Refusing to Budget for Political Cover: House Democrat Leader Steny Hoyer has finally admitted the sad truth that Democrats had been avoiding since the April 15 statutory deadline to pass a federal budget. The House will not pass a budget resolution for the first time since modern budgeting began. According to press reports, the reason Democrats refuse to address the fiscal crisis facing our country is because “there’s little appetite for taking on these issues in an election year.” It seems that Democrats are content to spend this election year hiding the true costs and record deficits of their big government policies.
Democrat Budget Hypocrisy: Democrats have long touted the importance of budgeting. In 2006, Majority Leader Hoyer lamented that Congress was, “on the cusp of failing to meet the most basic responsibility of governing—enacting a budget.” More recently, the Majority Leader has attempted to position himself as a fiscal hawk, saying in April, “The course we are on leads to debt that exceeds the value of our entire economy. To a government that does nothing but pay for entitlements and pay interest to our creditors. And an end to American leadership in the world.” Sadly, it seems that partisan election-year politics are more important to Democrats than “the most basic responsibility of governing” or America’s leadership in the world.
Bogus Excuses: Hoyer told the press, “It isn’t possible to debate and pass a realistic, long-term budget until we’ve considered the bipartisan commission’s deficit-reduction plan, which is expected in December.” The Leader is referring to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which was established by a presidential executive order (EO) on February 18, 2010, to “address our nation's fiscal challenges.” The glaring problem with Leader Hoyer’s excuse is that the Commission was never meant to have any effect on the FY 2011 budget process, and no Democrat ever asserted that this year’s budget depended on the Commission’s recommendations. The American people deserve a budget from the House, not a political smokescreen. The Commission was created by a presidential decree and has nothing to do with the Democrats’ responsibility to pass an annual budget. Passing an annual budget is undisputedly the responsibility of Congress and is being shirked by Democrats so they can hide their big spending, big deficit agenda from taxpayers until after the election.
The Worst Possible Time to Ignore a Budget: Spending, deficits, and debt in the U.S. have exploded since Democrats have taken control of Congress and the White House. Since 2008, spending in the U.S. has leaped from just under 20 percent of GDP (the historic average since World War II) to more than 25 percent of GDP. If unchanged, CBO estimates that spending will reach 30 percent of GDP by 2029. As a result of unsustainable spending increases, the deficit in the U.S. reached a record high of $1.4 trillion of GDP in FY 2009. In the first eight months of FY 2010, the U.S. government has already racked up an astonishing $935 billion in deficit spending, on pace to duplicate last year’s record. These deficits caused our national debt to skyrocket to more than $13 trillion or 99 percent of current GDP, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
What Does This Mean for American Taxpayers and Struggling Families?: Failing to produce a budget signals instability to investors and businesses and costs Americans jobs. Congress and the public won’t be told how much our $1.4 trillion deficit will continue to grow. It means that we will not know how much more Democrats plan to add to our $13 trillion national debt. It means that record spending will continue to skyrocket, unchecked as Democrats use future generations as collateral to borrow from China. If our spending and debt crisis is not addressed lower economic growth ensues and Americans will see a much a lower standard of living. Higher taxes, a stagnant economy, high unemployment, less opportunity, and exploding borrowing all threaten to take their toll if spending and deficits are not curbed. In addition, countries with too much debt lose credibility on the international stage and extreme borrowing on the part of nations is a direct threat to their national security. The House Democrats failure to address our national fiscal crisis by refusing to pass a budget because of political calculations is an appalling abdication of duty.