Thursday, November 17, 2005

Budging the budget.

Credit to Jen at Donkey O.D.

Looks like a mixed verdict.

Yesterday I blogged on the spending and budget cutting bills that were being set up as a platform for more tax cuts.

Today, a solid Democratic party, with no defections, banded together with twenty-two moderate Republicans to defeat a spending bill which included cuts in health, education and social services.

On the other hand, in the wee hours of the morning, the house passed a package of cuts involving farm subsidies, food stamps, medicare and student loans.

From the first article:

Democrats, unanimous in opposing the legislation, said it included the first cut in education funding in a decade and slashed spending for several health care programs. "It betrays our nation's values and its future," said House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland. "It is neither compassionate, conservative nor wise."

Still up in the air is a $70 billion tax cut bill. But with the defeat of the house leadership on the first bill, it makes the tax cut bill more problematical.

What is remarkable is that the first vote (which was 224-209 against) represented the first time since Republicans assumed control of Congress in 1995 that their own leadership was unable to gain a majority on a major spending bill. In addition, according to the second article, they had to hold voting open for twenty-five minutes longer than is allowed under house rules until they could twist enough arms to squeak it through by a two vote margin and then close voting at exactly that moment when they were ahead (a congressional rules violation that Tom DeLay has made a routine procedure over the past few years, and which Roy Blunt seems to be following along with).

Sounds like people are getting a bit tired of budget cuts which use the deficit as an excuse, followed by tax cuts which drive the deficit back up again.


dorsano said...

Three of MN's four GOP house members voted for this bill. Jim Ramstad didn't. Jim's a conservative and usually votes the party line. I'm not sure why he voted against this. He's voted for worse stuff in my opinion.

The bill's a perfect example of how not to govern - it's biggest failure is that it doesn't address any of the major problems the country faces.

One example of the micro thinking is the cuts in Child Support Enforcement. CSE is not a welfare program - it's part of the enforcement arm of the states' executive branch.

It enforces court orders to see that child support money is collected and actually gets to kids - the collections reduce the welfare outlays of the states.

It's part of what makes welfare reform and welfare to work programs, work.

This is like taking cops off the street or like letting people default on debts without consequences.

The Senate version doesn't have the CSE cuts.

dorsano said...

Sounds like people are getting a bit tired of budget cuts which use the deficit as an excuse, followed by tax cuts which drive the deficit back up again.

Ross Douthat just co-authored an article in the "Weekly Standard" titled "The Party of Sam's Club" which says pretty much the same thing. The title comes from a line that MN Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) uses now and again in his speeches.

Douthat says straight out that the libertarian economic policies which reached their pinnacle with this administration are figuratively, literally and morally bankrupt and he calls on the GOP to begin thinking about life after Bush.

GOP Needs to Refocus on the Working Class

Karen said...

It has certainly been a roller-coaster week, my friend. One thing's for certain - we've got a true fight on our hands for 2006. Time to take off the girlie white kid gloves, grab the katanas, and cut this shit OUT! sorry about the language.