Fast forward to this past Monday, when Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., announced he would attempt to pass a Democratic budget out of his committee for the first time since 2009. Conrad even held a press conference Tuesday during which he released a budget document nearly identical to the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan that President Obama rejected in 2010.
But Reid quickly moved to quash this plan, and Conrad, who is retiring after this year, backed off at the eleventh hour. “This is the wrong time to vote in committee; this is the wrong time to vote on the floor,” Conrad told reporters late yesterday afternoon.
It is no coincidence that the Democrats’ failure to pass a budget began immediately after Obamacare became law. In order to hide its $1.7 trillion price tag and $500 billion in tax increases through 2022, Democrats had already exhausted every last budgeting gimmick. As a result, they had no further tricks up their sleeve to pay for the rest of their spending priorities without voting on the massive tax increases that Conrad’s new budget contained — $2.6 trillion, and not just on the rich.