Budget Blame Game: Democratic Lackadaisical Attitude Got Us Here

COMMENTARY | Although it can be agreed upon by many that there is plenty of blame to go around for the current straits the government is in when it comes to whether or not there could be a federal shutdown, a lot of the blame has been directed toward Republicans and their intransigence on parts of the 2011 fiscal budget bill with which they ideologically disagree. But, then, the same can be said of the Democrats, who are pushing for passage of provisions with which they promote or agree. But Don Seymour, Deputy Communications Director for Speaker of the House John Boehner, posted a list of reasons why the government shutdown should be blamed on the Democrats. Is he correct?

Seymour is somewhat biased in his approach to the matter, but he makes excellent points, the foremost of which is that Democrats had plenty of time before the 111th Congress became the 112th Congress to pass a budget, not to mention that they controlled both the House and the Senate up until January. Democrats not only failed to have a 2011 budget bill ready by the deadline (mandated by the Congressional Budget Act) in April but House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said they would not have a bill ready by the time the new federal fiscal year began.

Seymour provides a timeline that is pretty damning. What is equally damning is that the Democrats only had two of the eleven necessary budget segments ready by the time the 2010 fiscal year ended and 2011 began, forcing the government into the first of what has become six Continuing Resolutions (thus far) to provide money for governmental operations.

What Seymour does not say is that President Barack Obama proposed the 2011 federal in February 2010, which in its own way makes things look even worse.

Speaker Boehner accused President Obama of not providing leadership with regard to the budget process earlier in the week. Talks have been ongoing on Capitol Hill and at the White House as emergency meetings have been called to attempt to iron out a compromise and put the 2011 budget to rest.

Still, all the lackadaisicalness of the Democrats, although worthy of condemnation, is now moot. Compromise by both parties is necessary to pass a budget bill. Remaining at loggerheads serves no real purpose, save to blame and gain political advantage.

There has already been enough blaming. It is time to get something done.

Saul Relative holds degrees in History and Secondary Education, and he taught school in West Virginia in the ’80s and Virginia during the ’90s. A student of politics and political movements, he began writing articles covering the political maneuverings of the Bush administration in 2004. Saul turned to writing full-time in 2008, dividing his time between reading and writing about politics and entertainment.