Why Can’t Congress Keep Flexible In Its Budget Negotiations?

Shadowy, corporate-funded political organization No Labels is complaining about the budget process. That may seem a bit strange, given all the subsidies and special tax loopholes that American corporations receive, but the people behind a special interest group like No Labels aren’t content to allow their powerful elite constituency remain stagnant in their superiority. Like Yertle the Turtle King’s throne, their power must keep ascending to new heights to feel satisfying.

So it is that No Labels is urging members of Congress to rush federal budgets through a quick approval process, regardless of the important issues that may need to be debated, with members of Congress taking time to receive input from their non-corporate constituents. No Labels wants there to be deadlines, and consequences for members of Congress if those deadlines aren’t met.

“It’s been more than 1,000 days since Congress passed a budget resolution in both chambers and 14 years since Congress passed all the appropriations bills necessary to fund the government on time. Members of Congress know this can’t continue,” writes No Labels.

Their appeal sounds reasonable. The idea of budgets being on time seems important, like a deadline on homework. That deadline should be met, absolutely, unless…

…unless the point is not just to beat the clock, but to do quality work. An on-time budget that hurts the American people isn’t that great of an achievement.

What No Labels is trying to do is to increase the sense of pressure that’s been building on Capitol Hill, adding to the high anxiety that comes at budget time, putting senators and representatives under a new requirement to hurry up the budget process. In doing so, No Labels is seeking to reduce the amount of time our members of Congress have to ask important questions and come to reasonable arrangements across the aisle.

The proposal No Labels makes would also reduce the amount of time representatives can listen to voters about budget priorities. That’s fine with the corporate sponsors of No Labels, of course. Their corporations have paid lobbyists who attend special Washington D.C. insider parties in order to get what they want.

Voters don’t have that luxury. For that reason, voters should reject the No Labels gimmick of the hurry-up budget.

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