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Blog of Mass Destruction

Yes...There's A Budget

By The Reverend Published: May 18, 2012

One of the most often repeated deceptions spun by Republican representatives and their media sidekicks is the accusation that Democrats haven't passed a budget in 3 years. Over and over again I hear each and every conservative squawker repeat the same nonsense.....Democrats haven't passed a budget in three years, that's how irresponsible the Democrats are. It is said that Democrats are so, so fearful of how a Democratic budget would be received by the American people that they just won't pass one for political damage control purposes.

I know you've heard this criticism. It has been everywhere. To me, it's one of the stranger criticisms in a sea of wingtopian criticisms of Obama and the Democrats. I suppose the "reasoning" of conservative critics here is to imply through repetition that Democrats are not good stewards of the nation's economy. Which is pretty rich coming from a political party which came within an ace of spades of destroying the U.S. economy once and for all in 2008.

But here's the problem. Republicans who wind themselves up and push the play button, spouting the same line again and again that Democrats haven't passed a budget in three years....and this shouldn't come as a surprise, really....are lying. Or, to bend over backwards to be fair, Republicans are, once again, trying to confuse and muddy another policy issue by making up their own set of facts.

Here's Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) (no favorite of mine) clearly explaining that yes, Democrats have passed a budget.....and surprise, surprise, so did Republicans.....

"This notion that we’ve not had a budget for three years is just wrong. Last year we passed the Budget Control Act,” he explained, referring to the bipartisan August debt limit deal that establishes spending levels for the next decade. “And if you read the Budget Control Act it makes very clear that it stands in place of a budget resolution. In many ways it is stronger than a budget resolution.”

Remember back in August of last year when the Teas were in DC singing "cut it or shut it" and "shut 'er down"? Great patriotic moments, no? Brings tears to my eyes just recollecting such a rare expression of true love of country. "Shut 'er down." Second only in patriotic appeal to the tear jerker "drill, baby, drill."

Conrad's words...."if you read the Budget Control Act it makes it clear that it stands in place of a budget resolution."

And wasn't that the point of the agreement back last August......to set the terms of how the federal budget would be controlled? Here's one of the main provisions of the Budget Control Act...

The bill directly specified $917 billion of cuts over 10 years in exchange for the initial debt limit increase of $900 billion.

Sure, the Super Committee was the vehicle which was supposed to agree on what spending was cut. However, that's where the "trigger" comes in. If the Supers stalemated...and they did....automatic spending cut triggers went into effect starting in 2013. $600 billion to be cut from defense, $600 billion to be cut from discretionary spending.

The Budget Control Act was actually a budget itself....and Democrats are abiding by that budget. So, in truth, the criticism that Democrats have not passed a budget in three years is simply not correct. The Budget Control Act, as Kent Conrad says....IS a budget.

Wednesday, Senate Republican peacocks decided to go all out on their deceptive and misleading tactics, preening and posturing during 5, count 'em, 5, separate budget proposal votes. All five failed.

Here's how the he-said, he-said media covered yesterday's peacock parade in the Senate...

The burst of Republican activity amounted to a primal scream of frustration over the fact that the Senate has not passed a budget in three years. Many political analysts agree with Republicans, who charge that Democrats have steadfastly refused to offer a budget to protect senators facing tough reelection contests from unpopular votes.

For their part, Democrats say last summer's Budget Control Act – the legislation stemming from the debt-ceiling deal, which included caps on discretionary spending for the next decade – effectively functions as a budget.

See how that works. Republicans say this, Democrats say that.....you figure it out because we in the media can't take sides. If we told you the truth that the Budget Control Act was the defacto federal budget, actually for the next decade, then we would appear biased....and god forbid that we take a stand on what is real and what is only perception. Not our job.

And so, despite the fact that the Budget Control Act which came out of the smoke and ashes of the TEAs attempt to close the government and downgrade the nation's credit rating back last August, with it's $92 billion in yearly cuts to the federal budget, ACTS as a federal budget for all intents and purposes.

Thus rendering the accusations by deceptive conservative and GOP mouthpieces that the "Democrats haven't passed a budget in three years.".....irrelevant. Congress is working under a passed budget. It's called the Budget Control Act. It was passed last August. The End.

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