The Looming Budget Train Wreck

Posted by Ian Cooper - Friday, January 21st, 2011

From The Fiscal Times:

"Many economists believe that the Great Recession resulted from a “perfect storm” of various factors that were not too serious individually, but when combined interacted in ways that created a crisis that was larger than the sum of the contributing causes. Something similar is developing with the federal budget. We are facing a confluence of factors that would be manageable in isolation, but will be extraordinarily difficult to deal with simultaneously.

The first problem is that Republicans reclaimed the House of Representatives having made promises that are impossible to keep. House Republicans often talk as if they control the entire government, rather than just half of one branch. In our system of government, that really only confers veto power and a modest ability to set the agenda. Without also having the presidency and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, control of the House isn’t worth very much in terms of actually changing the law.

Insiders and anyone even slightly familiar with how the federal government operates know this. Unfortunately, many members of the Tea Party movement seem not to have taken civics in high school and insist that Republicans push forward on utterly futile efforts, such as repealing the Affordable Care Act. For starters, this will never..."

Read more here.


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