Congress pays lip service to fiscal restraint

If you ever thought that congress and the president were serious about addressing the fiscal disaster, you are certainly delusional – like the state run media. One needs to look no further than the recent PayGo legislation and its surrounding bluster to realize that it’s nothing more than lip service. (more here)

During his State of the Union address on Jan. 27, President Obama stressed the fact that fiscal discipline would be a top priority for his administration. He announced a three-year freeze on domestic spending, vowed to eliminate waste in the federal government and called on the Senate to restore pay-as-you-go legislation to impose restraint on the chamber’s sometimes profligate spending.

“Like any cash-strapped family,” he said, “we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don’t.”

Yeah, right. So what happens when the first legislation comes before congress under PayGo rules?

But already, the Senate has issued itself a waiver from the provisions on three of the four spending bills its has considered by declaring several bills to be emergency spending, including a $15-billion jobs bill, a $10-billion measure for unemployment benefits and a $100-billion package of tax extenders.

“Republicans like to call it ‘Swiss-Cheese-Go’ because it’s very easy to circumvent,” said Brandon Arnold, director of government relations of the libertarian CATO Institute.

Arnold explained the impasse last week between Democrats and Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) over the $10 billion in benefits for unemployed Americans, which Bunning vocally opposed because the measure was not paid for under PayGo rules. “They were able to use the PayGo emergency designation when in fact they knew months previously that these programs were going to expire,” Arnold said.

That’s how serious they are. No wonder the vast majority of Americans don’t believe congress is working for them – they’re not…

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