No high-fives in Washington, despite budget deal

President Barack Obama walks out of the gates of the White House in West Executive Drive as he crosses the street to the New Executive Office Building to sign the omnibus spending bill in Washington on January 17, 2014.

We have a budget.

President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds the federal government through the end of September. 

Cardiff Garcia, from the blog FT Alphaville, says in Marketplace's Weekly Wrap segment: 

"I just don't think we should be high-fiving ourselves because Congress finally decided to do its job. .... We're kind of holding the expectations bar really low, so it's easy to step over. The size of this budget is smaller, if you adjust for inflation, than George W. Bush's budget was six years ago. So if you, like me, think that Congress and the government and fiscal policy-makers haven't done enough to support the economy this really isn't that much to get excited about."

And forget excitement over a budget deal. There's another fiscal cloud on the horizon, according to Nela Richardson, from Bloomberg Goverment:

"They're getting ready for the debt ceiling debate. ... There are bigger fish to fry on the fiscal picture and they are going to fry them in February, when they can really hold the Treasury's head underwater on this issue of the debt ceiling."

Richardson says she thinks "it will all work out" with the debt ceiling because, as they say, the sequel is never as exciting as the original, "so maybe it won't be as exciting this time around."

Garcia and Richardson both say they are concerned about the failure to extend long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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I work in the defense acquisition community. Having the funding for defense programs arrive 4 months late puts a significant burden on the Program Offices. Just imagine the private sector NOT being able to pay for any goods or services for a third of the year. One not need wonder too much to understand why many defense programs are dysfunctional.

Below is the way the budgeting process is supposed to work. Perhaps congress needs a reminder?

hey... you can't hang the sluggish economy around Ben's neck. Even with the do nothing Congress, they couldn't sink the economy no matter how many times they tried (cuz Ben kept saving their behinds when it came to fiscal policy). Hopefully there are no skeleton's in Ben's closet as I feel he's was the right man at the right time to clean up Greenspan's mess. As for unemployment extensions, since when does Congress care about the unemployed and poor... oh yeah... only when they need their votes. Nothing humanitarian about our Congress. They are just a bunch of losers.

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