Politics & Policy

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Budget!

Two Empire State Buildings could have risen in the nearly three years that Senate Democrats have spent not passing even one budget. (Photo and photo illustration: Deroy Murdock)
We have done greater things in less time.

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 (Public Law 93-344, as amended).

“On or before April 15 of each year, the Congress shall complete action on a concurrent resolution on the budget for the fiscal year beginning on October 1 of such 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 (D., Nev.) and Senate Democrats 36 months to conceive zero budgets, House Republicans have delivered two — one for each year they governed.

Nonetheless, Reid said on February 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 in committee,” Senate Budget chairman Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) declared Tuesday. “This is the wrong time to vote on the floor. 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, instead, 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 edifice that reportedly can 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 (January 26 to November 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 ten Academy Awards.

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

• Creating the Empire State Building required one year, three months, and nine days. Between January 22, 1930, and May 1, 1931, a peak labor force of 3,439 men built what became the world’s tallest skyscraper for 42 years, rising 1,454 feet above the sidewalks of New York. (The late, great World Trade Center earned that distinction in 1973.) Documentarian Ric Burns was stunned by the workers’ speed and military precision. In one 22-day period, they installed 22 floors. The structure’s steel beams were custom-forged in Pittsburgh and whisked to the site via trains, barges, and trucks. As they were riveted into place just 15 hours later, they still were hot to the touch.

• The Pentagon’s construction began on September 11, 1941, and ended one year, four months, and two days later, on January 15, 1943. Colonel Leslie Groves (who later spearheaded the assembly of the atomic bombs that ended World War II) led the formation of this 6.5-million-square-foot office building, still Earth’s most vast. Oddly enough the 9/11 hijackers crashed into the Pentagon on the 60th anniversary of its groundbreaking, killing 189 people.

• According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ latest data, 656,784 students earned MBAs and other master’s degrees in 2008–9. While some took longer, most secured these credentials within two academic years.

• In the War of 1812, American soldiers spent two years, six months, and six days (June 18, 1812, to December 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, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, is a Fox News contributor and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

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