Well, the House passed the “cut, cap, and balance” budget bill, largely on partisan lines, and now it’s in the hands of the Senate, where it is almost guaranteed to be defeated. And even if it isn’t, it faces a nigh-certain presidential veto.
So, real waste of time, right?
I don’t think so.
Note that this is the second budget bill to come out of the House this year. The first was the infamous “Ryan plan,” crafted largely by Congressman Paul Ryan, and its merits — like this one — are highly debatable, and it was defeated in the Senate.
I don’t know too many details of either proposal, but I do know that they have one very sizable advantage over Democratic proposals:
They actually exist.
It’s worth noting — repeatedly — that over the last two years of the Democrats’ control of the House, they didn’t even bother to produce a budget bill. That’s one of the most fundamental duties of Congress, and they utterly abandoned it. Further, President Obama did put forth a budget proposal in May — and it was so “unserious” a plan (to coin a phrase) that it was defeated, 97-0.
No matter what one thinks of the Republicans’ proposals, one can at least look at them and discuss the merits and particulars thereof. At least the Republicans are putting forth something tangible, not vague numbers and promises — or, worse, the equivalent of yet another “blue-ribbon debt panel” like Obama set up previously, then promptly ignored their report when it told him things he didn’t like to hear.
And if we’re going to use the “serious” rhetoric, we might as well say that only one side is “acting like a grownup” here — and it isn’t the party that holds both the Senate and the White House, 2/3 of the bodies needed to pass a budget.