Congress approves budget

Both the House and Senate have approved the president's $3.5 trillion budget on a straight party line vote in both chambers.

At least the GOP is learning:

Voting along party lines, the House and Senate approved budget blueprints that would trim Obama's spending proposals for the fiscal year that begins in October and curtail his plans to cut taxes. The blueprints, however, would permit work to begin on the central goals of Obama's presidency: an expansion of health-care coverage for the uninsured, more money for college loans and a cap-and-trade system to reduce gases that contribute to global warming.

The measures now move to a conference committee where negotiators must resolve differences between the two chambers, a prelude to the more difficult choices that will be required to implement Obama's initiatives. While Democrats back the president's vision for transforming huge sectors of the economy, they remain fiercely divided over the details.

There is no agreement, for example, on how to pay for an overhaul of the health-care system expected to add more than $1 trillion to the budget over the next decade, nor is there consensus on how to spend the hundreds of billions of dollars the government stands to collect by setting limits on greenhouse gas emissions and forcing industry to buy permits to pollute. Those issues will be decided in committees where lawmakers have begun the torturous work on the specifics of Obama's broad plans.

That cap and trade money is supposed to fund our new health care system. In effect, Obama is counting on cap and trade being a failure and putting the federal government in the position of hoping that industries would rather "pollute" than switch to government approved means of generating energy. Otherwise, the government will get less money and won't have enough to fund health care unless we raise taxes on everybody else (likely anyway).

As for the rest of Obama's budget, it is touchingly naive to believe that the economy will grow at the rate he believes even though he is going to raise taxes. This means that his $17 trillion in debt over the next decade that the CBO is projecting will be even larger.

God save us from monsters under the bed and liberals in Washington.

If you experience technical problems, please write to