April 5th, 2011
09:20 PM ET

Letters to the President: # 806 'The busted budget'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: More people are pointing fingers in Congress and the White House right now than when a UFO flies over a farm field. It’s the subject of my daily letter.

Dear Mr. President,

Sorry this letter is coming to you so late in the day, but you’ll understand why when I tell you what I’ve been up to. I spent most of this afternoon trying to make sense of the budget battles going on in DC right now, and to be honest, it makes Medusa’s head look like a tidy updo.

Related: GOP budget chief calls for $6.2 trillion spending cut

And you wonder why the public gets irritated with you guys.

Let me see if I have this right: No one in DC wanted to pass a budget last summer or fall for the coming year. Even though your party was still in charge of pretty much everything, your Democrats didn’t push to get it done. And with a midterm election roiling the political landscape, the Republicans didn’t squawk too terribly much about it either. To put it in simple terms, everyone was afraid of the potentially unpredictable political fallout, so that pop fly landed amidst all the congressional Little Leaguers without anyone so much as sticking out a glove.

Then you all kicked it down the road for a few months, passing resolutions to just keep the government running on the funding levels from last year. And now you are up against it. Almost everyone knows there must be some kind of cuts because the economy has been such a wreck, but no one can agree on what to cut or by how much. The accusations are flying, the offers and counter offers are bouncing off of each other, and, Bob’s-your-uncle, we have a mess.

I’m sure that you and the rest of the Capitol Hill crowd will somehow hash out a sloppy, absurdly contorted version of something that you will eventually call a budget. Each side will proclaim victory and say the other side is sharing bunk space with the devil. You’ll all pass around brandy and cigars (because they go so nicely with blame) and the whole ridiculous process will roll on with the 2012 budget - which, as you may note, is already on the agenda.

I know reaching agreements on such matters is tough. I know that both sides love to profess their concern about the public while playing a game of chicken with a government shutdown. But jeesh…you’d think after all these years, we’d have a better system than this.

Want to change something? This would be a good place to start.


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Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Ron

    This fight over the US Budget id ridiculous. I am a liberal and voted for Obama. I support his health Care plan. I have supported practically everything Obama has passed since being elected, but this budget is so full of waste that a trillion dollars could be removed and have absolutely no effect on the US Government's ability to function effectively. I used to work for the USDA-ARS and our single facility wasted about $10,000,000 every year on some of the most stupid research on the planet. Multiply that times every ARS facility and you get a tidy some of wasted funding. Of course that is the tip of the iceberg. Add in all the EPA, FDA, and others research dollars and you can easily get 1 trillion dollars. Research has become a sacred cow in the US Government and most of it is wasted on Pentagon black box toys.

    I hope President Obama would stop scrapping with congress cover 30 verses 100 million dollars which is peanuts. Pass the 100 million plan, but keep the social programs and cut the ridiculous Republican earmarks and get our fiscal house in order.


    April 6, 2011 at 12:28 am |