The Best of the Forge
Budgets reveal priorities, so it should come as no surprise the budget drafted by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) is pretty much a liberal dream. As Senators consider the Democrat Budget, though, they should understand it’s a nightmare for taxpayers and the economy. Even though the Democrats’ Budget contains a massive $1.5 trillion tax increase, it would still result in $7.3 trillion in new debt over ten-year budget window. This will definitely harm the economy.
For the first time in four years, the Senate is engaged in a full-fledged budget debate on the floor. Because the rules governing the Senate’s budget debate are complex, amendment votes often occur without notice. As a result, Heritage Action will not release key votes in advance of the votes. Instead, Heritage Action’s Legislative Scorecard will be updated following the conclusion of vote-a-rama after all the votes have been evaluated.
Frankly, the sequester cuts at 2.4 percent of the federal budget for FY 2013, though not made in the most ideal manner, are small relative to the entire budget (not to mention the size of the overall economy) and should be honored. However lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have spent time and energy trying to reverse the sequester cuts with amendments to the Senate’s omnibus spending bill, which funds the federal government until October 1, 2013.
Yesterday, lawmakers in the House had the opportunity to vote on four separate Democrat-drafted budgets. Although those votes did not make headlines, they did reveal massive dissension – perhaps even extremism – within the Democrats’ ranks.
Amazingly, 26 House Democrats – 13% of the entire caucus – voted against all four budgets. Were these 26 House Democrats saying Senator Patty Murray’s budget was too extreme? If so, surely the Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget was too extreme. Was Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s (D-MD) budget extreme? And how about the Congressional Black Caucus Budget?
Like a small, recalcitrant child, you always have to keep a watchful eye on the federal government. You never know what kind of crazy idea they’ve got in their back pocket. In a fresh burst of overly enthusiastic stupidity, the U.S. Energy Department is currently reviewing nine applications for companies seeking $4.8 billion in clean-energy loan guarantees.
We ALL know how this story ends. And it ain’t pretty. But you know the federal government’s favorite motto: If at first you don’t waste enough taxpayer money, waste, waste again!
Before they make a final decision, it would be great if the folks at the Energy Department would read the “Seven Reasons Loan Guarantees Are Bad Policy.”