The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker

Editorials

June 10, 2008

Our View: Congress not serious about budget

Congress won praise recently from the budget watchdog group Concord Coalition for passing a budget resolution in an election year for the first time since 1996

In the same vein of praise for Congress, the nonpartisan group also remarked that many of the assumptions in the budget assumed difficult choices it doubts Congress can make and assumes that $340 billion of spending will be exempt from deficit neutral budget rules known as “pay as you go.”

A month ago, the Concord Coalition’s new chief economist Diane Lim Rogers — a mother of four and former House Budget Committee economist — noted that Congress always agreed with the economics of sound budget principles and spending restraint but often was reluctant to embrace the politics of it.

Lim Rogers recently launched a blog (Economistmom.com) to promote the idea of a sound federal budget and to promote the idea that it is good politics to make sure we don’t leverage our children’s future, or create deficits that are unsustainable.

The U.S. Senate seems to be the best example so far that sound fiscal policy is not good politics. The Senate continues to reject the pay as you go rules the House has adopted. Those rules call for offsetting new spending by reducing other spending or increasing taxes to make new policies revenue neutral so as not to increase the federal deficit.

The House of course is not immune from this kind of political shying away from tough choices. The Concord Coalition’s executive director, Robert Bixby, says the budget resolution recently adopted by Congress assumes extensions of some Bush tax cuts that will cost $340 billion and are not, at least initially, offset by spending cuts or tax increases elsewhere. War costs, he said, are projected at a low-ball of $70 billion in 2009 and nothing for 2010 and 2012.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Spear smile.jpg Spear column: Hoffner case tested first and right rules

    The biggest news stories carry the biggest risk

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SCC leads the way on work ed The importance of higher education has never been more pronounced than with the changes occurring in our economy, especially in manufacturing. Bloomberg News noted that manufacturing accounts for 80 percent of our exports and for every one high-tech

    April 20, 2014

  • Our View: Y helps kids with skatepark Thumbs up to the YMCA and supporters working quickly to open an interim roller sport park. When fire destroyed Chesley Roller Sports Park in February, the Y made the commitment to rebuild it this summer and fall. But the Y also moved to give skateboa

    April 19, 2014

  • Our View: Make course evaluations public There's been a considerable and legitimate debate over the years about whether students at a public university should have access to teacher and course evaluations. Whenever there is a legitimate debate, it's hard to be in favor of less information a

    April 18, 2014

  • Our View: Drawing the line after Ukraine Why it matters: Tensions are ramping up once more as Russia tries to dictate to Ukraine.

    April 17, 2014

  • Our View: Costs key in health care access While more uninsured got coverage, costs must be controlled to sustain programs

    April 16, 2014

  • Our View: Saving lives trumps booking drug users Changes to the drug laws would save lives of those who overdose

    April 15, 2014

  • Pay attention! Distraction a problem A few years ago safety experts focused heavily on the dangers of people talking on cellphones while driving. Some states passed laws prohibiting the use of hand-held phones in cars as a result. Today much attention is on motorists typing on tiny hand

    April 14, 2014

  • DEBATE MEDICAL MARIJUANA When Minnesota lawmakers return from their spring break, one of the issues they may face is medical marijuana. This has been kicked around too many times. We feel it deserves to be pushed from committee and debated on the floor. The issue has been tr

    April 13, 2014

  • Our View: Cities saved on garbage collection Mankato and North Mankato saved their taxpayers money by bidding on garbage service

    April 12, 2014