- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 12, 2012


In the midst of an already heated general election campaign, the remarks of Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, North Dakota Democrat, on “Fox News Sunday” last weekend may not have gotten the attention (and scorn) they deserved.

Those seeking insight into chronic overspending and infinite debt need look no further than Mr. Conrad’s summation of his party’s position on the budget. As an alleged deficit hawk and one who has made a career of false frugality and apparent concern for red ink, Mr. Conrad has made it clear that this was all a campaign gimmick. His heated objections to Reagan- and Bush-era deficits were instrumental to his wins in 1986 and 1992 and merely look quaint now, given that the fiscal 1992 annual deficit was 4.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), compared with a 9 percent GDP high-water mark in fiscal 2010.

On Sunday, rather than defending his own committee’s jurisdiction and regular order, Mr. Conrad openly embraced Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s lawlessness in not passing a budget resolution for some three years now - all the while blasting the House doing its statutory duty. Mr. Conrad further admitted that he advised President Obama not to support the Obama-created Bowles-Simpson Deficit Commission, whose recommendations Mr. Conrad voted to support.

Mr. Conrad cavalierly shrugged that nothing will get done before the presidential election. All this is enough to give cynicism a bad name. It is a concerted strategy by Mr. Obama and his party. This was previously revealed in Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner’s February testimony to the House Budget Committee, when Mr. Geithner admitted he had no plan, but, “What we do know is, we don’t like yours.”

Voters cannot be duped into believing that both parties support deficit reduction but only advocate different means of achieving it.





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