I just finished a book about General/President Dwight D. Eisenhower. One of his famous quotes was: “plans are nothing, planning is everything.” I was struck by that quote because it recognizes two facts of life in general and the military and politics in particular. The act of planning is more valuable than the plan itself. Planning makes you realize that you can’t just show up and wing it. Planning makes you think about what you are wanting to accomplish. You cannot have/put forth a plan without some planning.
As anyone in the military (including me) knows, the plan is good only until the enemy is met. You can plan and plan, but the enemy just will not cooperate. The plan you propose will not be worth anything because the enemy will not go along with your plan.
But planning gets you to think about what you are going to do. Planning provides flexibility, the ability to deviate from your plan, to respond as you want to what the enemy does. Planning lets you respond to what you have not foreseen in a way that you want. By planning and developing a plan, you are not reacting to what the enemy does. Any military tactician will tell you that when you start reacting to what the enemy does, the battle is lost.
Just like military plans and planning, budget plans and planning are essential to future decisions and to avoid/lessen reactions. So let’s take a brief look at budget plans from both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
We will start with Democrats and their failure to develop a budget plan.
Democrats were in control of both houses of Congress as well as the White House, but still refused to pass a budget. Democrats subsequently lost control of the House of Representatives in November, 2010. Since that time, Democrats have said its Republicans’ or the Tea Party’s fault for no budget. From Al at The Liberty Journal we learn, “There was no FY2011 budget passed in 2010. Those damned Republicans. Oops! That’s right, the Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress in 2010. However, the Democrats refuse to own it, and somehow it’s now the Tea Party’s fault.”
Here is what Stephen Hayes of The American Spectator said in June, 2010. “The 1974 Budget and Impoundment Act requires Congress to pass a budget resolution by May 15 of each year. Congress hasn’t done so yet in 2010. But that isn’t so unusual. Delays are common. They are usually the result of interparty or intercameral disputes. But this year is different. Congressional Democrats aren’t simply delaying, they’re deliberately refusing to offer a budget until after the November elections. They’re simply choosing to ignore the law.”
And we are still waiting for a Democrat budget proposal for FY2011. Here is what Josiah Ryan of The Hill said in June, 2011. “Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y) called on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday to scrap his 2012 budget plan and accused Republicans of trying to squeeze off critical functions of the government.”
In another The Hill article from June, 2010, this one by Jared Allen, we learn that, “House Democrats will not pass a budget blueprint in 2010, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will confirm in a speech on Tuesday.”
We now switch to Republicans and their budget plans and planning.
We learn from the Republican Study Committee that Republicans did, indeed, offer a FY2010 budget proposal.
From Fox News in April, 2011, we learn, “House Republicans unveiled a budget proposal Tuesday that they claimed would avert a debt-driven “economic collapse” by cutting more than $6 trillion over the next decade. The proposal, unveiled by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would overhaul two major entitlement programs and impose caps on government spending, with the goal of stabilizing and eventually paying down the debt.”
Here is a FY2011 plan from Republicans from the Republican Study Committee. The Democrats never proposed a FY2011 budget.
Here is a FY2012 plan from Republicans from the Republican Study Committee.
From a Politico article from April, 2011, we learn, “All 11 Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee are calling on President Barack Obama to submit a revised 2012 budget plan to reflect the ideas laid out in the president’s Wednesday speech in which he proposed slashing the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years.”
Where Are We Now?
We have learned, from great planner General Eisenhower, the importance of both plans and planning. We have seen that Democrats refuse to plan by refusing to offer a FY2011 budget, and by doing so, refused to do any planning. And their FY2012 budget proposal is not much better since it offers no specific cuts. We also see that Republicans offered FY2010, 2011, and 2012 budget proposals. And we also saw that the Democrat controlled Senate will not consider the FY2012 budget proposed by Representative Paul Ryan.
From all of this, can we conclude that Democrats never develop plans or do any planning? Can we also conclude that Democrats only react? Can we also conclude that Republicans both plan and do planning?
But that’s just my opinion.