Tanner Ainge: The big heart, small government approach of Utah is the best for America

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  • wjogger Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 30, 2017 3:18 a.m.

    i like the conservative approach but I'm concerned about two things. 1) the phrase "Big Heart" is too general for my tastes. Does this mean Mr. Ainge is soft on immigration and refugees? Keep the Middle East refugees where their culture and homeland is, make safe areas and support them there. I understand we can support about 16 refugees there for the same money as one here in the U S. 2) In a phone survey the suggested platform was "new ideas" brought to Washington D C. That, again, is too general. Bernie Sanders was full of new ideas i.e free college tuition and single payer healthcare. New Ideas needs to be specific to earn my vote. A final comment: should a man with five young children be away from family as much as a Congressman will be? Moving his family out of the 3rd Congressional District to Wash. D C would remove him from his constituents and Rep Chaffetz stated he spent over 2.000 days and nights away from home during his service to our District. I'm concerned about this apparent problem. Otherwise, I'm on board.

  • longversion SANDY, UT
    June 20, 2017 9:03 a.m.

    Impartial7 - then explain why Utah is considered one of the best run states in the country and why our economic outlook is ranked #1 nationally?

    Every state has its problems, Utah is not immune, but your short list is hardly something to be ringing our hands over. I lived in California. I know what bloated state government looks like and how it stagnates in waste and mismanagement.

    Utah is NOT in that category. If we allow the Democrats to take control we will look like CA in a decade. No thank you.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 20, 2017 1:11 a.m.

    Utah is not 100% Republican.
    Utah did not vote 100% for Trump.

    Sorry, for my vote - Utah's representation should not be 100% Trump Republican.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 19, 2017 4:05 p.m.

    @educator.... not all those questions are very fare. For example, is man causing climate change. Any educated person would know the answer to that has to be no because the climate is cyclical. If you are asking is man having an impact on climate change, the answer would most likely be yes. Subtle, and yet very much different.

    But a better question is just around pollution and air/water quality. Even the hardest core conservative doesn't want their kids drinking mercury laced water. As long as we talk in the extreme, we'll get nowhere.

    Healthcare doesn't need to be a right to be a moral obligation. Likewise education, protecting the poor from predatory business practices. Something doesn't have to be a "right" to still compel people or society as a hole to do the right thing. When society values consumerism over taking care of its elderly, disadvantaged, persecuted, and poor, then we have far bigger issues.

    I can support "progressive issues" and not be for abortion. I can also be for fiscal conservatism and not be in favor of unrestricted gun sells to the mentally ill.

  • The Educator South Jordan, UT
    June 19, 2017 12:05 p.m.

    Continued from above

    If you cannot answer these questions appropriately then you won't receive my vote. These are he issues that we the people care about. And anyone who voted for the immoral Donald already has forfeited their vote imo.

    We need Educated and innovative representation. We already have enough empty chairs who don't think for themselves.

    Get Educated

  • The Educator South Jordan, UT
    June 19, 2017 12:04 p.m.

    My questions don't include fluffy church questions or simplistic comparisons between family budgets and the national budget.

    1. Do you believe In man caused climate change? A simple yes or no will suffice
    2. What legislation will you sponsor in order to stop man caused climate change?
    3. Is health care a right? A simple yes or no will suffice.
    4. What legislation will you sponsor in order to make health care affordable and accessible to all?
    5. What legislation will you sponsor to lower the costs of higher education so any students who desires may obtain a 4 year degree without taking on any debt?
    6. What legislation will you sponsor to strengthen private schools and squash the corrupt charters?
    7. What legislation will you sponsor to force corporations to increase worker salaries?
    8. Should all purchases of guns require a background check?
    9. What legislation will you sponsor to protect federal lands against greedy corporate interests?
    10. Did you vote for Donald? Have you taken any Koch money?

    To be continued...

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    June 19, 2017 10:53 a.m.

    Great article! As some comments have pointed out, Utah's government is far from perfect, but compare it to other states and the federal government and you'll feel encouraged. There are a lot of things we're doing right. And for all those who think a discussion of a balanced budget is low-priority you need to wake up. All the programs you think are more important disappear regardless of who supports them if we can't fix our national finances. Social Security is already admitting to my generation that they currently anticipate funding only 71% of what is currently promised by legislation...that's all the money that will be available from incoming taxes. If we don't fix the budget the government (and economy) will ultimately implode. It's simple math. It's up to us to tell our representatives if we'd rather increase our taxes by 30-50% or if we'd like the government to cut it's spending or something in the middle. But time is running out to fix this.

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    June 19, 2017 8:19 a.m.

    More republican talking points that mean very little, and are seldom practiced.

    I get it, people want a bumpersticker solution to their complex problems, that's what got us Trump. But we need actual working solutions, not more rhetoric about lower taxes, and fiscal responsibility, lip service.

    The federal Government can not be run like a household, if you believe this, then there is no conversation to be had, and simple is your ideal.

    How about these politicians come up with anything but the status quo of those before them since Reagan and the trickle down failure, that they keep trying again and again.
    It's worked great to enrich the already wealthy, it's been a disaster for the working American though.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 19, 2017 7:24 a.m.

    Tanner's grandfather was in my ward in California.... I know the family to be good people. So I have no issues of possibly supporting Tanner in his efforts. But there is some misleading over partisanized rhetoric here as well. For example the idea that being a "conservative" state some how means that a state is not increasing it's debt. Just as every home owner knows, you can have a "balanced budget" but also take on incredible debt.

    While I agree with the concept of a balanced budget - just as many democratic led states have the provision as do republican states, it should not be inferred as the state isn't increasing its debt.

    Utah has a good "state" debt to gdp number. But that shows only a partial picture. How states fund there services and infrastructure varies highly, and when you add in local debt (counties and cities), Utah is right in the middle of the pack, just a slightly higher ratio than liberal Oregon. Where that debt lands on the ledger depends on the state. Utah is no better, no worse than most states.

    So Tanner needs to hold off lecturing other states and DC - unless its about accounting practices.

  • SMcloud Sandy, UT
    June 19, 2017 1:43 a.m.

    Small governments/deficits/blah blah blah.

    I care about lowering healthcare costs
    I care about protecting the environment
    I care about campaign finance reform
    I want a person in congress that will represent me and not whatever special interest group is paying his campaign bills.

    All of this talk of conservatism and church and stuff is fine but I want him to talk about real issues and not this fluffy rhetoric.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 18, 2017 7:31 p.m.


    In the short term, govt. can run a deficit. But long term, the debt grows and the need to pay interest pushes out other budgetary items until interest payments become a large part of public spending. Also, mounting debt can spur inflation. The hard truth is that deficits do matter.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 18, 2017 5:59 a.m.

    "Most importantly, while conservative, small-government policies are often criticized as heartless and serving only those at the top"

    Written like a true Republican playing the mythical song while running for congress.

    It amazes me that so many have deluded themselves into believing that the average Republican actually does things to make the government smaller.

    What does "smaller government" mean anyway.

    It certainly cant be less government spending. That never happens under GOP leadership (or any other leadership for that matter).

    It just gets shifted around while taxes are cut.

  • buryme Mesa, AZ
    June 17, 2017 10:02 p.m.

    If your dad takes Hayward away from Utah you can forget about winning

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    June 17, 2017 5:57 p.m.

    What party is he representing? It certainly isn't the Republican Party where I spent from 8 AM to 3 PM with 750 delegates from all over the 3rd District in a culminating event. Where was Ainge?

    All 11 candidates there worked hard to communicate their platforms and thoughts with voters throughout the 3rd District the past six weeks.

    Where was Ainge?

    At a dozen debates discussing the issues,...

    Where was Ainge?

    Elitist? Arrogant? Forming his own party? Abrogating the rules of the party he claims to represent or wants to?

    Where is Ainge?

    Hopefully voters will hold him accountable for being against a real representative democracy.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 17, 2017 5:22 p.m.

    "Like other fiscally conservative states, Utah's constitution requires a balanced budget. Spending that exceeds income will eventually lead to financial ruin, always and forever"

    This alone should disqualify Mr. Ainge, simply because of it's embarrassing lack of understanding about the difference between personal budgets, state budgets, and the federal budget.

    If the United States had been hamstrung with a requirement to have a "balanced budget" the entire world would have not slipped but rocketed into a world crushing depression in 2008.

    To have such an experience so recently in our past and then to tout balanced budget is absolutely disqualifying, and frankly scary.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 17, 2017 3:25 p.m.

    Only thing that matters --

    Would Mr. Ainge have an independent spine and be willing to stand up to Donald Trump,
    would he simply cave, and just be a GOP rubber stamp like all the others?

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    June 17, 2017 10:53 a.m.

    This guy really makes a lot of sense to me. I could easily see myself pulling the lever for him if I was a Utah resident in his district. Does anyone know if he voted for President Trump or not?

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    June 17, 2017 10:41 a.m.

    I ask Mr Ainge ( and the rest), what is your stand on the State taking over Federal lands?

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 17, 2017 10:18 a.m.

    No problems with Mr. Ainge's comments, but I deeply question the motives pf the Deseret News editors publishing this the day of the Republican State Convention where Mr. Ainge is one of many contenders for nomination to fill the vacant 3rd Congressional District seat.

    If the editors want to make their voice heard on selecting candidates, go to your neighborhood caucus and get elected as a delegate, per Republican Party rules. Or, at least have the decency to wait for candidates to spend big buck advertising to get on the ballet per the "count my vote" scam where heavy advertising and biased media influence picks candidates instead of party activists.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2017 9:39 a.m.

    A well-stated but very limited view of society's situation. The dominant tendency in our nation and in the world is wealth and income concentration at the top 10% and especially 1%. There is every indication this will continue, and even accelerate.

    What will be the consequences? One will be an increasingly dictatorial style of government globally as the privileged put down working class rebellion. We will get the dictatorial government Ainge dislikes.

    I see no indication Ainge knows distribution is a problem.

  • Straitpath PROVO, UT
    June 17, 2017 9:24 a.m.

    I like Tanner so far. I would like some hard facts about him. Did he vote for President Trump?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 17, 2017 9:08 a.m.

    I always get a kick out of it when people who want small government seek to enlarge it with themselves.

  • Tim Flaherty Gilbert, AZ
    June 17, 2017 8:36 a.m.

    Very well said Tanner! The rest of the country could benefit from giving sincere attention to everything that makes Utah work so well. Good luck in your run for office. I'm pretty sure they do it in Chicago, but is there a way this Arizonan can cast his vote in Utah for you? ;)

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 17, 2017 8:38 a.m.

    The best re-cap of Tanner's claims for Utah and his policies is an article in Bloomberg.

    Megan Mcardle, does a pretty good job of looking at why Utah and Salt Lake are ranked among the places for highest mobility. Her conclusion rests mostly on one thing..the Mormon church.

    The Mormon church does a few things for society that are very similar to the successful European countries (Scandinavian).

    First they put a floor on poverty for a huge swath of the population.

    Secondly, they provide a very homogenous environment where people are more likely to help and work with people who look like them.

    Thirdly they provide a natural community for cooperation.

    Lastly some of their doctrine do seem to be consistent with success in life.

    Something that is always missed in these discussions which routinely include small govt. and low tax policies claims, is the Mormon church imposes a 10% + tax on their members to fund all this.

    What could the state do with an additional 10% from everyone...I know, I know waste it.

    Not likely.

  • ATinWA Vancouver, WA
    June 17, 2017 7:54 a.m.

    Could not agree more! If the Federal Government began to apply some of this thinking, I would have a lot more hope for the future of my children and grandchildren. Good luck Mr. Ainge!

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 17, 2017 7:24 a.m.

    "The big heart, small government approach of Utah is thriving and achieving the best outcomes in America. It is time to raise a powerful voice from our state to apply the same principles in our nation’s capitol and communities."

    What? Utah's "small government" is a misnomer. How many Utah government departments are a complete mess? UTA is under Federal investigation. UDOT is operating on borrowed money. The DABC is failing despite record sales. Utah has wasted tens of millions on unwinnable lawsuits regarding gay rights and public land transfers. We are getting taxed to death by our Republican run government. Plus, the Utah GOP is broke and deep in debt. Utah may be a small state in population, but our government is overgrown and bloated. It is not a model to copy.