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Regardless of the election results, Americans have expressed adamant concern regarding the budget situation in the United States. Whether they are for higher taxes, reduced spending, or some combination of both, American voters realize that 3 and a half years without a budget passed by the Senate and 4 years of $1 trillion+ deficits is unsustainable and unacceptable, especially considering the size of the accumulated federal debt, which is now well over $16 trillion.
Americans are taking this issue very seriously, as recent corporate restructuring and private purchases of precious metals indicate. Tragically however, Senate Democrats, despite their expanded presence in the chamber, appear to be playing the same games that have led to years of waste-filled extenders instead of concrete budgets.
Last week, Senate Democrats indicated that Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) will most likely chair the Senate Budget Committee. This is not only an assured continuation of the Senate Democrats stonewalling efforts to produce a budget, let alone a balanced one, but an indication that the liberals of the chamber either don’t appreciate the gravity of the fiscal situation or have no regard for the concerns of the American people. Senator Murray is supremely unqualified for the position and her selection to the position will either be a dazzling gaffe or is a blatant and purposeful insult to those demanding a balanced budget.
Senator Murray has little to no credibility, to be polite, on dealing with serious budget issues. Prior to her Congressional career, Senator Murray has no record of executive experience to an extent where difficult budget decisions would have been likely.
Patty Murray’s career hasn’t been completely devoid of budget battles. Rest assured that in the mid-1980’s, Murray led a local coalition in Washington State to prevent budget cuts to a local pre-school. Accomplishing such a feat in the notoriously conservative bastion of the Pacific Northwest propelled her all the way to the local school board.
Drawing on such valuable experience, now-Senator Murray was called upon to chair the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, known to the rest of us as the “Super-Committee”. Despite her best efforts, the committee was a dazzling failure, shocking and surprising absolutely no one. The panel’s failure resulted in the fiscal cliff battle that both parties are now locked in.
Now is not the time to play political games and elevate people to positions of power based purely on seniority. The Republican’s presidential ticket, while ultimately unsuccessful, made an effort to escape this “next-man-up” trend by nominating Paul Ryan for Vice President. Ryan, a budget expert whose career was elevated from backwater representative to household name by his plan to balance the budget, would have been President of the Senate and played an integral part in solving the stalemate in the chamber.
Senator Murray has none of the relevant experience or accomplishments that allow her to be anywhere near budget proceedings and her serving as chair of the Budget committee will only exacerbate our current problems. If Senator Murray and Senate Democrats have any respect left for a duty they have thus far neglected, then they ought to nominate a Senator, principles and policy aside, with at least some sort of credibility on this all too important issue.