An unhappy anniversary: three years without a federal budget

Today marks the the third year since the Democrat controlled Senate has passed a budget, and the White House does not seem to care.

The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 mandates that Congress must approve a budget each year by April 15. In the Senate, where Democrats currently control 53 seats, only 51 votes are needed to pass a budget. Considering it one of the few legislative pieces that cannot be filibustered, Senate Democrats should have had no problem passing a budget.

Recently the Senate Budget Committee was scheduled to vote on a 2013 budget resolution, but Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) caved into pressure from his Democrat colleagues and postponed the vote (most likely after the 2012 general election).

Meanwhile, the national debt continues to rise exponentially with debt at roughly $15,690,572,000 at the time of this article. With an estimated US population of 312,674,813, each person’s share of the debt is a whopping $50,056 – debt that will primarily fall on the backs of America’s youth.

What makes the situation even more frightening is that the Obama administration does not seem to care about the rising debt or the lack of a budget.

Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke has noted that not having a federal budget is “bad for growth.” But when asked about the Chairman’s statement, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “I have no opinion- the White House has no opinion on Chairman Bernanke’s assessment of how the Senate ought to do its business.”

Democrats have repeatedly rejected Republican suggested budgets while offering no solutions of their own or counter attempts to present a budget. At one point, United States Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner even admitted as much during a budget hearing on Representative Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisc.) budget.

“You are right to say we’re not coming before you today to say we have a definitive solution to that long term problem,” he said. “What we do know is we don’t like yours.

It is pretty clear Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration do not plan to pass a budget before this year’s presidential election. They have demonstrated so by both a lack of initiative and constant smack downs of Republican proposals. With recent polls showing that only 29 percent of likely voters think the economy is on the right track and only 23 percent of likely voters support increased government spending, Congressional Democrats are setting themselves up for failure in 2012.

 

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  1. […] to deal with the impending downturn in government spending. As background, the Federal government doesn’t actually have an official budget, but the pressure to reduce deficits — along with mandated cuts from previous budget legislation […]