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  • PAYGO Rhymes With FIASCO

    Big spenders want you to think they’re actually deficit hawks. They’re lauding themselves for passing PAYGO legislation in the U.S. House, with praise from President Obama. But this bill is more loophole than substance. And Congress retains the power to waive its flimsy requirements whenever it wishes.

    PAYGO is about creating political cover, not about controlling spending. Supposedly, pay-as-you-go requires that extra spending in one area must be offset by reducing spending elsewhere, or raising taxes, or requiring the President to sequester funds before they are spent.

    The Congressional Budget Office says the measure “would allow the Congress to enact legislation that would increase deficits by an amount in the vicinity of $3 trillion over the 2010–2019 period without triggering a sequestration.”

    Washington Post columnist David Broder agrees that the loopholes are enormous. For example, he writes, “the 40 percent of the budget reflected in annual appropriations bills for ongoing or new government programs does not have to be paid for.”

    The moderate-dominated Committee for a Responsible Budget outlines the exemptions and concludes, “By exempting such costly policies, this PAYGO legislation keeps us on an unsustainable fiscal path.”

    The conservative House Republican Study Committee states, “The idea seems great on the surface, but the Democrat version of PAYGO is so riddled with loopholes and exemptions that it only continues the mockery of fiscal restraint this Congress has come to represent.”

    Most of the praise is coming from the lawmakers who wanted to give themselves political cover and now are patting themselves on the back. Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL) called it, “a tremendous victory for the American people and for those of us who know that our federal government cannot afford to continue to live outside its means.”

    The bill gives House members “an ability to put out a press release to make it look like they’re being fiscally responsible,” Paul Ryan, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee, told Reuters.

    The House approved the bill yesterday by 265-166. Will the Senate approve the bill? Very possibly, although Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) told reporters he agreed with Republicans that the PAYGO bill includes too many loopholes.

    The Associated Press reported, “By itself, pay-go does nothing to address the government’s deficit woes. . . .The pay-go measure wouldn’t force lawmakers to find the courage to actually do anything to stanch the flow of red ink; it instead seeks to prevent lawmakers from making it even worse. . . . But even if pay-go has the force of law, it can be waived.”

    In typical Washington-speak, the bill never labels the loopholes as “exemptions,” but instead calls them “current policy adjustments.” Analysts says these exemptions include Social Security payments, food stamps, Medicaid, most of Medicare, payments to federal retirees, the pay of the President and former Presidents, all discretionary (non-entitlement) spending, estate and gift taxes, the alternative minimum tax for individuals, the middle-income tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, anything designated as an “emergency”, children’s health, Pell Grants, all economic recovery programs, veterans’ benefits, and much more.

    In this case, the holes are bigger than the cheese.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to PAYGO Rhymes With FIASCO

    1. Jerry from Chicago says:

      Remember one thing, Mr. Obama lies and his minions swear to it.

      Now that he has got the budget deficit up past a trillion dollars, he wants to talk about "pay-go". This is equivalent to a drunk preaching sobriety. Oh, and let's not forget about his plan to spend another trillion or so on national health care. Yes, now Mr. Obama want to talk about "pay-go' as a prelude to all of the taxes he plans to impose.

      His oversight of the preparation of the Stimulus bill and his signing it into law was criminal negligence. He didn't read it; he didn't know what was in it; and it didn't stimulate the economy one bit. What it did do was to reward his minions with 8,500 earmark, pork barrel expenditures for their unflaggng devotion to the Messiah. Did we really need to pay another $20,000,000 to spruce up John Murtha's personal airport, that has only three flights a day – to and from Washington D.C. only. Talk about your monuments to vanity. $800 billion later and unemployment keeps rising. Where are the jobs?

      We can't drill offshore; we can't build more refineries; we can't build nuclear power plants. But we are "committed" to reducing our dependence on foreign oil? Please.

      We can't keep our own health insurance; we can't pay only our own bills; we can't enforce our immigration laws; and we can't be proud of our own country. And they call Republicans the party of "Nope"?

      Mr. Obama is a reckless and irresponsible socialist. Despite that charming smile of his, he has a chip on his shoulder. He doesn't like this country very much and feels the need to apologize for it everywhere he goes around the world. He gives a cold shoulder to our allies and kisses up to our enemies.

      Perhaps when enough people lose their jobs, their life savings, their insurance, their pension and their children's future and the country is a bankrupt shell of what it once was, they will finally understand what Mr. Obama's big smile was all about. Maybe then they will once again want hope and change.

    2. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Give some people an inch, and they think they are a ruler!

      Hozro

    3. dixie heart, USA says:

      Write or call your senator(s) immediately and tell them to shoot down PAYGO! Hurry folks, do it today!!!

    4. John Burdick, Glendo says:

      Thank you Jerry from Chicago……….you said what a lot of us feel. Please know that you are not alone.

    5. whicket williams Kin says:

      The thing is, The Chinese told the U.S. to control the supply of dollars and they are not as stupid, apathetic or sleeping like U.S. citizens, and THEY will stop buying dept, and dump what they have, totally destroying the UNITED STATES OF STUPIDITY without firing a shot. total economic destruction, caused by the worlds greediest. with the help of the most ignorant.

    6. Ross Writes, Braden says:

      Sophistry, pure unadulterated sophistry. Listen to the bray of the Democrats! They ARE their political mascot.

    7. Pingback: Why Believe New Promise When Congress Breaks Old Promise? | Fix Health Care Policy

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