What the economy needs is even more deficit spending

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  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    April 13, 2013 5:07 p.m.

    re: L White 4:43 p.m. April 9

    "If Mr. Richards did as you suggested, Canada would be infinitely better off and America would loose one of its true patriots,"

    That is a chance I'm willing to take. Just think, MR could call his dystopia Pleasantville. Oh, wait...

    "Mr. Richards and others like him know more about what this country is about and what makes it great than you will ever know..."

    Are you indirectly including yourself?

    "America is in a mess because people put themselves above the Constitution."

    How exactly does the COTUS start?

    The COTUS is a fluid document which is great IMO as conditions and mindsets have changed in the last 226 yrs.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 10, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    To "Kent C. DeForrest" you are wrong. Our debt is increasing because we are spending more money than ever before. Since Obama took office we have been spending nearly $1 Trillion more each year than under Bush. In more simple terms, spending under Bush was 19.9% GDP. Under Obama that has grown to 24.17% GPD. It isn't the mythical unfunded items, it is simple and straight up spending.

    The numbers point to spending.

    If you want to discuss unfunded spending, you should actually look at Obama and his spending. He has kept us at war, he cut Medicare, and has added the ACA wich will cost the US $2.7 Trillion (3 times the original estimate).

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2013 10:22 p.m.

    Dimitri B. Papdimitriou seems to be well versed in the Greek economic paradigm, but not their results. If more money is needed to create jobs, cut federal taxes so we will have more consumer spending. States can raise taxes to create jobs where they are needed. The perverse notion that sending money to our congress to spend is the most reliable and efficient way to stimulate the economy is indeed Macro economics 101. Translating that Keynesian religion from the classroom and textbook into practice has been less than reliable. Just as war is too important to be left to the generals, maybe our economy is too important to be left to the economists.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 9, 2013 10:03 p.m.

    I also caution that austerity isn't the answer either. Most of the job losses have been actually in the public sector as we "cut" and what not, more so happening at the state and local level--this is a given. But all this cutting and such leads to unemployment because when we are talking about cutting we are talking about laying off people. This has ripple effects through the economy.

    At the same time the debt must be addressed. I am with Eric Samuelson. Let's work on getting the economy humming which might require some government spending, I look at it as an investment. The private sector, for whatever reason. has not stepped up. But I think there are plenty of good ideas to invest in like infrastructure (roads, bridges, electronic grid, sewage systems, schools and more teachers) that have been ignored or even cut that are in dire need of attention. I actually think some of the FDR's programs worked like the TVA for instance, again the private sector worked well with the government there and these partnerships need to be developed.

    Once people are employed, increased tax revenue reduces the debt.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 9, 2013 7:34 p.m.

    I have a number of problems with this column. First of all I disagree with the notion that deficits in and of themselves increase employment. What's the rationale behind that? I can understand if you're running deficits because you're giving tax breaks to natural gas producers and employment goes up in that industry- that would make sense.
    Look at the first stimulus of this recession - the Bush Pelosi tax rebate- how much did that help? If you're spending money but not increasing productivity then you may as well burn the money (which is essentially what we've done).
    I also don't like the way the writer clowned Americans for not knowing deficits have been decreasing. What difference does it make if they are decreasing if they are decreasing off an astronomical number that he never mentions? We had a deficit of over a trillion and now it's 980 billion. Who cares?
    Lastly- I have a model too- it says that because of Obamacare taxes many capital gains were realized and dividends paid out in 2012 to avoid Obamacare taxes- hence the increased tax revenue. It's actually not a "model" - it's common sense.

  • L White Springville, UT
    April 9, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    Mr. DeForest,

    What I would like to say would never be printed in a family newspaper. If Mr. Richards did as you suggested, Canada would be infinitely better off and America would loose one of its true patriots, while you would remain here to hurl your insults and pretend that anyone cares. Mr. Richards and others like him know more about what this country is about and what makes it great than you will ever know simply because you seem to believe your own posts instead of reading our founding documents. There are so many like you who hang on to every word that slips out of the lips of those who bash the Constitution and then you and they sling insults at anyone who reminds us that there are limits on government.

    America is in a mess because people put themselves above the Constitution. Some of you seem to see nothing wrong with a lawless society where shouting mobs rule as they ignore our laws and limits.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    April 9, 2013 4:17 p.m.

    Counter Intelligence:

    See my comment above. Our debt is increasing only because we decrease taxes during economic booms instead of increasing them. Oh, and because we start unfunded wars and refuse to pay for big Medicare drug programs. But that's another topic.


    Really, what you need to do is go off to some corner of Canada where no one will find you and start a country based on your interpretation of the Constitution. Then you can live happily in your little 1787 utopia. Everyone can have all the guns they want, there will be no government involvement in health care, and nobody will have to pay taxes. We wish you well.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 9, 2013 3:12 p.m.


    Read Article I, Section 8. How many times in that Section is Congress allowed to tax us to maintain the military?

    Do you have any idea of the purpose of DARPA? For that matter, do you have any idea why we have an Interstate Highway system? It was all military related. Just was we now have roads to drive on because we were willing to spend defense dollars developing a system that allowed the military to travel from coast to coast in the minimum time possible, we also have the Internet which is PRIVATELY funded having been built using transmission protocols developed by ARPANET which was part of DARPA.

    Citizens authorized the basic funding for those projects because of our need to defend ourselves and to move people and information quickly if attacked. Just as commercial aviation learned from military aviation, those of us who provide Internet connections to others understand that military funding can benefit us in non-military ways.

    The Internet was not developed by nor is it owned by the government. Government funded studies for packet switching which is part of the TCP/IP protocol used to transmit information.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    If this year I spend 120% more than I made
    But last year I spent 130% more than I made
    And two years ago I spent 140% more than what I made
    My deficits have decreased
    But it is still economic insanity because the debt is growing every year.
    And as the author admits – deficits do not work to stimulate job growth like they once did.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 9, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    Mike Richards:

    I hate to break it to you, but evidently everyone here agrees it's OK for the federal government to take money from some people and give it to others, as you put it.

    How's that? Well, we're using the Internet on this electronic web site, which began it's existence as a federal research project, money forcefully taken from the successful and given to universities to research - gasp! - how to make computers communicate with each other.

    So, you really should be writing your opinions on paper with pencil, and handing them out to people on the street, because this medium we participate in is ill-gotten, by definition. We're all complicit in this massive theft.

    Do you feel badly about that? Somehow, I don't. Actually, I think the Internet has been a tremendous economic spur, has helped increase access to wide amounts of information we wouldn't have been able to as easily access without it.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    April 9, 2013 1:32 p.m.

    People tend to confuse the "deficit" with the federal debt, and because of this confusion, respondents say it is getting bigger. My first take on this headline was that these experts are morons, but after some reflection I can see what bigger deficits could lead to a more speedy recovery, but only if the deficit increased because of leaving more resources in the hands of job creators (and I am not talking about the government, which should not be the employer of last resort). "Those who understand interest, collect it; those who don't, pay it." HJG From this we may learn that debt is not a positive unless you are the creditor; not the debtor.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    "How can the deficit be shrinking when the number keeps growing?"

    National debt is increasing. The deficit is the number just for the year. Since it went from around 1.4 trillion for 2009 to around 1.1 trillion for 2012 and projected to be 900 billion for 2013 yes the national debt is still rising, but the deficit is actually falling at the fastest rate in over half a century.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    April 9, 2013 12:15 p.m.


    Yes, this is what Obama did with the stimulus, and it worked. It just didn't work well enough, because the stimulus was too small for the size of the mess we were in.

    And 4word Thinker, there are several reasons why our recessions look different today than they did 30 years ago. One significant reason that is ignored by most economists and all politicians is that businesses, instead of hiring American workers when things start to improve, either pocket the profit that was created by forcing the rest of the work force to be more productive or hire Indonesians, Bangladeshis, and Vietnamese to do work Americans used to do. When corporations are hauling in record profits but are not hiring Americans, it is not because they cannot afford to.

    Productivity is seen by businesses as a panacea, but for the average worker, productivity improvement means one thing: less job security. When workers are more productive, businesses can get by with fewer of them, which is one reason why our economy is dominated now by services and financial shenanigans. A service-based economy simply cannot thrive in the long run.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    Economics should be prerequisite for commenting on money supply in context of international economy. Otherwise writers should preface comments with "lets go back to the twenties".

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 9, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    This letter is deeply troubling. The writer would have us look to government for solutions of government generated problems. Have we lost our mind? Does anyone who pays taxes trust Washington's use of their tax dollars? Does anyone who has read the Constitution agree that Washington has the right to redistribute wealth, to seize your assets simply because you worked harder and earned more than someone else? How does taking from the "rich guy" make him want to work harder and to employ more people?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 9, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    "How can the deficit be shrinking when the number keeps growing?"

    One more example of the ignorance from the right.

    There is a difference between deficit and debt.

    Use Google, it is a marvelous tool. Or take a basic civics class. It's pretty simple.

    And then these very same folks act as if they know what's best for the economy, guns, health care, and education??? They act like they're Constitutional scholars? No wonder our country is in the state that it's in!

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 9, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    Didn't Obama already attempt this and called it the "stimulus package"? The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing expecting different results.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 9, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    Re: "Just 6 percent (6!) of respondents in a recent poll correctly stated that [the deficit] had been shrinking . . . ."

    Yeah -- shrinking from 40+% all the way down to 36.8% of current expenditures.

    The public could well be forgiven for such an error. Point being, the deficit is still WAY too high. And the Obama regime is still making noises to the effect that being WAY too high is no big deal, with it's captive economists even suggesting that a 20% deficit is somehow sustainable in the long term.

    What the economy actually needs is LESS competition for capital between the private sector and sovereigns. That's the ONLY way to genuinely stimulate growth of the private sector. And yes, such private sector growth would come at the expense of the government's deranged and expolosive expansion, but real people can't be expected to genuinenly mourn such a development.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    April 9, 2013 9:14 a.m.


    You confuse deficit with debt. The deficit is indeed decreasing. Overall debt will increase as long as there is a deficit.

    But this editorial is correct. And the GOP economic mythology is as irrational as anything we've seen in decades. What we need to do, though, in addition to deficit spending during downturns is to increase tax revenue during economic booms. This is the other half of the equation that Republicans cannot understand, and it is the reason our debt is out of control.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 9, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    First of all, I'm going to faint (I can't believe the Dn even printed this)! This is not "eat, drink, and be merry", this is being flexible and smart which is good leadership whether in business or government.

  • 4word thinker Murray, UT
    April 9, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    Why do the recoveries of today look different than in years past? Could it be that we are already so saddled with debt that the those in the business world fear to expand their business into a failing situation? Perhaps the big difference is that the debt itself is so large it drags on the economy. Increasing that debt will slow things even more.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2013 8:19 a.m.

    The tea party island is shrinking fast. Will be easy to yell and throw tea when the water is knee high.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 9, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we will die(worry about the debt). The recipe for disaster! Sounds exactly like what Cyprus, Greece, Spain and other counties in Europe have done. Oh, but we are different, right?

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    April 9, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    Excellent editorial. Spot-on. This is macro-economics 101; spend to promote growth, then with the economy humming along, then worry about debt.

  • DeepintheHeart Lewisville, TX
    April 9, 2013 6:45 a.m.

    How can the deficit be shrinking when the number keeps growing? The notion is counter intuitive. To us non-economists, spending more than you take in on a long-term basis looks like a recipe for disaster.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 9, 2013 5:46 a.m.

    Let’s look at some of the fallacies this Greek gentleman has written, laying aside the fact the Greek economy is a total mess:

    First he claims it’s his MODELS showing the deficit should be increased. MODELS??? The sophisticated models used by AGI and much of the financial world were a significant part of the barney-frank induced housing bubble, the collapse of which took our economy down.

    He goes on to say without a stimulus, we cannot expect an employment lift. When slick willy took office he proposed a modest $50B stimulus, but could not get it through congress. The economy did just fine without it. Bush tried a $100B stimulus in early 2008 and it failed. BO’s massive porkulus failed. Stimuli do not work.

    He says slower government spending is another reason post-recession growth has been slow. Government spending has INCREASED EVERY YEAR under BO! The only “slowing” has been in the amount of increase in spending (besides job creation, hampered by BO’s anti-private sector policies and job-killing Obamacare).