StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between

2013 Budget Debate May Be Setting The Standard For Crazy

19 Apr 2012
Posted by Stan Collender

If you weren't convinced that anything related to the federal budget on Capital Hill is completely nuts this year, just think about these three things, all of which are happening this week:

1. The House is putting together a FY13 reconciliation package based on the GOP/Ryan plan it passed earlier this year even though (1) reconciliation is required to be based on the budget resolution conference agreement between the House and the Senate, (2) there will be no budget resolution conference report agreement this year and, therefore, there will be no reconciliation, and (3) nothing the House considers for its own private reconciliation has any chance of actually (or perhaps ever) being enacted.

2. The Senate Budget Committee is trying to mark up a FY 13 budget resolution that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has already said will not be considered by the full Senate.

3. The budget resolution that will be offered in the Senate Budget Committee is based on the plan proposed by the two chairs of the Bowles-Simpson commission that is thoroughly discredited after (1) the commission itself failed to approve it and (2) the House resoundingly rejected a similar plan just weeks ago.

Note: This would be worthy of a skit on The Daily Show or Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live if it weren't so incredibly sad.

Stan, you ain't seen nothing

Stan, you ain't seen nothing yet. I realize you're commenting on the budget process, but the level of crazy we are going to see leading up to the election from the right will put everything else they've done so far to shame. When you have nothing to lose...

I don't think any of this is

I don't think any of this is "crazy", in the sense of being driven by a faulty or delusional perception of reality. These political actors are doing these things for very rational reasons, it's just that their reasons do not relate to actually enacting appropriations bills. Rather, their reasons are electoral: to be able to hammer their political opponents with the opponents' failure to vote for their proposed "commonsense" spending bills.

Too many politicians are not

Too many politicians are not serious about governing.
They don't believe in government doing anything but the military.
They are beholden to the wealthy special interests who fund their negative TV ads to disparage their opponents and maintain power.
There is nothing they want to do for their country so they want to give all the tax revenue away to their wealthy patrons as tax cuts or no bid contracts.
We have incredibly corrupt politicians who are bought by special interests.

The Peter Principle works

The Peter Principle works even for politicians. Even for presidents. I suggest the ancient Greek democratic way to ostracize the year's worst politician. Not that it will carry more weight than EA being voted the worst company of the year, but at least it will bring entertainment to the masses and possibly revenue for the media companies.

Correct Process

Mr. Collender -

If you could design the best budget process you could without rewriting the Constitution, what would it look like? Also, what do you think of the idea of going to a two year budget cycle and only doing them in non-election years?

"Also, what do you think of

"Also, what do you think of the idea of going to a two year budget cycle and only doing them in non-election years?"

If you search the archives of this blogge, you will see that this issue has been addressed in great detail. The bottom line is that Stan (and his former blogger colleagues) have concluded that procedural gimmicks like this are worse than useless, and that the reason there is budget gridlock has nothing to do with process and everything to do with the incompatible views of the scope and role of the federal government held by the two political parties.

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