Hoyer Has Persuaded Me to Oppose PAYGO

By David Swanson

This fact sheet from Steny Hoyer promoting PAYGO has persuaded me to oppose it. Here’s a key excerpt:

“Q. Why doesn’t PAYGO apply to funding for the war[s]?

PAYGO does not apply to any discretionary spending provided through the appropriations process, including supplemental appropriations. Discretionary spending is generally subject to the annual spending limits set in the budget resolution. Although funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan has been provided through emergency supplemental appropriations which are not subject to budget limits, President Obama has made it clear he intends to end this practice. In his letter requesting supplemental funding to cover the costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in this fiscal year he indicated that this was the last planned war supplemental, stating “We must break (the) recent tradition and include future military costs in the regular budget so that we have an honest, more accurate, and fiscally responsible estimate of Federal spending. And we should not label military costs as emergency funds so as to avoid our responsibility to abide by the spending limits set forth by Congress.”

Does this mean that PAYGO applies to supplementals? He doesn’t make that clear.

But he does make clear that it does NOT apply to military and non-supplemental war spending. If that is the case, I oppose PAYGO. Unless it can be altered.