For the second time this year, partisan lawmakers tinkering at the edges of the federal government’s $14.7 trillion debt have kicked the can down the road – refusing to make immediate spending cuts even as the nation drowns in government regulations and red ink.

The U.S. Senate – which hasn’t passed a budget in nearly three years – approved yet another continuing resolution to fund the operations of the federal government through November 18. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (RINO-S.C.) voted in favor of the measure. U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) didn’t vote on the bill, although the group of fiscally conservative U.S. Senators that DeMint typically votes with opposed the resolution.

In order to take effect, the measure must now be approved by the U.S. House prior to October 4.

The federal government will spend an estimated $1.3 trillion more than it took in this year – the fourth straight year that deficit spending has topped the $1 trillion mark.

Five years ago the annual deficit was just $160 billion. Ten years ago, there was a surplus.

Two months ago, lawmakers approved another $2.4 trillion in deficit spending through the end of 2012 – spending which they ostensibly offset by agreeing to “cut” roughly the same amount over the coming decade.