A broken budget system casts a dark shadow over federal spending.
The federal budgeting process is broken.
Former lawmakers and budget office leaders know it, current negotiators on Capitol Hill know it, a whole slew of good government groups know it and perhaps most of all, federal agencies know it.
Under a process established in 1974, the president submits a budget proposal to Congress in February and the House and Senate each pass their respective blueprints in April. They go to conference, set the top-line spending levels, and the appropriations committees delegate that money to agencies in 12 separate bills before the annual August recess.