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 April, 2009


 The Political Budget Fight Begins

The Party of No Way No How

The Republicans are on a roll. Two budgets proposals within a week. They’re a veritable budget proposal machine.

Neither of those proposals, though, have the slightest chance of becoming more than government funded fly swatters.

I’ve tried running to Connellsville while on a treadmill. I gave up when I figured I’d never get to Crawford Avenue that way.

The Congressional Republicans are on their own treadmill.

When they first announced their budget proposal in late March, they’d somehow left out everything but their usual attacks on anything Obama.

The working media loudly wondered why Congressional leaders would hold a news conference for that, when Fox News affords them a standing invitation.

But those leaders countered, by claiming their fleshed out budget would arrive on April Fools Day. How appropriate.

Instead of the 19 page fly swatter they submitted the week before, they released a larger, 64 page fly swatter the following week. After all, there are horse flies.

“The Path to American Prosperity – The House Republican Budget Alternative,” as they call it, is a creative little document. That is, if Play-Doh can be used for creative endeavors.

Contained within it is the same old “tax cuts for the rich.” In reality, it calls for an extension of Bush’s recession inducing tax cuts of 2001 and 2003.

The Republicans, who badly lost the stimulus package battle, have also decided to include a provision to rescind the stimulus as part of their budget proposal. I hear the Arizona Cardinals are proposing to play a 5th quarter of this year’s Super Bowl. They have a better chance of that happening than that of a rescinded stimulus ever getting a second congressional thought.

The Republican budget would lead to cuts in just about everything along the Potomac if it’s passed. I hear Republican Budget Director Ebenezer Scrooge says all of Washington will have a going-out-of-business sale to “keep down the costs of government.”

The Washington Mall will be turned into something resembling the Uniontown Mall, complete with a Cineplex, if we don’t watch out.

All of this, of course, means Republicans are in a frenzy trying to lose the “Party of No” tag that’s haunted them since January 20th. They know they can’t be taken very seriously without some form of opposition that doesn’t begin with, or end with the words “President Obama,” and the words “is doing something or other we don’t like,” nearby.

Oops. I take that back. Their latest budget proposal contains the words “President,” and “Obama,” as in the President Obama’s budget, 56 times.

It’s still the Party of No. They just don’t know it.

Meanwhile, it’s obvious the president wasn’t losing any sleep with all the Republican attention being paid to him within their latest budgetary interpretation.

He had other things on his mind. It’s worth noting here, that Republicans not only chose a rather odd day (April Fools Day) to announce their new budget proposal. They did it on a day they got far less attention than the president, who was enjoying worldwide news coverage – that rendered theirs a mere footnote.

Obama getting the “star treatment” by rubbing elbows with the Queen of England and a host of other world heads-of-state, commanded far more attention than did a group of people saying what they’ve been saying for years – as if they’ve said it for the first time.

But the Republicans in Congress have more of a convincing act on their hands in trying to sell their rehashed economic theories. The American public isn’t buying them either.

A Washington Post/ABC poll that was released the day before Republicans announced their budget proposal indicates that Americans, by a more than two to one margin (58% to 25%), trust Obama more than Republicans in Congress, to better handle the economy.

That can only mean that despite their constant outrage about not being heard, Republicans aren’t being heard, because only their base is willing right now to listen to them.

They could find another line of work. They could go into the fly swatter manufacturing business.

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net