Proof that James Antle is an utter ignoramus

Remember what I said, folks, a while ago about ignorant people needing to shut up?

Well, here’s a textbook example of such a person: W. James Antle, III, of the American Spectator, a libertarian ignoramus whom I have repeatedly taken to task here on this blog and on my twitter feed.

In one of his latest blogpost on the AmSpec’s website, Mr Antle writes that [emphasis mine]:

“One area where a bipartisan moderates and McCain coalition could carry the day is on the federal budget. (This scenario assumes a President Romney.) The House-passed budget will almost certainly be a version of Paul Ryan’s plan, perhaps nudged slightly to the left for Romney’s benefit. This year five mostly moderate Republicans voted against Ryan, but many conservatives expressed concern that his plan didn’t cut spending or balance the budget fast enough.

But McCain voted for the Ryan budget. Rand Paul was the only the only senator who voted against it on purely conservative grounds. Whatever their concerns, DeMint and Lee voted for it. So did Pat Toomey. And remember the 2012 debate happened when there was no chance a Democratic Senate and president would ever have allowed the Ryan budget to become law. Next year, if Romney is president, the debate will be less theoretical.

What’s the problem with that?

Well, to start with, budgets (budget resolutions) can never become law (at least under current federal law, incl. the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 and the Budget Control of Impoundment Act of 1974) and thus can never be binding. They can only be a set of rules and guidelines for the Congress and its committees. They are introduced (and passed) as Continuing Resolutions. These are not submitted to the President for his signature (or veto) and thus never become law. See for yourself here.

Precisely to fix that, Chairman Ryan and his colleagues have introduced a bill which, if passed, would subject budget resolutions to the President’s signature/veto and thus make them “law” if the President signs them. But this bill has not yet been passed and might never be. And until it is, budget resolutions will never be “law”.

This means that the President cannot sign (or veto) budget resolutions even if he wanted to. He simply has no say in the matter.

And that fact is one of the most basic facts about the federal budget process. One would’ve expected that an AmSpec contributor/editor would’ve educated himself at least on the basics of the process. Mr Antle evidently hasn’t. He’s ignorant of even such basics.

Like I said, if all ignorant people who pontificate about issues they know nothing about would shut up, this would’ve been a much better and a much quieter world.


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