Congress finally passed a budget, the first in five years. The last budget passed was a Queen Nancy, Prince Harry budget passed by a Democrat Congress. It was loaded up with all the liberal spending ideas. Then each year things continued with automatic increases at twice the inflation rate.
Next came the sequester, which made cuts, but starting at the inflated amounts. One half of the sequester came from the military, while the other half came from domestic programs. The military cuts came from 20% of the budget while the domestic cuts came from 80% of the budget. The military cuts really hurt our preparedness. We were fighting two wars, and we were using up a lot of munitions, drones, armory, etc. These items have not been replenished. Ryan knew the sequester cuts to our military couldn’t continue if we were to maintain a military at all. In order to send a U.S. fleet to the Middle East a few months ago had to be financed by reducing the cost of living increase for our soldiers. That’s the only way we could afford to move part of our navy. The domestic cuts were handled by furloughed workers for a few weeks. No structural reductions were made so no reductions were made for future costs on the domestic side.
There were a series of tax cuts, but only extended for one year at a time. This year those cuts are allowed to expire. That is how Congress raises taxes without raising taxes. Of course, ObamaCare created $500 billion (that’s billion with a B) in tax increases to help fund healthcare that was part of the original legislation.
The new budget increases spending by 3.5 % over current spending, but less than would be spent if the budget didn’t pass. That’s more government speak for spending cuts. Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Patty Murray worked out the compromises to get the budget passed. It’s the first time in five years the two sides have been able to come together to agree on a spending plan.
Unemployment was cut back to 26 weeks from two years. Think about that, two years. However, Congress is already talking about doing some sort of an upward adjustment in the time. That will probably be voted on before the month is done.
All the pet projects already in the system will continue to be funded. That means things like the treadmill for shrimp stays funded. There were a few cuts made. Pensions for the career military was reduced. Just to show Congress was fair, they also reduced future pensions for federal workers……. for new hires only. Not to worry, though, because the next Congress can undo the reductions anytime they want by a simple vote. ObamaCare is funded in the new budget, making it a permanent program for all time.
The real losers seem to be the taxpayers. I don’t think there is a winner.