179 trips to the moon: House pressures Senate to create budget for first time in 1,365 days

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23 2013 2:20 p.m. MST

Professor Sean Kelly told Bloomberg Businessweek in early January that after Congress banned earmarks in 2010, the appropriations process "melted down," because the ban provided less incentive for politicians to serve on appropriations committees. This, therefore, led to committees filled with more partisans and fewer pragmatists, Kelly said.

"There's a human element in lawmaking that is real," Tom Cole, R-Okla., said. Without earmarks, "You're removing all incentive for people to vote for things that are tough."

An economics21.org editorial published Wednesday said the debt limit crisis is actually a budget process crisis, and that despite suggestions to the contrary, budgets really do matter.

"One need only read Paul Krugman's insistence that the deficit problem has been solved to understand how critically important this effort really is. It is popular to criticize Chairman Ryan and the House leadership for failing to provide a 'balanced' solution to our fiscal problems, but at least they have the courage to acknowledge that a problem exists," the editorial said. "Those who deny the scale of the current U.S. fiscal crisis must either be innumerate, in denial about the damaging impact of debt overhang on economic growth, or attempting to cultivate ignorance in the belief that an honest assessment of the fact would lead to unwelcome policy changes. A budget resolution forces all parties to put their cards on the table and moves the debate form platitudes about 'balance' to the unpleasant arithmetic the Senate's attempted to avoid for nearly four years."

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