Tales from the Trail

A beautiful budget? It’s in the eye of the beholder

Budget beauty is clearly in the eye of the beholder.

Republican Senator Jeff Sessions took a look at President Barack Obama’s bloated, spend-your-way-out-of-USA-BUDGET/a-recession blueprint for 2012, with its $1.65 trillion deficit, and declared himself appalled.

“The president has presented the most irresponsible budget in the history of this republic,” he said.

Sessions made the remark while strongly endorsing the leaner 2012 spending plan proposed Tuesday by Representative Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Ryan’s budget would put the U.S. government on what he says would be a more sustainable fiscal path by cutting around $6 trillion in expected spending over the next decade.

The budget would even be balanced by 2015, sort of … as long as you don’t count the $200-plus billion in interest payments on the debt.

Who to blame for a U.S. government shutdown?

USA-POLITICS/REPUBLICANSNever mind that it hasn’t happened yet. Lawmakers want to make sure everyone knows who is responsible if  it does.

If  the  U.S. Congress deadlocks over spending for the rest of this fiscal year and forces a shutdown of government services when the money runs out on March 4, who will be to blame?

Democrats and Republicans may not agree on much, but they do agree on one thing – if the government shuts down it will be the other party’s fault.

Washington Extra – Cake cutting

Everyone SAYS they want to cut the budget deficit, but when it comes to actually agreeing on a course of action, it’s not exactly a piece of cake.  GERMANY/

President Barack Obama says his budget plan would halve the deficit by 2013. “So what we’ve done here is make a down payment, but there’s going to be more work that needs to be done, and it’s going to require Democrats and Republicans coming together to make it happen,” he said.

But Democrats and Republicans are far from seeing eye-to-eye on how to go about deficit cutting.

Budget and bipartisanship don’t mix on Valentine’s Day

Where’s the love?

Despite all the (whining?) and dining at the White House in the hopes of  bipartisanship and civility, Republicans got out the trash-talk for  President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget proposal.

USA-BUDGET /Since Republicans control the House, and Democrats the Senate and White House, bipartisan action will be needed if any progress is to be made. Congressional Correspondent Richard Cowan takes a look at how the budget process works here.

Obama released a $3.7 trillion proposal as the first salvo in the annual budget wars. Republicans immediately marched out their disapproval.