Sunday

Pay as you go, or lie as you go?


I was perusing Fox News and found this story: “Obama Calls for Return of 'PAYGO' Rule to Reduce Federal Deficits” http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/04/25/obama-seeks-resurrect-s-budget-rule-reduce-federal-deficits/

It was simply too good to pass up. How can he even make such a feeble claim towards fiscal responsibility given his actions thus far?

The article stated (Passages in bold are quoted from the article):

In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Obama called on Congress to pass a pay-as-you-go legislation, known as PAYGO, that would require new federal spending to be offset by budgetary cuts or tax hikes.

"We need to adhere to the basic principle that new tax or entitlement policies should be paid for," he said, asserting that PAYGO "helped transform large deficits into surpluses in the 1990s. Now we must restore that sense of fiscal discipline."

What prompted this epiphany? Could it be the outrage expressed by tens of thousands of “tax tea party” protesters that erupted onto the scene April 15th? Why now, why not before the unprecedented spending of the past 100 days?


This is tantamount to a heroin addict promising he has had his last fix. When the buzz wears off I suspect that this novel proposition will loose its gleam and we will be back to business as usual.

The federal deficit is projected to hit a record high of more than $1.8 trillion this year, due in large part to the government providing aid to Wall Street firms and other struggling companies, as well as Obama's $787 stimulus package. Pay-as-you-go legislation wouldn't affect that spending.

Of course not, why address the untargeted wasteful spending that is largely responsible for the looming deficits? Now that Obama and the Democrats have had their fix they are flying high at our expense. Please, close the gate now that the horses have fled to greener pastures.

Does anyone else find this exceedingly disingenuous and insulting or maybe just hypocritical? Point your fingers at the previous administrations shameful spending, while simultaneously outspending it and claiming to be the voice of responsibility. It strains the imagination.

The Congressional Budget Office has forecast the deficit would drop to nearly $1.4 trillion next fiscal year, and Obama is aiming to cut it in half by the end of his first term. But the federal deficits are facing explosive growth from entitlement spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Not such a hard trick when you were the cause of the problem. It’s simple in principle; explode the deficit, then cut the spending down to what it was before you doubled it and proclaim it all a success. This is like a store doubling its prices right before a 50% off sale and here we sit thinking we are getting the deal of a lifetime. Not so much.

"We can't continue to spend money like we spend and borrow money from China to do it," Kristen Hawn, a spokeswoman for the Blue Dog Democrats, told FOXNews.com.

Hallelujah, that is the most cogent thought I have heard come out of a Democrats pie hole in the last 100 days of orgiastic spending. I only wish they believed it. The truth is this is nothing more than a feeble attempt to placate the right who have grown restless at the prospect of suffocating debt.

To be sure the Republicans have their own cross to bear in this fiasco as well but at least a dim glimmer of understanding is starting to permeate their overly thickened skulls. The Democrats are impenitent thus far and see their overwhelming control of the process as a means to and end.

Asked how the pay-as-you-go rule might affect Obama's ambitious agenda to reform healthcare, energy and education, she said, "I think all those things need to be done but in a fiscally responsible manner. And the president knows it too."

Literal translation; on the backs of the American taxpayers. When these guys say that new programs half to be paid for they don’t mean by cutting other programs (despite their assertions to the contrary) they mean by increasing the burden on you and I.

But economists, while acknowledging that PAYGO helped create surpluses under President Clinton, aren't sure it will work now while the country battles a severe recession.

The only thing that is going to work is cutting the massive bloated leviathan that is our federal Government. You can only drain so much blood from the population before the heart stops pumping. We are nearing said tipping point.

But Viard added that Clinton and Congress deserve credit, too, for the surplus, explaining that the rule is only effective if lawmakers follow it.

"If you already have some willingness for restraint on the part of the president and Congress, this rule can strengthen it," he said. "But if you have a president and Congress fundamentally opposed to restraint, a rule in place doesn't do much good.

Well that sums it up succinctly. Does any right thinking American believe that lawmakers on either side of the aisle have a modicum of restraint? History would seem to scream back a resounding NO. Maybe instead of PAYGO a better name for the program, at least with Obama, would be LIEGO, I'm just saying.

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