Senate Democrats adopted President Obama’s budget today, but, as happened in the House, it had to do it without bi-partisan support.
Not a single Republican in either chamber voted in support of the budget, laying waste to Obama’s ideal of building a bi-partisan consensus for his economic recovery strategy. Seventeen House Democrats also rejected the plan, as did four Senate Democrats. However, the Democrat majority succeeded in preventing Republicans from erecting a procedural hurdle known as a filibuster to block Obama’s controversial spending plans in the area of healthcare.
According to Senator Kent Conrad, the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, the budget,
[P]rovides $764 billion of tax cuts, focused on the middle-class.
It extends the 10% bottom income tax bracket, the child tax credit, marriage penalty relief, and education incentives, as well as all of the other 2001 and 2003 tax legislated under the George W. Bush administration, but only for those families making under $250,000.
The budget also finds room for three years’ worth of alternative minimum tax relief, although it does not offer a permanent solution to this unpopular tax.
Republican Senator Judd Gregg, the ranking Republican on the Committee criticized the budget:
Despite the majority’s insistence that this bloated budget is the answer to all of our problems, several facts are irrefutable: working Americans will be hit hard with higher taxes and more debt. The spending is so reckless that even with much higher taxes, we are on an extremely dangerous fiscal path. This budget will double and eventually triple the public debt, driving it up to 75% of GDP.
How does a nation get out from underneath that?