01.05.07

Restoring the PAYGO Rules

I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I rise to speak very strongly in favor of these PAYGO rules as a very strong step to restoring fiscal responsibility to this House.

Over the last 6 years, the President and the Republican-controlled Congress essentially had a policy of borrow and spend. We didn't have the discipline to turn down new spending requests; we didn't have the discipline to pay for additional tax cuts. We even had, in the most ironic of weeks, a situation where we voted to increase the national debt by $800 billion in the same week we voted to cut taxes by $800 billion, and we made it very clear that we were borrowing the money to fund these additional tax cuts.   

This is not the way to restore fiscal responsibility to this House. PAYGO is. The first rule of PAYGO is when you are in a hole, as we are in, when you are in a budgetary hole, stop digging. If we want new spending, we need to find a way to pay for it. If we want new tax cuts, that is great, too, we need to find a way to pay for it. And we cannot pay for it by asking these young men and women fighting for us in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere to come home and pay for it later and have their children pay for it. Because right now all we are doing is shifting this obligation onto our children and grandchildren. That has got to stop.