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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mark Salter on the President's PAYGO Plans

In an article for AmericaSpeakOn.org this morning, Mark Salter, Senator John McCain’s former chief of staff and senior advisor to the Senator’s Presidential campaign, attempts to sum up the frustration felt by many American’s concerning President Obama’s apparent hypocrisy on fiscal matters.

While the President has called on Congress to reinstate PAYGO rules – generally meaning new spending must be offset by spending reductions in other areas or with tax increases – Salter notes that in this case, as far as the President’s policies go, “consistency matters much less than audacity.” He writes:
Why, of course, we'll pour hundreds of billions into the banking business, the insurance business, and the automobile business. And take another $1.5 to $2 trillion to enact his promise to change fundamentally the way health care is provided in this country. And send Congress a $3.5 trillion budget, more than a third of it paid for with borrowed money. And spend $800 billion to stimulate the economy, much of it after the economy has recovered and on projects of suspect merit. And sign a bloated omnibus appropriations bill with a price tag of more than $400 billion. … But, by God, Congress better start exercising a little fiscal discipline around here or this country is going to be in a hell of fix.
Salter continues this dripping sarcasm throughout the article – and with good reason. As the chart below shows, President Obama has already put this nation on shaky fiscal footing. Calls for a new era of fiscal discipline, especially though reforms rife with massive loopholes, ring pretty hollow at this point.

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