Sen. Kent Conrad (D-LAME DUCK, ND): We did too pass a budget!
No, Sparky, you didn't.
The Democratic Senator from North Dakota is taking the position that The Budget Control Act (the formal name for the agreement that raised the debt ceiling) totally counts as a budget. While the idea of a federal budget that only takes twenty-eight pages to describe is actually kind of intriguing to me, the fact remains that the summary tables of an actual federal budget are larger. More to the point, in a budget you get an idea of:
- How much money is coming in;
- From where it’s coming in;
- How much money is going out;
- And where the money is going.
Guess which of the two documents has that information? Spoiler warning: it’s not the document that Senator Conrad is touting as being a budget.
I understand that the concepts are difficult for a Democratic Senator to grasp, but here goes: assertion is not proof and words have meaning. People can’t just simply decide that the way to handle a politically inconvenient obligation (in this case, the constitutional obligation of Congress to provide a budget) is to distort the English language until a more politically palatable ‘answer’ fits. We’ve had centuries of experience in determining what a federal budget should or should not look like; trying to pretend that the recent shameful behavior by Democrats is anything less than an insultingly crass abdication of responsibility is unworthy of the office of Senator.
Then again, Conrad sounded more like an angry hyper-partisan in the original letter anyway, so it’s probably not surprising…
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Kent Conrad is, of course, cutting and running from his Senate seat this year; but he is one of those people who on paper looks like a suitable choice for a Cabinet seat in a future Democratic administration, and is certainly that sort of person who will probably find lobbyist life in Dizzy City more congenial than retiring to North Dakota. Which is why I chose to rake Sen. Conrad over the coals on this; it’s all too likely that he’s not completely going away…