Progressives tried to block this important taxpayer protection

Progressives tried to block this important taxpayer protection
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Before Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems eye next stage in Mueller fight After Mueller, Democrats need to avoid the Javert trap More than a half-million web articles published on Russia, Trump, Mueller since investigation began: analysis 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-CortezEx-GOP lawmaker Handel to run for her former Georgia seat in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Mueller report is huge win for President Trump This week: Congress set for next stage of Mueller probe fight 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) KhannaHouse Oversight Dem wants Trump to release taxes and 'get it over with' Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Clinton and Ocasio-Cortez joke about Kushner's alleged use of WhatsApp 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) John RyanHouse Dem renews call for censuring Steve King The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms Hillicon Valley: Google takes heat at privacy hearing | 2020 Dems to debate 'monopoly power' | GOP rips net neutrality bill | Warren throws down gauntlet over big tech | New scrutiny for Trump over AT&T merger 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 SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersJam-packed primary poses a serious threat to Democrats in 2020 Treason narrative collapses; who bears responsibility? Pence hits 2020 Dems for skipping AIPAC 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.