Friday, April 8, 2011

The Budget is Just a Piece of Paper - Reprised

The budget process and the Democratic demagoguery make this a remarkably complex issue.

Back in October of 2010, when the budget and appropriations we are arguing about today was due,  Betty McCollum stated then that the budget was "just a piece of paper".

Prior to the election in November the Democrats held the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, and held it by a wide margin.  The Democrats could have easily produced a budget they were happy with, because the Republicans were completely, totally, out of power.  However the Democrats were not interested in a budget, they never produced a budget, even though it is a Constitutional requirement that Congress produce a budget and appropriations by October 1.

The Federal Budget
The final significant difference between the budget process and the normal legislative process is that there are three distinct stages of federal budget making. First, the Congress passes a Budget which provides the framework for overall federal government taxation and spending for the upcoming year. Then, before any money can be officially appropriated or set aside for a given program or purpose, that program or purpose must be authorized.

United States Senate - The Budget Process
Within six weeks of the President’s budget submission, congressional committees are required to submit their “views and estimates” of spending and revenues within their respective jurisdictions to the House and Senate Budget Committees. These views and estimates, along with information from other sources, is then used by each Budget Committee in drafting and reporting a concurrent resolution on the budget to its respective house.
Although it also does not have the force of law, the budget resolution is a central part of the budget process in Congress. As a concurrent resolution, it represents an agreement between the House and Senate that establishes budget priorities, and defines the parameters for all subsequent budgetary actions. The spending, revenue, and public debt legislation necessary to implement decisions agreed to in the budget resolution are subsequently enacted separately. Discretionary spending,3 in the form of appropriation bills, involves annual actions that must be completed before the beginning of a new fiscal year on October 1.
Section 302(b) of the Budget Act further requires the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to subdivide the amounts allocated to them under the budget resolution among their subcommittees. These suballocations are to be made “as soon as practicable after a concurrent resolution on the budget is agreed to.”

Given the lack of attention paid by the Democratic House in 2010, they simply "passed the buck".  This is the process that Betty McCollum said was just a piece of paper, she stated that the appropriations was the important part "that's law"!  But they didn't even do that! Which puts the entire Democratic plan in clear focus, they don't want to plan, they just want to spend.  That's a guaranteed way for unlimited, unfettered, out of control spending into debt!  They knew they were going to blow way past all debt limits, and just didn't want to be bothered or encumbered during the election.  Now they want to carp and complain as the adults in the room try to manage the finances of the country, instead of continuing a spending spree.

The demagoguery, scapegoating, and hysteria from the left, as the Dem Reps compete for title of Most Hyperbolic Demagogue of 2011 continued:
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) who said today that
the new Republicans elected to the House of Representatives last November came to Congress “to kill women.” She also likened Republican efforts to prohibit federal funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is endangered to actions taken by Nazis.
Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader  said on the Senate floor Friday morning that
the only issue holding up a budget deal to avert a government shutdown is funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide women's health services. 

If they are going to use something to demagogue as hurting women, they should at least choose an organization that doesn't actually demonstrate to be failing in that.
The sting operations revealed Planned Parenthood center staffers were willing to provide assistance to alleged operators of a sex trafficking ring — ranging from helping them arrange abortions for the underage girls they said they were victimizing to showing them how to avoid scrutiny and skirt parental involvement laws. The videos covered Planned Parenthood centers in Richmond and also other centers in Roanoke, Charlottesville, and Falls Church. A District of Columbia Planned Parenthood also encouraged and assisted sexual traffickers, as evidenced in an undercover audio file.

This seems to be all a huge Democrat political theater, in hopes they can use the useful idiots in the media to place all the blame on the Republicans.  No services for women were planned on being taken away.  It's just the government doesn't need to pay for them. 

While I wrote this they finally made an agreement.  And as I watch the President make the announcement, it is clear Obama and the Democrats will be taking the credit, where none is due them.  They abrogated their responsibility, they demagogued, and sniped.  Ultimately it was once again the conservatives who compromised and gave up the Planned Parenthood defunding to accomplish what had to be done.

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