By the Family Research Council …
Psychologists have a term for people who are terrified of working: ergophobia. And right now, it appears that Senate Democrats have a mean case of it. Moments before the chamber engaged in what appeared to be actual governing, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called it off. Just as Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) was piecing together a plan for fiscal year 2013, his party pulled the plug on the debate that had been scheduled for this week. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) didn’t know the plan had been scrapped until he was at his desk writing amendments to Conrad’s budget. That’s when he saw Sen. Reid on television declaring that the mark-up had been cancelled. He was followed by the Budget Chairman himself, who had the unenviable job of disavowing a process that he initiated. “This is the wrong time to vote on the floor,” Sen. Conrad told reporters after his run-in with Sen. Reid. “I don’t think we will be prepared to vote before the election.”
The GOP was stunned. After three years of failing to perform its single most important duty–passing a budget–the Senate was back on the path of financial sloth. “Chairman Conrad’s stunning announcement, forced on him by his party, is a defining moment in 2012 and a national embarrassment for a Senate majority that is unable to meet the great challenge of our time,” Sen. Sessions fumed. “They have forfeited their claim on leadership.” I suppose Senate liberals are concerned that if they actually pass a budget, they’ll have to stick to it. Not to mention that they’d prefer to keep their actual plan–an unpopular mix of raising taxes and spending–under wraps. “The leader doesn’t want the fingerprints of Senate Democrats on a budget,” Rich Lowry writes on NRO. “What possible upside is there in telling the public, in some detail” that your solution to America ‘s financial crisis is expanding government and hiking taxes?
And, to the Left’s great delight, they don’t need to pass a bill that raises taxes–they can wait until January 1 and let the calendar do it for them. That’s when the Bush cuts expire, and the country wakes up to the single biggest tax increase in U.S. history. The reality is, the President could use his leadership to muscle a budget through, but he seems to believe that it’s easier to do nothing and blame conservatives for the mess. Of course, one has to wonder what kind of campaign slogans the Left is planning after this debacle. “We do nothing better than the other guys?” Or, Jennifer Rubin’s idea, “Give us another chance to avoid doing our job?“