May 03, 2011  |  Today's News

Raise your hand if you’ve discussed the federal budget at the coffee shop or around the water cooler lately.  Feel like you could use a bit more information to make an educated decision on whether or not your elected officials are doing a good job?  Look no further.

Illinois Corn has pulled together a few recent articles about the federal budget debate that might provide context for those discussions with your colleagues.  Whether you need to simply understand more about the budget process or want to know the flavor of the budget discussions in Washington, DC, check out the following articles.

Washington Post:

With its constant twists and turns, the debate over the 2012 budget has grown more complicated and confusing than ever — to the point where even the budget process itself has gotten lost in the tangle. For those who want some clarity on debt ceilings and continuing resolutions, here’s a primer on what they’re talking about on Capitol Hill.


Speaker of the House John Boehner provides some context to the direction of budget discussions in the House with his article last month in Politico.  He said, “Six months ago, shortly before the election, the Democrats who run Washington were preparing an “omnibus” spending bill loaded with earmarks and job-crushing tax hikes on small businesses.  Today, the people’s House is due to vote on a bill that cuts $315 billion from the federal budget over the next 10 years — the largest non-defense spending cut in our history, earmark-free and with zero tax hikes. These are real cuts.”


And for a Senate perspective, check out Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad’s plan for a bipartisan budget proposal.  Conrad has delayed the release of his annual budget plan for several weeks while he and a handful of other lawmakers known as the "Gang of Six" have tried to hammer out a deal that could be acceptable to both Republicans and Democrats.

Members of the bipartisan group have declined to say how those talks are going in all but the broadest terms amid keen interest in Washington as Congress girds for a showdown over the country's rapidly increasing debt

NY Times:

What do “we the people” want?  While most Americans say corporations do not pay their fair share in taxes, they still prefer cuts in government spending to increasing taxes on corporations as a means of cutting the federal budget deficit, according to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll.