Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pay-As-You-Go Enacted Again... Republicans Upset?

On Friday, President Obama signed into law an increase in the federal government's borrowing cap, but what is also included in the law is pay-as-you-go legislation, which requires lawmakers to find ways of funding future projects by either increasing taxes or cutting programs to offset costs. Obama had also said the following in his weekly radio and internet address:
It was this rule that helped lead to balanced budgets in the 1990s, by making clear that we could not increase entitlement spending or cut taxes simply by borrowing more money. And it was the abandonment of this rule that allowed the previous administration and previous congresses to pass massive tax cuts for the wealthy and create an expensive new drug program without paying for any of it. Now in a perfect world, Congress would not have needed a law to act responsibly, to remember that every dollar spent would come from taxpayers today – or our children tomorrow.

But this isn’t a perfect world. This is Washington. And while in theory there is bipartisan agreement on moving on balanced budgets, in practice, this responsibility for the future is often overwhelmed by the politics of the moment. It falls prey to the pressure of special interests, to the pull of local concerns, and to a reality familiar to every single American – the fact that it is a lot easier to spend a dollar than save one.

"Now, Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else,” the president also said.

Republican National Committee Chairman Steele attacked the president for the legislation, saying that "with a simple stroke of his pen, President Obama now has the ability to continue his binge spending agenda to the tune of an additional $1.9 trillion, the largest one-time increase in our history. If the president thinks he can hide his embarrassing binge spending habit behind a thin fig leaf like PAYGO, then he truly has hit rock bottom." While the debt ceiling may have been raised, Steele seems to ignore the implications of PAYGO, which would require cuts or raises in taxes to fund projects. While the right is probably hoping for a middle class tax hike, one thing is for certain, the government must act more fiscally conservative, which should please the Republicans, if it wasn't for the fact that this was passed by Obama, and if you remember from your history books, PAYGO was in effect from 1991 to 2002, in which President Bush and the Republican held congress decided to allow expire and swap fiscal responsibility for tax cuts instead, even in the face of growing expenditures...


  1. Steele is conveniently forgetting that almost 75% of that $1.9 trillion increase pays for mandates left over from the Bush regime. The rest saved our economy from complete collapse. Paygo is originally a GOP idea. Now they hate it, because Obama supports it.

    It comes down to one thing. Every penny Democrats spend on Main Street and Back Street is a penny the GOP can't spend on millionaires.

  2. I think it is funny that the GOP really likes to take opposite positions, sometimes reversing what they had previously supported...

    During the health care debates, they defended Medicare but they hated it. Same with this PAYGO... Now that Obama likes it, they hate it...


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