Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Senate rejects "pay as you go"

The Senate yesterday rejected a "pay as you go" amendment to the 2007 budget.

The vote was 50-50. The 50 "no" votes? All Republican.

Pay as you go is a simple concept: if you want to cut taxes or increase spending, you have to find offsetting spending cuts or tax increases so that the deficit does not increase. We had it for much of the 1990s, but Congress let it lapse in 2002. It pretty much forces fiscal discipline on Congress, which has demonstrated time and again that it needs exactly this sort of cudgel in order to be fiscally responsible.

Republicans as the party of fiscal discipline? Please. The Democrats might be more willing to raise taxes, but at least they don't think it's perfectly fine to spend money we don't have.


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