The Democratic controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to change the budget rules for the U.S. House. They went back to a system that the Republicans used during Clinton's presidency, but abandoned when George W. Bush became president. The system's nickname is PayGo and works like this: any new spending increase proposed has to be backed by either tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere and any new tax cuts have to be backed by either spending cuts or tax increases elsewhere. (You can link to the CBS News story about PayGo by clicking on the arrow next to this entry's title.)
Adopting PayGo will help to restore fiscal sanity to Congress, but only a third of the Republicans voted for it. Why? Because it will make it harder to extend Bush's reckless tax cuts when they expire in 2010. Given a choice between cutting taxes and moving toward a balanced budget, most Republicans chose cutting taxes. This vote, more than any other that will be taken this session, shows that Republicans are not the party of fiscal responsibility, they are the party of reckless tax cutting. Republicans used to call Democrats "tax and spend liberals". Well, the vote on PayGo shows that they are "borrow and spend radical conservatives."