Monday, February 23

Congress should keep Pay-go

More info from the Hill:

The bottom line is that Democrats have made exceptions to the rule on pay-go over the last couple years, and Blue Dogs want that to stop.

Obama has proposed offsets for his domestic policy initiatives, including raising taxes on those making over $250,000 a year. But offsets are hard to find — especially uncontroversial ones.

If Democrats can’t pass the AMT with offsets in 2009, they will not be able this time to blame the GOP; they have a strong working majority in the upper chamber and they will own future failures as much as future successes.

Democrats will not be able to keep all their campaign promises. In his acceptance speech, Obama noted that he may not be able to do everything in his first term.

Will there be pay-go exceptions in the next Congress? If not, will liberal members accept a more modest policy agenda? Or will Democrats take on huge battles with powerful industry groups in search of offsets?

One way or the other, Democrats will need to have a long discussion about the future of pay-go. Otherwise, it will become a fierce intra-party fight.