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Letter: Devil is in the details

Several months ago Obama admonished Congress that it must be fiscally responsible and have a "pay as you go" policy.

Right. I ignored this as just rhetoric, considering how much the president had spent and was planning on spending.

I just received an e-newsletter from U.S. Rep. Ron Kind announcing that he voted for the PAY-GO act of 2009 and how it would restore fiscal discipline.

This made me curious, so I read the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill.

According to the CBO, "Compared with the Congress's current pay-as-you-go rules, H.R. 2920 could lead to higher spending or lower revenues in future years," and, "In particular, the legislation might increase deficits through three channels: The proposed temporary rule to score certain changes in spending and revenues relative to 'current policy' rather than current law; the bill's modification of the baseline's treatment of some expiring mandatory programs; and the new procedures the bill would put in place for scoring legislation that would convert programs' spending from discretionary to mandatory.

"In addition, some features of the bill's proposed sequestration mechanism would limit its usefulness in deterring increases in spending."

The new bill replaces the current PAY-GO rules with far less restrictions, convenient redefinitions, and passing spending authority to the executive branch. This is just a way to clear the path for spending on Obama's programs and make the public think our Congress is being fiscally responsible. Wisconsin and our nation deserve better than this.