Senate unanimously rejects Obama’s budget
It wasn’t exactly a surprise, given that the House did exactly the same thing last month, but the Senate yesterday unanimously rejected President Barack Obama’s budget for FY 2013. Unfortunately, the Senate also rejected other budget proposals that would, unlike Obama’s budget, put the country back on a stable fiscal path:
The US Senate unanimously rejected President Barack Obama’s proposed 2013 budget Wednesday and shot down a series of Republican alternatives, assuring a prolonged election-year fiscal battle.
The Democratic-controlled chamber has not adopted in three years a budget resolution, which lays out spending and revenue targets for the year ahead, and Republicans repeatedly highlight the fact as they hammer Obama’s administration for failing to take a proactive approach to fiscal responsibility.
The Senate voted 99-0 against Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget request, with Democrats stressing that the vote was unnecessary because lawmakers wrote spending caps into a deal agreed last summer to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
In March, the House of Representatives rejected Obama’s budget proposal in a 414-0 vote.
I’ll admit that it’s a gimmicky for Republicans to bring Obama’s budget to the floor for a voter, but it’s telling that Democrats aren’t willing to get behind Obama’s proposal because it’s politically toxic. But not only does this provide Republicans with a talking point for the Senate’s failing to pass a budget in three years, it also allows them to note that Obama’s budget did not receive a single vote in both chambers of Congress.
Of course, you have President Obama saying that budget woes could be solved with additional revenues on wealthy Americans. But the idea that we’re going to close a budget gap as substantial as we have right now by taxing the rich alone is a farce, one that Bill Clinton pointed out earlier this week by noting that the middle class will wind up paying more taxes as well. But with tax hikes comes slower economic growth, which is the opposite of what our economy needs right now.
You may say that President Obama has proposed spending cuts in addition to tax hikes, and that’s true. However, history shows us that proposed spending cuts never really come to fruition. Not to mention that the spending cuts offered are relatively meek when compared to $1 trillion budget deficits and the $16.6 trillion national debt.
Unfortunately, Senate Democrats rejected a sane approach to the budget yesterday, rejecting a modest approach in Rep. Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity and a more radical, yet appropriate plan pushed by Sen. Rand Paul. They want to do nothing, essentially letting the dam holding back a river of red ink burst and soaking Americans will more taxes and debt.
Don’t get me wrong, Republicans aren’t willing to do much in the way of spending cuts either, as I wrote yesterday, but Democrats are content doing absolutely nothing…for three years now not even bothering to pass an actual budget.