Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Senate Nailbiter

In cliffhanger classic style this afternoon, the Senate rejected an amendment to the '07 budget framework which would have restored the "pay-as-you-go" requirements set aside in 2002. Had the amendment passed, any all tax cuts through 2011 would have had to be offset with decreases in spending, rather than resulting in increased deficit spending.

All 44 Democrats and Independent Jim Jeffords voted for the amendment, offered by Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). Four Republicans (Chafee, McCain, Snowe, Voinovich) joined them. The amendment failed 50-50.

Where is the fiscal sanity? Where is the spending discipline? Fifty Republican senators should be ashamed of themselves.

[Update: I can't count (I must have learned using Bush Administration math or something). It was five Republicans who stood for fiscal sanity: the fifth was Susan Collins, also of Maine.]


At 4:50 PM, Anonymous notherbob2 said...

You'll want to read the rest of the story. Moderates should not knee-jerk like liberals, but instead should get the facts before taking a position.
"The practical effect of this is to raise taxes," said Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire and chairman of the Budget Committee
Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, who emerged as a pivotal vote on the question because he had supported the pay-go concept in the past, said that since backers of the proposed enforcement rule would be unlikely to vote for the spending reductions needed to pay for tax breaks, "what they are going to do is vote not to have tax cuts."

At 10:25 PM, Blogger JBD said...

notherbob, I did read the Times story, and I think Gregg (and Coburn, who is normally a very good voice for fiscal responsibility) are making a specious argument. If Pay-Go were in effect, as it was until 2002, the Republicans would still be in the majority, and could turn back spending increases ... the issue is that too many Republicans have become as addicated to pork and increased spending as the Democrats have.

On the other hand, personally, I see tax increases as less horrible than a crippling deficit that my generation, my children and grandchildren will be paying back for years to come.


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