank God, Americans were smart enough not to vote Romney into office as he would have accelerated our deficits through unfunded tax cuts.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 28, 2013 10:19 a.m.


    Is there some special "carve out" in the tax code for people in the entertainment industry?
    How many jobs does the entertainment industry outsource to India or China?

    Wealthy Democrats support policies which go against their best interest. On the other hand I personally know wealthy people who support Republicans solely for the low taxes and loopholes they've lobbied for.

    Economic growth--GDP--is already weaker than it has been. Discretionary spending is already being reduced. It is crazy to adopt austerity measures before employment recovers. We can see how that is working in the EU where unemployment is above 10% in many countries. Spain had a BUDGET SURPLUS before the economic crisis and now has an unemployment rate of 26.6%!

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    More tax increases "mostly on millionaires". I'll support that one when I see on TV the tax collector walk up to the doors of such millionaire Obama supporters as Harvey Weinstein, Warren Buffett, Matt Damon, George Clooney, (well almost any Hollywood millionaire) and take a huge chunk of their millions FIRST. People like that talk the tax, so let's see them write the check. They put themselves out there as people we should listen to, so set the example. Otherwise shut up and act.

  • Badger55 Nibley, Ut
    Feb. 28, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    In two years when it is time for the deficit to turn down, they will replace that with a couple more years of increased deficit, and on, and on... Hopefully this doesn't pass. If they can't stick to a budget now, who actually thinks they can in a couple years.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    What a lie, dems NEVER propose cuts.

    if they can lead and get things done, why has the senate under dem leadership failed to pass a budget in years?

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    America voted to continue down this same lame path we had been on. We deserve everything we get.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Feb. 28, 2013 8:23 a.m.

    We'll reap the effects of Obama voters. Fiscal cliff (new tax hikes), and now sequester.

    Not voting in Romney will be the biggest American mistake in history.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 28, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    Another idea:

    Tax expenditures are how we spend through the tax code. So when you repeal or reduce them, you do two things at once: you raise revenues and you cut spending.

    Child care provides an example of why tax expenditures generally are the equivalent of spending programs... Many low- or moderate-income people receive a subsidy, provided through a spending program, to help cover their child care costs. Many people with higher incomes similarly receive a subsidy that reduces their child care costs, but they receive it in the form of a tax credit. The child-care spending programs that serve lower-income families are not open-ended entitlement programs; they serve only as many people as their capped funding allows, and only about one in six eligible low-income working families receives this assistance. By contrast, the child care subsidies for higher-income families operate as an open-ended entitlement provided through the tax code, and all families eligible for the tax credit can get it. The current structure, in which child care subsidies are constrained for lower-income families but unlimited for higher-income families, makes little sense.
    (Jared Bernstein)

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    The GOP has yet to pass a sequestration bill in the new Congress. While we may not agree with the Democrats at least they can lead and get things done. Voters remember Bush/Chenny telling us deficits don't matter and based upon the GOP not passing any legislation in the 2 months they've been in Washington the voters have no trust in them.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 6:59 a.m.

    Intelligent spending cuts now will do more good than spending cuts that are promised in the future, but never actually happen.

    We need to change our erroneous thinking that prosperity comes from government spending. Every dollar that the government spends must ultimately be taken from the pocket of a taxpayer, either before or after it is spent. If that money is borrowed, the taxpayer must also pay the interest on it.

  • Just Wondering... Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 28, 2013 6:48 a.m.

    Just another example of kicking the can down the road...The President demanded a balanced approach on the path to getting a tax rate increase (for almost every single American...), but has yet to offer up any significant or realistic changes to the government's spending appetite, yet will again ask for more tax revenue before offering up any spending changes. Just Wondering...don't you wish you could run your household this way?

  • SME Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 28, 2013 6:03 a.m.

    Future cuts will NEVER happen. As they approach screams of draconian results will occur and they will be delayed, again and again. Unless the cuts happen right away they won't happen.