State of Utah Archives: on Budget & Economy

John Curtis: Balance the budget; run government like business

We simply MUST cut federal spending and balance our budget. We've been saying it is "unsustainable" for many years and we all know that to be true. The task seems insurmountable and whenever cuts are proposed someone is mad about it and threatens to vote supporters out of office. We can't even make the simple--not easy, but simple--decision to cut the rate of growth of the spending! It's time to at least take a first step even if it is a small one.
Source: 2017 Utah House campaign website Aug 17, 2017

Jonathan Johnson: Kept $11M in gold coins in case of financial crisis

Under Jonathan Johnson's leadership at, the company has socked away $10.9 million in gold and silver and has a three-month food supply for each employee, bracing for a financial crisis that the Republican gubernatorial candidate said is certain to come.

Johnson told the United Precious Metals Association--a group that was behind legislation to make gold legal tender in the state--that the company keeps small button-sized gold and silver coins outside the banking system. "We expect when there is a financial crisis, there will be a banking holiday," Johnson told the group. "I don't know if it will be two days or two weeks or two months. But we have $10 million in gold and silver in denominations small enough that we can use it for payroll. We want to be able to keep our employees paid and safe and our site up and running."

On Overstock's last quarterly report, the company listed $10.9 million in "precious metals" among its assets--$6.3 million in gold and $4.6 million in silver.

Source: Salt Lake Tribune on 2016 Utah gubernatorial race Nov 2, 2015

Mia Love: Cut federal programs by more than $750 billion

Wherever she goes, Republican candidate Mia Love says her top priority as a member of Congress would be balancing the federal budget. Everything else is "remodeling the kitchen when the house is on fire." To do that, she has offered a detailed blueprint of deep cuts to federal programs totaling more than $750 billion.

It would mean whacking more than $2 billion of federal spending in Utah, slashing food assistance for the poor, eliminating school lunch subsidies and wiping out special-education aid. She would end subsidized college loans like those she used herself when she earned her degree, and eliminate funds like those that were spent in the city she oversees as mayor, aimed at preventing homelessness.

"It was a good way to get people to start talking about it," Love said in a recent interview. "You almost look at this [deficit] and ask yourself, 'How do you start?' We were just looking at it holistically."

Source: Robert Gehrke in Salt Lake Tribune (Utah), "Million/billion" Sep 6, 2012

Orrin Hatch: Re-elect me and I'll chair the Senate Finance Committee

Liljenquist went after Hatch's longevity in the Senate, which Hatch hailed as invaluable for Utah because of the experience and seniority he has gained. "Sen. Hatch and his generation of politicians have presided over the biggest run-up in debt in the history of mankind. They have voted repeatedly to increase the debt ceiling. They have voted to expand entitlements we couldn't afford," Liljenquist said.

Hatch called himself the likely chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee where 60% of all federal spending is considered. He said with Romney as president and "if I take over as chairman, we're going to get these matters under control one way or the other.

"It's time for new leaders in the Senate, Liljenquist said. "I am running, senator, because you could become chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, not in spite of it," he said.

Source: KSL Radio coverage of 2012 Utah Senate debates Jun 16, 2012

Orrin Hatch: Accused of "fiscal child abuse" by leaving debt for future

Liljenquist said Hatch has spent a future generation's worth of wealth, foisting the tax burden on a "whole bunch of Americans" who didn't have the chance to vote for him. "That is fiscal child abuse and that's what has happened in Congress under your watch," he said.

The comment clearly rankled Hatch. "Let me get this straight. Apparently, I'm responsible for everything that's wrong in government. That's total b.s. and everybody knows it," the six-term senator said.

For his one question, Liljenquist asked Hatch if he felt responsible in any way for the national debt.

"Frankly, no," Hatch replied. "I led the fight against the debt from day one. And I'm offended that you keep bringing it up like I'm responsible for all the things that are wrong in America. How about the things that are right--am I responsible for those, too?" Hatch complained that it has been difficult to fight federal spending because in the Senate "we've been in the minority the whole time I've been there."

Source: KSL Radio coverage of 2012 Utah Senate debates Jun 16, 2012

Dan Liljenquist: Vocal supporter of cut, cap and balance

CUT, CAP AND BALANCE: Dan is a vocal supporter of cut, cap and balance. We must cut spending, cap the growth and balance the budget. To achieve that balance, we MUST tackle entitlements in real and substantive ways.

BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT: Dan is also in favor of and will advocate for a balanced budget amendment but simply balancing the budget while "raising revenues" (which means tax increases) is not enough. We must also cut the spending and curb the rate of that spending.

Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, May 24, 2012

Dan Liljenquist: TARP (bank bailout) was wasteful spending

Liljenquist reminded those in attendance that Hatch voted for TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and many other areas of wasteful spending.

Liljenquist said that he is trying to help the citizens of Utah to know the differences between himself and Senator Hatch and that he challenged Senator Hatch to eight televised debates. Hatch informed Liljenquist that he didn't have time for that.

Source: on 2012 Utah Senate debate May 20, 2012

Orrin Hatch: My 36 years in Senate could make me Finance Committee chair

The three GOP US Senate candidates agreed on almost every question: federal spending is out of control, power needs to be ceded back to the states, amnesty is not the solution to illegal immigration and the US should not rely on Russia to get astronauts into space.

Their key disagreement, however, had more to do with chronology than ideology. Challengers Chris Herrod and Dan Liljenquist argued that incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch's 36 years in Washington had made him partly responsible for the nation's problems, while Hatch emphatically countered that his time in the Senate made him uniquely positioned as an agent for change.

Hatch frequently referred to his position in the Senate Finance Committee--he would chair the committee if Republicans gained a majority of the Senate in November--and presented himself as part of a 2-man reform team with Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. "The finance committee is where it's all at," Hatch said. "Mitt knows it, I know it and he wants me there.

Source: Deseret News on 2012 Utah Senate debate May 4, 2012

Orrin Hatch: My balanced budget bill failed by only one vote

Candidate Liljenquist asked Hatch what he had been doing in the Senate Finance Committee in terms of curbing the deficit."What's going to be different next time?" Liljenquist asked.

Hatch answered that for most of his time in the Senate, the finance committee had been chaired by Democrat senators. He also pointed to his record of co-authoring the balanced budget amendment, a cause that he has brought to the Senate floor 13 times and twice, he said, came within one vote of passage. "Had we passed that amendment we wouldn't be in the awful state we are today," Hatch said. "Some of us really do work hard to get this country out of the doldrums."

Liljenquist, however, described Hatch's work with the balanced budget amendment as hypocritical. He said Hatch had voted for a number of bills that added to the national debt, specifically dealing with Medicaid. "You can't hold up the balanced budget in one hand and then hold up legislation that makes it impossible in the other," Liljenquist said.

Source: Deseret News on 2012 Utah Senate debate May 4, 2012

Orrin Hatch: OpEd: Federal debt increased rapidly on his watch

Hatch emphasized the importance of his congressional seniority, especially the power he has over the federal budget as the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. He made it clear that losing his influence in Washington will significantly hamper efforts to balance the budget and open the state's public lands to oil and natural gas exploration. "I'll be effective on Day One. I know what to do because experience really does count," Hatch said. "I'm a tough old bird. If you give me one more term, I will make a difference."

The two challengers, however, said Hatch has served in Washington during a time when the federal debt increased rapidly and the powers of the executive branch expanded significantly. "It's one thing to say that you think Congress should have a say, but when you're in Congress, you have to demand that Congress have a say," his opponent Liljenquist said.

Source: Deseret News coverage of 2012 Utah Senate Debate Apr 17, 2012

Mike Leavitt: Highest priority is “economic transition”

    Two words express what I believe to be our state’s most important priority: “economic transition.” So, what is Utah’s economic game plan?
  1. We have a young, education- minded, tech-savvy workforce that will grow at twice the national average.
  2. We will keep Utah a safe, livable place where New Economy business can operate profitably.
  3. When it comes to the competition, we’ll just out work ‘em.
We live in a time of rapid economic and cultural change. It is driven by information technology, which affects every part of our lives. Our home towns have become part of a single global market. The power of nations has shifted from bombs to bandwidth. More and more we do our errands online, not in line. From where we sit we can literally reach across the globe and connect with loved ones in far-off an instant. What used to take weeks now takes seconds. Every change both eliminates jobs and creates others. Change is unsettling, often painful, but it is the fuel of renewal.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Utah legislature Jan 16, 2001

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Page last updated: Feb 13, 2018