If you have been following this week’s federal budget crisis, I encourage you to hang in there just a little bit longer because there is still technically no budget. Yes, I said there is no budget. Sometime today Obama may decide to meander in and sign the interim budget that was hammered out at literally the 11th hour 4/8/11. But that budget is only for a very short time and doesn’t change much of anything in the way of federal spending. I cannot find any confirmation that the President has bothered to sign it yet, so technically the federal government did go broke at midnight. Our tax dollars at work…
It is worth saying at this point that prior to the record setting 2010 mid-term election the House and Senate were free to pass the budget they wanted to have in place. Given that one party controlled all 3 branches of our government at that time, it is likely they could easily and quickly have passed whatever they wanted to pass. They chose not to do that. If you haven’t asked yourself why, now might be a good time to start doing that.
Here is what you need to know. Two things happened last night (4/8/11). First, the majority leaders in both legislative houses agreed to not shut down the government. If that wasn’t political suicide for everyone, I’m pretty sure they’d have shut down. But the last time there was a federal shutdown we were not actively at war. As a politician you can get away with screwing almost every registered voter any time you feel like it and still count on re-election. BUT in today’s climate you cannot screw soldiers!! And thank God for that, because somebody has to hold these people accountable!!
As far as the budget, pardon my repetitiveness but there isn’t one and that’s the second thing that happened last night. You really need to understand this because in a few days or weeks we’re likely to be put through this wringer again. Reid (Senate Majority Leader) and Boehner (Speaker of the House) agreed to draft a bill that they will take back to their respective houses and put up for a vote. If the EXACT budget they present doesn’t pass both houses then we are back to square one. That’s the square in which, among many other very bad things, soldiers and their families may not get paid.
Keep in mind that the House is controlled by the GOP and heavily influenced by the Tea Party, while the Senate is still controlled by the Democrats. These are two starkly opposing ideologies with a third one quickly on the rise in both houses. These stalemated entities have to agree on a budget proposal to the letter, and they have to do it quickly. I don’t know about you, but I’m less than confident and living under the assumption that this is far from over. I hope I’m wrong.