Friday, March 22, 2013

The Congress Does Its Job

You can complain about the way it did its job or what it accomplished, but by passing a continuing resolution for the rest of the year that included specific direction to agencies on spending priorities, the Congress has finally done its job after a four abdication, mostly by Democrats in the Senate, in passing a budget.

The other interesting note is that the liberty movement seems to be winning the war, despite losing many battles.  Lower spending based on sequestration has locked in.  No new taxes were proposed.  The government is on a trajectory to spend less.  You could argue that without entitlement reform, these spending reductions will be overwhelmed by entitlement spending increases.  I have made that argument myself.  But I believe this sets the stage for the Congress to start believing it can restore its rightful place in our Constitutional order, and perhaps craft a deal on entitlements as well.  I guarantee that if that happens, I won't be happy, and my readers won't be happy.  The left won't be happy either, but the Republic will muddle through and the dynamism of our economy will cover a lot of sins in the capital.

I am one of the employees who still might face a furlough, so I have followed the budget closely.  It was interesting to see the Congress reassert its authority, by changing some spending priorities, setting limits on flexibility, and in general restoring some of its authority.  I still don't know if I will be furloughed, but if I am, it looks to be fewer unpaid days off and I will know that it wasn't solely because the administration unilaterally made my job a bargaining pawn with the Congress.  Some of the bargaining may still happen, but in a manner more consistent with the Founder's intent.

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