Thursday, May 17, 2012

Playing Politics with the Budget

Barack Obama presented a budget proposal to Congress some time ago.  Almost immediately, it went down in flames- 414-0 against- in the House of Representatives.  Yesterday, it died 99-0 in the Senate.  More Democrats voted for President Bush's final budget than voted for this piece of idiocy.

Which raises the question: what is the point of sending a budget which is obviously so bad that it could never, ever pass?  Perhaps he didn't expect it to pass in its initial form, but this was so bad NO ONE, not even confirmed communist Bernie Sanders could vote for it.  The Retiring and Ultra-Liberal Dennis Kucinich could not vote for this.  So what's the point?

I'm really not sure, but you don't want to hear that, so I'll come up with a couple of hypotheses. 

First: Pure Kabuki.  Not just the normal political games, in this interpretation, the idea would be specifically to make it so bad that the Democrats could vote against it to build up there "individualism" cred.  They could vote (completely symbolically) against the President, so they can go back to their constituents starting in August and say, "I'm not just a rubber stamp for the President!"

Second: Partisan Games.  In this hypothesis, President Obama wants it to fail, and doesn't care whether or not Democrats vote for it.  The idea would be to get those Wascawy Wepubwicans on the Record as "blocking" the President's budget, and then relying on the Media to provide cover for the Democrats.  Then, President Obama could run against the "do nothing Congress" this year, instead of Mitt Romney.

Third (for Completeness): Barack Obama is a stuttering clusterf*ck of a miserable tyrant.  I'm partial to this one, actually.  In this one, the Malignant Narcissist in Chief doesn't care about the cost to "his" Democrats, he wants what he wants, and his ideology will not allow him to submit any budget that does not try further to redistribute wealth and punish the productive class.

Ultimately, though, I do know this: whatever his specific reasoning, it is clear that Barack Obama is doing nothing more than playing politics with the budget.  That is beyond 'cynical.'  To do so endangers our already fragile economy, it harms economic growth, it undermines the 'full faith and credit' of the US Government, and it makes it much harder to track where money is being spent.

Worse, the US Senate has failed to pass any budget- presented by the President or otherwise, for more than 3 years now.  The GOP Controlled House has passed at least one every year.  The Senate often will not bring them up for votes.  This, too, is beyond cynical and is positively destructive.  One of the few legitimate powers of Congress is to pass a budget.  Failure to do so does not mean money does not get spent, it simply means it is harder to track.

So when the Democrats complain about the "ultra partisan" GOP, remind them that it isn't the GOP who is not passing budgets, and it's not the GOP who isn't getting a single Democrat Vote.  That's the Senate and the President.


  1. I don't get why Pubbies don't take advantage of this situation to say, "Since we don't have a budget, why should we fund this (insert Federal Agency name here) department?"

    All kinds of fun could be had with this, IMO. Which explains why I could never get elected.

    1. Because that would be mean.
      Alternatively: Because shut up.

      I agree with you. But I agreed with Rick Perry's idea of bringing zero-base budgeting to Washington. Obviously good fiscal sense and a plan to shrink Government weren't enough, though.

      But I'm not bitter.

  2. If they passed a budget, then a deficit number would be published regularly. Notice that you haven't heard about the deficit in 3+ years?

    1. Well, I have, but I'm more plugged in than most people.