Pay-go: The next expiration date has arrived

These expiration dates are coming faster and faster in Barack Obama’s presidency.  Five days ago, Obama signed pay-go legislation passed by the Democrats in Congress as part of the bill that raised the debt limit by $1.4 trillion.  Today, Obama and the Democrats are trying to find ways around it:

The ink is barely dry on the pay-as-you-go law, and Democrats are seeking to bypass it to enact parts of their job-creation agenda.

Democratic leaders said extensions of unemployment insurance and COBRA healthcare benefits should be emergency spending that isn’t subject to the pay-as-you-go statute, which requires new non-discretionary spending to be offset with spending cuts or tax increases.

With current extensions of unemployment and COBRA benefits set to expire at the end of the month and the jobless rate still near 10 percent, Democratic lawmakers want to pass the extensions quickly, without having to find offsets for the costs.

This year, facing record deficits and a debt that has exceeded $12 trillion, Democrats touted the new pay-go requirements as a necessary step to get spending under wraps. President Barack Obama signed the pay-go bill into law on Feb. 12 and Democrats are ready to waive those requirements to help get the economy going.

This is why efforts like pay-go are nothing more than a farce, and usually a fraud.  The entire point of pay-go is to keep Congress from spending money it’s not receiving.  Carving out exceptions to spend more money demonstrates the ineffectiveness of pay-go to slow down spending.

However, it will be very effective for what Democrats have planned: raising taxes.  They will use the rule to argue later that the additional spending will require tax hikes, and that the issue is out of their hands thanks to the pay-go law.  It’s a dodge used to deny responsibility for their actions, much like the bipartisan budget commission that President Obama will create tomorrow, according to Reuters.

All Obama promises come with expiration dates.  Now, apparently, so do laws.

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