March 14 2013
The Democratic Budget Resolution: Was It Written by Alfred E. Neuman?
So what are you hearing about the budget resolution submitted yesterday by the Senate Democrats?
No, I’m not hearing much about it either.
Could that be because the first budget resolution introduced by Democrats in four years is short on specifics and doesn't address entitlements or the nation's spending problem?
USA Today described the budget resolution this way:
Senate Democrats released a budget resolution Wednesday for a 10-year fiscal vision that would trim the deficit and protect entitlement programs. It calls for more spending for roads and schools and for higher taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans to protect middle-class earners.
The budget — the first one Senate Democrats have produced since 2009 — stands in sharp contrast to the House Republicans' plan released Tuesday that calls for cuts in corporate and individual taxes and aims to balance the budget in 10 years, fundamentally overhaul Medicare and eliminate President Obama's health care law.
In refusing to take on entitlements, the Democratic budget looks like something that could have been produced by Alfred E. Neuman, the old Mad magazine mascot, whose motto was, "What me worry?"
Over at National Review Andrew Stiles confronts the Democrats' reluctance to produce a budget:
Now that Senate Democrats have finally put their plan on paper, it is not hard to understand why they have been so reluctant to do so. For one, it is far easier to demagogue an opponent’s proposal without a serious plan of your own to defend. In almost all respects, the Democratic budget is a political testament to President Obama’s insistence that “we don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt.”…
[Washington’s Democratic Senator Patty] Murray’s budget, which is woefully light on specifics, essentially embodies what former Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner told [Republican Rep. Paul] Ryan last year: “We’re not coming before you today to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem. What we do know is, we don’t like yours.”…
Expect Republicans to pounce. Due to the nature of the budget process, GOP lawmakers will be able to offer dozens of amendments on the Senate floor, and force vulnerable Democrats to cast difficult votes on tax and spending issues. Most congressional Republicans are thrilled to finally have a Democratic alternative with which to compare their party’s own fiscal plan. “It’s going to be nice to be able to play some offense this time around,” a GOP aide says. “I think it’s going to become abundantly clear why Democrats have avoided this process for so long.”
The law requires that a federal budget be passed every year. So the Democrats are definitely running a bit behind schedule.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, apparently displeased at the prospect of a genuine debate, is floating the idea that Congress should only be required to pass a budget every two years.
So—let’s see—would that mean that the Democrats are only two years late?
It is amazing that the Democrats failure to produce budgets hasn't been a bigger issue.
It is even more amazing that with the United States on the brink of turning into Greece, one of the two major political parties wants to avoid serious financial debate.