Mike Kueber's Blog

January 7, 2013

PAYGO and Hurricane Sandy

Filed under: Issues,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 10:37 am
Tags: ,

Congress obviously does not have the courage necessary to control its profligate spending, and the Fiscal Cliff compromise is just the latest example of its pusillanimous character.  For decades now Congress has been promising to get serious about its spending problem, but the tough actions are always set to start at some future date.  And that date never gets here.  In fact, part of the Fiscal Cliff compromise included deferring some promised Medicare-payment cuts for a year and deferring the Debt Ceiling sequestration for two months. 

All of this sounds like well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions or promises to go on a diet, and most congressmen know that good intentions are not enough.  Unfortunately, their next tactic is to create a gimmick to enforce resoluteness.  One of those gimmicks is called PAYGO.

PAYGO was first adopted in 1980 under Bush-41.  It requires than any new congressional spending be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.  A year ago, PAYGO was cited as an obstacle to the Dems desire to extend extended unemployment benefits, but eventually Congress allowed an exception.  This year, PAYGO was cited as an obstacle to the NY/NJ request for $60 billion in Hurricane Sandy relief, but all signs indicate another exception will be granted.

Question – if the Dems are so indignant over two wars that were waged by use of a credit card, why aren’t they similarly indignant over hurricane relief on a credit card?  Isn’t waging war just as much an emergency as hurricane relief?

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