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We were among the first to report that President Obama’s proposed budget would break the debt deal reached in the U.S. Congress last summer. Today, although the President’s proposed budget is officially dead, the leadership of the majority Democratic party in the U.S. Senate according to Powerlineblog is taking steps to make breaking that deal a reality:
Last summer, as part of the agreement that resulted in raising the federal government’s debt limit, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, which set spending caps for future years. These spending caps represented “cuts” in the Washington sense; that is, spending was allowed to increase, but not as fast as might otherwise have been projected. When it has suited their purposes, the Democrats have been champions of the Budget Control Act. Thus when House Republicans adopted a budget that would have spent less than the maximums under the BCA, Democrats alleged that the budget “violated” the Act. They thus turned the Budget Control Act on its head, pretending that the maximum spending levels agreed on in the Act—caps—were actually minimums.
Now, with no fanfare and no press coverage, the Democrats are attempting to negate—effectively, to repeal—the Budget Control Act by adopting spending bills that exceed its limits. Harry Reid and his Senate confederates have offered a bill to increase spending on the Post Office, S. 1789. The bill has been scored by the Congressional Budget Office as increasing the federal deficit by $34 billion, and no provision has been made to recoup that money somewhere else in the budget. (Of course, we don’t have a budget because the Democrats in the Senate won’t pass one. But spending could still be cut somewhere else.)
What makes this particular attempt to break last summer’s debt deal is particularly bad in that it is aimed at providing yet another taxpayer bailout—this time to the U.S. Post Office, which has a monopoly on the local delivery of mail in the United States.
Here, under the pretense of “saving” local post offices that the government-supported enterprise is mandated by the U.S. Congress to operate unprofitably, as the U.S. postal service must also adhere to the prices for its services that are also dictated by the wannabe tycoons of the U.S. Congress, it is being claimed that only American taxpayers can keep the postal monopoly in business.
We would suggest a simple solution—if it is really that important to “save” the post office, cut back on other, less-important spending to make it happen. Otherwise, following Germany’s example and privatizing the post office, along with breaking its government mandated monopoly, should be the U.S. Congress’ proper course of action.