Jay Carney: Who cares if the Senate passes a budget or not?

This isn’t even the most cavalier statement about the budget made by a Democrat today. Take it away, Steny Hoyer:

At a briefing with journalists on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Hoyer was asked, “Mr. Hoyer, around the same time of the State of the Union [on Jan. 24], I think it was the same day, Republicans were trying to hit Senate Democrats for 1,000 days without passing a budget, and then you talk about this milestone today, 400 days without a jobs bill in the Republican House. But then on Friday [Democratic Senator Harry] Reid said that he didn’t think they needed to bring a budget to the floor this year [and that] the Budget Control Act can serve as a guideline.”

Hoyer said: “What does the budget do? The budget does one thing and really only one thing: It sets the parameters of spending and discretionary caps. Other than that, the Appropriations committee are not bound by the Budget committee’s priorities.”

He continued: “The fact is, you don’t need a budget. We can adopt appropriations bills. We can adopt authorization policies without a budget. We already have an agreed-upon cap on spending.”

Why waste time developing a strategy for fiscal sustainability when we can just muddle along with piecemeal appropriations unto death? Carney’s argument is slightly better: The debt-ceiling deal last August has already provided some budgetary parameters via the automatic cuts that went into effect once the Super Committee failed. And of course Obama will offer his own feeble budget proposal which Reid will dutifully support, so why bother making Senate Democrats come up with a plan of their own when it’ll inevitably fail in the House? Remember, Congress can’t even reach a deal on penny-ante matters like the payroll tax holiday; nothing will break the logjam on grander budgetary priorities except electoral clarity in the fall. As such, budget proposals these days are really just oppo material for the other team’s campaign: No doubt The One would happily decline to propose one of his own if he thought the RNC’s ad team would let him get away with it. So instead he’ll do what he did last year, i.e. introduce a plan that’s so shamefully irresponsible on the core issue of entitlements that even original Obama superfan Andrew Sullivan will be left shaking his head. And Reid will cheer him all the way.

Two clips for you via the Senate Budget Committee, one of Carney and the other of Ben Bernanke forced to admit the obvious about the economic effects of policy uncertainty. After you’re done, go look at what Gallup has today. Ten percent, guys. Ten. Per. Cent.

Update: A commenter wonders: If it’s all about gridlock, why didn’t Democrats pass a budget in 2010 when they still controlled both chambers? Answer: Because they’re gutless, of course. 2010 was an election year and the country was in a lather about spending. If they had passed a gargantuan new Democratic budget, the GOP would have destroyed them over it. If they had passed a budget that dramatically cut spending, their base would have destroyed them over it. No doubt they’d pass nothing again this year if they still controlled the House. But for the moment, because of gridlock, the question is moot. Nothing’s getting passed. Hence the 10 percent figure.