An interesting juxtaposition exists between April 29, 1909 and April 29, 2009 in the realm of budget history. On April 29, 1909, the world’s biggest Superpower, Great Britain, introduced the “People’s Budget.” The People’s Budget is famously noted for being the first budget in the history of Britain with the “expressed intent of redistributing wealth” among the British people. On April 29, 2009, the world’s biggest Superpower, the United States, passed its last operating budget, the first budget in the history of the United States with the expressed intent to run a trillion dollar deficit.
It took both a year and the threat of adding additional Liberal “peers” (seats) in Parliament by the British King to garner enough votes in Britain to actually pass the People’s Budget. This ultimately succeeded exactly a year later on April 29, 2010. Winston Churchill’s biographer observed that this budget, which Churchill supported, was a “revolutionary concept.” On the other hand, April 29, 2013 marks the fourth consecutive year of operating on trillion dollar deficits, while failing to pass a new budget for the people of the United States.
Of course, there have been budget attempts. President Obama submitted a budget late to Congress every year except for 2010. His last two budgets have been so outrageous, (so revolutionary?) that not even one Democrat, either year, would sponsor or vote for his budget proposals. In 2010, the Democrat-led Senate choose not to offer their budget plan on the Senate floor. The GOP-led House of Republicans passed a budget for $1.2 trillion.
In 2011, the GOP-lead House passed a budget for FY2012, cutting $6 trillion in comparison to Obama’s budget, which failed, 0-97, in the Senate. The Senate did not offer their own budget that year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that it would be “foolish,” while Senator Schumer remarked, “To put other budgets out there is not the point.”
In 2012, the GOP-lead House passed a budget for FY2013, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced in February that the Senate would not consider a budget yet again. The House this time voted on President Obama’s $3.2 trillion budget, which failed 0-414.
In 2013, both the GOP-lead House and the Democrat- led Senate passed their own budgets for FY2014 — the first for the Democrats in four years. President Obama presented his budget 2 months late, totaling $46.5 trillion over the next 10 years without ever balancing. It also noted for even more taxes on the wealthy to pay for more social programs, a generous helping of “wealth redistribution.” But nothing has been agreed upon by Congress.
So here we are, coming around to 4 years without an operating budget for our nation. We also now have yearly trillion dollar deficits on top of the additional higher taxes. Many will likely observe that — to borrow from their British counterparts a century ago — this modus operandi for the United States is also a “revolutionary concept.”