Latest Kent Conrad Items
The fate of the GOP House Budget plan that easily passed the chamber last week grows far murkier as budget talks proceed to the Senate, where the controlling Democrats have little enthusiasm for the bill's aim to cut government spending by almost $6 trillion during the next decade.
Obamacare is living on borrowed time, and even its most ardent supporters are beginning to realize it. That's why they're racing to implement - and entrench - as much of the plan as possible before the laws of economics and the laws of the land and voters catch up. They're like a deadbeat renter starting a remodeling project after being evicted but before the police escort them from the premises in hopes that it gives them squatter's rights. Meanwhile, two unrelated but devastating events have caused the ground to shake beneath the feet of Obamacare supporters.
Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Akaka said Wednesday he won't seek re-election next year, the fifth member of the Senate Democratic Caucus to decide not to face the voters in 2012.
Instead of addressing the runaway costs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the president keeps these programs on a path to bankruptcy. More than just a missed opportunity, his budget represents a failure of leadership.
Democrats put on a brave face after Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico announced Friday that he would leave office in 2012, but it's hard to see how his retirement contains any good news for the party.
Trying to balance the need to rein in deficits with his belief that spending now on education and other priorities will pay off in the long term, President Obama on Monday sent Congress a $3.7 trillion budget blueprint for 2012 that makes some short-term fixes but puts off heavy lifting on Social Security and Medicare.
A continuing weak economy and last month's bipartisan tax cut legislation will drive the government's deficit to a record $1.5 trillion this year, a new government estimates predicts. The eye-popping numbers mean the government will continue to borrow 40 cents for every dollar it spends.
The retirement of independent Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman marks the third such announcement in recent days and has sparked widespread speculation on which other senators might also bow out in the face of tough 2012 re-elections bids.