The next debt ceiling battle means spending cuts, higher taxes, downgrade or all three

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 4, 2013 5:23 p.m.

    A competent president would have the country headed in the opposite direction. Anyone doubt we'll have more people on food stamps by next Christmas?

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Jan. 3, 2013 10:36 p.m.

    @ Skeptical-

    We borrow 46% of what we spend.

    Defense spending is 24% of federal expenditures.
    Totally eliminate every dime of defense spending and you are still overspent by 22%.

    Healthcare also accounts for 24% of federal spending.
    Federal pensions account for 23% of federal spending.
    Welfare accounts for 11%
    Interest accounts for 7%
    and Eeducation accounts for 4%, and everything else for a mere 8%.

    Want to raise taxes- then how about the nearly 50% who pay ZERO income tax, and eliminate all the fraud ridden "refundable tax credit" give-aways?

    Like it or not, we are Greece, but with even higher levels of indebtedness. The urgency to get spending under control cannot be over emphasized!!

    I will give you 25% of defense spending (6% of the total federal spending), and accept that we are not longer a world power and cannot protect the sea lanes of commerce we depend on for energy and many other things. Now, where will you cut to get another 40% of our spending eliminated to just balance the budget?

    Then, we need a serious talk about how to pay off $16 trillion dollars plus mounting interest.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 3, 2013 7:25 p.m.

    Look at the graph again. What matters is the debt to GDP ratio. Right now, GDP is depressed. Get the economy going again, and this problem will mostly fix itself. The remainder will be fixed when (1) tax rates go back to Clinton era levels and (2) spending on two unfunded wars goes away. In addition, it would be a good idea to cut back on defense spending generally - is there any reason why we still need troops in Germany, for example? There is certainly no justification for spending nearly as much on our military as all other countries in the world combined.

    People always worry about us turning into another Greece. The problem in Greece was a culture in which people collectively made avoiding paying taxes a national sport. By enacting low tax rates for the rich (I'm talking about capital gains rates, the carried interest loophole, etc) we are encouraging the US to fall into the same trap. Paying taxes is as important to our democracy as voting. It is a patriotic duty.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 3, 2013 3:40 p.m.

    How about start with a budget?

    Jan. 3, 2013 12:37 p.m.

    Congress controls spending. Congress controls spending. Let me point this out one more time, congress controls spending. And yet, everyone blames the president. Especially congress. But why would congress want to change? They all just got re-elected, so obviously the voters must like what they are doing.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Jan. 3, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    In each of these increasingly frequent, and more serious, crises, there is one inescapable fact.

    We are spending far more than we are taking in. We are borrowing the difference, and incurring unknown interest costs to be added to the debt for unknown years and decades into the future, when interest rates will certainly be higher than today's near zero rates.

    No amount of confiscatory taxation, or even seizure of wealth can keep up with the spending.

    Therefore, the amount of money spent each year, month, day or hour MUST be cut. Drastically and immediately.

    Any pretending that we do not have a spending problem, or that we can somehow pay all this off is no longer just a political tactic, but a delusional fantasy. For some it may even be a vindictive plot to destroy our country.

    Over-spending, mostly caused by "entitlements" must be controlled immediately. No matter how painful. Every day of delay only makes the problem, and the inevitable cure even more severely painful.

    Spending is the problem, and reducing it dramatically is the ONLY solution. Anyone who denies this must be ignored and vilified as ignorant and uncaring, or even purposefully destructive.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 3, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    Time to cut cut cut cut cut. For once in this countries history. Let's cut!

    And instead of handouts and welfare. Let's create jobs that anyone and everyone can work at and generate their own wealth.