Morning Bell: The Obama PAYGO Farce

Conn Carroll /

Did you ever know anyone that would repeatedly go out to the bar, drink themselves unconscious, and then wake up the next morning and promise never to drink again? That is President Barack Obama when it comes to spending. This February, after signing the largest single-year increase in domestic federal spending since World War II, President Obama held a “fiscal responsibility” summit designed to “send a signal that we are serious” at putting the nation on sounder financial footing. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank quipped at the time: “Holding a ‘fiscal responsibility summit’ at the White House in the middle of a government spending spree is a bit like having an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at a frat house on homecoming weekend.”

Obama completed the exact same kabuki act yesterday, calling on Congress to pass “pay-as-you-go” legislation (PAYGO) the day after he promised faster deficit spending to stimulate the economy. Commenting on President Obama’s exemption for entitlement spending in his PAYGO legislation, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget President Maya MacGuineas said: “This is like quitting drinking, but making an exception for beer and hard liquor.”