That’s the sad situation with the federal budget process.
We now have 10-year budget proposals from President Obama and the House of Representatives. They are quite different and would be very difficult to bring together in the best of circumstances. That doesn’t really matter, however, because there is nothing in the process to force a negotiation.
The President’s budget is merely advisory, although it has value in providing the administration’s vision of fiscal policy over the next 10 years.
The House budget is only one essential element in producing a concurrent congressional budget resolution. The other essential element is a budget from the Senate. And that is where the process ends this year because the Senate has decided not to write its own budget.
Some may consider this a politically smart move on the part of Senate Democrats because it allows them to take shots at the House Republicans’ budget, distance themselves from unpopular aspects of the President’s budget and avoid taking a stand on anything that might prove inconvenient in this fall’s elections.
Others may say that having a budget...