Friday, April 8, 2011

Dammit, No Government Shutdown

Congress finally got a budget for this fiscal year that will end September 30, 2011. It is over for now. The budget bill is not exactly great, but it did trim some of the spending. The problem with every budget is making the Department of Defense the pariah or the "bogeyman." Instead of cutting entitlement programs, Congress has no problem trimming the lean fat from the Pentagon. However, Congress did trim some of the foreign aid to other countries. The move is commonsense. In order to help others, one needs to take care of their own house first. At least, America doesn't need to worry about another balance budget till September.

(Politico) After a long day of trading offers, the White House and House Republicans reached agreement Friday night on a budget framework that would cap 2011 appropriations near or below $1.050 trillion while cutting domestic and foreign aid by more than $40 billion from the rate of spending at the beginning of this Congress.

Behind the closed doors of special meeting of the Republican Conference, Speaker John Boehner presented the package to his party as at least an agreement in principle and said at one point “We have a deal.” He has yet to speak publicly but all signs indicate that the Senate will now feel confident enough to move ahead with a stop gap spending bill to avert—or at least shorten—any shutdown beginning at midnight

Boehner made a final bid at getting a still lower top line directly to President Barack Obama, when Obama called him in the early evening. A second key variable is Pentagon spending, where Democrats had moved up to $514 billion –a $5.3 billion increase— but were also asking for an across-the-board government-wide percentage cut that would not exempt defense.