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  • New Resolution Would Better Enforce PAYGO: Will Democrats Allow a Vote?

    Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) has proposed a novel way to strengthen the House Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rule.

    PAYGO – which requires that all legislation expanding entitlements or cutting taxes be fully offset – has been exposed an ineffective gimmick. PAYGO exempts discretionary spending increases (which comprise 40 percent of the budget) as well as the automatic 6 to 8 percent annual baseline increases in entitlement spending. PAYGO merely says that if Congress wants to grow total entitlement spending faster than the baseline rate, they must raise taxes accordingly. Or, if they want to reduce net taxes, they must cut entitlement spending accordingly.

    Given PAYGO’s limited reach, one would assume Congress could easily comply with it, but it doesn’t. Congress has waived PAYGO every time it proved even slightly inconvenient – 12 times in the 110th Congress alone. They waived it to extend unemployment benefits. They waived it to create a $63 billion veterans’ entitlement. In the current 111th Congress, they waived it for the $787 billion “stimulus” bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) suggested that PAYGO be waived for any bill she feels will help the economy.

    Waiving PAYGO is typically done before a bill comes to the floor by the Rules Committee, thus sparing lawmakers the spectacle of publicly voting to ignore their own fiscal responsibility rules.

    Rep. Whitfield has authored a resolution (H. Res 671) requiring that any waiving of PAYGO require a separate up-or-down House vote. Rather than hide behind the Rules Committee, lawmakers would have to publicly go on the record. Transparency brings accountability, and voters could use these votes to judge whether their lawmakers treat PAYGO as a gimmick to be routinely ignored on spending bills, or a true constraint on Congress’ spending appetite. If the Democratic House leadership truly believes in PAYGO, they should bring H. Res 671 to the floor for a vote.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to New Resolution Would Better Enforce PAYGO: Will Democrats Allow a Vote?

    1. Tim Az says:

      Beginning in 2010 the people will begin to bring the democrats to their knees to save what is left of our great country.

    2. Leon, Durango, CO says:

      Democrats are clearly a disloyal opposition because they have been serving Karl Marx's 12 step plan and not the classic Democratic agenda (assisting the working class). Ann Coulter is correct, the word is treason because they serve a foreign interest. It does not surprise me in the least to see Democrats in Congress doing unbelievable and illegal things (Unconstitutional things and destructive things.)

      The radicals have intended for years to wreck the American economy by overburdening our social infrastructure. PAYGO has to be suspended. Don't be surprised if the Democrats make Obama our emperor, like the Roman Senate of old. How ironic the very man who worked for chaos has politically benefited by it.

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