Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Fiscal Hypocrisy from Republicans

It just doesn't stop, they hypocrisy of the Republican party and their representatives in Congress. Democrats put forth an amendment to reinstitute paygo rules for government spending. Any new proposed program, in other words, had to be paid for by cuts or by raising revenue. This rule was in place during the Clinton administration and Clinton left office with the government having a $200 billion surplus.

Republicans whine all the time about how we should be fiscally responsible. But the truth is, Republican presidents recently have been the biggest spenders and created the biggest budget deficits by wide margins compared to Democratic presidents.

Every single Republican in the Senate voted AGAINST the Paygo rule. You have to ask yourself, do Republicans have any credibility when it comes to the country's fiscal matters? I say no.
Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs ---60
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Burris (D-IL)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaufman (D-DE)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kirk (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Specter (D-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs ---40
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
LeMieux (R-FL)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Wicker (R-MS)


vomamike said...

When they say they are the Party of NO - guess they mean it!! People have to understand their goal is to bankrupt our government so social programs we so desperately need, cannot be financed.

Chris said...

PAYGO.... In case we needed additional evidence that bipartisanship is pretty much impossible, we got some yesterday.

The Senate took a vote on extending the federal debt ceiling -- without which the United States would go into default. All 40 Republicans voted no.

The Senate took a vote on requiring Congress not to pass legislation that it can't pay for. All 40 Republicans voted no.

The Senate took a final vote on passing the overall plan. Thirty-nine Republicans voted no. The 40th, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), skipped the vote.

The paygo vote was especially ridiculous. The idea is to "impose a requirement that key parts of the budget must be paid for with spending cuts or tax increases to prevent the federal deficit from increasing." It's known as the pay-as-you-go approach, or "paygo" -- if policymakers are going to increase spending or cut taxes, they have to figure out a way to pay for it at the time.

A similar rule was in place during the Clinton era, when the deficit was eliminated altogether. Republicans -- you know, the ones who claim to have the high ground on fiscal responsibility -- scrapped paygo in 2002. Soon after, GOP policymakers stopped trying to pay for their policies, and Republicans quickly added $5 trillion to the national debt, and left a $1.4 trillion deficit for Democrats to clean up.

As part of the effort to address the GOP's mess, Democrats have embraced paygo as a matter of common sense. President Obama, in his State of the Union address, urged Congress this week to "restore the pay-as-you-go law that was a big reason for why we had record surpluses in the 1990s."

Just a few years ago, a handful of Senate Republicans -- Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, George Voinovich, and John McCain -- argued that paygo should be brought back. They were unsuccessful in persuading their Republican colleagues at the time, and yesterday, they voted with their Republican colleagues to reject the idea that they'd already embraced.

And that, in a nutshell, is why the notion of bipartisanship with a failed and discredited minority is so hard to take seriously. GOP lawmakers are so reflexive in saying "no" to everything, they end up opposing ideas they support, and at that point, reason has no meaning.

Bruce Fealk said...

So, Chris, you admit Republicans don't live up to their rhetoric about fiscal responsibility.

Thanks for your admission that all your rhetoric is BS.

Chris said...

Here are the reasons. Big spenders want you to think they’re actually deficit hawks. They’re lauding themselves for passing PAYGO legislation in the U.S. House, with praise from President Obama. But this bill is more loophole than substance. And Congress retains the power to waive its flimsy requirements whenever it wishes.

PAYGO is about creating political cover, not about controlling spending. Supposedly, pay-as-you-go requires that extra spending in one area must be offset by reducing spending elsewhere, or raising taxes, or requiring the President to sequester funds before they are spent.

The Congressional Budget Office says the measure “would allow the Congress to enact legislation that would increase deficits by an amount in the vicinity of $3 trillion over the 2010–2019 period without triggering a sequestration.”

Washington Post columnist David Broder agrees that the loopholes are enormous. For example, he writes, “the 40 percent of the budget reflected in annual appropriations bills for ongoing or new government programs does not have to be paid for.”

The moderate-dominated Committee for a Responsible Budget outlines the exemptions and concludes, “By exempting such costly policies, this PAYGO legislation keeps us on an unsustainable fiscal path.”

The conservative House Republican Study Committee states, “The idea seems great on the surface, but the Democrat version of PAYGO is so riddled with loopholes and exemptions that it only continues the mockery of fiscal restraint this Congress has come to represent.”

Most of the praise is coming from the lawmakers who wanted to give themselves political cover and now are patting themselves on the back. Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL) called it, “a tremendous victory for the American people and for those of us who know that our federal government cannot afford to continue to live outside its means.”

The bill gives House members “an ability to put out a press release to make it look like they’re being fiscally responsible,” Paul Ryan, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee, told Reuters.

The House approved the bill yesterday by 265-166. Will the Senate approve the bill? Very possibly, although Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) told reporters he agreed with Republicans that the PAYGO bill includes too many loopholes.

The Associated Press reported, “By itself, pay-go does nothing to address the government’s deficit woes. . . .The pay-go measure wouldn’t force lawmakers to find the courage to actually do anything to stanch the flow of red ink; it instead seeks to prevent lawmakers from making it even worse. . . . But even if pay-go has the force of law, it can be waived.”

In typical Washington-speak, the bill never labels the loopholes as “exemptions,” but instead calls them “current policy adjustments.” Analysts says these exemptions include Social Security payments, food stamps, Medicaid, most of Medicare, payments to federal retirees, the pay of the President and former Presidents, all discretionary (non-entitlement) spending, estate and gift taxes, the alternative minimum tax for individuals, the middle-income tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, anything designated as an “emergency”, children’s health, Pell Grants, all economic recovery programs, veterans’ benefits, and much more.

In this case, the holes are bigger than the cheese.

Christopher said...

Bruce, Do you happen to know the title and number of the legislation you speak of? I do not see it in the post.

Bruce Fealk said...

Christopher, the bill is H.R. 2920, as best I can find.

Bruce Fealk said...

Hey, Chris, how about some of your own thoughts instead of cutting and pasting, which is what I can tell you did, since there were not atrocious spelling errors, like your posts usually have.

At least if you're going to cut and paste, put in the attribution.

Christopher said...

Thank you Bruce,

Apparently it is not as cut and dry as you imply. This passed the day after they raised the debt limit yet again. In effect giving them more to spend as they go which of course leads to higher taxes now or in the future.

It also gives the OMB who serve at the behest of the President the task of scoring legislation as opposed to the non-partisan CBO.

I applaud your effort to pay attention to current and pending legislation but you should endeavor to cover it completely.

Paul said...

"Hey, Chris, how about some of your own thoughts instead of cutting and pasting, which is what I can tell you did,..."

Why, in any way, is that relevant to what Chris posted? Is it because you think you stand a better chance of refuting the argument? The fact is, his post is spot-on. Paygo is a joke and will do nothing to reduce the outlandish spending of our government. The bill is nothing more than populist grandstanding by an over-indulgent Congress, willing to sacrifice our future for their insatiable spending appetite.

As Chris pointed out, the Paygo rule only calls for cuts in discretionary spending while leaving untouched the welfare programs that are labeled mandatory spending. This leaves nearly 60% of the Federal budget untouched and continuing to grow. In order to ultimately reduce the size of the Federal government, reforms must be enacted to welfare programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. If not, we will be subjected to ever increasing taxes and the loss of jobs as the Feds siphon off more and more revenue from the private sector.

In the end, while I believe Paygo is a good tool for fighting waste, it is useless in the hands of this Congress and President because they have neither the will, nor the ability to cut the Federal budget where it really matters.

Chris said...

Bruce what is wrong with the post? I take it you agree with it or at least you can't find any holes in it?

Bruce Fealk said...

And what would have happened if the debt limit wouldn't have been raised.

It's the Republicans that put the country in this mess, and they always leave the Democrats with their messes to clean up and when Democrats try to clean up the mess, we get stuck with the rhetoric that we're now hearing.

That's BS and you know it. So, Paygo doesn't affect some parts of the budget. The Republicans don't even want to appear to be fiscally responsible.

The economy in the hands of Republicans is a joke. They always screw things up.

Republicans are not to be trusted with our government. They have no idea how to govern. It's always ideology that governs and Republicans have no desire to solve problems, only create them.

Chris said...

Bruce Fealk said...
"And what would have happened if the debt limit wouldn't have been raised." They would have had to govern and make real lasting cuts. The kind of cuts that the next group of politicians will have to make. And when those politicians tell you you can't have that. You progressives will cry like a kid in the store when his mommy tells him NO. And yes it will be the Republicans that will get the blame for cutting programes that we the poeple can't afford any more. Bruce you are just mad because you didn't think anyone would show you the stupidity of your party. I'm sure djtyg and your new girlfriend JayNey. I'm sure they will say some smart like,"thats stupid" or "it's still Bush's fault". And you wonder why the nation is laughing at the Democrats responces and their inability to get anything done even though they have the largest majority in decades. This group of Democrats is an embarracement. The Democrat Party is a waste of time. They haven't gotten anything you guys wanted either so I don't know why you still love them.

Chris said...

They would have lived within their means. Is that so beyond you Bruce to have to make government live within a real and lasting budget? The only difference between the Fed and the starte government is the Fed can print money when we don't give them enough. We will pay for your shit either way Bruce. We will pay with inflation and the deflation of the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. But you Dems just wants whats you wants and you don't care who or what you distroy to get it. Lets see how long you baby boomers live on SSI when we have a Zimbabwe here in America. You will all be saving the planet then. Not by driving a Prius but by not eating. But you have all those deer around you you can eat.

Bruce Fealk said...

Chris, I'd like to seem some restraint in D.C. on spending too, but now is exactly the wrong time for it.

If we rein in spending too much, we will surely plunge back into a depression.

Even though we have come a long way since Bush left office, the economy is still fragile.