Thursday, December 17, 2015

The U.S. Congress — a study in hypocrisy

Budget Deal Raises Spending, and the Deficit, Through Tax Breaks

By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN, NYT
DEC. 16, 2015

WASHINGTON — Congressional negotiators introduced a sweeping year-end spending and tax-break package Wednesday that bursts through previously agreed budget limits with $66 billion in new spending for 2016. It also makes permanent an array of tax benefits at a cost of adding more than a half-trillion dollars to the deficit.

The legislation, which President Obama is expected to sign, showed Republicans and Democrats reluctantly bowing to the unsatisfying realities of a divided government.

In the end, a compromise emerged that allowed all sides to claim some victories, but with success often measured not in what was achieved but in how well each side prevented the other from reaching its goals.

The spending measure, more than $1.1 trillion, includes a provision to end the 40-year ban on exports of crude oil from the United States — a priority of Republicans — as well as a large increase in funds for medical research at the National Institutes of Health that received bipartisan support.

(More here.)

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