To The Daily Sun,
Congress faces a short-term deadline of Oct. 1 to prevent a shutdown of the federal government. Some lawmakers are also trying to reach a deal on a longer term spending measure that would run likely run through the end of the fiscal year in September 2016. A congressional budget plan and another presented by President Obama are proposed as a guide that process.
The Republican-controlled Congress ratified a 10-year budget in May. That document, and it is a non-binding document and not a law, cuts spending by $5.3 trillion keeping discretionary domestic spending below the limits imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Implementation of that budget document went nowhere.
Republican committee chairmen have to draft legislation in the form of 12 separate bills appropriating money for different government departments that actually impose the prescribed cuts dictated by the budget. That has not been accomplished.
Democrats vow to block legislation that does not raise domestic spending. Their position is that they want a new agreement replacing the agreed-upon sequestration. One that instead matches increases in domestic spending with increases in defense spending. They have stymied the budget process in the Senate by filibustering bills that keep intact sequestration. The Senate has passed exactly zero appropriations bills, while the House has approved six of them.
The impasse has led to a situation where there is no more money in the treasury, the wiggle room is gone, and the borrowing authority will soon be exhausted. This is not a Democratic problem. This is not a Republican problem. This is an unnecessary political problem. Our progressive politicians have made it reoccurring intentionally for dramatic effect. It is also an act of personal and political irresponsibility on the part of our elected representatives.
We need representation that is effective enough to get a result. It is time to stop the kabuki theater. It is time to pass a balanced budget. It is time act responsibly. We must prioritize what we are going to spend the available money on. The debt needs to be reduced because debt service is taking a lot of money away from more important matters (debt service is the largest single cost of the federal government) ... which we would otherwise be able to support.
If the best judgment of both political parties is that the federal government should be shut down until the Democrats and Republicans can sit around the campfire and sing "Kumbay", then I, for one, say okay, fine. Go for it. Shut it down. We did not miss it last time. It is unlikely we will miss it this time either. Maybe there's a message in that someplace.