Sunday, March 7, 2010

Outrage over reconciliation truly bipartisan

Blogger Matthew Yglesias highlights a New York Times chart that details the history of the reconciliation process and, according to him, makes it, "clear that pretty much everything Republican Senators have said on the subject is a lie."

I wonder if he bothered to read the background information on the right hand side of the chart.

The chart indicates that when reconciliation was used for the 1981 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, "Democrats claimed that it was a brutal, blunt and excessive use of presidential power."

Again according to the chart, with the 2001 Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (aka the first Bush tax cut), "Democrats were furious at the use of reconciliation to increase deficits sharply through tax cuts."

Sound familiar?

So, far from proving that Republican Senators are lying, it sounds like this chart proves that politician's notions about reconciliation are flexible. When politicians are able to pass a measure the support through reconciliation, it is nothing more than a tool of responsible governance. When the opposition passes a measure through reconciliation it is a dangerous power grab.

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