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In the Media

article imageOp-Ed: U.S. Senate Democrats; no budget better than our budget

article:323895:20::0
By Larry Clifton
Apr 29, 2012 in Politics
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While Democrats continue to demagogue Republicans as being extreme for passing a fiscal budget containing a paltry $61 billion in deficit spending cuts, many Americans wonder why Senate Democrats are afraid to even propose a budget.
Senate Democrats, led by Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, have avoided passing a budget for the third consecutive fiscal year, a politically calculated ploy that a growing number of taxpayers consider a poke in the eye.
While the timely budget passed in the Republican-led House of Representatives hardly dents deficit spending, they at least had the political courage to propose and pass it. Many Americans are catching on to the cowardly Democratic Senate no-budget scheme as is reflected in the diminishing majority of Democrats in the Senate.
Could it be Senate Democrats refuse to pass a budget until after the elections because, once again, they don’t want you to see what is in it – like the costly partisan healthcare act they slipped through after elections in December of 2010?
Could 2012 be the election year that voters finally demand a Senate budget by firing Reid and his political ilk?
For their part, the Democrat-controlled Senate has admitted they aren’t interested in producing a U.S. budget this year even as economic turmoil and unemployment continues to deplete family budgets across the country and much of the world. Senators still wear fine suits, enjoy generous pensions and ride about in limousines while receiving the best health care money can buy, free of charge.
"This is the wrong time to vote in committee; this is the wrong time to vote on the floor," Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D. said on April 18th, according to a Washington The Examiner report. "I don’t think we will be prepared to vote before the election."
The U.S. Senate was suppose to pass a budget prior to an April 15th deadline; however during each of the last three fiscal years, even with an overwhelming majority, Senate leader Harry Reid has failed to pass a U.S. fiscal budget.
Meanwhile, Americans, those who pay taxes, were expected to file their federal tax statements on time.
A growing number of Americans see the failure of Senate Democrats to pass a budget as a political gimmick meant to avoid political embarrassment by hiding their intentions from the American people. After all, if there is no budget to critique the issue remains “out of sight, out of mind;” at least that’s what Democrats seem to be counting on.
"For three years, in the midst of fiscal crisis, the party running the Senate refused to even attempt to produce their financial plan in willful and knowing defiance of the law," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said in a statement on the three-year anniversary of the last Senate budget.
Sessions questioned how a Senate majority that hasn’t done its work has any business asking the American people to send one more dime in new taxes to a “dysfunctional (federal) government."
Democrats have offered a host of excuses for skipping out on their budget responsibilities. White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, for example, blamed Republicans for the lack of a Senate budget.
"You can't pass a budget in the Senate of the United States without 60 votes, and you can't get 60 votes without bipartisan support," he said on CNN in February. "So unless Republicans are willing to work with Democrats in the Senate, Harry Reid is not going to be able to get a budget passed."
There is one problem with Lew’s lame excuse; the Senate does not need 60 votes to pass a budget this year.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., argues that a debt limit deal passed last year “counts as a budget” because it sets a cap on how much Congress can spend. But analysts say setting caps on spending does nothing to inform the American people about how much money the government plans to spend or what it plans to spend it on.
Occasionally, a Senate Democrat admits that the Senate Democratic majority won't pass a budget for fear of being thrown out of office if the American people discover just how much they plan to spend and what their spending priorities include.
Last year, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said, "they don't want to risk the next election" by passing a (Senate) budget. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., recently concurred with Manchin's statement by admitting this is the "wrong time to vote."
Senate Democrats controlled 59 seats in the 2009-2010 Congress and for several months held a supermajority. The Democrats lost six Senate seats in the 2010 elections after piling on more national debt than 100 previous congresses combined. Still, Harry Reid and his Democrats are spending like there is no tomorrow, even after the U.S. credit rating was downgraded, assuring international lenders will charge ever-higher interest rates for U.S. borrowing.
The question for Democrats is whether the American people will call them out on November 6, or let the sleeping dog lie.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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