Our National Debt And ‘The Inability To Govern’


With the national debt nearing $1 trillion and partisan gridlock gripping the country’s law-making bodies, some members of Congress are looking at new ways to create an annual federal budget.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said this inability to pass a budget and control federal spending is what Americans think of first when they talk about congressional dysfunction.

“Right now there’s so much concern about the breakdown in Washington, about the inability to govern,” she said during a congressional hearing in June. “I believe the budget is the first step in showing that you can govern, that you can make tough choices and come together on solutions that both sides can agree to and stick with.”

Perhaps no one in Congress agrees with MacGuineas more than the members of the House and Senate budget committees – and for the first time in a generation, they seem prepared to do something about it.

Both committees held multiple hearings earlier this year, examining problems with the current budget process and considering ways to improve it.

The intent, according to House Budget Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., is to draft “a complete rewrite” of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and replace it with a process that focuses attention on national priorities and long-term policy goals.

“Nothing could be more important or less exciting,” Price said. “We know budgets aren’t simply spreadsheets. They’re reflections of our governing philosophy and our priorities. We ought to have a process that understands this and that focuses our energy on goals beyond merely the fiscal health of the country.”


Great article. Read the rest over at the LMT (paywall).