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Thursday, Feb. 29
The Indiana Daily Student


COLUMN: It's time for deliberation on the budget

The United States House of Representatives passed a budget. Good for them.

It is designed to balance the budget within a decade. Even better for them.

This sounds great. Really, this budget sounds too good to be true. Our Congress doesn’t act like this anymore. It doesn’t pass responsible legislation unless there is a legislative gun to its head, so what is the catch here?

Well, this budget also ensures millions of additional funds for war powers, refuses to raise taxes in its effort to balance the budget and repeals the Affordable Care Act — something House Republicans know all too well will never make it out of the Senate, let alone past a ?Presidential veto.

So, for all its talk about being tough on the deficit, this budget gives the House the opportunity to say, “See, we can follow through,” without ever actually having to follow through on anything. Then, when this budget undoubtedly fails, they will try to blame Democrats and President Obama for allowing the deficit to remain stubbornly high.

The problem with this, though, is the budget coming out of the House might lower the deficit, but it’s still a bad budget. It takes an approach to deficit reduction that is not only blatantly partisan but is also irresponsible.

Is the deficit something we should be concerned about? Absolutely. Should entitlements be reformed? Yes. But the answer to our long-term problems isn’t the slash-and-burn tactics budget hawks in the House want to take. Then throw in that the brunt of their cuts comes on the backs of the poor, and we see a much ?different picture here.

You see, the truth of this budget isn’t that it will return us to fiscal responsibility, but that it enlightens us on the true motives of the budget hawks riling up their constituents about the “out of control” spending in the federal government.

These policymakers don’t really care about the deficit nor do they hate government spending. In reality, they hate spending on the things they disagree with and care about spending on the programs they do agree with.

There is nothing ?inherently wrong about this.

We live in a democratic republic that allows for open debate about how our government should spend its money. However, this isn’t the conversation House Republicans have been allowing for more than five years. Instead of coming to the table with their opinions and beliefs about how the budget should look, they have been taking an our-way-or-the-highway approach to legislating that, simply put, is ?undemocratic.

Solving our country’s fiscal problems in a responsible manner is going to take a lot more than one party touting its talking points.

It is going to take true deliberation and a genuine desire to come up with a plan that works for everyone. Drawing up a budget they know will never pass doesn’t come close to meeting this requirement.

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