Monthly Archives: December 2009

2010 New Years Wishes

This week I want to offer some personal wishes for the New Year. I have so many hopes for Utah in 2010.

First, I hope the vast majority of Utahns go to the polls this year and vote. The 2010 elections will include the vote for governor along with the entire State House of Representatives and many State Senators – and it’s pathetic that voter turnout is now lower than Obama’s disappearing approval ratings.

Second, before Utahns go the polls and elect their representatives, I hope they actually take a hard look at who they’re voting for. We should study the candidates. We should study the issues and talk about them thoroughly with friends and family. And then maybe we won’t just vote the party line. read more

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Society’s Common Cultural Currency

With December being a month of religious holidays for so many different people of faith, and with Christmas hitting us at the end of the week, I would hope that the concept of religious freedom crosses the minds of all Utahns.

It just so happens that my political career has coincided with the steep secularization of the United States. It’s really easy to see. There’s a lot more debate about America being a “Christian nation,” which will always be the high-sign that secularization and religiosity are colliding. And, in Utah, this same debate sounds a lot like Utah being described as a “Mormon state.” read more

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Utah’s Food Sales Tax

A couple of years ago, the State Legislature removed the state-portion of the sales tax on most food items. Effectively, that meant instead of paying a full 4.75 percent on tax at the grocery store, we would spend only 1.75 percent on taxes.

Sutherland was a big supporter of the repeal when it passed during the 2006 legislative session. In the summer of 2005, in an Interim Committee meeting, we testified that,

The sales tax is the best tax, if there is such a thing. It is fair – it taxes consumption. It is simple – a uniform statewide sales tax is easy to understand and apply. Wealthier people will pay more, poorer people will pay less. It captures more of the dollars of out-of-state consumers…For these reasons, the sales tax ought to be used more aggressively in tax policy. read more

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Anger

Basketball season starts today for our youngest son. I’ve spent the past 15 years teaching, coaching, and encouraging my four sons in hundreds of games. I’ve screamed and yelled and complained in nearly every game. I’ve been thrown out of dozens of them. I’ve been angry. Real angry. I have used foul language in front of grandmas and little children. Curiously, I’ve never been in a fist fight at a game. I’ve come close, but no punches thrown.

After each game, after I cool down, I hit my knees and pray to God that I can be forgiven for being such a jerk. Now, I’m pretty sure that real forgiveness is predicated on real repentance and it’s hard to say that I’ve really repented when I’m such a serial offender. One day, I tell myself, I’ll get over it. After all, it’s just a game. read more

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