Budget Blamefest and Presidental Snow Jobs

Budget Shell Games Are Contrary to Law


By April 1, according to the Budget Act, the House and the Senate must either adopt the president's budget or put forward an alternative. They cannot just hide in the weeds. The House and Senate reports must detail any differences from the president's budget and explain the "economic assumptions" underlying them. By April 15, Congress must adopt a concurrent resolution embodying a congressional budget. Appropriations bills must stay within this budget or be subject to a point of order.

The House of Representatives complied with the law, passing a budget that would reduce spending by an estimated $5.8 trillion over 10 years (according to the CBO). The Senate has not passed a budget. In fact, the Senate has not passed a budget since 2009.

This defiance of the Budget Act is responsible for the current blamefest in Washington. The law was intended to bring transparency and timeliness to debates over taxing and spending. All proposals are public, and all are scored by the CBO according to the same metric. This makes it difficult for politicians to shift blame. This year, without a genuine presidential budget, or any Senate budget, the negotiations are shrouded in fog. The president may tell press conferences that he proposed $3 trillion in spending reductions, but there is no way to know what that means without a budget.

Comment: Another good read: Welcome to Jimmy Carter’s 2nd term


It has taken three decades, but Americans are finally living through Jimmy Carter’s second term.

Now we’ve got Jimmy Jr. barking at us from the White House about eating our peas and ripping off our Band-Aid. He might not even let us have our Social Security checks.

These are just the latest in a long line of nagging lectures. Already, we have been taught how we should sneeze into the crook of our arm. We need to drive less. And we need to caulk up those drafty houses of ours.

What ever happened to the soaring rhetoric and big bold ideas President Obama promised us in that historic election of his?

Is this what he meant by a new kind of politics? If so, no thanks. Oh, and it is not new. Jimmy already dragged us through all this once and we just barely survived it.

One of the most unpleasant things about Mr. Carter was the condescending disdain he could barely disguise for struggling Americans and their irritating malaise.

Increasingly, Jimmy Jr. is having difficulty concealing that very same disdain for us as the political winds around him turn hostile and all of his bright ideas lie fallow as nothing more than socialist hocus-pocus.

But even Mr. Carter never laid bare so baldly and plainly as Mr. Obama did earlier this week his deep-seated contempt for this whole annoying process we call “democracy.”

The problem with reaching a deal to raise the debt ceiling, he explained in a long sermon, is that there is this huge wave of Republicans who won control of the House in the last election by promising not to raise any more taxes and to cut the absurd overspending that has driven this town for decades.

He bemoaned - in public - that these Republicans are more concerned about the “next election” rather than doing “what’s right for the country.” In other words, he is saying the honorable thing would be for these Republicans to ignore the expressed wishes of voters, break their campaign promises and raise taxes. Wow.

As if the whole problem of Washington spending us into oblivion is the fault of stingy taxpayers and stupid voters. And what we really need is Jimmy Jr., who knows what is best for us despite what we may think.

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