Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

March 27, 2013

THEIR VIEW: Congress gets it right, for now

The good news is Republicans and Democrats in a divided Congress finally agreed to a plan to fund the government through September and they did it with six whole days to spare.

The bad news is it only covers the next six months and their plans for the next budget are miles apart. Already the rhetoric has been cascading down the black hole of sequestration and into the valley of the fiscal cliff.

The House approved on a 318-109 bipartisan vote last week to agree to a budget that goes through Sept. 30. It went along with some changes to its original proposal by the Senate, which voted to approve it in a bipartisan 73-26 vote. The budget avoids a government shutdown that could have occurred when the previous temporary measure was set to expire March 27.

The plan leaves in place many of the automatic cuts brought about by sequestration, but made budget adjustments so food inspectors would not be furloughed and tuition assistance programs to veterans would also continue. Some other spending shifts were adopted as well but offset by changing spending in another area.

Still, we have to credit even small successes in our politics today. Credit goes to leaders in the House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans, for getting this done and not resorting to another “crisis” management situation that rattles world financial markets.

While Kumbaya seemed to be the song of the day in Congress after passage, the longer term budget battle ahead between House Republicans and Senate Democrats suggests a more heavy metal tone.

House Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan called Democrats status quo taxers and spenders while Democrats called his budget “unbelievable” and suggested Ryan has a small attention span regarding the last election.

Ryan’s plan to cut $5 trillion from future spending over 10 years and balance the budget contrasts sharply with a Senate Democrat plan to remove sequestration cuts, add $1 trillion in tax revenue but not balance the budget. Ryan calls for Medicare reform for people under 54 and the Senate plan calls for closing tax loopholes for corporations.

While there is some optimism that even these two widely divergent budgets can somehow be merged into one that is bipartisan, skeptics haven’t ever gone broke betting against bipartisanship in Washington.

Let’s hope President Obama and other leaders can bottle whatever it was that helped bring agreement on the short-term budget and use it to bring about a long-term budget solution.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 25, 2014

  • FREY: Hero pilot still on a mission to save lives Ordinary people who live their lives, do something spectacular one day, and then embrace a great cause after retirement are tops in my book.Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III is such an individual. He is the pilot who safely landed a US Airways airplan

    July 25, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Why incumbents keep getting reelected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 24, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Write clear rules for vanity plate licenses We see vanity license plates regularly. Some are funny or thought-provoking. Others are just plain puzzling.One specialty plate backing autism research and support carries the heartfelt message “4MYSON.” Others are more prosaic, as in COLTFANZ.It’s c

    July 24, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Four-legged family I have three pets. First, Paisley, a long-haired cream and tortoise Ragdoll cat. She’s the aristocracy in our group, compared to the rest of us, who are all blue collar folks. Her movements are slow and stately and her mien is gracious. She is by far

    July 24, 2014

  • Holly Sklar SKLAR: Small businesses want minimum wage increase If Congress actually listened to small business owners, the minimum wage would be going up. Instead, July 24 will mark five years without an increase since the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 an hour in 2009.Small business livelihoods depend on

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • KITCHELL: Reaction times change, but motorists don't Earlier this year, I came home one afternoon to find the worst accident on North Street I can ever recall.A bevy of police cars and four flatbed trucks were removing the pawns in an accident that damaged four vehicles. It was a bit unusual considerin

    July 23, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Keeping insects under control curbs disease State health officials said last week mosquitoes in two northern Indiana counties tested positive for the West Nile virus, The Associated Press reported.The state health department said mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties were confirmed to have

    July 23, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Indiana's ethics laws in need of reform The Indiana State Ethics Commission’s recent approval of an agreement between the state inspector general and Tony Bennett settles the charges against the former state superintendent of schools.But the settlement raises more concerns about the loopho

    July 22, 2014

  • MARCUS: Tax simplification is no simple matter The governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 22, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.