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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday Afternoon Budget Buster

Barack Obama loves to try to blame George Bush for our deficits and out of control spending, as if Democratic control of Congress for the last several years, and Obama's control of the budget this year, had nothing to do with it. So how will Obama blame Bush for this:

The Democratic-controlled Senate on Saturday cleared away a Republican filibuster of a huge end-of-year spending bill that rewards most federal agencies with generous budget boosts.

The $1.1 trillion measure combines much of the year's unfinished budget work — only a $626 billion Pentagon spending measure would remain — into a 1,000-plus-page spending bill that would give the Education Department, the State Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and others increases far exceeding inflation....

The measure provides spending increases averaging about 10 percent to programs under immediate control of Congress, blending increases for veterans' programs, NASA and the FBI with a pay raise for federal workers and help for car dealers...

Just the $626 billion defense bill would remain. That's being held back to serve as a vehicle to advance must-pass legislation such as a plan to allow the government's debt to swell by nearly $2 trillion. The government's total debt has nearly doubled in the past seven years and is expected to exceed the current ceiling of $12.1 trillion before Jan. 1.

Three Republicans, Sens. Thad Cochran (Mississippi), Richard Shelby (Alabama) and Susan Collins (Maine) voted with the Democrats. So this is not just a Democratic Party problem, although mostly it is.

And notice the neat little trick of leaving the defense budget for last, knowing the political difficulties that would be caused if Republicans filibustered only the defense appropriations bill.

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  1. The car dealers went back to the buffet again? Aren't they getting just the teensiest bit greedy?

    Susan Collins needs a good, long trip to the woodshed.

  2. Now let me get this straight: the government has effectively challenged corporate America to keep bonuses to a minimum; the government turns around and rewards its own. Conclusion: The government does not know how to control spending. We can expect health care costs to continue to rise while quality of services decline. Lesson learned.