President Barack Obama’s former deputy press secretary Bill Burton said last night on Fox News Sunday the nation is “doing OK” without a budget. How’s that? He explains: “Nothing is shutting down.” I’d argue our government is only doing “OK” when it promotes sound policy — policy that, among other things, enables the economy to grow. A budget is basic. (Quote toward the end of the clip.)
Has Burton heard the IMF’s doleful predictions? Does he know we have more than $14 trillion in debt? What does he make of the impending debt limit debate — the outcome of which could disastrously prove to be a debt limit increase without spending cuts (which 56 percent of Americans think would be the worst outcome possible) or default (which 70 percent of likely U.S. voters agree would be bad for the economy)?
More facts to counteract Burton’s thoughtless comment, via the YouTube page of one of the most persistent senators in Congress, Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.): In the 782 days since the Senate passed a budget, the nation has spent $7.1 trillion–including almost $500 billion in interest payments–and racked up $3.2 trillion in gross federal debt. Meanwhile, more than 22 million Americans remain unemployed or underemployed (although around 90,000 federal workers have been hired over that period).
But never mind all of that — “the country’s still running.” Maybe Burton’s too practiced when it comes to spin to remember it’s OK to admit a mistake and correct it.