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Senate Narrowly Passes First Budget in Four Years

By , Posted on Mar 25, 2013
Budgeting Debt.
Budgeting Debt.

So finally, the Senate passes a budget. (Wall Street Journal) How is it possible to run a country without a budget?  Well, simple really, the government doesn’t have to play by the same rules you and I do.  Can you imagine if you just didn’t keep track of your finances for four years?  Just continue to spend like there was no tomorrow and if you felt like you were getting too deep in debt, just announce that you are going to extend or raise the amount of debt you are going to have?

cheering

The U.S. Senate narrowly passed the budget. Do they ever pass anything with everyone in agreement?  I doubt it. The budget plan was passed by a 50-49 vote in the Democratic-controlled chamber. Four Democratic senators facing tough re-election campaigns in 2014 joined all the Senate Republicans in opposing the measure, which seeks to raise nearly $1 trillion in new tax revenues by closing some tax breaks for the wealthy.

I’m a bit confused as to how the government method of accounting works. They’re going to raise $1 trillion by closing some tax breaks, OK, I guess I buy that, although I think it is more speculation than fact.  But I recently heard the president say that by increasing the debt ceiling to $16 trillion instead of $18 trillion he has reduced our National debt by $2 trillion.

…What?

Congress will be out of town for a two-week spring recess.

I guess after three months of work, Congress is worn out and needs a little va-ca.  I guess passing a major tax increase, raising the federal debt limit, allowing $85 billion in spending cuts to take effect and enacting a bill to keep the government operating only through Sept. 30, really takes it out of you.

This budget mess is not over.  It still needs to pass the house and we all know that it is not going to be that easy.  With the Democrat controlled Senate and Republican controlled House, it seems like nothing ever gets done.  Well, nothing of any importance.  If there is a spotted, ring-neck, hootie bird spotted in a field in Whocares county in the state of Ridiculous, they have no problem agreeing that there should be millions spent of studying it and determining why it will only crap when it is facing north.  …or some such nonsense.

The problem is that each side has a different view on how our country should be run.  The Democrats, keeping up the stereotype, seem to be all about tax and spend and “entitlement” programs with no regard for a budget, whereas the Republicans appear to be for a smaller government and controlled spending.

The House wants a balanced budget by 2023

The House plan ostensibly brings the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts roiling federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.

The Senate plan, by contrast, includes $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the Senate plan would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.

As if all of this isn’t enough to make your head explode, coming this summer… Congress must again raise the government’s statutory borrowing limit or risk defaulting on the federal debt.  …The good ole Debt Ceiling problem is coming back.

So the Senate passed a budget, the first in 4 years, but guess what?  It will never be passed into law as it is.  …and no one seems to every compromise.

head in sand

I think it’s better for me to just stick my head back in the sand and stop watching the news. 

…I have had just about enough.

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