Time for Congress to agree on real budget

The nation has barely avoided a fiscal crisis, but unless Congress is willing to do some old-fashioned budgeting, we are headed that way again.

It has been three or four years since Congress last passed a budget. Without making a real decision on how much to spend and how to pay for it, the government is forced to operate on the basis of continuing resolutions, which say the government can keep spending as much as it has been spending for another period. Each time that period expires, we are set up for another crisis, another opportunity for someone to try to hold the process to gain some concessions.

We have until Dec. 13 for a group of Congressional negotiators to come up with a budget. We don’t know how, in a few weeks, they will solve a puzzle that has baffled them for four years.

But it is time for them to try, to talk, to try some give and take, and actually pass a real budget for this country.

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