Utah congressional delegation sees long days ahead on 'fiscal cliff' talks

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  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 17, 2012 7:48 p.m.

    Lost you want the President to counter his own offer? That is the problem, the republicans think they can just say no, and that the other side then is suppose to come back with a new offer that the republicans like. Negotiations means both side participate by offering concrete ideas to solve the problem, not just being the party that says no.

  • Albert Maslar CPA (Retired) Absecon, NJ
    Dec. 14, 2012 1:16 p.m.

    To involve all in government, my 5-page 84-point plan includes 3% National Sales Tax with no-exemption for purchases by any entity, individual, business, religious, education, charity, or Government tax paid to itself automatically reduces budget.

    NST allocation; 1% Budget; 1% National Debt; 1% Universal Medicare for legal residents having visa, or Social Security Number, NOT Employee Identification Number meant for business but used by illegals for ID to gain status and benefits.

    The graduated 20% maximum income tax table treats all income alike with no exceptions.
    Stock market transactions would be subject to a 1% transaction tax, limiting negative effects of High Frequency Trading that creates artificial volatility gobbling up investor profits in the blink of an eye while causing havoc in the market.

    “The Hill” published $755 Trillion total transactions in 2008. Deducting $312 Trillion in stock transactions and no exemptions creates $13+ Trillion in annual tax revenues: 1/3rd each or $4.43 Trillion for Budget, $4.43 Trillion for Debt reduction; and $4.43 Trillion for Universal Medicare replacing ObamaCare. The $16 Trillion national debt can be eliminated within 5-10 years, as $4.43 Trillion approximates current budgets.

  • middleclassmom South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    Fred44 & Lost in DC,

    There are a lot unanswered questions as to how to raise revenue that we aren't privy to the data.

    My thoughts - 1 - setting a specific number doesn't take into account many factors like does this small business owner squirrel away money during good years for years that are really tough so they don't have to close their doors, etc. The federal government would have a difficult time setting a number and calling those people the "rich". People look at an income and make assumptions without knowing all the facts. I'm not in the $250,000 + group, but know people who are who go some years without a paycheck because they are owners. Also do we want to stop growth? 2 - why isn't closing loop holes to raise revenue a viable solution? 3 - why can't dates be set for cutting government expenses? 4 - Why does is always seem like one side is expected to be the one to compromise? I always thought compromise was you give some, I'll give some. 5 - why not give everyone unlimited deductions for charitable expenses? Wouldn't it be better for neighbor to help neighbor than to funnel it through the government?

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 9:41 a.m.

    King Obama just has to have his way. He has never even though about compromise; why should he? The majority of dolts that have cradle-to-grave mentality regarding government services have spoken last November. We didn't need terrorism to bring America to it's knees---just the entitlement class that's now at 49% of the population.

    Recession (or worse) here we come again!

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 9:04 a.m.


    if what MiddleClassMom says is true then why doesn't BO counter by moving that number from $250,000 to $500,000 or a million?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 14, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress's generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

    There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters' confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that "they are all crooks," and that "government is no good," further leading them to think, "a plague on both your houses" and "the parties are like two kids in a school yard." This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s - a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn ("Government is the problem," declared Ronald Reagan in 1980).
    (Mike Lofgren, retired Republican Congressional Staffer)

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 14, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    "These aren’t normal negotiations in which each side presents specific proposals, and horse-trading proceeds until the two sides converge. By all accounts, Republicans have, so far, offered almost no specifics. They claim that they’re willing to raise $800 billion in revenue by closing loopholes, but they refuse to specify which loopholes they would close; they are demanding large cuts in spending, but the specific cuts they have been willing to lay out wouldn’t come close to delivering the savings they demand.

    It’s a very peculiar situation. In effect, Republicans are saying to President Obama, “Come up with something that will make us happy.” He is, understandably, not willing to play that game. And so the talks are stuck.

    Why won’t the Republicans get specific? Because they don’t know how. The truth is that, when it comes to spending, they’ve been faking it all along.."

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 7:42 a.m.

    Republicans aren't serious. They won't even go after low hanging fruit offered by one of their own.

    "Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) thinks it’s time America’s millionaires pay their fair share.

    "...[I] in a new report [2011] — titled “Subsidizing the Rich and Famous” — Coburn makes an argument for closing loopholes for millionaires. “From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes, and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous,” Coburn writes in the report. “This welfare for the well-off — costing billions of dollars a year — is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate, many who are working two jobs just to make ends meet, and IOUs to be paid off by future generations.”

    "In total, Coburn’s report claims that millionaires receive $30 billion in benefits from tax giveaways and federal grant programs every year. Almost 1,500 millionaires didn’t pay income tax in 2009, according to the report."

    No wonder Coburn is leaving. His own party is a bunch of lying hypocrites.

  • Twin Sister LINDON, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 7:37 a.m.

    I've had this thought now for months. I was hopeful that President Obama would truly keep his word to all Americans and reach across the aisle to the Republicans to reach a compromise on this fiscal cliff in order to save us from another recession. That hope is proving to be fruitless. I believe that President Obama's personal agenda is to single-handedly flush this country down the toilet to achieve his own self-centered end to drive this country closer and closer towards socialism and financial ruin. I call on all members of Congress--Republican and Democrats--to do all they can to push for and put pressure on President Obama to reach a compromise and save our nation and its citizens from sliding down this slippery slope towards another recession.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 14, 2012 7:37 a.m.


    If what you say is true then why don't the republicans counter by moving that number from $250,000 to $500,000 or a million. Stomping your feet and saying no to any revenue increase is really not helping America. What is wrong with a balanced approach? The republicans propose no increase in revenue, increased spending on defense (not for our troops but for weapons systems that make a lot of money for a military contractors) and large cuts to programs that hit the middle and lower classes very hard.

    For example raising the retirement age from 65 to 67 will not have any significant impact on the wealthy but it will have a huge impact on middle and lower class Americans. I agree that changes need to be made in entitlement programs, I agree that the tax system needs to change and that the base needs to widen a bit, I think earned income credits are wrong, but I also believe that the wealthy who have done very well in the last 30 years can contribute a little bit more too!

  • middleclassmom South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 14, 2012 6:25 a.m.

    Democrats keep harping on the tax cuts staying in place for people above 250,000, as pandering to wealthy fat cat billionaires. What they don't understand is that many people in that category are small business owners and that income is capital they will be reinvesting in their businesses. This country was made strong by the ability to form and grow your own business. We don't want to hamper this ability now when it is so very needed. I doubt anyone cares if the Warren Buffets of the world pay more taxes. They will still live fine. They will most likely still donate to charities even without any deduction too. How about those that have some surplus in the 250,000 - 500,000 range who then couldn't.t take mortgage interest or charitable deductions, will they withhold donations? How will those charities fair with reduced income? Obama and the democrats just want to kill free agency and make as many as possible dependent solely on the government. Large government stifles growth. This country needs growth so that everyone who wants to work can and that growth will produce the review needed to care for those who truly need it.

  • eagle651 Chino Valley, AZ
    Dec. 13, 2012 10:30 p.m.

    Let Boehner's ultra rich followers keep their money, so not to punish the middle class and the poor.
    Although, the Republicans could not win the White House, they proved strong enough to deliver a fatal blow to the middle class American workers. The rich always wins! Money is their idol.