Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Politics and Budgets - FY2012

The Heritage Foundation has an interesting new tool / series of stories to help follow the FY2012 budget process. 

The US Government's budget process is one that is fodder for both political parties as we enter the full election season leading up to the November 2012 Presidential election.  With the President already positioning himself to run against a 'do nothing' 'Republican Congress', despite the facts, it's going to be important for the American people to see which party is the one that is obstructionist and advocating policies that are damaging to the fiscal standing of the country.

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Facts can be stubborn things if someone is willing to seek them out.  Often, when the facts work against a particular viewpoint, the effort can be to obfuscate the facts and replace them with a different meme.  That happens all too often in political discourse.

Some basic budget facts....the Democrat majority in the US Senate has failed to pass a budget for nearly 950 days.  Because of this, government funding is being done by Continuing Resolution.  US Law requires a budget be passed annually, but this is not a concern to the Senate Democrat Leadership.  Government spending continues to increase significantly since the Republicans lost control of Congress in January 2007.  This pace of increase accelerated further since the inauguration of the Obama Administration in January 2009.  We are spending today nearly $1T per year more than we did in FY2008.

The claims of a 'do nothing' Republican House are nothing more than specious claims.  They have 6 appropriation bills for FY2012 passed and they are hung up in the Senate.  They continue to work on the additional bills needed, but are facing challenges around their desire to cut spending and reform entitlements that are running out of control and the objections by the Democrats to those cuts combined with the desire by the Democrats for major tax increases.  Some of these delays are also the result of the leadership decisions to punt on these discussions for another three weeks when the 'Supercommittee' established by the last Debt Reduction bill is due to make their recommendations.

Currently, this country is hurtling down the path to fiscal calamity at 1,000 mph.  The political divide only makes taking corrective action harder.  Ultimately, we either have to return to fiscal responsibility or we will run out of other people's money.

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