Saturday, March 28, 2009

Congressional Democrats Go (G. W.) Bush League

Over at One Wisconsin Now, Scott has a post up excoriating Rep. Paul Ryan. The proximate reason for Ryan's thrashing is the Republican response to the Obama budget. A response which didn't actually contain any numbers, as Scott points out.

Congressional Democrats have come out with a budget response of their own and, curiously, it also is missing some numbers. $250 billion to be precise. Here is Reuter's on the missing digits:
Obama has requested in his budget $250 billion to add to the $700 billion widely-criticized financial bailout fund. But the chairmen of both the House of Representatives and Senate Budget Committees refused to include it in their budget plans. [snip]

Both congressional budget committees quickly jettisoned it, giving them an easy way to cut massive red ink from their budget plans for the few years.
The Bush administration preferred to treat the cost for the war in Iraq in much the same way, outside of the budget.

Spending which is reasonably predictable and can be estimated, even roughly, should not be omitted from the budget.

Maybe the Democrats know something we don't. Namely, that the worst is behind us and no more bailouts will be necessary; Or perhaps they have decided to take a stand and flatly refuse the next time some failed corporation comes to the Hill looking for a handout.

I doubt either of these are the case and this missing $250 billion will come up again before too long. It is more likely that Reuter's has it right that this seemed like an easy way for Democrats to massage the budget numbers and pat themselves on the back for fiscal responsibility.

This omission is really too bad. Congressional Democrats have followed Obama in so many other ways, including many on the budget, drawing the line at this seems a bit absurd.

Congressional Democrats would do well to remember that if you follow someone over a cliff, you can't stop ten feet before you hit the ground. You follow them the all the way down.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Per Democrats and the Bush League. That is the trouble, there is too much posturing and politicizing. They must get behind their leader and get things done, right (hopefully) or wrong. I see this as a problem of Democracy in this day and age of instant analysis reactionary statements. Your comments are right on.