So President Obama released his budget for FY2013 – possibly his last budget year. First, let’s walk through some simple civics relating to the budget. The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 sets forth the process (before which, scarily, there was no formal process for this) for creating the federal budget.
It begins with requiring the President to submit a budget between the first Monday in January and the first Monday in February. In fact, this requirement dates back to the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. Current law (31 U.S.C. 1105(a)). Obama is already a week behind here. In March, the CBO publishes an analysis of the President’s budget. During February and March, the House and Senate Budget Committees begin considering the President’s budget. Other Congressional committees provide inputs where they have fiscal impacts to the federal budget. The Budget committee submit resolutions by April 1st and each chamber is expected to pass them, possibly with amendments, by April 15th. Appropriations committees, starting with allocations in the budget resolution, put together appropriations bills, which may be considered in the House after May 15. Once appropriations committees pass their bills, they are considered by the House and Senate. A conference committee is typically required to resolve differences between House and Senate bills. Once a conference bill has passed both chambers of Congress, it is sent to the President, who may sign the bill or veto. If he signs, the bill becomes law. Otherwise, Congress must pass another bill to avoid a shutdown of at least part of the federal government. The President’s budget that kicks this process off is really just a proposal to Congress. Congress controls the purse strings of the federal budget and is responsible for the fiscal process here.
The President’s budget, this year, like in the past is a joke. He proposes that we spend more next year than this year. A bit odd given his pitch to reign in spending. He pulls out the regular politician’s accounting tricks like counting the Iraq & Afghanistan troop draw downs as “savings” – in other words, if we kept troops in theater for another year it would cost $X million but since he’s drawn them down, we can count on that as $X million saved even though it isn’t. Interest savings on tax increases are budget cuts – don’t ask me, I can’t figure this one out. And, likely to avoid the media scrutiny unlike Rep Ryan’s proposals last year, he is counting on some very favorable growth numbers in the years to come. Something with which most economists would disagree.
I know that the media and much of the blogosphere are spun up, rightfully, about the HHS Mandate and the non-compromise “compromise”. But after the debacle of the last 2+ years of the derelict democrat-led Congress not passing a budget and the “present”-voting President doing such a craptastic job with his budgets, it is clear that some focus needs to be put here. There is not one move towards tackling the entitlement programs which are at the core of the federal budget woes.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.