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Democrats Take the Low Road in Attacks on House Budget


Democrats prefer the peanut gallery in the budget battles.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Last night, Reuters published an article highlighting Democratic attacks on the House's budget resolution. The article showed exactly why the more liberal of America's two major parties is not serious about preventing the national debt from continuing to harm the American people now and in the future.

From the article:

The House floor debate this week offered a preview of the attack lines Democrats will use on the campaign trail. They lambasted the document as the "worst-ever" Ryan budget and conjured up frightening descriptions of its impact.

"It's like a Dracula in sheep's clothing coming in to suck the blood out of the middle class," said Representative Hank Johnson, a Georgia Democrat.

Added Democrat Hakeem Jeffries of New York: "It is like a heat-seeking missile aimed directly at the American people. It is a parade of horribles too numerous to catalog."

There is a great deal wrong with these statements.

First, the national debt is already attacking the middle-class and the poor, as seen in how slowly our economy is growing and how little wealth is going to the non-rich. And that problem is only going to get worse.

Second, given the realities of the harm of the national debt, this should be seen as the "best-ever" budget from the House, which was created by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.). It aims to balance the budget in a decade - taking far too long to make necessary reforms to Medicare and Social Security, but doing a lot better than some previous versions of Ryan's budget proposals.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., answers questions as he and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., announce a tentative agreement between Republican and Democratic negotiators on a government spending plan, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) 

Third, this kind of rhetoric is absolutely unacceptable language from public officials. We don't need more talking points in America - we need public officials who act like responsible stewards of the trust of the American people, not children making up fairy tales.

These analogies are particularly despicable. Dracula is a creature that, according to lore, turns people into soulless creatures of the undead. So Rep. Johnson is now comparing a budget that disagrees with his priorities to a creature who destroys souls. Gotcha.

Rep. Jeffries' analogy might be worse, though - heat-seeking missiles are designed for one thing: Death and destruction. So it looks like Rep. Jeffries thinks disagreement on spending policies are analogous to debating mass death and dismemberment.

The analogies are doubly offensive because all Democrats know the budget is going nowhere. The Senate has refused to pass a budget proposal of its own, in violation of the law, and so the House budget proposal is just that: A proposal that will be ignored by Democrats except when it is needed as a political bludgeon.

Speaking of the Senate budget, House Democrats should call upon their allies in the Senate and the White House to put forth reasonable budget proposals. While the president did put forth his budget some weeks ago, it got a mere two votes in the House - and, again, the Senate plans on ignoring its legal responsibility to propose a budget.

 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

This is not to say the House budget is good enough, or even adequately addresses America's fiscal problems. Not only does the proposal do too little cutting in the near future from Social Security and Medicare, and ignore the need to cut defense spending, it also fails to get enough done on tax reform.

And any budget that takes 10 years to balance is relying on smoke and mirrors.

But while the GOP is not serious about balancing the budget, at least it's pretending to care about the issue, giving the American people the opportunity to hold them accountable. The Democrats are apparently satisfied with being the peanut gallery, rather than a serious part of the solution.

This is why we can't have nice things. (Besides the fact that we can't afford them.)

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