Tuesday, July 5, 2011
"The Just Do Your Job Act"....The 792 Day Budget Train Wreck
If it's true, this would be big news. There was no Senate Democratic budget last year, and this year's budget was supposed to arrive no later than April. But here we are at the start of July and a budget is merely rumored to be arriving. Even the usually sympathetic New York Times and Washington Post were starting to poke fun at the Democrats for this dereliction of duty.
Mr. Conrad said the Democrats had a plan ready back in April that was "good to go." But he and his colleagues weren't at all ready to go because Democrats couldn't get a majority to agree on a proposal. Meanwhile, over in the House, freshman Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle introduced a bill titled "The Just Do Your Job Act," which cut off payments to the Senate Budget Committee until a budget is approved. In the two-year period without a budget, the Senate Budget Committee spent $12 million. "Even the Libyan government passed a budget," Ms. Buerkle decried.
The latest purported budget is expected to save $4 trillion over 10 years, with half of the deficit reduction coming from spending cuts and the other half from tax increases. Those tax increases are expected to include higher profits taxes on oil and gas companies; loophole closings for high-income filers; and perhaps a three-percentage-point increase in the income-tax rate on millionaires, which was in an earlier draft. The Bush-era tax rate cuts for those making more than $250,000 would be gone, too.
On spending, Democrats announced what they wouldn't cut rather than what they would. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are pretty much off the table, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California told the Hill newspaper. In other words, expect deep cuts in the military budget. Like Ms. Boxer said, Democrats "know what our priorities are." ‘
-- Stephen Moore, Wall Street Journal Political Diary 07/01/2011