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Monday, March 28, 2011

Budget Battle On The Hill And In The Blogosphere

We spend too much. We spend more as a country than we take in.

That is the underlying concept the GOP has been preaching since before the November midterm elections and their promises to cut government spending was, in large part, one of the major reasons voters handed them the biggest victory seen in decades with one of the largest turnover of House seats, giving control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans and stripping that gavel from Nancy Pelosi to make John Boehner the Speaker of the House.

Let me repeat myself.. we spend too much.

Ezra Klein runs the latest reports in the ongoing budget battle down in one paragraph:

Back in February, Paul Ryan unveiled what was supposed to be the opening bid from the House Republicans: $32 billion in cuts for the rest of 2011. But the Tea Party demanded more and House leadership quickly caved, doubling their proposed cuts to more than $60 billion -- or almost $100 billion less than barack Obama’s 2011 budget request (quick note: different news stories present these numbers differently, as it depends on whether you use Obama’s budget request or 2010’s funding as a baseline. I’m using the difference from 2010 funding, which makes for lower sums). Now Democrats are offering as a compromise measure $30 billion in total cuts, or exactly what Ryan’s original proposal had called for. Pretty neat, huh?

Progressive liberals in the blogosphere are having another woe is me moment over the latest $20 million in cuts the Democrats are offering up. Calling their party leaders losers, calling the offer pathetic because they don't want spending cuts and generally peeved that Democrats are supposedly caving in.

People like Ezra are handing out the talking points as evidenced by his title "A huge win for the Tea Party, a win for Republicans and a big loss for Democrats."


Is that truly where they want to go with this?

The U.S. is over $14 trillion in debt, we spend more than we take in, and Republicans were handed the largest victory in 70 years in the last elections on the campaign promise that they would cut spending massively.

$30 billion is a start, I will admit that because I see each "drop in the bucket" as going toward the eventual outcome of filling the bucket, emptying it, then putting it back down to collect more.

Liberals like Ezra would love for conservatives to see the "Democrats have lost" meme and kick back, smile happily and stop pushing for more spending cuts, but that is not going to happen.

It is not a we win, you lose game. It also shouldn't be a conservative vs liberal battle either, but it is because the priorities of the left do not match the priorities of the right or Independents.

Gallup recently found that 71 percent of Americans say they worry about the economy "a great deal," 22 percent say they worry about the economy a "fair amount" with only 7 percent listed as "only a little/not at all."

64 percent of Americans say they worry about federal spending and the budget deficit a "great deal" with 23 percent saying they worry about it a "fair amount" and 12 percent listed as "only a little/not at all."

Those are the top two out of 14 issues Gallup polled on.

The breakdown of those Gallup findings are telling though and explains why supporters claim Democratic leaders are folding or losing in their eyes.

Click image to enlarge

Federal spending doesn't even register in the top four for Democrats while it is in the top two for Republicans and Independents.

The fiscal showdown continues as Congress returns to their jobs this week and in this specific case Republicans have the majority support of the American people who understand what liberal pundits do not seem able to grasp.

40 days ago the GOP controlled House passed a bill to fund government and cut spending and 40 days later the Senate, which is still Democratically controlled, has not because they are fighting to prevent the spending cuts the House passed.

We spend too much.

If Democrats force a government shutdown because they refuse to understand that basic concept, Americans are more than aware of which party is fighting to cut spending and which party is fighting tooth and nail to prevent those cuts.