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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Editorials: Where we can cut spending [Medicaid], and where we shouldn't [food stamps] ...

- Auditing Medicaid: OIG helps taxpayers and the poor - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Medicaid, the federal/state program that provides health insurance for the poor, is the Pac-Man of state budgets, rapidly gobbling up ever-larger shares of total outlays. It would be hard to find anyone — fiscal hardliner or advocate for the poor — who thinks Utah can just watch these escalating costs go on.

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The conflict, of course, comes when those responsible for the overall burden on taxpayers move to limit the growth in spending by cutting services, excluding clients or otherwise harming the most vulnerable of our friends and neighbors.

A solution, as demonstrated by a new office within the Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, is to crack down on miscodings, overcharges, doctor shopping and other practices that cost the taxpayers a lot of money but do nothing to heal the sick. [Read the rest ...]

- Food stamps: Not right time to limit benefits - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

The recession may be over, but people who are still without jobs haven’t noticed.

When many thousands still need help is not the time for the state to cut back on the basic assistance food stamps provide. Nonetheless, that’s what the Department of Workforce Services would do. [Read the rest ...]

Elseweb:

- It's déjà vu all over again with national fiscal policy - Deseret News Editorial

... Reruns may be all that's available for television programming, but it's terrible fare for national fiscal policy, especially when the harsh reality is that there is no national fiscal policy. ...

- The austerity of their ideas - Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

The most frustrating thing about the debate over what is described -- by supporters and opponents -- as Obamacare is that its detractors are focusing nearly 100 percent of their energy on tearing down the new health care law. Virtually no energy is spent by these opponents on how they intend to fix the problem of health care insurance access if they get their wish and Obamacare is stymied, whether in the courts, or by a President Romney, or via legislation. ...

- Reps. Mike Coffman, Jared Polis set an example on defense budget - Denver Post Editorial

Their successful defense-cut measure is an example of the kind of bipartisan spending reductions Congress ought to embrace. ...



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