By Pat Stacey
Congress is up against another deadline for deciding on an operating budget for 2011. That deadline is April eighth. Six times already this year, Congress has passed short term spending bills that have allowed the government to continue to operate. One writer compared Congress to a teenager, lacking focus, with a big project due and waiting to the last minute to start it. Democrats and Republicans are about 40-billion dollars apart on their individual party spending plans which is a lot, even in government budget terms. Predictably, both parties have started lobbing blame bombs at each other. Democrats call the Republican cuts extreme and blame the Tea Party while Republicans are holding firm on big cuts to some traditional big government accounts. And caught in the middle are the American people as faith in our government continues to slip. A compromise has to be in the works but neither side has blinked publicly. To agree on a budget that is fiscally responsible, some sacred cows will have to be modified possibly including new taxes or a modification in Social Security. Just as we have seen at the state level, the federal government will have to show extreme and potentially unpopular discipline to guide the country back into the black on the budget sheet. Stay tuned because it is about to get hot in Washington and I sincerely hope that America will emerge stronger through it all and it will make for a Better East Texas.