As our intrepid president prepares to lecture Congressional Republicans for rudely refusing to sign on to every last element of his astonishingly irresponsible tax-and-spend agenda, Senate Democrats can rest assured that Obama will spare them the humiliation of mentioning today's truly pathetic anniversary. Yes, January 24, 2012, marks the one-thousandth day since the United States Senate -- controlled by Democrats since 2007 -- last introduced a budget. Harry Reid's crew evidently couldn't care less that passing annual fiscal blueprints is a statutory requirement. To explain away their intentional negligence, Democrats have attempted to (surprise!) blame Republicans for obstructing the process. They lie. In the first place, Republicans couldn't have lifted a finger to stop Democrats from jamming through a partisan budget in 2009, when Reid and Pelosi ruled the roost. But even after the Republican takeover of the House in 2010, the GOP still couldn't have blocked the Democratic Senate from introducing or passing its own budget. Couldn't the increased ranks of the Republican Senate minority have filibustered an unpalatable budget proposal, you ask? Nope -- budgets are immune from the filibuster. So why have Democrats shirked this core governing responsibility for the better part of three consecutive years? I'll refer you back to a piece I wrote last year, and allow a Democrat aide to explain his party's calculated, lawless abdication, which was contrived and enforced by the detestable Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY):
Schumer has targeted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in April’s continuing resolution debate, well before it was in vogue after last week’s Cabinet Room blowup. He’s also spearheaded the party’s message on corporate jet tax breaks in concert with the White House, and he even persuaded rank-and-file Senators earlier this month to abandon their desire for a Democratic budget so the party could focus on a tighter message of protecting Medicare and eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy. The current political climate, with intransigence in both parties on efforts to raise the debt ceiling, has just elevated Schumer’s platform. “He led the fight in the Senate against releasing our budget. He backed the idea that a budget paints a giant target on your back unnecessarily when it’s not going to pass anyway,” said one Senate Democratic aide...
Props for candor, I suppose, but major down-twinkles for the utterly craven maneuver. It really is that simple: Democrats have chosen not to fulfill their basic obligations because publicly airing their plan for funding the federal government would be politically risky. Reid himself called the idea of adhering to the law in this case "foolish." He's right: Committing actual, concrete ideas to paper might somehow convince the public of the crazy notion that Democrats are addicted to higher spending, more dependency, unsustainable entitlements, and massive tax increases. Therefore, to avoid all that unpleasantness, they prefer to do absolutely nothing. Well, not nothing, exactly. They're still happy to "deem" imaginary future budgets into existence, scream at Republicans for wanting to "shut down" the government every time one of Congress' stop-gap Continuing Resolutions is set to expire, and lie like crazy about House Republicans' budget proposals. After all, why introduce ideas of your own when you can endlessly demagogue every solution offered by your opposition -- then turn around and label them as the do-nothing "party of no"? It's a good gig, if you can get it. Not only have Harry Reid's Senate Democrats refused to introduce their own budget for the last 1,000 days, they've also voted against every single proposal that has been introduced by anyone. That's right, not one solitary Senate Democrat has voted for any budget, including President Obama's dreadful offering, in nearly three years.
These people are beneath contempt, and shouldn't retain their jobs. Take note of this disgrace, voters -- especially in places like Missouri, Virginia, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Florida, New Mexico, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Both the Heritage Foundation and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have produced videos shredding Reid/Durbin/Schumer, Inc. for their gutless, self-interested, and fiscally reckless inaction. I couldn't decide which one is better, so I'll leave you with both. Fail big, and go home:
UPDATE - Paul Ryan and Jeff Sessions, the top Budget Committee Republicans in the House and Senate, respectively, offer some choice words for their colleagues across the aisle HERE. Meanwhile, the RNC research squad runs a few numbers on what Democratic leadership, or lack thereof, has wrought for the nation's finances:
Senate Democrats Have Not Passed A Budget For 1,000 Days, Since April 29, 2009. (S. Con. Res. 13, Roll Call 173; D 53-3, R 0-40, I 2-0, 4/29/09)
- Since Obama Took Office, The National Debt Has Increased By Over $4.6 Trillion, An Increase Of Over 43 Percent. (Department Of The Treasury, “Debt To The Penny And Who Holds It,” Treasury Direct, Accessed 1/24/12)
- Obama Has Added Nearly $15,000 To Every American’s Share Of The National Debt. (Department Of The Treasury, “Debt To The Penny And Who Holds It,” Treasury Direct, Accessed 1/24/12; U.S. Census Bureau, Accessed 1/24/12)
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography