Budget Follies Are Coming Soon to a Congress Near You


One of the big pieces of political theater that political junkies are looking forward to this summer is the reconciliation of the House and Senate budgets. Ginger Gibson of Politico describes the basic differences, which are pretty well known to everyone:

The differences between the House GOP and the Senate Democratic plans are clear, with the House GOP plan balancing the budget after 10 years but extracting deep cuts in spending and ultimately converting Medicare to a voucher program. The Senate Democratic plan doesn’t balance the budget at all but does contemplate nearly $1 trillion in tax hikes along with equal parts spending cuts.

Republicans, after wailing for years about Democratic unwillingness to pass a budget via regular order (as opposed to makeshift continuing resolutions), suddenly find themselves unenthusiastic about naming a conference committee because it would give minority Democrats in the House an opportunity to force embarrassing votes on a variety of politically sensitive topics. For their part, Democrats, who have been OK with makeshift continuing resolutions for the past few years, have finally decided that the time is right for a High Noon showdown and think a conference committee would be peachy.

I don’t actually have anything to say about this. Conference committees have been something of a dead letter for a while, and it’s not as if I have any deep and principled love for them. Mainly, I think it’s interesting that, as near as I can tell, Democrats feel more confident about their position these days than Republicans do. After about $3 trillion in spending cuts over the past two years, they seem confident that the public is firmly on their side when they demand that any further cuts should be matched with revenue increases from the wealthy.

We’ll see about that. Basically, though, this is just a placeholder post to make sure everyone knows where we are at the moment. The budget wars haven’t started to seriously heat up yet, but they probably will fairly soon.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate