Say, whatever happened to “pay-go”?
posted at 12:01 pm on April 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed unearths this gem from 2008, when Barack Obama thundered about the fiscal irresponsibility of George W. Bush over running up four trillion dollars in debt in eight years! As Glenn Reynolds comments, those were the days. We’ve added $4.5 trillion in debt since Barack Obama signed the omnibus spending bill that completed the FY2009 budget in March of 2009, just three years ago. However, there is something more to this video than just the hypocrisy of Obama’s complaints about relying on the Bank of China, which has been his main funding mechanism through his entire term:
We have not done a good job of being good fiscal stewards. And so what I want to do is, first of all, institute something called Pay-Go.
Well, Obama actually managed to accomplish this goal. In February 2010, Barack Obama signed Pay-Go into law after it passed the Democrat-controlled House and Senate, although it took all of five days for Obama and his party to start attempting to bypass it. Two months later, the Democrat-dominated Senate, which they controlled by a 59-41 margin, failed to pass a budget resolution by the statutory deadline — and haven’t passed one since.
Why have Senate Democrats not passed a budget resolution in the past three years, as required by (a toothless) law? There are a number of reasons, mostly dealing with political cowardice and a lack of leadership. But one has to presume that Pay-Go contributed as well. Their own pet cause requires them to provide funding for any spending they propose, and they lack the courage to roll out their real intentions — a massive grab of capital to fund all of their hobby-horse policies.
Pay-Go only works fiscally and politically when combined with true budget discipline based on conservative economic policies. Otherwise, it’s a trap — as the shirkers in the Senate Democratic caucus have demonstrated for over 1,080 days.