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Spending deal: Two parties agree to run up debt

EDITORIAL
February 11. 2018 12:35AM




Republicans and Democrats in Washington have reached a bipartisan agreement on a budget deal.

Hide your wallets.

Or rather, hide your grandchildren. The cost of the new spending, $300 billion over the next two years and a higher baseline going forward, will be paid by future generations.

Both political parties pretend to care about debt and deficits. That makes for solid campaign rhetoric about fiscal discipline.

"My family had to balance its budget every year. Why can't Washington?"

Because voters also pretend to care about debt, while re-electing politicians unwilling to touch government programs.

There are surely many good things in the budget deal. $300 billion still goes a long way. But there is no way to pay for it, beyond borrowing.

Washington is so broken that even the opposition to this deal was vapid political theater. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took advantage of a rarely used rule granting her unlimited speaking time to launch into a rambling 8-hour rant, supposedly to express her outrage that the budget deal did not address the DACA program.

But Pelosi's protest was just wind. A block of Democrats joined House Republicans to pass the deal rather than take the blame for shutting down the government on behalf of illegal aliens.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., held an equally futile filibuster late Thursday night, dragging debate past the midnight deadline just to prove his fiscal purity. Then he let the deal go through.

It's a tough time for budget hawks. Even those opposing a big spending budget deal can't be taken seriously.


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