Senate Dems Blow Off Obama's Budget Wish List
Leadership struggling to pass spending bill
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 11, 2013 8:39 AM CDT
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, following a Democratic strategy session.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – As they rush to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government, one might imagine that Senate Democrats would heed President Obama's requests for funds for health care or Wall Street reform, but that's not exactly the case. Republicans didn't include those things in the House budget, and given the White House's limp response—it said it was "deeply concerned," but didn't threaten a veto—Senate Democrats are leaving them for dead, Politico reports.

The continuing resolution battle comes as Democrats struggle to put together their first long-term budget in four years. That should be easy, given that Republicans aren't allowed to filibuster, but they're having trouble nonetheless, the Hill reports, because they only have a 12-10 majority in the budget committee, and hence can't afford a single defection. But Democrats still say they intend to go on offense, and pass a budget that raises revenue without ending deficits. "The 2012 election showed that being in favor of revenue does not tar and feather you," one aide says.

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Mar 12, 2013 4:29 PM CDT
Overall Budget TrendsOver the past 20 years, federal spending grew 71 percent faster than inflation. Entitlement spending more than doubled over the past 20 years, growing by 110 percent (after adjusting for inflation). Discretionary spending grew by 60 percent. Deficits have pushed up the debt each year since 2002 as federal spending exceeded revenue. Fiscal year 2012 marked the fourth consecutive year of $1 trillion deficits. Although debt held by the public surged from 33.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2002 to 73 percent in 2012, net interest costs have held below 2 percent of GDP because interest rates have fallen to all-time lows. In 1962, defense spending was nearly half the total federal budget (49 percent); Social Security and other mandatory programs were less than one-third of the budget (31 percent). Two major entitlement programs, Medicaid and Medicare, were signed into law by President Johnson in 1965. In 2012 entitlements were nearly 62 percent of total spending, while defense dropped to less than one-fifth (18.7 percent) of the budget.
Mar 12, 2013 3:50 AM CDT
So the Democrats want to raise revenue, but not touch the deficit. Is that another way of saying we want to take in more money and spend even more than we take in? Yep, that's going to help.
Mar 11, 2013 3:15 PM CDT
Republican fiscal policies are junk. It's for the 2% and to hell with the rest of the country. You can't pay off the debt if; 1. Unemployment is high. 3. Unions are wiped off the country. 4. Cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits. 5. You export jobs. 6. Repeal Obamacare. 7. You refuse to raise taxes even higher on the 2%. 8. You refuse to tax corporations. 9. Subsidize corporations like the oil companies. 10. Steal elections. 11. You make it harder for Americans to vote.