The Democrats’ failure to propose a budget, let alone vote on one, is perhaps the most important of the many scandals now swirling around that party. President Obama submitted a FY 2012 budget in February, but it was dead on arrival. It made no effort to deal with the country’s burgeoning debt crisis, and no one took it seriously. When it was eventually brought to the floor in the Senate, it failed to get a single vote.
In April, Obama delivered a speech on the debt crisis in which he seemed to walk away from his February budget. But the speech was characteristically vague, and Obama never did follow up with a revised budget. Senate Democrats, meanwhile, have violated federal law by failing to produce a budget proposal. Despite daily calls for them to comply with the law by Senator Jeff Sessions and others, they have hunkered down and refused to put anything on the table.
This morning Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf testified before the House Budget Committee. He was asked about the proposals in Obama’s April speech, and replied with what appears to be a degree of sarcasm:
Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf had some harsh words for President Obama during a hearing held by the House Budget Committee on Thursday to discuss the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook.
Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., asked Elmendorf whether the CBO had attempted to estimate the budgetary effects of the framework Obama outlined in April, which was based on a 12-year budget window instead of the usual 10 years.
“We don’t estimate speeches,” Elmendorf shot back.
So there you have it. The Democratic Party has defaulted on the most basic duty of a democratic government: it refuses to say how it intends to spend the people’s money.
UPDATE: Here is a video clip of this morning’s exchange; it is priceless: