There they go again those manipulative career politicians! Economic commentator Bruce Bartlett says that a particularly underhanded budget strategy is now underway in the Congress a ploy that was all the rage during the Reagan years when the Demo half of the Demopublican Party dominated the Hill.
During the Reagan years, the career politicians used to stall and stall before sending their bloated appropriations bills to the President for his signature. Often, they’d wait until the very last minute of the very last day of the fiscal year before calling the U-Haul truck to lug the legislation over to the Oval Office. What that meant was that if the President at that late hour chose to veto the appropriations for being too lard-laden, the government would have to shut down, and the chief executive would have to take the political heat for it.
Of course, after the so-called Republican Revolution of 1994, when the Republicans took control of both Houses of Congress, the Republicans proved to be just as fond of bloated spending as their careerist colleagues across the aisle. Now Senate Democrats are using their newly acquired majority status to drag their legislative feet just like they did in the old days. Bartlett predicts that, once again, the congressmen will call U-Haul at the very last minute to lug the spending specs over to the White House. And without a line-item veto, George Bush will have a tough decision to make: sign off on all the pork or shut down the government. Oh, those manipulative career politicians. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
This is Common Sense . I’m Paul Jacob.