Congress, in the persons of both Parties is playing the American voters for federal budget foolsÂ… again.Â The Republicans are claiming to have proposed cuts of $100 billion from the FY 2010 budgetÂ… a budget that has yet to be adoptedÂ… in 2011 spending.Â In fact, looking at money not yet spent from the proposed 2010 budget, the Republicans are proposing actual FY 2010 cuts of $61 billion. The FY 2011 budget is not addressed.
Well then, can it be assumed that the Democrats are doing better?Â According to them, they are.Â They have met the Republicans half way in a proposed $51 billion cut, which is close enough as makes no difference to the actual Republican cuts of $61 billionÂ… right?Â Well-l-lÂ… not really.Â The Democrats are proposing about $10 billion in cuts from the FY 2010 budget, and $41 billion from the FY 2011 budget, a budget that went absolutely nowhere in Congress.
So, where does that leave the debate? The Republicans wanted a $100 billion cut in the FY 2010 federal budget, and claimed it, but in reality have proposed cuts of $61 billion.Â The Democrats wanted a more targeted approach, but have actually moved the Â‘targetÂ’ into the FY 2011 budget, while claiming equivalency in cutting.
Is that the end of the audacity?Â NopeÂ… not by a short mile, it isnÂ’t.Â For instance, the President specifically, and the Democrats in general, have claimed that their desire is to carefully slice unnecessary and excessive funding from specific programs. However, for the most part, they have just been heaving numbers into the fray, with a very few targets that are evident to anybody.Â While claiming to meet the Republicans half way, theyÂ’ve threatened a veto and are demanding negotiations on cuts in two different fiscal year federal budgets as if they were the same one, with White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer conceding there are different views of what constitutes a spending cut, saying: "While there may be some disputes in math, we remain optimistic we can get this done."
The Republicans, meanwhile, have been very specifically, if broadly, targeting entire programs and departments that do things with which they disagree.Â TheyÂ’ve adopted the Â“Never let a good crisis go to waste,Â” mantra of which they accused the PresidentÂ’s Chief-of-Staff, and are using their self-declared Â“budget crisisÂ” to attack Planned Parenthood, National Endowments for the Arts, VeteransÂ’ Housing Vouchers, Special Education funding and education funding in genÂ… wait, back up.Â Veterans Housing Vouchers?Â WerenÂ’t they part of the Pledge to America, which promised Â“common-sense exceptions [from spending cuts] for seniors, veterans, and our troops.Â”?Â Indeed they were.Â NonethelessÂ… the Republicans' FY 2010 federal budget cuts include a major reduction in housing vouchers for homeless veterans.