“Pay as You Go”: A “No-Go”

President Obama recently stated plans to incorporate a system called “pay as you go” which requires all spending increases and/or tax cuts to be “paid for” with off-setting tax increases. The House and Senate already have “pay as you go” rules; however, like everything else done by Congress, they find loopholes around their rules. For that matter, the entire federal government has a document that is supposed to govern the way they operate (the Constitution) but they find ways around that, too. According to TruthAttack.org the 2007 budget showed 56.14% of federal spending to be outside of constitutional authority. So, I have to ask, “Since congress doesn’t follow the Constitution when voting on spending bills, what will ensure they follow another rule, whether it has the force of law or not?” The obvious answer is “nothing”.
Let’s forget for a moment that Congress will find ways around the rules of “pay as you go”. The President who is proposing this act of “fiscal responsibility” is the same man that has proposed a nearly $4TRILLION budget that includes almost $1TRILLION worth of “deficit spending” – a fancy way of saying “spending more money that we have” – this doesn’t include the $101TRILLION of future unfunded liabilities. The President said “Congress can only spend a dollar if it saves a dollar elsewhere. Entitlement increases and tax cuts need to be paid for. They’re not free, and borrowing to finance them is not a sustainable long-term policy. Paying for what you spend is basic common sense.” USA Today reports “Republicans lashed back that Obama is no voice of fiscal restraint”. Well, if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle – wait, can I finish this sentence without being called racist? After all, we do have the first half-African-American President in American history. But, I digress. The vast majority of Republicans had no problem with run away spending when George W. Bush was President. Even now, the vast majority of Republicans are not “outraged” over the BILLIONS still being spent on military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congressional Republicans supported the $700 Billion “tax-payer screw-job” billed as a “bailout” of the Banking Industry, yet, now have issues with spending projects proposed by the Democratic President. With few exceptions, Republicans and Democrats both like big government and “unsustainable” deficit spending. It’s not sustainable to continue spending more money than you have, it’s not sustainable to have a Central Bank continually print more money.
To address this issue, Congress needs to balance the budget, something that hasn’t happened in 40 years – 1969. There is one easy way to balance the budget, cut all spending that is outside Constitutional authority – a staggering 56.14% according to TruthAttack.org; Walter Williams says it’s even higher, “there is absolutely no constitutional authority for two-thirds of the federal budget.” (Social Security, Medicare, farm and business subsidies, education, prescription drugs, etc.) Based on the nearly $4TRILLION proposed budget for next fiscal year and the 56.14% of extra-constitutional spending from 2007; Congress would need to cut nearly $2.4TRILLION from next years budget. That alone, would give a budget surplus of nearly $1.4TRILLION, enough to eliminate federal income taxes and the much hated IRS.
Congress doesn’t need more rules, they need to follow the Constitution and then the President wouldn’t need to make an insincere speech about not “spending money you don’t have” as a back door method of requesting a tax increase.