Monday, March 3, 2014

The Awful Truth Behind the Hot Air

It's that time of the year again. Plenty of black ink and red ink will be spilled. Plenty of pie charts will be unveiled. And all the talk on Capitol Hill will revolve around dollars and sense.

Oh, yes. That's right. It's budget season again.

But wait, didn't Congress already pass a budget? Why yes, it actually did a few weeks ago. And it even managed to pay for its own budget. And that's quite an accomplishment for a Congress notorious for its agenda of nothing, particularly in the lower G-O-TEA run house.

So why is DC now buzzing over budgets? Since Congressional Republican "leaders" have admitted they plan to do nothing else this year, all they have left are haute faux scandals and mythical budgets (along with the usual Obamacare repeal votes and abortion/contraception ban votes). After all, they know they must do this in order to placate the 21st Century Know Nothings they need to stay in power.

Enter Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin). Ever since he took control of the House Budget Committee and muscled his way into House G-O-TEA "leadership", he's been pushing his "signature" of a middle class busting budget plan. That's why the G-O-TEA faithful have been eagerly awaiting "RyanCare 4.0"...

But alas, it may not happen this time. And why not? For one, Rep. Ryan already put his name on the two year budget agreement he made with Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Washington). Why would Ryan rip up the compromise he himself negotiated with his Senate counterpart to promote an exclusively G-O-TEA ideological wish list budget that would be dead on arrival in the Senate?

And then, there's the matter of his own G-O-TEA Caucus. Basically, they've fallen apart like Humpty Dumpty, and no one (not even Paul Ryan) can figure out how to put them back together again. And G-O-TEA "leaders" are already fearing that another "Austerity on Steroids" Ryan Budget will (again) expose the division between the (general election minded) Republican politicians trying to avoid accusations of starving Grandma to death and the "true believers" (along with those who must "fake it to make it" to win their primaries) who want even more Grandma starving austerity.

We've seen it from them before, and we're seeing it again today. It's easy for G-O-TEA politicians to criticize what they don't like, but it's rather difficult for them to offer any realistic solutions. And it's far easier to simply play politics and point fingers on Capitol Hill than actually govern in good faith.

So don't be surprised if/when the 2014 budget season on Capitol Hill turns out to be a collection of hot air. After all, G-O-TEA politicians' lofty rhetoric tends to fall flat when it becomes reality. That's the awful truth behind the hot air.

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