Both parties need to reconcile with reality

Published 10:29 am Thursday, April 16, 2009

Before departing for the Easter recess, the U.S. House and Senate approved budget plans, each calling for roughly $3.5 trillion in federal spending in the coming fiscal year. Predictably, Republicans cudgeled the Democratic proposals. …

Worth attention is that the increased spending seeks to protect the economy, the federal government making up (temporarily) for declining economic output.

If anything, this is a responsible course, an effort to cushion the recessionary blow. …

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By Washington standards, the president proposed a refreshingly honest budget. If its assumptions about economic growth are optimistic, the White House didn’t duck the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or pretend that the Alternative Minimum Tax would not be adjusted to protect many taxpayers.

Unfortunately, Democrats on Capitol Hill haven’t been as candid. …

When Congress returns from its break, Democrats will begin reconciling differences between the House and Senate plans. They might try reconciling with reality.

Yes, Republicans howled about fiscal carelessness and then touted new tax cuts. Democrats shouldn’t pretend the president’s ambitious agenda permits so much room for the usual sleight of hand.

Akron Beacon-Journal