Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sapping Our Self-Reliance

Something similar happened recently when Sen. Jim Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky who isn’t seeking re-election, temporarily held up a $10 billion spending bill that was to extend temporary unemployment benefits, make Medicare payments to doctors and provide satellite TV for rural Americans. Many on the Left painted Bunning as a cranky man who wanted to leave workers unemployed, without access to a doctor and with nothing but snow on their big-screen TVs. Yet his point was important. Congress, after all passed a “PayGo” law this year, saying that any new federal spending had to be offset by eliminating an equal amount elsewhere in the budget. But when it came time to pass the latest $10 billion extension, lawmakers simply labeled it “emergency spending” and added it to the deficit, ignoring their legal duty to offset the new spending. This is absurd. If they can’t find $10 billion to trim to comply with its own law, can we really expect them to make difficult budget decisions in the years and decades ahead? more

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