Make a budget deal already!

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From my latest commentary on

The time is now — not the Sept. 30 budget deadline — to get the deal done that everyone sees coming. This is the right time for a deal because:

Face time is better for deal making. Congress is in session, starting next week, for eight of the next nine weeks. Then they go away for most of August, and don’t return until after Labor Day. That’s cutting it too close, unless leadership is willing to continue the living-on-the-edge gamesmanship that has driven Congress’ approval rating lower than carnies, lice and Nickelback. A done deal before the summer recess would give members a chance to go home in August and tell their constituents they know how to govern.

The framework already exists. Every time this topic comes up, the term “Ryan-Murray” is used to describe it. Just plug the numbers into a new deal and be done. “You oversimplify it,” one might say. Maybe I do, but the concept seems, to outside observers, really that simple. The only holdup? Congressional Democrats and Republicans have to “have the ‘break up to make up’ period” before they can make a deal, David Hawkings of Roll Call said on my show this week, invoking respected budget experts the Stylistics. Translation: They have to create a fake political fight before they make a deal. That’s silly, and exactly what the majority of their constituents don’t want.

Read the full commentary here.

Photo “Obama meets with Congressional Leadership July 2011” by Official White House Photo by Pete Souza – (Photograph 4 of 20).