Can the House and Senate budgets find common ground?

Minutes before 5am, early Saturday morning, members of the Senate did something they haven't done in four years - they passed a budget. The $3.7 trillion dollar outline for 2014 passed with a 50 to 49 vote, and it includes $100 billion in stimulus spending and raises $975 billion in new revenues over the next decade. Now the challenge will be to reconcile the Democratic Senate budget with Paul Ryan's austerity plan in the House.

The negotiations may be hostile, and it's possible the plans are simply too far apart to present the opportunity for common ground. According to Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Patty Murray, “the first priority of the Senate Budget is creating jobs and economic growth for the middle out, not the top down.” But Republicans are set on balancing the budget, even if it requires imposing their extreme austerity measures on our nation which kill jobs and shrink the economy.

Senator Mitch McConnell denounced the Democratic plan, saying, “The only good news is that the fiscal path the Democrats laid out in their budget won't become law.” With Democrats unlikely to concede to Paul Ryan's plan, which would voucherize Medicare and repeal Obamacare, and Republicans unlikely to budge on tax increases, we shouldn't expect much movement in the budget negotiations. Hopefully, the Democrats won't cave in to GOP demands for more spending cuts, and our economy won't be devastated with even more Republican austerity.


Schmice's picture
Schmice 9 years 52 weeks ago

If the Democrats cave on earned benefits, and Medicare, I will be disappointed but not surprised.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 52 weeks ago

Did I just read something about Senator Ashley Judd praising the Democratic plan? Oops, right person just wrong year.

The thing that cracks me up is the Republicans are getting away with claiming they already gave in on revenue and talk about raising more is off the table. The Democrats have a much stronger argument simply stating they've already given in on spending cuts. Correct me if I'm wrong but I recall 1.5 trillion in cuts in 2011 and now 1.2 trillion from the sequester. So why aren't the Democrats on the offensive screaming about no more caving in on cutting our way out of this depression. Sequestration will cost one million jobs alone! Play offense when you have the ball!

Speaking of the foolishness of cutting ones way to prosperity, I found the following buried in the recent NYS budget: "On going state agency redesign and cost-control efforts account for an estimated $434 million of the gap-closing savings from spending control. These efforts include reductions in state agency operations through closures and consolidations of facilities, and strict controls on attrition and hiring." This wrong headed direction in a so called Blue state!

douglas m 9 years 51 weeks ago

Our congress does the least amount of work necessary to get by,win their eyes anyways as we slide down the slope. With thought processes like that people will aggravated enough by the next election for president Donald Trump could win. I don't see how a political process that eats itself for money/contribution campaign funds can survive for long if the end results doesn't benefit the long term goals of keeping its core (the working middle class) healthy. All we ever see is congress attacking the middle class and supporting lobbying interests of international companies with its core values outside the U.S.. I just hope we make it economically until the next election. Hope and pray, what else is there.

We get the congress we vote for and they still do nothing but midnight last minutes deals.

Its sick and not how a healthy country should be run.

TOM how do you get the majority of people to care about politics when it's this far gone?

We should be worried about our GDP and import export duties and not about weakening things by cutting social security and medical benefits? How can citizens save money when we don't have a healthy country that saves and invest healthily. We spend and spend on wars that are draining,except for the private contractors at the tax payers expense.

The real crime is what we leave behind for the next generation.

Debt debt and debt. Dewy screwem and how.

shathawa's picture
shathawa 9 years 51 weeks ago

The Republicans would like nothing better than to make ANY and ALL cuts they can to Social Security and Meicare, so that in the next election they can turn around and blame those cuts on Obama and the Democrats (since they happened under "his administration".)

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 9 years 51 weeks ago

For our Senate passing a budget is like passing a kidney stone, or suffering through a migraine. The pain is there, and out of touch to what really needs to be done, all leveraged by a commercial on cable suggesting which pharmaceutical to take to cure your problem, but beware of the side effects that may cause suicide or a heart attack, talk to your doctor for a sample try out. Are you laughing yet?

The Senate and the Congress are responsible to address the money needs of the country however mass media seems to place the burden of the problems on the president, who just is responsible to execute the details of the legislation. The president isn’t doing enough however the Congress has openly expressed the opinion that it wants to get rid of him even though he was popularly elected. Airing their facts and figures ignoring popular opinion always charactering Obama as a jizz bag goofy and does not know what he is doing Allah Hannity style.

That said while watching MSNBC or CNN, or Fox News which has been totally corrupted in what really happens in day to day operations reporting to the American people for the past years has been in what many are saying done by a dysfunctional bunch of professional punks called the main stream media directed by the banksters. Complete media distortion by six figure electromagnetic journalist, and banksters that fill their tanks at the federal reserve board money gas station ATM do not have the slightest idea what is really going on with life in poor and middle America.

Watching Thom on the big picture and the Good bad and ugly parts was a relief. I am convinced that I am not a bipolar or a schizophrenic, no how could I be when I call myself a megalomaniac. You’re not laughing hard enough. Or my satire is not good as Colbert.

A really great interview was done on the free speech section with Richard Wolf an author about economics. He was terrific in explanations about the economy and how it is in a spiral down direction. It seems he was on par with Kurgman but a lot tougher. Austerity is not the way to go. As many know in my studies about the derivative as the problem in the tool the rich use have known all along they are creating a desperate economy to control in power and wealth. The matrix math by echelon reduction methods is always reduced or indexed in a normal way that bankers use. It is mathematically normal but not always people practical.

I conclude that the banksters want to introduce indexing into the system to cut spending in Social Security or Medicare, but surprise it was always there. They just want more to cut to diminish pay outs, to have more money to play with. You who did you get that. The banksters squeeze the system then corruption is motivated, the perfect Republican right wing Wahhabi algorithm. Then blame it on Jizz bag Democrats.

ikeberltersen's picture
ikeberltersen 9 years 51 weeks ago

I don't think the Republicans are "set on balancing the budget." Balancing the budget is merely a ploy to dismantle any government that works for people. In the real world Paul Ryan's budget is a deficit budget. It only balances in fantasy land.

ikeberltersen's picture
ikeberltersen 9 years 51 weeks ago

Why don't Dems make the obvious argument that they've already given up many spending cuts and it's time for the Republicans to give up some on taxes? Because Obama is very good at negotiating with himself and the Dems are afraid that Fox News will tag them as big spenders. The Democrats operate on what they fear the right wing media will say about them. It's a reactive strategy when they should be proactive.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 51 weeks ago

douglas m wrote ~ "I don't see how a political process that eats itself for money/contribution campaign funds can survive for long if the end results doesn't benefit the long term goals of keeping its core (the working middle class) healthy."

A former military veteran told me he learned in the military to, "Just do what you are told, no more, no less." I have often reflected upon what a ridiculous piece of advice that was. It removes humanity from the chain of command and limits any critical thinking or contribution down the chain of command. Is that really what we want in our work place or government? My guiding philosophy has always been, "Do what you are told, and anything else that needs to be done." After all, the person giving the orders isn't going to be there with you constantly to think for you. If you can't think for yourself you might fail.

To me, this principle was invented by the military because it realized it was sending solders into situations that were unethical, and it wanted to discourage any critical thinking that might interfere with following orders. Unfortunately, this practice is so common in our society today that critical thinking has become a handicap. Why do we think drugs and alcohol are so popular? They help inhibit critical thinking and make functioning in today's society easier.

The same is true of our politicians. Since their major campaign contributors are in the minority these bought political representatives strive to subject the majority to the will of their constituents. The politicians are accustom to taking orders from that chain of command and doing what they are told--asking as little questions and doing as little critical thinking as possible. The misconception here is that they do this of their own free will. The reality is that they have no free will. They also have no vision. They are myopic. They wish to make their money ASAP, get out, and screw the country. Many are anxious to get out quick to become lobbyists and further help taint the political process for more money. Money is all they see and they have no concern over We the People. Is it any wonder that many of the most fervent proponents of all this antisocial legislation agenda tend to have alcohol issues? Those without substance abuse issues tend to be sociopaths.

The bottom line is that we will never have a benevolent Democracy until we remove the dominant influence of money from our representatives. We must make Campaign Finance Reform a major priority with our law makers.

PS I believe it was Dewey, Cheetham, and Howe. Attorneys at Law. (AKA The Three Stooges.)

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 51 weeks ago

shathawa ~ With all due respect, if President Obama "approves" of any budget passed that has cuts in Social Security and Medicare by signing the bill into law, he will be responsible for those cuts. He is perfectly free to veto the bill and send it back to Congress with the instructions that he will not sign any budget into law that has these cuts period; and, wait for the appropriate budget to reach his desk. President Bush had no problem using the veto. I'll never forget him vetoing a bill for funding of stem cell research. It can be done and it requires very little effort on the part of the President. He can even veto the bill by doing nothing. That is called a "pocket veto."

Furthermore, it is within the power of the President to extend the debt ceiling with an Executive Order and Congress would be helpless to do anything about it other than suing him in the Supreme Court. It would be unlikely that the Justices would uphold that action.

Quite frankly, if this fiasco comes into being, there is no one more to blame for it than President Obama. He is the leader chosen by We the People to manage the affairs of this nation and secure the welfare and common good of all of it's citizens. If he fails to do so, there is no one else to blame. We gave him the power to act and he failed us. If the Republicans accuse him of allowing this travesty to occur they will be 100% right. The Democrats will be doomed in the next election.

I only hope that if this disaster occurs We the People will finally decide to pursue a third party candidate; because, it will be obvious to everyone by then that these two parties are two sides of the same coin.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 51 weeks ago

What is "matrix math by echelon reduction methods"?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 51 weeks ago

Ikeberlterson: The corp. mass media basically states that the Democrats want to raise taxes and the Republicans want to stop out of control Govt. spending. Sounds pretty good if you're a Republican public servant representing only Joe the Billionaire. However the truth is achieved by the addition of only a few words like, Democrats want to close tax loopholes on the very wealthy and the Republicans want to place ownership of their own past out of control spending on Obama and the Democrats. That spending being the cost of Cheney's War and 32 years of unfunded tax cuts for the rich.

So to summarize, the corp. media wants all of us to think the following. The Democrats want to raise EVERYONES taxes in order to fuel more out of control Govt. spending. The Republicans want to give everyone a tax cut and end this so called out of control spending.

Truth is the Republicans did the spending and only the super rich got the real tax cuts.

But as to why the Democrats won't go on the offensive is still a mystery to me....fear of the press maybe....but the billionaire owned press is already in full out anti- Democrat propaganda why even care how they react?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 51 weeks ago

Very good!

We should also throw in that Reagan tripled the national debt.

stonesphear's picture
stonesphear 9 years 51 weeks ago

Language ? Civil Union, Marriage ? Why not deal with the legal aspect of it all through Civil union for all regardless of orientation and that requirement having been met (separation of church and state ) leave the spiritual aspect to the church. You pay the fee for civil union for the sake of letter of the law,then you take the valid legal document to the church and entitle the church to decide whether or not to fulfill your spiritual needs for religious, spiritual , sanctions regarding various definitions of marriage ? Too simple to be considered I suppose.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 51 weeks ago

Unforutnately, marriage is the legal aspect of it. It is encoded into the law in 30,000 different statutes.

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