Senate passes $3.7 trillion budget, its first in 4 years

  • Article by: NEWS SERVICES
  • Updated: March 23, 2013 - 7:31 PM

After an all-night debate, the Senate on Saturday adopted its first budget in four years, a $3.7 trillion blueprint for 2014 that would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases and modest spending cuts. Approval came after an extraordinary 20 hours of voting and debate. As the night wore on, virtually all senators remained in the chamber, a rarity during a normal business day. Here’s a look what’s next.

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moremoretaxMar. 23, 13 8:14 PM

Just in the nick of time. We are now able to avoid adding 6 plus trillion dollars to our deficit........that is what I may have said 4 years ago. Take a break guys, youve done so well.......

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my4centsMar. 23, 13 9:13 PM

Their first budget in four years - and they increase taxes on top of those that just went into effect because of Obamacare and the tax negotiations that were agreed to in December. They must really believe in the idea that we have VERY short-term memories! When Nov 2014 comes we need to "just say no" to all candidates who support this type of policy.

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windigolakeMar. 24, 13 6:51 AM

my4cents: "they increase taxes on top of those that just went into effect because of Obamacare and the tax negotiations that were agreed to in December." The tax negotiations in December did NOT increase taxes. They simply allowed some temporary tax cuts to expire as they were intended. In the case of the Bush tax cuts, those were designed by the GOP to expire in 2011, in case you forgot.

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my4centsMar. 24, 13 8:51 AM

windigolake - You are mostly correct about the "Bush tax cuts." The problem is - in practical terms it is still a tax increase. We had been living with the lower rates for nearly ten years - and until the housing crisis those lower rates brought about an economy that looked much better than what we see yet today. In addition, those who saw their rates increase also lost some of their deductions disappear - meaning their marginal rate is above where it was before Bush came into office.

No matter how you define the tax changes - the burden placed on us by government has grown already. The Senate is proposing a new budget that is not "balanced" in any way. We've already seen taxes rise, yet tax increases and immediate spending are the primary parts of this proposal. Like I said previously, November 2014 can't come soon enough.

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elmore1Mar. 24, 13 9:00 AM

We need modest tax increases and big spending cuts. Anything else is kicking the can down the road...

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guessagainMar. 24, 1310:23 AM

my4cents ==== We had been living with the lower rates for nearly ten years - and until the housing crisis those lower rates brought about an economy that looked much better than what we see yet today. ==== There is no correlation between lower taxes and a better economy. On that basis, the 1993 Clinton tax increases would have tanked the economy. Exactly the opposite happened. And on that basis, keeping the Bush tax cuts in place would have kept the economy booming. Again, exactly the opposite happened. Saying that lower taxes help the economy is like saying that clouds always mean rain. There are much bigger forces in play in our economy than a few percentage points in income taxes either way.

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dogmanMar. 24, 1310:28 AM

"The problem is - in practical terms it is still a tax increase." -- that's like buying a TV on one of those no interest, no payments for six months plans, then blaming the store for charging you when the free six months have passed. It's either a lack of responsibility on the part of the purchaser, or just plain whining.

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regionguyMar. 24, 1312:25 PM

Regardless of one's own political affiliation, the fact that this is the first budget out of the Senate in years is a damning indictment of that body.

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dogmanMar. 24, 1312:59 PM

"is a damning indictment of that body" -- not when appropriations bills are what legally allocate spending, not budgets. Not when you consider unprecedented use of the filibuster by the minority party. Not when the Budget Control Act rendered two year's worth of budgets moot.

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my4centsMar. 24, 13 1:09 PM

guessagain - Actually your cloud analogy could work pretty well. Taxes and other government interventions ARE the clouds. They may or may not bring rain (depression, recession, a slower economy) - but without the cloud of government interference there is NO chance of rain at all. Our country and our economy survived and prospered very well before government got so large. The interventions of high taxes and high regulations have cause our economic cycles to be far more dramatic and the depressions and recessions to be last longer and hurt more people.

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