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Must Be an Election Year – Kagen’s Talking Fiscal Restraint

It’s only February, and already the bullshit from everyone’s favorite “tall-tale spinner” (We still don’t know what’s happened in that White House bathroom from Kagen’s point of view; and I actually had the chance to speak to Karl Rove’s Deputy on the matter.  He told me the allergist-turned Congressman was ‘full of it.’) is back trying to tell us he actually cares and listens to concerns from his constituents when it comes to their concerns about government spending.

Kagen is back today with a column in today’s Gannett Wisconsin papers in Appleton and Green Bay talking about the ‘evils of government spending and debt’ as he pulls the wool over our eyes with the Democratic “spending control” otherwise known as the fallacy of PAY-GO.

That’s rather rich when you think about it and look at the guy’s record.

1) If John Gard hadn’t run an attack ad on TARP, he probably would have voted for it.

2) Only voted against Auto Bailout because he was urged to by local unionized paper mill workers of a closed mill in Kimberly owned by a subsidiary of Cerberus; which also owned Chrysler.  (Since then Cerberus has dropped both Chrysler and New Page from their holdings.  Both New Page plants in his district remain closed, one of which New Page is still trying to sell.)

3) Voted for and continues to tout the $826 Billion Stimulus package in the press and in press releases.

4) Voted JUST LAST WEEK to expand the national debt ceiling by nearly two trillion dollars.

So, here’s portions of Kagen’s column.  After which, I’ll do what I always do when Kagen does his “I’ll fool ’em” act on PAY-GO; answer a native Appletonian with another native Appletonian.

When I was elected in 2006, the people in power in Washington were pursuing borrow-and-spend policies that drove our economy into the ditch. Money that our country didn’t have was being spent on waging two wars; simultaneously the wealthiest Americans were given not one, but two cuts in their taxes; a $400 billion handout was given to big drug companies, and a trillion dollar bailout was made of Wall Street. And, instead of figuring out how to pay for all of it, they asked our children and grandchildren pick up the tab.

Enough is enough. We must all live within our means. Our government must invest in our own people right here at home, not on Wall Street or overseas, to rebuild our own economy and grow the jobs we need to work our way through today’s recession.

Pay-As-You-Go rules were successful in the 1990s, and this is exactly the medicine we need to begin to turn today’s enormous debts into future surpluses. That is why I strongly supported the passage of Statutory Pay-As-You-Go rules, just as I have seven previous times during my public service.

Statutory Pay-As-You-Go forces Congress to make the necessary choices on how our tax dollars are spent. Pay-As-You-Go requires Congress to offset any new spending with either new revenues or a cut elsewhere in the budget. If any legislation enacted by Congress increases the deficit, it would trigger an automatic across-the-board cut in certain programs.

It is really a simple, responsible idea: Washington must live within its means and pay its bills on time, just as we do around our own kitchen tables every month across Wisconsin.

Wow, sounds sincere huh?  Too bad it’s all bull according to the Heritage Foundation’s top budget guy (and personal friend of mine) Brian Riedl.

1) PAYGO has never been enforced

  • During the 1991-2002 round of statutory PAYGO, Congress and the President still added more than $700 billion to the budget deficit and simply cancelled every single sequestration that would have enforced PAYGO.
  • Since the 2007 creation of the PAYGO rule, Congress has waived it numerous times in order to add $600 billion to the deficit. In fact, the entire “stimulus” bill violated PAYGO; Congress simply ignored the rule.

2) PAYGO’s design is flawed

  • PAYGO exempts all discretionary spending, and would also allow all current entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to continue growing on autopilot. It affects only new entitlements or tax cuts that may be created in the future.
  • Even if PAYGO were fully enforced, entitlement spending would still grow 6 percent annually, and discretionary spending could grow without limit.

Already this year Obama expanded Medicaid liabilities by $200 billion over 10 years, and he is now pushing a public health insurance option that would cost $452 billion per year, or more than $6 trillion over a 10-year period. How does Obama plan to pay for all this new spending under his new PAYGO legislation? He doesn’t.

1) PAYGO has never been enforced

  • During the 1991-2002 round of statutory PAYGO, Congress and the President still added more than $700 billion to the budget deficit and simply cancelled every single sequestration that would have enforced PAYGO.
  • Since the 2007 creation of the PAYGO rule, Congress has waived it numerous times in order to add $600 billion to the deficit. In fact, the entire “stimulus” bill violated PAYGO; Congress simply ignored the rule.

2) PAYGO’s design is flawed

  • PAYGO exempts all discretionary spending, and would also allow all current entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to continue growing on autopilot. It affects only new entitlements or tax cuts that may be created in the future.
  • Even if PAYGO were fully enforced, entitlement spending would still grow 6 percent annually, and discretionary spending could grow without limit.

Already this year Obama expanded Medicaid liabilities by $200 billion over 10 years, and he is now pushing a public health insurance option that would cost $452 billion per year, or more than $6 trillion over a 10-year period. How does Obama plan to pay for all this new spending under his new PAYGO legislation? He doesn’t.

PAYGO is a fallacy, and will not control spending one bit. Kagen clings to it like Linus clings to his blanket because he believes if he can continue to pull the wool over enough eyes by November, he won’t suffer the fate of Robert Cornell and Jay Johnson — short terms for a Democrat in Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District.

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  • rono44o

    The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste focused on forty-eight votes in the 2008 session of Congress, votes which had a direct negative or positive effect on the taxpayer. A 100% rating means the congressperson voted for the taxpayer all forty-eight times. Representative Kagan's rating was 8%, with a lifetime rating of 7%, the lowest of the Wisconsin delegation. For comparison purposes, Petri, Ryan, and Sensenbrenner scored 83%, 91%, and 93% respectively. A fiscal conservative Kagan is not!

  • kevinbinversie

    <sarcasm>But Kagen likes to tell us he's just like his district: Fiscally
    Conservative and Socially Liberal. He wouldn't be lying to us would
    he?</sarcasm>