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Saturday, April 2, 2011

I'm Confused Here

From The Washington Post we have this late Friday night article by Reporters David Fahrenthold and Paul Kane.

It seems the budget situation, the need for both houses of Congress to pass a continuing resolution by Friday night, and for the President to sign it, is all being put on the shoulders of House Speaker John Boehner.  I would have thought that the ball was in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's court, where Senator Rand Paul is putting forward troublesome riders.  That is to say, the House of Representatives have passed something and are waiting for a response from the Senate.

We all know that the problem is those 75 Freshman House Members.  They want to have the budget balanced and the Federal Debt reduced.  The idea that they would stand by what they ran on seems strange.

But, if those 75 chaps won't budge, what are their Democratic Party colleagues doing?  Sitting on their hands?  Are they not willing to compromise with the Republican Leadership in the House to get this Continuing Resolution passed?

Is this all about "optics"?

Regards  —  Cliff

Here is the short version on Continuing Resolutions.  The situation is further complicated by the fact that the US Congress must pass both an Authorization to spend money and an Appropriation of that money and the President must sign both or the Congress must override the veto.
The Senator has "attached an amendment to the small-business re-authorization bill" that has the Senate adopting then Senator Obama's words from the Senate Record in 2007 that the President does not have the "power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."


Craig H said...

What's confusing is how you find yourself compelled to turn this into an "R" good, "D" bad kind of thing. The Economist, of all the right-leaning opinion factories, has found it completely to the opposite of your characterization. ( Here's their take on the ringmaster of the Republican circus: John Boehner" is cowed by the new intake of theatrical extremists bent on playing at budget discipline rather than achieving it."

Their overall assessment is completely bi-partisan: "Both sides must shoulder some of the blame for the steadily worsening atmosphere on Capitol Hill. The Democrats have failed repeatedly, most recently with Mr Obama’s dishonest budget for the next fiscal year, to indicate how they intend to repair the nation’s finances. Yet even set against that miserable standard, it is the Republicans who deserve most criticism. While extracting many concessions from the Democrats, they have made precious few themselves. And while spinelessly failing to explain how the deficit might be controlled in the medium term, conservatives have vaingloriously demanded more cuts in the short term than should be inflicted on an economy as weak as America’s now is."

Do you disagree?

C R Krieger said...

Yes, I disagree.

First, the budget, the Authorizations and Appropriations, should have been finished before last year's elections.  This should not even be an issue for this Congress.  The current Congress should be working on the FY2012 effort.

Second, the reduction of a large deficit must start somewhere and right now the Democrats don't seem interested.

Third, Lord Keynes and his approach no longer seems as locked in concrete as F=MA or E=IR.

Fourth, there is a fundamental disagreement about the "Third" item, and there has to be some compromise or parts of the Federal Government are going to go on furlough.

My guess is the MSM, lead by Nobel Laureat Paul Krugman, will blame the Rs, regardless of the facts.  That said, I hear a lot about the House Speaker trying t work the problem but little about the Seate Minority Leader.  I will grant that the Vice President is trying to broker a $33 Billion deal, and good on him.

Regards  —  Cliff

Jack Mitchell said...

ZOMG. Cliff must have been in a rush to do his taxes. Which are lower because of Obama.

First, this canard is the moral equivalent of Bush blaming.

Second, the Democrats were interested in reducing the deficit but the GOPers opted to preserve the sacking on the middle class, allowing the uber rich to keep the Bush tax cut. POTUS, in the shadow of a Republican crashing of the our economy, capitulated to his corporate benefactors. Money rules. Voters drewl.

Third, Bush gave to the rich. Where's the beef? Suckle as much as you like from Friedman's Shock Doctrine. Please leave me and mine out.

Forth, this is not a fundamental disagreement. This is a choice. Perpetuate Fuedalism or don't. What say you?

Blaming the media and the Nobel Laureate? That's about as lame as saying 2010 means America wants Palin/Bachmann cupie evengelical gush up ecomonic policies intended to redistribute wealth from you and me to those we only read about.

Craig H said...

Cliff, it's exactly the avoidance of the "large deficit" that the Economist raises as an issue pointing out that neither the present Republican posturing, nor the Democrat intransigence, is centered around the real issue--what we're seeing now is an ideological standoff over the trivial side of a gargantuan problem.

The Economist is not part of American "MSM"--it's a decidedly conservative publication of (actually) respectable pedigree that can't bring itself to embrace the empty rhetoric of the American right on this. They have zero respect for the Democrat position, which I think you and your partisanship can respect. But they raise an important observation, that all the Tea Party whinging over trifles does nothing to build compromise over the REAL problem here, which are the "big 3".

We need to scale back entitlements for social security and medicare/medicaid, and bring our "defense" spending down dramatically. A quarter of a billion dollars on wasted Tomahawk missiles is one place to start.

Craig H said...

It's worth observing that only today's introduction and unveiling of the Republican federal deficit/debt reduction plan/budget changes the nature of this discussion. In fact, the appearance today of Republican-proposed guidelines specifically contradicts the premise of the original post.

Don't get me wrong--I'm happy to see it, and at first blush I'm eager to support it. (Specifically taking on the Medicare/Medicaid bogeyman is the key for me, and I like their approach to rationing care, and, yes, make no mistake it's rationing care). The important thing right now is to refrain from taking partisan sides, and to continue to insist the discussion is on the PLAN, not the posturing.

C R Krieger said...

I think today's action only talks to 2012 (and beyond).  We still have the FY2011 Budget to deal with (this year's budget).

I wonder if my youngest will get furloughed after Friday or if he is "essential" personnel?

But, the point about everyone having to work together is well taken.

Regards  —  Cliff

the other cliff said...

Maybe I'm a simpleton, but what is wrong with just going back to one of Bill Clinton's budgets, adjusted for inflation, of course. Wow, things must be really bad if I'm looking for a budget from Clinton!

C R Krieger said...

That is a lot more innovative that what we are getting from the folks who don't ride the Metro.

Regards  —  Cliff

Craig H said...

One reason we can't take one of Bill C's budgets and reuse it is that the income side of those things used to work a heck of a lot better than it would now due to "Bush tax cuts" as well as a moribund economy that wouldn't generate the full amount either way.

But I like the thinking. All this teeth-gnashing on the R side about fiscal prudence, yet it was there guy that blew the whole thing up in the first place.

Craig H said...

"Their" guy... I think my fingers are becoming illiterate in my old age.