Inhofe: Time to freeze spending

posted at 11:36 am on March 12, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) announced the introduction of the HELP Act in an attempt to stop the expansion of federal spending.  Today, Inhofe explains the effort in a Wall Street Journal essay by reminding us of what we already know — that the federal government spends too much money.  Inhofe proposes rolling back discretionary spending to 2008 levels, but even that may not be enough:

Earlier this year, President Obama announced a three-year freeze on discretionary spending for all nonsecurity-related agencies. On the surface, that seems like a good idea. But the president’s plan would freeze spending at fiscal year 2010 levels, which are 20% higher than spending levels just two years ago. In addition, the $787 billion stimulus package Mr. Obama signed into law last year provided a substantial spending cushion to nearly every federal agency, making the spending freeze largely irrelevant.

I’ve introduced legislation called the Honest Expenditure Limitation Program (HELP) Act. Instead of locking in the president’s 20% spending increase, my plan reduces nonsecurity discretionary spending over a five-year period. Once it reaches the 2008 spending level, my bill then freezes spending there for an additional five years.

Real fiscal restraint requires cutting budgets, not locking in an artificially high spending level and then allowing spending to explode again after three years as the president’s proposal does.

The American people deserve honesty about their government’s spending. Repeatedly, Congress has made mostly symbolic gestures toward fiscal responsibility, such as the Democrat’s current pay-go process. In theory that requires Congress to pay for any new spending, but in practice it is easily evaded.

For this reason, my spending cap comes with teeth. Typically, the Senate can sidestep spending restraints with a 60-vote majority. But to exceed my spending caps my legislation would require a super majority of 67 votes in the Senate. Furthermore, if Congress passes a spending bill that exceeds my spending caps but fails to win a super majority vote in the Senate, the Office of Management and Budget would automatically impose an across-the-board spending cut of the excess amount at the end of the year.

The effort by President Obama to claim credit for a spending freeze was ludicrous.  He and his Democratic allies in Congress had pushed spending from $2.77 trillion in 2007 to over $3.8 trillion for 2010, a 37% increase in just three years of Democratic control of Congress.  It’s akin to taking credit for putting out a fire that they set, and only after the building has burnt to the ground.

However, due to political realities, both freezes have something in common, which is that they don’t really tackle the biggest budget-busters: entitlements.  Limiting the freeze to “discretionary spending” means that Medicare and Social Security will continue to balloon, with its unfunded liabilities growing exponentially larger.   Few in Congress have the stomach for meaningful entitlement reform; Democrats instead have tried entitlement expansion, largely at the expense of the states through Medicaid, but with dire consequences for Medicare as well.  In order to reform entitlements, tough decisions have to be made about restricting eligibility, raising the retirement age, and limiting benefits, none of which will be popular but all of which will be necessary.

This isn’t the only GOP effort to rein in the massive spending seen over the last three years.  The Hensarling/Pence bill in the House would cap all federal spending at 20% of GDP, including entitlements, which would force Congress to get serious about the biggest deficit issue on the table. Fortunately, the two approaches aren’t mutually exclusive, and both are better than the pay-go rules that Democrats celebrated and then immediately ignored.  If we can’t get serious entitlement reform, at least we could get a little HELP.


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Way to go SEN Inhofe–keep it up my friend.

ted c on March 12, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Inhofe: Time to freeze spending

UltimateBob: Time to CUT spending. Way, way back.

UltimateBob on March 12, 2010 at 11:40 AM

It’s a bit late for a freeze – we need drastic cuts, including to ‘entitlements’.

Vashta.Nerada on March 12, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Today, Inhofe explains the effort in a Wall Street Journal essay by reminding us of what we already know — that the federal government spends too much money. Inhofe proposes rolling back discretionary spending to 2008 levels, but even that may not be enough

It’s not enough, and I’m certain Inhofe would concede that. But it’s a start.

Doughboy on March 12, 2010 at 11:42 AM

I like this move, and I think Inhofe can use Obama’s rhetoric to prop up the idea. Unfortunately the legislation is inherently racist, or something, but I like the effort.

Re: Medicare and SS – I personally don’t think now is the time to attack that. I think the HC bill has to be killed dead dead before Medicare is addressed because Reid and Pelosi will otherwise falsely present that as ‘R’s trying to kill the elderly’. Moreover, I think the atmosphere would be better after ’10 where that argument can juxtapose a fiscally conservative Congress against a rhetoric of fiscal conservatism vs expansive action via executive branch.

Spirit of 1776 on March 12, 2010 at 11:43 AM

We need to stop playing by the vocabulary rules of the government. All spending is discretionary and has been since SCOTUS ruled, early 60′s, that receiving a Social Security payment was not an entitlement and Congress could quit paying anytime they so pleased. There would probably be a literal blood bath if Congress stopped payments on Social Security and Medicare but they can at any time.

chemman on March 12, 2010 at 11:45 AM

too little
too late

MarkTheGreat on March 12, 2010 at 11:45 AM

“In order to reform entitlements…”
freeze them? They’re creating them envmasse to swing all voters into the big goverment or die mentality. Soon freedom will die and these entiletlement will be paid for by beaureaucrats on deaath panels grabbing the wealth of old folks and dumping all those conservative voters at the same time. A weapon less coupe indeed.

Don L on March 12, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Why not just make every politician personally liable with their lives and fortunes for every decesion that they make…

… kinda like our Founding Fathers?

Can you imagine the outcry, the gnashing of teeth, the squeling of stuck pigs?

Seven Percent Solution on March 12, 2010 at 11:49 AM

A good proposal by Imhoffe that will of course go down in flames.

james23 on March 12, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Freeze spending? Didn’t ‘Cold Cash’ Jefferson try something similar to this?

Seriously, if there is one overriding theme at the Tea Parties, it is to stop the damn spending. Not just stop, but start cutting out useless and harmful programs and departments that are crushing us. Tell ‘em, Jim.

GnuBreed on March 12, 2010 at 11:53 AM

2008 levels would be laughable; way too high!

First we need to decide what tax revenues would be at something like a 5% tax rate, and then peg govt spending to *that*, and then simply (haha) make it happen.

Axe everything that the fed is spending money on that isn’t Constitutional, and 5% would probably be *too much*.

I wonder if there’s a statistical study out there that would demonstrate this…

Here’s your govt spending today…

Here’s your govt spending today if it were only Constitutional items…

Here’s the effective tax rate needed to accomplish that…

Imagine the near instantaenous economic boom we’d see if we did this; all that money back in *our* hands, all those inefficient bureaucracies eliminated, etc. Of course, there’d be a lot of civil servants out of work – but the private sector would be creating jobs hand over fist for them to jump into. ;)

Midas on March 12, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Noooo.

It could theoretically have been “time to freeze spending” thirty years ago. That ship has long-since sailed.

It is time to DRASTICALLY REDUCE federal spending. The only debate that has gone on in Washington in the past half-century has been between those who want to Socialize America vs. those who want to Socialize America, but do it slightly more slowly. What they call “debate” is not a pendulum, pulling in direction or the other. It is a ratchet; sometimes moving faster in the direction of Socialism; occasionally slowing or even momentarily stopping; butnever moving an inch AWAY from Socialism, ever.

In Washington today, someone who claims he wants to completely stop government growth for a year or two is called an “ultra-conservative.”

If the Tea Party movement is about anything, it’s about telling Washington that they aren’t merely out of touch with the mainstream of American society; they live on a completely different PLANET from the one that normal people inhabit.

logis on March 12, 2010 at 11:54 AM

But doesn’t this go against the B.O. Doctrine that you have to spend money so as to spend money?

pilamaye on March 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Inhofe: Time to freeze spending

Let’s not only freeze spending, let’s cut spending.

rukiddingme on March 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

For all you HotAir folks out there who claim that Republicans and Democrats are significantly different – well, this is ALL the evidence you need that they aren’t.

“The American people deserve honesty about their government’s spending.”

Damn right … so why won’t ANY Republican give it to us? The fact is, this nation can no longer support Medicare, Social Security, and Prescription Drugs and NO ONE comes up with any plan whatsoever to phase-out these programs. If we don’t phase them out (aggressively) now – we’ll end up defaulting on them later on down the road – and that’s going to be painful boys and girls. That’s going to have far reaching, devastating consequences to our children’s economy.

Ironically – if you were to answer the question … who’s the one person who’s recently tried to cut one of these programs – you’d have to answer “Obama” – for his proposed $500 billion cuts to Medicare. Before that – a very lame attempt by Bush to privatize Social Security.

Don’t shoot the messenger.

You can rant and rave about how bad the Democrats are and how great Republicans are. You can “psyche” yourself up for a GOP victory in November 2010 and you celebrate when the GOP takes back the White House in 2012.

But you may as well be celebrating a Saint’s victory at the Superbowl for all the REAL (positive) effect that a GOP victory will have on our kids and to future generations. If Republicans can’t step up to the plate and phase out the entitlements … and if Americans won’t listen to the fact that we need to eliminate those programs …

Then this is all an exercise in self-abuse ladies and gents.

Inhoffe … LOL … what an impotent proposal at a time when this ship is about to run aground!

Let’s get real here. Yeah – I’m ticked off!

HondaV65 on March 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

HondaV65 on March 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Oddly enough, the Republicans, under Bush, tried to do what you’re describing with SS in 2005 (as I recall). And were stymied by the Democrats and the liberal sycophants in the media.

So… there’s no difference between the two? Wha?

Midas on March 12, 2010 at 11:59 AM

… now, with that said, Bush also went a long ways towards growing government and entitlements – and caught hell from it from one of the two aforementioned parties…; not from both.

Midas on March 12, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Let’s not only freeze spending, let’s cut spending.

Freezing spending at 08 is cutting spending.

Don’t shoot the messenger. + Inhoffe … LOL … what an impotent proposal at a time when this ship is about to run aground! = Inconsistency.

If you want a change, and one is proposed, why exactly would you not say ‘hey, this is a good rallying point’ or ‘good place to start’ unless you just want to say I told you so when default.

Spirit of 1776 on March 12, 2010 at 12:02 PM

You’ve got to walk before you can run. If Inhofe can get a freeze through, that would be great.

He can’t, but it would be. Plan B is this becomes campaign ad fodder in 2010 & 2012. “Look how much Dems are spending. We tried to stop them! Let us try to get a handle on our budget now.”

Etc.

cs89 on March 12, 2010 at 12:03 PM

I’m going to cut back my spending by not paying taxes.

Key West Reader on March 12, 2010 at 12:04 PM

The D C thaw is beginning.

rjoco1 on March 12, 2010 at 12:05 PM

I think this is just right…we are not going to “cut” spending, no politician will do that and keep their job.
However, if they don’t have the money to spend….
That is why a limited spending bill would work, and a cut spending won’t.
They both achieve the same thing.
Our economy is still robust enough, but not enough to keep up with the spending.
I think we can overcome this deficit in five years, if we stopped spending.

right2bright on March 12, 2010 at 12:05 PM

How about a freeze on agenda? I’m getting dizzy.

Jocundus on March 12, 2010 at 12:08 PM

For all you HotAir folks out there who claim that Republicans and Democrats are significantly different – well, this is ALL the evidence you need that they aren’t.

HondaV65 on March 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

The same amount of people who think Elvis is alive, or we never landed on the moon, or are truthers or birthers, believe there is no difference.
If you can’t see a difference between Bush and Obama, between Cheney and Biden, good grief…

right2bright on March 12, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Limiting the freeze to “discretionary spending” means that Medicare and Social Security will continue to balloon, with its unfunded liabilities growing exponentially larger.

Until the above are addressed, everything else is just B$.

I am willing to give up all of my SS payments, if the government lets me keep my and my employeers involuntary payments into the system. Heck, I only got 10 years left to go, so it’s no big deal for the government.

Johnnyreb on March 12, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Hallelujah! Inhofe shows us that he gets it!!! Please, Senator Inhofe, don’t stop there.

Sxyrzrbck on March 12, 2010 at 12:15 PM

We have three Captain Ahab’s working on our healthcare: Obama, Pelosi, and Reaid.
I can’t wait for the final act!

Cybergeezer on March 12, 2010 at 12:16 PM

I am willing to give up all of my SS payments, if the government lets me keep my and my employeers involuntary payments into the system. Heck, I only got 10 years left to go, so it’s no big deal for the government.

Johnnyreb on March 12, 2010 at 12:11 PM

That, a voluntary opt out in exchange for a reduced tax rate, is one of the easiest ways to fix SocSec. Couple that with no SocSec for people under 30, again with a reduced tax rate, and we would have fixed the easier of the two major entitlement programs.

WashJeff on March 12, 2010 at 12:17 PM

After all the crapola these Democrats have done to force through their ENFORCED HEALTHCARE, they’ll probably give themselves a raise for their efforts.

Cybergeezer on March 12, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Inhoffe … LOL … what an impotent proposal at a time when this ship is about to run aground!

HondaV65 on March 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

I’m with ya, HV. This is like saying, “We’re heading for an iceberg at full steam, so let’s just turn off the engines.”

Not good enough. We need to put it into reverse, and fast.

UltimateBob on March 12, 2010 at 12:24 PM

I am willing to give up all of my SS payments, if the government lets me keep my and my employeers involuntary payments into the system. Heck, I only got 10 years left to go, so it’s no big deal for the government.

Johnnyreb on March 12, 2010 at 12:11 PM

That, a voluntary opt out in exchange for a reduced tax rate, is one of the easiest ways to fix SocSec. Couple that with no SocSec for people under 30, again with a reduced tax rate, and we would have fixed the easier of the two major entitlement programs.

WashJeff on March 12, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Guys, I have been saying this for years. I’m about 20 years from retirement, and I will take my losses if allowed to opt out today.

We need to phase it out completely.

UltimateBob on March 12, 2010 at 12:27 PM

I appreciate Inhofe’s efforts, however:

How can a bill change the voting majority/requirements for Congress? Don’t you need an amendment to the Constitution for that?

This pisses me off, just like the Repubs pushing for, or open to, Federal “existing conditions” laws. Where is that power in the Constitution? If you want it, do it in the States.

mockmook on March 12, 2010 at 12:32 PM

This is slightly OT but only slightly.
Is anyone having difficulty getting tax refund checks?

ORconservative on March 12, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Guys, I have been saying this for years. I’m about 20 years from retirement, and I will take my losses if allowed to opt out today. We need to phase it out completely.
UltimateBob on March 12, 2010 at 12:27 PM

No part of Socialism has ever been optional; and no part ever will be.

In fact, that’s the whole point of Socialism in the first place. If anyone is allowed to “opt out,” the whole damned system falls apart like a house of cards.

logis on March 12, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Oddly enough, the Republicans, under Bush, tried to do what you’re describing with SS in 2005 (as I recall). And were stymied by the Democrats and the liberal sycophants in the media.

So… there’s no difference between the two? Wha?

Midas on March 12, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Read the whole post … I talked about that. Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security was LAME at best. He made a run at it sure – but when American’s turned on him – he gave up – and he gave up for the rest of his time in office – he just left the whole effort on the floor.

He should have kept hammering – not the Obama has with ObamaCare certainly – but he should have kept talking about it and how much harm Social Security would do to our posterity.

He didn’t.

HondaV65 on March 12, 2010 at 12:40 PM

To get spending under control, Congress needs to stop rewarding big spenders with seats of power. Go figure, if you put the biggest spenders (of either party) in charge, all they do is run up bigger deficits!

Here’s a common sense solution :

When the Federal government spends more than 20% of GDP, the leadership and committee chairs must all come from the lowest quarter of spenders according to votes and pork over the previous four years — regardless of party.

Have the big spenders sit down in the back of the class and move those with the backbone to make the hard pragmatic choices move to the head of the class.

If all the leadership comes from one segment of one party (like fiscal conservatives) — well doesn’t that just point out the nation’s leadership problems?

drfredc on March 12, 2010 at 12:42 PM

For all you HotAir folks out there who claim that Republicans and Democrats are significantly different – well, this is ALL the evidence you need that they aren’t.

HondaV65 on March 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

The fact that Obamacare, Amnesty, Card Check, and Cap and Trade are NOT already law is all the evidence I need that you’re an idiot.

uknowmorethanme on March 12, 2010 at 12:43 PM

If you want a change, and one is proposed, why exactly would you not say ‘hey, this is a good rallying point’ or ‘good place to start’ unless you just want to say I told you so when default.

Spirit of 1776 on March 12, 2010 at 12:02 PM

No it’s not a good starting point. Because when Government talks about spending 1,000 dollars it spends 10,000. When the government talks about a “freeze” – it means actually allowing some things to grow.

If you want a starting point … how about rallying around elminating Medicare, Social Security, Prescription Drugs, funding for the NEA, school loans, etc … etc … within our lifetime?

That way we’ll have accomplished something when the government falls short of those goals – which it always does.

HondaV65 on March 12, 2010 at 12:44 PM

This is slightly OT but only slightly.
Is anyone having difficulty getting tax refund checks?

ORconservative on March 12, 2010 at 12:36 PM

State or Fed? I heard on either Laura or Rush (was in the car & is a bit of a blur…)just this morning that the states are holding on to those refunds for quite some time this year

huskerdiva on March 12, 2010 at 12:45 PM

I hate to be cynical here, but the American people want spending cuts in the govt right up until it affects some entitlement they’re getting-then they start howling like monkeys.

Badger40 on March 12, 2010 at 12:48 PM

just this morning that the states are holding on to those refunds for quite some time this year

huskerdiva on March 12, 2010 at 12:45 PM

I got my state refund already.
But then North Dakota is one of the few states with a bustling economy & jobs that need filling.

Badger40 on March 12, 2010 at 12:49 PM

I know about the states but I’m starting to wonder if the feds are quietly doing it too.
Just wondering if this was becoming obvious to anyone else.

ORconservative on March 12, 2010 at 12:49 PM

No it’s not a good starting point.

Okay, if this isn’t an acceptable starting point, then I don’t see that anything will accomplished. That may be the political reality. Perhaps you are right.

Spirit of 1776 on March 12, 2010 at 12:52 PM

This is slightly OT but only slightly.
Is anyone having difficulty getting tax refund checks?

ORconservative on March 12, 2010 at 12:36 PM

The IRS is sending them out first to the folks that didn’t pay any taxes. If there is any money left they will send out the refunds to people who actually paid taxes.

s/

Aviator on March 12, 2010 at 12:53 PM

I got my state refund already.
But then North Dakota is one of the few states with a bustling economy & jobs that need filling.

Badger40 on March 12, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Gotta love livin in flyover country!!!
BTW I totally agree with your previous statement- but that being said, seems like the only way out of this mess is to get the folks to realize that some pretty major pain is comin whether we make painful cuts to entitlements or they eventually stop because the country is completely broke- seems to me the first alternative would be preferable – now just have to find pols with the cojones to do it!

huskerdiva on March 12, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Aviator on March 12, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Sadly, i do not think that is sarcasm.

ORconservative on March 12, 2010 at 1:05 PM

It can’t just be a freeze on discretionary spending, it has to be a true, overall spending freeze. Then our elected officials can do their jobs – make tough decisions on how our limited resources should be used.

motionview on March 12, 2010 at 1:08 PM

If defense spending is off the table in any deficit-reduction plan, then it should not be considered a serious plan – Just more political posturing.

Ahh a Lion on March 12, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Just more political posturing.

Ahh a Lion on March 12, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Most politicians don’t run for office to reduce the size of government.

Those that do, realize that when in office they can’t reduce the size of government. Ronald Reagan is a good example of this.

Reducing the size and scope of government is a pipe dream. Reforming entitlements ain’t gonna happen. But there are policies that are important; we can make a difference!

Our only hope is to grow our economy to help pay for all this crap. Vote to keep our taxes low and vote against the fools that believe in ManBearPig. We should be able to ride this out for at least a few more generations.

July 10 on March 12, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Inhofe is a decent Senator but like almost every politician currently in Washington doesn’t have the courage to call for, and work toward cutting spending.

We need to start with a 10% cut across the board of ALL federal spending, entitlements, military, discretionary…everything.

Until something as draconian like this happens then nothing really changes.

JonPrichard on March 12, 2010 at 1:22 PM

I’m with ya, HV. This is like saying, “We’re heading for an iceberg at full steam, so let’s just turn off the engines.”

Not good enough. We need to put it into reverse, and fast.

UltimateBob on March 12, 2010 at 12:24 PM

By the way, that might have been what sunk the Titanic: putting the engines in reverse fouled the flow over the rudder, slowing the ships turn rate without significantly slowing it down.
Or, so I hear.

Count to 10 on March 12, 2010 at 1:27 PM

If defense spending is off the table in any deficit-reduction plan, then it should not be considered a serious plan – Just more political posturing.

Ahh a Lion on March 12, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Defense spending is just about he only legitimate expense of the Federal Government. Any plan that tries to reduce the deficit by cutting the military should not be considered serious.

Count to 10 on March 12, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Tomorrow’s WaPo:
“Sen Inhofe proposes deliberately starving children – women and minorities to be hardest hit”

eeyore on March 12, 2010 at 1:30 PM

***
I vehemently disagree with Senator Inhofe. We do not need to “freeze” spending at current break the bank levels.
***
We need to undo all of Comrade Obama’s spending and to try to “recapture” the money that hasn’t been spent yet. And then all government spending should be cut back 10 or 20 percent–across the board–no exceptions–no “off budget” sacred cows. Shut down TSA, the EPA, the Department of Education, and the Homeland Security Department.
***
When you are on the Titanic and going down–don’t try to rearrange the deck chairs! Head for the lifeboats–quick. Or learn to like drowning in a cold sea of unemployment and scarcity.
***
John Bibb
***

rocketman on March 12, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Inhofe is a decent Senator but like almost every politician currently in Washington doesn’t have the courage to call for, and work toward cutting spending.

We need to start with a 10% cut across the board of ALL federal spending, entitlements, military, discretionary…everything.

Until something as draconian like this happens then nothing really changes.

JonPrichard on March 12, 2010 at 1:22 PM

If your definition of “real change” is “significantly reducing the size and scope of government,” then you are right, and it is not going to happen, so get over it. We should stop wasting our energies trying to convince politicians to do something that they can’t do.

We can change things. Voting against people that believe in ManBearPig will make a real change and improve our lives now and in the future.

July 10 on March 12, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Defense spending is just about he only legitimate expense of the Federal Government. Any plan that tries to reduce the deficit by cutting the military should not be considered serious.
Count to 10 on March 12, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Advocating a reduction in wealth transfer payments to liberals is like trying to tell an addict with a hundred-dollar-a-day, and rapidly growing, crack habit that he has to stop.

So he declares his rent to be a “discretionary expense”, and refuses to talk to you until that gets cut.

logis on March 12, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Folks, y’all are sniffing happy gas if you think any politician is going to vote for any real spending cuts. Americans have been convinced that even a modest reduction in the rate of growth of spending is a “cut”. Any concerted effort by conservatives to actually reduce overall spending will result in a veritable onslaught of hysteria about those evil and nasty Re-Thuglicans. Sadly I think we are in for 20 years of malaise and stagflation. By then enough boomers will die so some changes can be made. Even then the changes are likely to be toward socialism. In the meantime, opt out and go Galt.

Metanis on March 12, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Honest Expenditure Limitation Program

Funny name for a bill. It sounds like a measure to restrain “honest expenditures” in favor of “fraudulent expenditures.” I dunno, it’s just how my mind works!

ExpressoBold on March 12, 2010 at 5:41 PM

Sorry, but Inhofe’s plan wouldn’t work either…

But to exceed my spending caps my legislation would require a super majority of 67 votes in the Senate. Furthermore, if Congress passes a spending bill that exceeds my spending caps but fails to win a super majority vote in the Senate, the Office of Management and Budget would automatically impose an across-the-board spending cut of the excess amount at the end of the year.

…because it wouldn’t be binding on the next Congress, which would either pass a law to nullify this one; find a loophole to get around it (see “Pay-go”); or simply ignore it.

Nothing short of a Constitutional amendment — similar to those in various state constitutions — would work. These clowns are just too addicted to spending our money.

Paul_in_NJ on March 12, 2010 at 8:50 PM