The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

January 9, 2013

Our View: Wrong center of debate

Now that the “fiscal cliff” is behind us, the next round of debate will be over the debt ceiling. But, in our view, that’s the wrong place to center the argument.

Of course we must pay old bills. Even members of the tea party agree with the fiscal responsibility of paying old bills. If we must borrow money to do that, then so be it, borrow the money.

We have not had a knockdown, drag-out budget argument in Congress now for about four years. The president has provided (as required by law) a budget proposal, and each one has been voted down or ignored. The House has passed “budget” bills, and the Senate has ignored each one with no debate and no vote. Instead, the country has been run piecemeal with continuing resolutions for four years.

It is ridiculous to have an argument every year or so over the debt limit. But because the budget and appropriations process has failed — miserably — limiting the debt ceiling increase has now become the only way to try (but still fail) to limit future spending.

President Obama has consistently provided budget proposals that will never pass in Congress. His budgets are not even a basis for any constructive debates over what should be paid for various programs. What if, for example, Congress demanded that the president submit a balanced budget request? Congress has the power of the purse, not the president. Why not use that power to demand that the president propose only payment for programs that are affordable?

The president could then submit, as part of his budget proposal, an addendum showing “extra” payments, deficit payments required for the coming year.

Such a process forces the president to lead. Congress can then decide whether to follow.

1
Text Only
Opinion
Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that electronic devices and communications are protected from searches and seizure without a warrant, do you think Missouri needs Amendment 9 added to its constitution?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest 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: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Sports