On Monday, the Ranking Republican of the Senate Budget Committee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and the Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released a joint statement blasting Democrats for their budgetary inaction and contrasting it with Republican efforts:
Senate Democrats abandoned their official duty to prioritize Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars and tackle our nation’s most pressing economic challenges—dealing a painful blow to fiscal progress that may be felt for some time. This contrasts sharply with the record of the House Republicans. Last spring, the new House Majority publicly produced a budget plan before the nation, brought it forward in committee, and passed it on the floor. The budget’s principled solutions honestly confront our nation’s most difficult challenges, putting the budget on a path to balance and the country on a path to prosperity.
To mark the inauspicious 1,000-day anniversary, the Heritage Foundation released a series of budget facts and urged the Senate to meet its Constitution requirements for fiscal stewardship:
•The last time the Senate passed a budget was on April 29, 2009.
•Since that date, the federal government has spent $9.4 trillion, adding $4.1 trillion in debt [annual interest payments on the debt now exceed $200 billion].
•As of January 20, the outstanding public debt stands at $15,240,174,635,409.
•Interest payments on the debt are now more than $200 billion per year.
•President Obama proposed a FY2012 budget last year, and the Senate voted it down 97–0. (And that budget was no prize—according to the Congressional Budget Office, that proposal never had an annual deficit of less than $748 billion, would double the national debt in 10 years and would see annual interest payments approach $1 trillion per year.)
•The Senate rejected House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R–WI) budget by 57–40 in May 2011, with no Democrats voting for it.
•In FY2011, Washington spent $3.6 trillion. Compare that to the last time the budget was balanced in 2001, when Washington spent $1.8 trillion ($2.1 trillion when you adjust for inflation).
•Entitlement spending will more than double by 2050. That includes spending on Medicare, Medicaid and the Obamacare subsidy program, and Social Security. Total spending on federal health care programs will triple.
•By 2050, the national debt is set to hit 344 percent of Gross Domestic Product.
•Taxes paid per household have risen dramatically, hitting $18,400 in 2010 (compared with $11,295 in 1965). If the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire and more middle-class Americans are required to pay the alternative minimum tax (AMT), taxes will reach unprecedented levels.
•Federal spending per household is skyrocketing. Since 1965, spending per household has grown by nearly 162 percent, from $11,431 in 1965 to $29,401 in 2010. From 2010 to 2021, it is projected to rise to $35,773, a 22 percent increase.
Sen. Harry Reid explained the Senate’s budgetary inaction by saying that it would be “foolish” to pass a budget.
Other Democrats, like Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Nancy Pelosi ,have argued that there’s no point in passing a budget that Republicans would filibuster. There’s only one problem with that argument: the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 made budgets entirely immune to filibusters and states that budgets may be passed with a simple majority.
If I were on the floor of the House tonight, I'd want to lead a chant of "1,000 days" to hit Obama and his party on this mismangagement of our tax dollars.