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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Budget Battle Bongo

Last night, the US House & Senate came to an 11th hour agreement on a budget that will prevent a partial shutdown of the government.  All sides made statements about the necessity to live within our means & find ways to bring our budget deficit under control.  The agreement will cut approximately $38.5 billion.

As part of the agreement, Sen. Reid agreed to allow stand alone votes on Planned Parenthood funding & Obamacare repeal & Speaker Boehner removed policy riders from the budget bill.

Naturally, it's hard to see how the President & Sen. Reid are being very sincere about the need for spending cuts, when their original offers included spending increases & not cuts.  Reid, in particular, noted that an earlier proposal of $32 billion in cuts was "draconian".  Yet, last night he heralded the deal as historic.

While the deal is historic, that is not a difficult standard to meet in the light of our historic budget deficits. Even with the $38.5 billion in cuts, our deficit this year will be more than 38.5 x $38.5 billion. Historic, but just a drop in the bucket.

Moving forward, we must re-evaluate where our $$ go.  Too often our govt is funding groups because of the desires a few rather than on the need for the funding.  Planned Parenthood & NPR will not disappear without tax dollars.  The DC Scholarship program will.

Over the past few days, the Democrats made all sorts of wild, exagerrated claims about Republican efforts to kill women & harm women's health.  Speaker Boehner, meanwhile quietly went about restoring funding for the DC Scholarship program that benefits minority students in DC.

No wild claims about how the Democrats hated black children.  No effort to portray them as racist or anti-education.  Instead, Boehner continually & quietly fought for a successful program that the President wanted to cut.

Today, pundits will try to decide who won the budget battle.  But it wasn't the Republicans & it wasn't the Democrats.  It wasn't even the President.  The American people won last night.  Nearly $40 billion of tax payer dollars was saved last night.

But the war is not over.  This was just the first battle.  Now it's time to look toward next year's budget.  Read Paul Ryan's The Path to Prosperity - a 2012 budget proposal.  Don't complain to me what the press says about it.  Read it - it's under 75 pages long & a quicker read than Sports Illustrated or Cosmopolitan.  It even includes pictures (well, graphs).  Learn for yourself & decide for yourself.  Then we'll talk.

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