On Tuesday, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc., left) presented his party's version of a 2012 federal budget that they call the "Path to Prosperity."
Everyone's talking about it. Either it's a historic and "sweeping reduction" in the size of government or it's an attack on the government itself and an attempt to "reduce government so that it fits in a bath tub."
For a few brief, shining moments, it looked like another “splendid little war,” to borrow Secretary of State John Hay’s description of the U.S. triumph over Spain in 1898. Just six weeks after American and allied coalition forces had begun “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” President George W. Bush landed on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln to announce the end of major combat operations. Above and behind the President, a banner announced triumphantly, “Mission Accomplished.”
The federal government may endure a partial shutdown some time after midnight Friday, April 8 because House Republicans can not come to agreement on spending levels for the rest of the fiscal year with Senate Democrats and President Obama. But what is the disagreement over?
As the rhetoric is increasing, so are the chances for a government shutdown. Following a meeting with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate leader Harry Reid, President Obama expressed his exasperation: "As I’ve said before, we have now matched the number that the speaker originally sought. The only question is whether politics or ideology are going to get in the way of preventing a government shutdown."