Progressives tried to block this important taxpayer protection

Progressives tried to block this important taxpayer protection
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Before Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump tweets as tensions escalate across US Judd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE was even handed the gavel as Speaker, she faced rebellion from the far left of her party over a previously uncontroversial House rule known as “pay as you go,” commonly referred to as PAYGO. The rule, which is distinct but similar to a federal law that goes by the same name, requires the House to offset entitlement spending with budget cuts or tax increases so they do not create a net increase in the federal deficit, which the Congressional Budget Office predicts will add $12.4 trillion to the national debt over the next decade based on existing law alone.

PAYGO was first signed into law by President Bush in 1990, and then again by President Obama in 2010, yet rabble rousing radicals like New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezTrump says he will designate antifa a terrorist organization Ocasio-Cortez rips de Blasio after police cruiser drives into crowd of protesters NYPD police cruisers lurch through group of demonstrators protesting Floyd's death MORE placed the bipartisan measure in their crosshairs because they believe it impedes their extremist ambitions. Before she was even sworn in, Ocasio-Cortez decried the rule as “bad economics” and a “dark political maneuver.” California Representative Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaHillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues Khanna calls for internet 'fairness doctrine' in response to controversial Trump tweets Khanna: Coronavirus has 'accelerated' the need for rural broadband MORE also called it “terrible economics” and has urged his fellow Democrats not to embrace the “1990s playbook of fiscal responsibility.”

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In actuality, though, the rule is an important safeguard that is intended to protect taxpayers from deficit spending that would result from the costly policies that progressive Democrats hope to enact. It is based on the same advice we give our children to spend only what you have. Americans should be able to rely on Congress to show the same fiscal restraint. Instead, Democrats like Ohio Representative Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanCongress must fill the leadership void Pelosi pushes to unite party on coronavirus bill despite grumbling from left Democrats rally behind monthly ,000 relief checks MORE are openly fretting that the measure would “handcuff” the party, and in the process revealing that they would have no problem imposing massive new costs on taxpayers with absolutely no plan for how to pay for them.

Especially now, with a growing progressive bloc in Congress pulling the Democratic agenda further to the left, the rule is critical as a check against liberals who seek to implement a massive portfolio of socialist policies that would cost taxpayers tens of trillions of dollars in coming years. The “Medicare for All” proposal by Senator Bernie SandersBernie SandersJudd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Biden's 'allies' gearing up to sink his campaign Expanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support MORE, for instance, would cost $32 trillion over the next decade, which Congress could only pay for by doubling tax rates on hard working Americans.

Similarly, the progressive dream of “upgrading every residential and industrial building” would cost more than $1.3 trillion, and that is only a small part of the “Green New Deal” that radicals such as Khanna and Ocasio-Cortez are demanding. In total, the extensive wishlist of the latter, which also includes federal job guarantees with a $6.8 trillion price tag and student loan forgiveness with $1.4 trillion price tag, would cost more than $42.5 trillion over the next decade. Ocasio-Cortez dodged questions in a recent interview on how she would pay for these initiatives, but admitted that taxing wealthy individuals and corporations would only produce $2 trillion in new revenue in the span of an entire decade.

This radical economic agenda reveals the fresh character of the once centrist Democrats. Leaders who were once considered progressive firebrands, such as Pelosi, are now the relative moderates in a party that is increasingly dominated by Ocasio-Cortez and her coalition of likeminded extreme liberals. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE called Ocasio-Cortez “the future of our party.” He is right. According to a University of Chicago survey, 61 percent of millennials across the country have a positive view of socialism, meaning there is a strong possibility that Democratic policies will only drift further to the left in the near future.

That is why the current battle over PAYGO is so important. The Democratic insurgents who sought to squelch the rule were hoping to deal a major blow to a longstanding precedent that has protected taxpayers from congressional excess for decades. The rule survived their challenge, but the fact that it became an object of controversy in the first place is a worrying sign about the direction in which the Democrats are heading.

Mike Huckabee served as the governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007.