The title of a recently released Bloomberg article is “DO-NOTHING Congress DITHERS on Budget as DEADLINE NEARS“ (Web-site/URL: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-29/do-nothing-congress-dithers-on-budget-as-deadline-nears.html).
“Congress’s latest attempt at crafting a budget plan is on track to end up the same way as others have in the past decade: with little or NO agreement“. THE LATTER is FAR MORE likely.
“Negotiators have little chance of breaking this string of futility, even AFTER a 16-day government shutdown in October that cost the U.S. economy $24 billion. IF they do, it’ll ONLY be to curb automatic spending cuts, including $19 billion that hits the Pentagon starting in January (2014)”. So ANOTHER “shutdown” IS IMMINENT?
“Now budget experts, labor unions and business groups are saying enough’s enough, and questioning why lawmakers can’t live within their means the way ORDINARY Americans do and instead LURCH FROM ONE BUDGET STANDOFF TO THE NEXT“. It’s clear that POLITICIANS DON’T “live the way ordinary (people) do” in ANY country.
According to Maya Macguineas, “head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, a non-partisan advocacy group whose members include business leaders and former lawmakers (and) who is also president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a fiscal advocacy group”, “It’s (“lurching from one budget standoff to the next”) a STUPID way to run a country“. “stupid” is A DAMNING CRITICISM. “CHANGE comes from two possible things: A CRISIS or leadership”. This time “change” is “(coming) from” A LACK OF “leadership”.
“The current panel is the FIFTH bipartisan attempt in THREE years
to address the nation’s debt and deficit. The others, starting with the 2010 debt-reduction commission appointed by President Barack Obama ended in FAILURE
” AS EXPECTED
“This one may too, said Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen, a panel member and the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee”. “Negotiations HAVE TO ACCELERATE SIGNIFICANTLY IF we’re going to get SOMETHING done”. There are TWO things to note here. First, “This one may too” END IN FAILURE. Secondly/On top of this, “Negotiations have to accelerate significantly if we’re going to get something done” and we DON’T see this happening.
“The panel’s progress so far has been LIMITED TO agreeing that its objective should be to replace the automatic cuts for one to two years with more palatable spending reductions, Van Hollen said. “That’s a much more NARROW target, but that DOESN’T mean we’ll hit the target“, “noting the full committee has met JUST TWICE (in the last year)” This is yet another NEGATIVE comment.
According to Robert Bixby, “executive director of the Concord Coalition, a fiscal advocacy group”, “It’s demonstrating how DIFFICULT it is even to hit a very LOW bar, which is kind of DEPRESSING when you think of how MUCH work really needs to be done”.
“Talks are FURTHER COMPLICATED by a recent DEMAND by House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, that a deal shouldn’t include cuts to farm subsidies, removing one of the few areas where both parties agree reductions are needed, Van Hollen said”. “The math DOESN’T work if you start doing that” obviously. On top of this, all POLITICIANS are DEMANDING (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). “
“Even IF Ryan and Murray reach a compromise, it would have TROUBLE winning approval by the full committee, let alone passage in a DIVIDED Congress”, an EXTREMELY/a BITTERLY “divided Congress”. Let’s also remind ourselves that “if” is NOT a guarantee.
According to Stan Collender “managing director of Qorvis Communications LLC in Washington and a former congressional appropriations aide (aide to the HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE)”, “A budget conference committee of 29 representatives and senators is so UNLIKELY TO AGREE ON ANYTHING, unless they want to GO HUNGRY, they had better delegate to a single staffer the authority to decide what to order for lunch”.
“In an e-mailed statement urging Congress and the administration to work for policies to provide stable growth”, Dorothy Coleman, “vice president of tax and domestic economic policy at the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington”, said: “UNCERTAINTY HOLDS BACK GROWTH and INVESTMENT”.
Finally, “in an e-mail”, Dan Stohr, “a spokesman for the Aerospace Industries Association”, wrote: “Given the divisions between the parties and our experience over the last THREE years, IT’S DIFFICULT TO BE OPTIMISTIC” obviously. “WE CANNOT KEEP LURCHING FROM CRISIS TO CRISIS. It’s having a very DETRIMENTAL effect on investments” for the trade group’s members, including layoffs and LESS MONEY for RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, that prevents businesses from being able to PLAN AHEAD” which is important because the WORST crises are the UNFORESEEN crises
To conclude, let’s return once again to the title: “Do-Nothing Congress Dithers on Budget as Deadline Nears”. “Do-Nothing Congress” suggests DYSFUNCTION, which most often occurs when the President and members of either or both chambers of Congress are of different political ideologies. So, given that bit of information, IF the “Budget….deadline” PASSES, surely we have to wonder: is another SHUTDOWN imminent?