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Posts Tagged ‘federal budget’

Chucky Schumer to Speaker Boehner: Hey, Americans voted for change, so ignore those Tea Baggers

March 15, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s almost as if Democrats weren’t in power for four years:

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday advised House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to ignore conservative members of his conference in order to hammer out a long-term spending proposal with Democrats.

The third-ranking Senate Democrat said a growing number of Tea Party-backed Republicans are putting too much pressure on the top Republican to push for deep spending cuts that cannot clear the Democratic-controlled upper chamber, increasing the likelihood of a government shutdown.

“It is becoming clear that the path to a bipartisan budget deal may not go through the Tea Party at all,” he said. “In order to avert a shutdown, Speaker Boehner should consider leaving the Tea Party behind and instead seek a consensus in the House among moderate Republicans and a group of Democrats.”

Stories like this is what make most Americans despondent over elected officials who apparently are content to sit around, bitch and do nothing about our problems.

The only reason why the Congress is even debating a continuing resolution in March of 2011 in the first place, is because when they had control of both chambers last year, Pelosi and Reid and all the rest decided to shirk their duties as elected representatives and run for political cover from a coming election and sit around not passing a budget.  Kicking the can down the road, giving the next Congress the problems.  Cowardly buffoons are what they are.

Senate Democrats begging for White House leadership on budget battle

March 2, 2011 Leave a comment

They’re taking the President’s bait.  Again:

Without a clear strategy from the top, Democrats fear their party risks splintering even further. And absent a plan, Democratic senators worry they’ll be forced to cast politically treacherous votes that may be rendered meaningless if the White House and Republican leaders ultimately reach a bipartisan deal, nullifying whatever action the Senate takes.

We saw this exact scenario play out during the debate over Obamacare during most of 2009.  The President put forward a vague framework for “reform”, stood back, and let the Democrats take the heat for the rest of the year.  Then, he presided over some serious drubbings for Democrats at the polls.

Over two years into the administration, it’s amazing that the Democrats don’t seem to understand Obama’s political cunning.  He clearly doesn’t want to be anywhere near the political infighting, part of his strategy to appear above the fray and the partisan bickering in Congress.  And more importantly, the healthcare debate should put Democrats on notice–he really doesn’t care for their political careers.  So long as he gets to take credit in the end.

A government shutdown is ok if you’re a Democrat

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

The new meme for the looming budget fight in Congress is that Republicans are “clamoring” for a government shut-down, led by none other than Chucky Schumer.  Forget for a moment that you should consider what Schumer says a lie about ninety-nine percent of the time.

Democrats have no problems with government shutdowns.  The recent events in Wisconsin are a case in point:

…[I]f it’s so “reckless” to shutdown the government, why have Wisconsin legislators, the President and the DNC all supported the government shutdown in Wisconsin? Not only that, they have shutdown the government by fleeing the state and breaking the law, not to mention the illegal union strikes shutting down schools and national Democrats helping to organize the angry mob descending on Madison.

Excellent point by Mark Hemingway.  And what about the notion that a shut-down would be political poison for Republicans, as in 1996?  Maybe that won’t be the case this time around:

…[T]he budget crisis is much, much worse than it was in 1996 — Obama and Congressional Democrats added $4 trillion to the deficit in just over two years. I don’t think the magnitude of our current fiscal problems are lost on voters. And the more Congressional Democrats ratchet up the rhetoric towards the House GOP over the shutdown, the more they’re liable to be called out as rank hypocrites following right on heels of the Democratic temper tantrum in Wisconsin. 

Hypocrites you say?  Yes, I’d say that.

UPDATE.  A Memeorandum thread.

Obama’s budget proposal is rooted in politics, not fiscal discipline

February 14, 2011 Leave a comment

James Pethokoukis makes a great point:

Any slight chance that Obama might chart a bold path on debt reduction probably died when the UK recently reported an unexpected economic decline, a drop some economists incorrectly blame on Prime Minister David Cameron’s tough-love budget. No way is Obama going to risk a renewed economic slowdown and his potential reelection. As it is, his budget forecasts average 2012 unemployment of 8.6 percent. That means Obama expects to try and win a second term in the most hostile employment climate since the Great Depression.

It’s really no surprise that the President is using the financial condition of the United States for his political gain. 

[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]

Voting present on the Federal budget

February 13, 2011 Leave a comment

As this Wall Street Journal piece notes, President Obama has submitted a budget just for the sake of submitting a budget.  All of the talk these past few months about “serious” decisions on the budget reforms, the deficit, entitlement reforms, etc. are pretty much ignored.  A bi-partisan deficit commission?  Is there any doubt now that this was nothing but fluff?

Andrew Stiles:

Needless to say, Obama has set a low bar for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) as he crafts the GOP’s budgetary rebuttal. Ryan has scheduled a series of hearings next week to review the president’s budget and hear testimony from OMB Director Jacob Lew and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Expect a thorough grilling, in particular as to why the White House refused to touch entitlements. “If the president’s budget ignores [entitlement] programs, that means he is abdicating leadership on dealing with the deficit,” Ryan said on Fox New Sunday. “Presidents are elected to lead, not to punt, and this president has been punting.”

In all fairness, the WSJ piece points out that Republicans are not exactly lighting it up when it comes to addressing entitlement reform.  But that’s really not the point. 

In 2008, Obama, and by extension, the Democrats, were elected because they were considered the new grown-ups in Washington.  Remember all the talk about winning elections and cars in ditches and all that nonsense?   Yeah, about that.

The White House is more than happy for Republicans to come out and actually make the difficult decisions, and pay the political price for them.

Screwed up priorities

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Meeting with Republican Congressional leaders for the first time since his party’s mid-term drubbing by the GOP, President Obama lays down the law:

“Today we had the beginning of a new dialogue that I hope — and I’m sure most Americans hope — will help break through the noise and produce real gains,” the president said after a two-hour session that included Democratic Congressional leaders as well. “And as we all agreed, that should begin today because there’s some things we need to get done in the weeks before Congress leaves town for the holidays.”

Apparently, one of the “things” that Obama and the Democrats have in mind include opening the floodgates for illegal aliens rather than you know, voting on a federal budget, which is something the Constitution requires the US Congress to do, and which still hadn’t been completed before the Dems left town before the election.  And oh yeah, how about making a decision on the extending the Bush tax cuts, so that families and small businesses know what to expect in 2011?

Luckily, the Republicans in Congress are at least acting like they’re serious about our fiscal problems:

Senate Republicans are vowing to block all legislative business until Democrats hold votes on bills to extend the Bush-era tax cuts and keep the government funded through the new year.

In a letter signed by all 42 Republicans, Republicans warn they will filibuster any attempt to bring forward any bill besides those two measures. That could further complicate Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s desire to complete a laundry list of other bills in the final weeks of the 111th Congress.

Citing the nation’s high unemployment rate and the desire to “focus on creating an environment for private-sector job growth” Republicans are telling Reid “that we will not agree to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers.

“With little time left in this Congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities,” the letter said. “While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate’s attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike.”

The move was discussed by GOP leaders in a Monday evening meeting, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged his colleagues to sign the letter at a Tuesday lunch. If Republicans all agree to this maneuver, it’ll prevent the Senate from reaching the 60 votes needed to kill a GOP filibuster and advance legislation.

Unfortunately for Republicans, they will be the ones who will be forced to make difficult decisions when it comes to fiscal policy, as President Obama and the Democrats are content in kicking the can down the road.