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  • Morning Bell: Budget? Why Follow A Budget?

    Families and businesses have budgets, yet Washington doesn’t — and it hasn’t for the last three years. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) doesn’t think this major omission is that big of a deal, and the White House has no opinion on the matter. Fortunately, there are leaders in the House who see the importance of passing a budget and getting runaway spending and escalating debt under control.

    For Congress, the budget is an outline of how and where money will be spent across the federal government and how high taxes and borrowing will be. The budget guides all spending, tax, and reform bills that must be passed during the year, and Congress is obligated to pass one every year. Despite those facts — and even with a $15 trillion national debt — Senator Reid last week said, “We do not need to bring a budget to the floor this year,” disavowing the entire budgeting process — and his responsibility, right along with it.

    On Wednesday, ABC’s Jake Tapper asked White House press secretary Jay Carney where the President stands on the Senate’s failure to pass a budget, particularly in light of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s statement that the lack of a budget has had an adverse effect on economic growth. Carney’s response: “Well, I don’t have an opinion to express on how the Senate does its business with regards to this issue.”

    For the record, the White House has had plenty of time to formulate an opinion. For those keeping count — and The Heritage Foundation certainly is — America’s do-nothing Senate has gone 1,017 days without passing a budget, opting instead to pass a variety of continuing resolutions and omnibus spending bills to keep the government running. This is just a way to pass the buck on making real decisions about spending priorities, while Washington keeps burning money at the current rate.

    The trouble is, that current rate is a disaster. But, of course, Reid has an excuse for why passing a budget isn’t necessary — he says Congress already imposed a spending cap in last summer’s Budget Control Act (BCA). It’s an argument the American people shouldn’t be buying, and it’s one that Reid shouldn’t be selling. Heritage’s Patrick Knudsen explains that the BCA was nothing more than “a poor substitute for a budget resolution — a rushed, eleventh-hour ‘solution’ to a manufactured debt ceiling crisis.” And the cap that Reid is relying on? It only affects about a third of total spending and is full of deliberate loopholes that make the caps all but meaningless.

    Why does a budget matter? It’s all about priorities. And if Washington doesn’t govern with one, well, it isn’t governing. Instead, Congress is avoiding the tough decisions it must make to get our twin crises of spending and debt under control. The first step to doing that is to pass a budget, like the House did last year and intends to this year. Otherwise, spending will continue to spiral out of control, and no choices will be made about what is important and what is not.

    We’re already seeing the effects. Remember that “super committee” that was supposed to come up with another $1.2 trillion for deficit reduction? It failed as predicted, and now the U.S. military is threatened with devastating cuts that will render it a hollow force, unable to adequately carry out its mission. Likewise, entitlement programs are reaching the tipping point with spending set to more than double by 2050 as more and more babyboomers flood into the programs and health care costs continue to rise. As spending on entitlements and other programs spirals out of control, it will drive publicly held debt upwards of 300 percent of Gross Domestic Product. This is an untenable situation both economically and morally as younger generations will be on the front lines of paying for this mess.

    There is, however, a ray of light coming out of Washington. Last year, the House passed a strong budget under House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) leadership. And it continued that work this week by speedily passing several budget process reform bills. Two of the measures would enhance transparency by helping measure the cost of legislation and by requiring the Congressional Budget Office to measure the economic impact of legislation. A bill passed last week targets one of the greatest enablers of hidden spending increases: the automatic inflation increases to discretionary spending baselines. And on Wednesday, a bipartisan bill passed with an additional tool to restrain spending. A total of ten budget process reform bills are planned.

    Those are good first steps, but the rest of Washington remains out of step. Senator Reid has told the nation he will continue to shirk his budgeting responsibility. On Monday, one week late, the White House will kick off the annual budgeting process with the release of President Obama’s budget proposal. For the President’s FY 2013 budget to be serious, it will need to reverse the rise of spending and debt with specific, credible policy proposals. Another year of fig leaf proposals with more spending and higher taxes will allow Harry Reid and the Senate to pass the buck again.

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    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    56 Responses to Morning Bell: Budget? Why Follow A Budget?

    1. Loudmouth Elephant says:

      There is a constant debate about revenues vs. spending and which is the problem… we say it is most definitely spending. It is out of control. See our analysis: http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2011/12/rev

      P.S. Revenues increased dramatically in the short time after the Bush-era tax cuts… hmmm

    2. Budget? says:

      Budget? We don't need no stinking budget!!
      -Treasure of the Sierra Nevada

    3. Pete says:

      It is difficult to understand why the Senate can be operated in the manner in which it is without consequences. The Democratic Senators vote in Harry Reid and the people that voted in the democratic senators are not holding them responsible for the actions of their leadership. I live in a state with Republican Senators and we would be raising hell with them if they were not doing their duty. The states that put in the do nothing Democratic Senators need to get off their ass and let their senators know that this situation is not going to work. The Senate is certainly lacking in committment to the majority of the american people and pandering to the rich and poor liberal minority. The middle class liberals and conservatives are totally ignored in this process.

    4. Loudmouth Elephant says:

      There is a constant debate about revenues vs. spending and which is the problem… we say it is most definitely spending. It is out of control. See our analysis: http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2011/12/rev

    5. Jeanne Stotler says:

      They are too busy trying to take down Christianity in the ountry to make a budget. But why obey any part of the Constitution, this administration not only is trying to destroy this country, it's trying to destroy all human rights.

    6. Adam Mis says:

      No media coverage? 3 yrs and counting.

      • sdfultz says:

        11 years, don't forget the Bush hidden budget or lack of accounting for 2 wars!

        • Loudmouth Elephant says:

          How would YOU end the wars? Some in the GOP say the answer is in the Constitution. Check out this author's take… share opinions at the blog: http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2012/02/rea

          Pass it on.

          • Juan Martinez says:

            End the wars just like Nixon did with Vietnam: declare victory and go home. Afghanistan will become a bloodbath like Cambodia was, and Iraq will have civil war for a decade like Lebanon did. But, just like George Bush promised us no foreign adventures and hopeless efforts of nation building beyond our borders, rescuing these societies from religious fanatics and their viscious sectarian conflicts just can't be our job anymore.

            • Owen says:

              These weren't wars, they were extended battles. They were fought to isolate one muslim country from another. Admittedly fuzzy logic, but appealing to simple minds. When we pull out, they will be united in short order. Like it or not, the West will then be faced with a real war — the 5th Crusade!

        • jrcowboy49 says:

          It is difficult to budget a war!

    7. Larry Baylor says:

      Recall Harry Reid for violating Senate Rules. Harry gets a pass every time.

    8. Obama_epic_fail says:

      Every single day solidifies my belief that the current regime in DC is bent on bringing down this country to a new level to solidify an economically challenged voter base who are stupid enough to believe the constant flow of rhetoric out of Dear Leader's mouth filtered by the media.

      Hope. Change. Lies.
      Don't worry, I am shooting this marshmallow cannon at the budget. Everything is ok folks. Greece, here we come!

    9. With the failure of reid to refuse to pass a budget their should be sanctions taken against him. and joe biden also
      for he should come in and require one be passed afterall he is part of the senate.

    10. T Wood says:

      Why pass a budget? we the people have a blank check ready for them to spend on anything & everything. After all the 'stuff' Reid has done, who the heck re elected him? Time for him, among a lot of others to get out? Why don't the people have the right to choose term limits on these money grabbers?

    11. Tony says:

      Once again, The Heritage Foundation is right on the mark. Look out Greece! Here we come! $15.3 trillion dollars in debt! And if we don't get a handle on not only stopping it from increasing but actually reducing it, we will perish as a Nation.

    12. Mary......WI says:

      I think its all part of the liberal agenda to blame Republicans for demise of this country in spite of the fact Paul Ryan has submitted at least 3 budget proposals all passed by the House but shot down by the Senate. If the liberals don't get EVERYTHING they want they go into "temper tantrum" mode….the same thing is happening with the liberals in WI against our Governor Walker. Of course it is the liberals taking this country into the bowels of hell….they have no respect for our Constitution and no respect any American. They want what they want when they want it and they leave collateral damage in the wake of their demands NEVER taking responsibility for ALL the wrong choices they have thrust onto the backs of Americans.

    13. Roger Crassi says:

      I don't have a budget either when it comes to spending my neighbors social security checks. But neither am I getting any of their money. Our government needs to be restructured from the top down. First step: Throw out everyone already there.

    14. EON59 says:

      I would like to say shame to the Nevada voters who kept Harry Reid in the Senate, but the idiot left wingers in my state gave us Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. God help us.

    15. EUS says:

      The House is just as responsible as the Senate and will be until they stop passing the continuing resolutions and shut down the government just like 1995. It only led to a balanced budget and a surplus even though the President stated there would be 200 billion deficits for as far as the eye could see.

    16. Texigent says:

      God help the United States of America.

    17. AJ Johnson says:

      A budget is only a tool to:

      help guide your decisions;
      base predictions on;
      accomplish your goals;
      re-direct actions;
      assure accountability;
      address emergency situations and
      keep you going in the right direction.

      So it's obvious – they don't do any of these things, so they don't need one!
      Isn’t there a law that a budget has to be passed by a certain time? Oh, forgive me, they are above the law – right?

      AJ

    18. The name of this game is real simple. The more complicated the government can make things the less the people understand or even want to try to understand. The less the people understand and want to get involved the more control the government gains. This gives the government the incentives to take on more services because they feel the people are not capable of handling them on their own. We now find ourselves at the point of no return. The government has taken on so many services and responsibilities they do not have the expertise or have the money to hire the personnel to handle them. So many people have given up the responsibilities they should be handling to the government they are now dependent on a system that the government can no longer handle or control.

      • jrcowboy49 says:

        And we need to get rid of base line budgeting and use business GAAP approved budgets that all should understand.

    19. toledofan says:

      You don't need a budget if you think you have an endless amount of money and don't really care where it goes. The reality is the Democrats don't care what gets spent and who spends it, they control the bank. Bad loans, good loans it doesn't matter, Solyndra and the other green companies that have gone under are good examples. It's obvious that the Democrats can't be trusted with managing the economy, the military or the government. The damage Reid has manifested over America boarders on treason and he should be held to account.

    20. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      BECAUSE IT'S THE LAW! DUH!

    21. lizaz says:

      Why would Democrats want to be restrained in their spending by a budget??? Good Grief!!! Do you think they are stupid?? No money for their union buddies, vote buying, perpetuating voter fraud, supporting illegal aliens…look at all the votes they would lose!!! The only way to change this is change the balance of power in the Senate and the WH….we look forward to NOV 2012 and Independents will be voting accordingly!!!

    22. kellied says:

      Its just obvious to me, that if they passed a budget the president couldn't BUY all the votes he needs. He couldn't spend us into a state of oppression. They SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO SPEND OUR MONEY ANY LONGER WITHOUT A BUDGET PASSED!! How can these crooks get away with that??

    23. Michael says:

      The choice is stark this year. Either you want government to give you everything you need and you're willing to give up the individual freedoms so many have fought and died for, or you believe the private sector is the heart of our democratic republic and in personal responsibility for providing what you both need and want. Many need to be reminded that "if you have a government big enough to give you what you want, you have a government big enough to take everything you have." Think about that and decide. It's on us to run the corrupt elitist socialists out of Washington and install decent conservative replacements that are willing to do what's needed to save our country and restore it to greatness if it's still possible. It sure as hell won't be in another four years if our Dear Leader is allowed to remain in office.

    24. jlb says:

      If the House has a budget, then they should stand by the budget they have prepared. The Senate obviously is not up to task. The House is equal to the Senate and it can control spending if it were serious. Sure, the President does not need to sign bills but he needs the House to provide the spending authorization. Neither the President nor the Senate can get past the House and I would hope that the House would start rattling their cages. I work for the government-shut it down, reduce its size, stop the expansion of money supply, balance the budget, fire 45 czars, bring charges against Holder, attack the White House corruption-failure to act is equivelant to being an accomplice.

      • Owen says:

        Jib — nicely and succinctly stated. We need to pound on the House to encourage the growth of back-bones. The maiinstream media will obviously attack the House, but what's new. People who want these issues settled will blow-off such nonsense.

    25. jrcowboy49 says:

      The Republicans need to force this issue as they have sent the Senate at least 2 budgts and the Obstructionist Reid will not allow them an up or down vote. Without a vote or budget they should stand firm on no increase in the debt limit!

    26. ThomNJ says:

      The Democratic Socialists (that's what they are) somehow believe two opposing ideas (not unusual):

      The "economic pie" is a fixed size, and we all must share equally.

      The cash available through taxation is endless.

    27. sdfultz says:

      Recall the Last President for not budgeting the 2 wars.

      • KC-NM says:

        OMG – you can blame both sides all you want to – but the issue remains the same. The lack of leadership in the Senate and Whitehouse is ruining this country. Not having a budget or wanting a budget is plain stupid! What American's need to do this year is get "studid" out of the Whitehouse and Congress, and then start over with real American's who care!

    28. Mustang says:

      Too bad there isn't a man in the federal government to take Reid to task. This SOB is one third of the problem and though we can't pick on a woman Reid should be fair game

    29. Phil says:

      Since the House controls the purse strings, maybe they should stop funding of the Senate.

    30. JOE says:

      All of this is Republican's fault. They are so afraid to stand up to these commies and that's why this country is doomed. Republican's always back down ,even when they are in power. Republican's have no courage and shoul just go home.

    31. sdfultz says:

      So my observation about the budget issue does not get a reply only voted down, so should we be blind to how we got here?

    32. sue says:

      Budget- so simple. You don't spend more than you have or you are in trouble. Also, it would be great to have a simple tax- everyone pays the same amount- no long income tax forms, tax evasion and loopholes, etc. The community assists people in trouble not the government.. In our LDS church, we buy no new buildings until we have the money. We have a Perpetual Education Fund for missionaries from third world countries. When they go home to poverty, they can borrow for an education, uplift their standards, contribute to their country, and must pay it back to the fund. We are taught to be self sufficient- to be out of debt, to save money and supplies for emergencies, to participate in our Welfare Fund and farms so that if we are in pressing times we can use that storage the church has. Our church is totally self sufficient and that is how we can go all over the world to help in disasters which we have been doing for years. We are prepared ahead of time to do that. Being self sufficient is the bottom line for individuals, families, states, and nations. The Founding Father's knew it- but that idea seems to have changed and now all of the immigrants from socialized or welfare states are on our welfare system- no responsibility there.

    33. Joseph McKennan says:

      Jay Carney's remark sums up the whole problem. He is a bureaucrat with no opinion. Bureaucrats have their salaries, insulation from responsibility, and no accountability. They are the socialist's most trusted ally.

    34. sue says:

      I can tell you from personal experience what happens when you spend more than you have. I have watched my husband do it every year he has worked and tried to explain budgets to him. He didn't get it, and now I realize that he didn't grasp it because he has undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome. I knew we would end up in trouble and that is an understatement of our present situation- my future is precarious for this reason. I don't think anyone in this government has Asperger's Syndrome. They have a different syndrome- power and wealth and make everyone dependent upon the government which leads loss of freedom and an eventual dictatorship- even if only we still have the same structure that we were given we can still end up with a dictator who ignores what the people of this country want- present situation…………horrors thinking about where we are heading if we get more of the same.

    35. sue says:

      You just do not spend more than you have- that applies to the government, also. You let the community help individuals and it should be done in a way that makes them responsible. Charitable churches and organizations help people out and some in ways that allows them to pay back. This government just gives and gives and no one learns personal responsibility just dependence.

      This is happening in families, also, since I grew up. Newly married couples buy everything they need and go into debt. Wars and depressions create situations where couples don't want their children to be deprived. The mind set gets passed down unless you know better. I wonder how many of these men are a product of that mind set and how many just want power and wealth?

    36. Bill Kendrick says:

      Well said.

      "Another year of fig leaf proposals with more spending and higher taxes will allow Harry Reid and the Senate to pass the buck again."

      Maybe a reminder of what the consequences of trying to hide your actions with a fig leaf are….

      “Cursed is the ground for your sake;
      In toil you shall eat of it
      All the days of your life.
      18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
      And you shall eat the herb of the field.
      19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
      Till you return to the ground,
      For out of it you were taken;
      For dust you are,
      And to dust you shall return.”

    37. sue says:

      A budget is simple. You don't spend more than you have. My husband, whom I now realize has Asperger's Syndrome ( undiagnosed and figured out by myself) spent more than he made every year we worked and now we are in deep trouble with my future precarious. Do you think anyone in Congress has this disease? No- one called control, wealth and power, and make everyone dependent on the government. We are ending up with a dictatorship, even with the original system still there. I would like to see everyone pay the same taxes- one rate- very simple. Get rid of this money spending hound and his Czars. Just think- Geoge Washington had to be persuaded to be President and wasn't paid. With that kind of person in the government we would have servants and not wealthy masters. Sue

    38. P L says:

      So: Who wants to applaud Nevada Republicans for sitting on their *** hands ** allowing reid to be reelected once more again!

    39. Richard says:

      Republicans taught us budgets don't matter. As Dick Cheney said "Reagan proved deficits don't matter." Indicating a lack of knowledge of history, economics and Reagan. When Reagan realized what a disaster he had created with his taxs cuts he passed the largest peace time tix increase in US history. Clinton handed Bush a budget surplus which he tossed in the trash. He then handed Obama $1.3 trillion deficits and the largest recession since the Depression. Clinton raised taxes and had an enormous economic growth. Bush cut taxes and to paraphrase Cheney, "Bush proved tax cuts to not stimulate the economy."

    40. JL Penfold says:

      I smiled a bit at your noting that the Dems method of not passing a budget allows them to pass the buck. Actually trillions of bucks on to the next generation.

    41. Owen says:

      This article suggests a naiveté that is almost breath-taking. Of course we need a budget; of course the congress is the source of the budget, the President only makes a request for funds to operate the government, the congress determines what he will get. The American people will pay for it. So, why doesn’t the Heritage Foundation “call a spade a spade” and provide specific information as to who is and who is not supporting the constitutional requirements for creating and managing the government’s budget? We need a list that names names and we need to keep it up-to-date and in front of everyone through the elections in November! We know Reid, Pelosi and Obama, but who are the others who are destroying this country by failing to be fiscally responsible? So what if the list is long, we need to know! These people need to be booted out of office.

      So, Heritage Foundation, help us out.

    42. llrc says:

      No budget is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard of. So many people agree with this.

      BUT, opinions are not the answer.

      The Question is, WHAT CAN WE DO???

    43. tara says:

      increase the retirement age. people are living much longer lives.

    44. Mel Nelson says:

      Someone please enlighten me. The President is set to propose a budget. The Senate has not proposed a budget in 1000+ days. The House proposed a budget but it has not taken up by the Senate.
      What budget is supposed to be used? Who is responsible for preparing a budget? What is the media's duty in reporting this fiasco? Evidently, there is no need for a budget from anyone! The government keeps on spending with no oversight, no rules, no anything!

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