Tuesday, January 24, 2012

No Budget in 1000 Days Yet Spending Increases Continue

The irony of a completely dysfunctional Congress now at the 1000 day mark of not passing a budget - as required by federal law - is not lost on many of those tuning into the president's State of the Union address Tuesday night. Despite the fact that a budget has not been passed during this president's term in office, the spending continues on in a brisk clip.

The federal government still managed to pile nearly $4 trillion onto the national debt as the Senate dithered during those 1,000 days. The Senate forced the federal government to function piecemeal for three years through a series of haphazardly stitched-together omnibus bills and continuing resolutions. These bring together in one massive document trillions in spending and borrowing that can then be jammed through Congress with one convenient up-or-down vote, with only token debate and few if any amendments allowed. It's Washington's nice and tidy way of handing voters a take-it-or-leave-it approach to federal spending.

Growing numbers of Washington politicians apparently would rather not be bothered with doing budgets. After all, budgeting is hard work, especially if, as it is for American families, there is a hard ceiling on how much can be spent. It requires politicians to make tough decisions about which programs get more funding, which get less and which, if any, are shown the door. Doing that means compromise, which in turn often prevents promises to constituents from being fulfilled. And worst of all, it means politicians can then be held accountable for their decisions by voters, who may not return them to office.

When the Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress during Obama's first two years in office, the Senate and the House were equally guilty. After the Republicans regained the House, however, they passed a proposed 2012 federal budget last year, thanks to the leadership of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. The Senate promptly rejected it, but didn't bother during the rest of 2011 to do its own version.

As is pointed out HERE, a lack of a budget has indeed increased spending.

A published budget would be an election-year death warrant for Senate Democrats, because Republican Senate candidates would stuff its highlights into every mailbox they could.

As Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., points out, going budget-less for so long has devastated our economy as Democrats have spent "$9.4 trillion and added $4.1 trillion to the national debt," plus over $1 trillion in deficits.

President Obama himself used to understand that a budget was a requirement of good government. But, that was then and this is now.

A budget, according to the president 1,000 days ago, is necessary "to lay a new foundation for growth." He praised Reid's 2009 budget for its massive new spending, like "new investments in renewable energy that will create millions of jobs and new industries, new investments in health care that will cut costs for families and businesses, and new savings that will bring down our deficit."

How's all that renewable energy investment working out?

The White House continues its personal war on American energy production. Health care costs are continuing to rise and there is no way that Obamacare is paid for, despite the nonsense spouted by the president's supporters. Unemployment is still way too high at 8.5% and consumer prices have risen. Whether it is filling up the car's gas tank or purchasing the week's groceries, consumers continue to feel the hit in the pocketbook.

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) speaks about the lack of a budget for 1000 days on the Senate floor:

Are you better off now than you were $4 trillion ago?

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