The recent eleventh-hour budget deal will have some big repercussions for years to come, yet doesn’t do much to solve our debt problem. With a simple stroke of the pen, President Obama suspended the nation’s debt limit until 2017 and increased spending by $80 billion over two years. We’re now free to take on more debt, which for some is quite the accomplishment.
All this violates the 2011 budget act, which had sequestration components attached to the budget process. That meant that if a budget couldn’t be established, mandatory across-the-board cuts would set in.
Well, those automatic spending cuts are now off the table, nullifying all the hard work done by some fiscally-responsible politicians in 2011. We just can’t seem to help ourselves from increasing the national debt.
On top of that, this deal robs Peter to pay Paul when it comes to Social Security. The budget authorizes $150 billion in funding for the beleaguered Social Security Disability Insurance program, to come from the larger Social Security trust fund.
The bigger picture is this budget kicks the can down the road, handing very real issues to the next president. The fact that it was passed in the dark of night at 3 a.m. is telling.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the norm in Washington. It has to stop if we’re serious about solving our nation’s financial problems. At some point, someone will have to display some true leadership.