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The Realities of a Budget Deal

April 14, 2011

Okay, so the House just passed the 2011 budget (four months into 2011!), and the deal is on the way to the Senate.  First the world was caterwauling that we couldn’t get a budget that the Left side would pass, and then the Right side started complaining about how it didn’t cut enough (by the way, I still like Katrina Trinko’s point that we’re TALKING ABOUT CUTS), and then everyone on either extreme side started saying it just didn’t do it for them.

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) stepped forward to support the package together with old Democratic allies on the House Appropriations Committee. Across the aisle, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) — who bore the brunt of the dissent as fellow leaders stood silently by — bluntly told his colleagues: “This is the best we could get out of divided government.”

With 59 Republicans defecting, Boehner and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) knew that help was needed, but the dynamics were such that Democrats held back to milk the crisis facing the GOP. Ultimately 81 Democrats — many of whom had planned to do so all week — joined in support, but the majority only cast their votes in the final minute.

First, my general feeling is that any government budget that could be proposed and accepted is one that’s way too high for my tastes.  So I’m not a fan of any of it.  I probably sit a little to the right of Rand Paul on spending.

That said, there’s nothing wrong with the picture I’m seeing.  This is a budget that met in the middle, was roundly excoriated and hated by both extremes.  Heck, I think we used to call that “Congress.”  So I don’t like the budget.  It was hammered out in a bi-partisan way that perhaps took a bit too long, but got us to something that cuts spending and encouraged the center to actually be a center.

No, I’m not happy, but I’m pretty impressed with John Boehner and his ability to actually lead.  It’s something I haven’t seen out of either the legislative or executive branches of government for a few years now.  And I don’t just say that becuase he’s from Southern Ohio.  But I’m sure that’s part of the reason.

Anyway, it’s good to see that we’re leading as a combined government rather than kvetching from either side.  Now, let’s get onto some real cuts for 2012…

Updated: Allahpundit makes a good point (as usual).

A third possibility: Maybe Hoyer, like everyone else in D.C., already has his eyes on the debt-ceiling fight and figured he’d use this vote to remind all sides that centrist Democrats are the key to a compromise.

I’m not going to get excited enough to say that there’s a center that can execute on legislation… yet…  However, I still think about 20-30 years and remember that this is how legislature worked.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2011 6:29 pm

    The fiscal year starts 10/1, so we’re 7 months into the year budgetarily.

    Hoyer a “centrist Democrat?” Please tell me Hoyer doesn’t represent our country’s political center.

    • April 16, 2011 7:54 pm

      Both valid points. On the first, I was more thinking too fast. On the second, a centrist is someone to the right of those who are shouting, at least in this case. Hoyer helped for purely selfish reasons, but the bill got passed.

      Again, I’m not saying I like the results, but I like them more than what we had before.

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