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GovernmentDemocratsThe Wall Street Journal has a really good editorial today on the Democrats and their “pay-as-you-go ruse” (subscription required). Some highlights:

Their ruse goes by the name of “pay-as-you-go” budgeting, which has the political virtue of sounding as if spending won’t be able to exceed revenue. Their Web site,, claims that pay-as-you-go policy “means that spending increases, as well as tax cuts, need to be offset by cuts in other areas — like fewer corporate tax breaks.”…

[I]n practice all they really do is constrain tax cuts, not new spending. That’s because paygo rules apply only to new or expanded entitlement programs, not to those that already exist and grow automatically with user demand…

The real game here is to make tax cutting all but impossible…

The House Democratic agenda promises “a new direction for America.” But when it comes to paygo and fiscal policy, the only change is their political marketing.

That last sentence is really the gist of it. The Democrats passed paygo when they ran the show in 1990 and it expired in 2002. How many tax cuts were passed in those twelve years versus the number of programs grew? The answer to that question will tell you all you need to know about paygo.

Written by Michael Turk