Every major company and organization in the country has a budget. Even most families devise a budget to control their costs and plan for the future. Well, you may be surprised to learn that more often than not, the US Congress has an odd habit of going without a budget every even numbered year.
Why you ask? With soaring budget deficits, passing a budget during an election year has its political downsides. Adding up a deficit for one year is bad enough, but five to ten years makes for a lot of billions.
Political opponents like to point to those huge projected deficits as a sign that the party in charge is racking up the nation’s credit card bill without a plan to pay for it. This year, with unprecedented debt being placed on the federal balance sheet, you shouldn’t get your hopes up that 2010 will be any different.
The federal budget represents a blue print for spending and tax decisions for a projected timeline. A few years back, Congress used to do 10-year budgets until the deficit numbers started getting really bad. Now they do five-year projections. Since 2000, Congress has skipped passing a budget in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
Congress already has missed its voluntary deadline for passing the FY 2011 budget (April 15). Don’t worry though; Congress can still spend money without a budget. It’s just an odd way to run a country.