Senate Passes First Budget in Four YearsS

What have you not done for four years? Exercise? Visit your great-aunt? Pay taxes?

Well, if you're the Senate, you've just passed your first budget in four years, narrowly approving (50-49) a budget that would raise a trillion dollars in revenue, boost job growth programs, and preserve social safety-net programs. Of course, this budget will now square off with the new House budget, drafted by Paul Ryan, meaning that neither of these budgets stand a chance of passing the other chamber.

The budget, championed by Senate Budget Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray (above), was passed by so slim a margin in the Democratic Senate after four Democratic senators facing reelection sided with Republicans, concerned about giving the appearance of supporting government spending.

The budget does signal a relative lull in the budget wars, which will probably not resume again until summer, when these two budgets do, in fact, have to be somewhat reconciled. Or not. It's more than likely that this budget simply sets up another protracted battle between the President and House Republicans with the threat of even deeper spending cuts and a possible government shutdown looming above us all, forever and ever, as Americans entirely lose their faith in the federal government.