- - Friday, April 20, 2012

April 29 will mark three years since Senate Democrats passed a budget. This dereliction of duty flagrantly violates the 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act.

“On or before April 15 of each year, the Congress shall complete action on a concurrent resolution on the budget for the fiscal year,” this statute states. Senate Democrats could not care less about this federal law.

This is a milestone in human sloth. While it has taken Majority “Leader” Harry Reid of Nevada and Senate Democrats 36 months to conceive zero budgets, House Republicans have delivered two - one for each year they governed.

Nonetheless, Mr. Reid said on Feb. 3: “We do not need to bring a budget to the floor this year. It’s done. We don’t need to do it.”

“This is the wrong time to vote on the floor,” Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, North Dakota Democrat, declared Tuesday. “I don’t think we will be prepared to vote before the election.”

Floor votes would require Senate Democrats to borrow and spend, which annoys taxpayers, or cut outlays, which aggravates liberal lobbyists and porcine government-employee unions. So, Senate Democrats break the law and demand continuing resolutions, which spend on autopilot.

Meanwhile, consider what focused, energetic humans have completed in less time than Senate Democrats have consumed to accomplish nothing on the budget.

Broad Group, a Chinese construction company, erected the 30-story Ark Hotel in just 15 days late last year. Laboring around the clock, employees in Changsha used prefabricated modules to build an energy-efficient structure that reportedly could withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake. According to London’s Daily Mail, no worker was injured on this project. Watch Gizmodo.com’s stunning time-lapse video of this effort.

Producer David O. Selznick and director Victor Fleming took nine months and 16 days (Jan. 26 to Nov. 11, 1939) to shoot, edit and release “Gone With the Wind.” This beloved Civil War epic features a huge cast, massive sets, lavish costumes and landmark performances, all of which made it a box-office smash. It eventually scored a then-record 10 Academy Awards.

Led by Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, Allied Forces landed on Normandy Beach, France, on June 6, 1944, and bravely battled Nazi Germany until Victory in Europe Day on May 8, 1945. American and Allied GIs needed 11 months and two days to liberate Europe.

Creating the Empire State Building required one year, three months and nine days. Between Jan. 22, 1930 and May 1, 1931, about 3,400 workers built what was the world’s tallest skyscraper for 42 years, rising 1,454 feet above the sidewalks of New York. (The late, great World Trade Center won that distinction in 1973.) As documentarian Ric Burns noted, the building’s steel beams were forged in Pittsburgh and whisked to the site via trains, barges and trucks. As they were riveted into place, they still were warm.

The Pentagon’s construction began on Sept. 11, 1941, and ended one year, four months and two days later, on Jan. 15, 1943. Col. Leslie Groves, who later spearheaded the assembly of the atomic bombs that ended World War II, led the installation of this 6.5-million-square-foot office building, still Earth’s vastest. Oddly enough, the Sept. 11 hijackers crashed into the Pentagon on the 60th anniversary of its groundbreaking, killing 189 people.

According to the latest Department of Education data, 656,784 students earned MBAs and other master’s degrees in 2008-09. Most secured those credentials within two academic years.

In the War of 1812, American GIs spent two years, six months and six days (June 18, 1812 to Dec. 24, 1814) persuading revanchist British soldiers that we weren’t kidding when we declared independence on July 4, 1776.

These triumphs of human action are both private and public. Even government sometimes can finish what it starts, assuming leadership, industriousness and responsibility. Too bad these virtues are AWOL in today’s Democratic Senate.

Deroy Murdock is a columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

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