Monday, February 27, 2012

Reason #141: Busy Work

I've mentioned already that Obama's recent budget plan was more an election-year road map than an actual policy proposal, as nothing is expected to get done budget-wise until after the election is over with.

Well, it seems that no one told Steny Hoyer.

The Democratic Minority Whip is right now hard at work whipping his fellow Democrats--and possibly even a Republican or two--into action on an assortment of deficit-cutting measures. Unusually, the goal here seems to be less one large, coherent piece of legislation (though it is being treated as such) but a broad assortment of initiatives, both higher taxes and spending cuts among them, that would theoretically reduce the deficit.

The point, as I take it, is to get as much of the leg work done as possible. A lot of these things may prove to be non-starters, or otherwise irrelevant in the actual budget debate that happens in the shadow of the impending Santorum administration (snicker), but getting them down on paper now, and in particular getting a sense of what kind of bipartisan support they can generate, will make putting together a passable budget at the end of the year that much more expedient.

What I fail to see it what's in it for the Republicans. Even if some could be coerced into agreeing with aspects of the bill now, do we really expect that to have any bearing on their positions post-election, when the real work will supposedly be happening?

(Side Note: for the next week, I am conducting a survey of visitors to this blog. Whether you're a regular reader or this is your first time, I'd love to hear from you - just follow this link. This notice will accompany every post this month, with Saturday, March 3rd being the final day to participate. Thanks for reading!)

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