Senator Tom Coburn

Emergency Spending

A recent paper by Veronique de Rugy examines how policymakers use various budgeting gimmicks to increase spending and obscure liabilities. One particularly abusive mechanism is the designation of supplemental spending as an “emergency.” The emergency designation makes it easier for policymakers to skirt budgetary rules, particularly “pay-as-you-go” (PAYGO) requirements.

Washington Post Asks for Budget Plans

The Washington Post’s editorial board issued a challenge to the president and his Republican opponents: “show us your plans” for deficit reduction. In fact, the Post says it would be “delighted” to receive plans from its readers. However, the Post isn’t interested in “meaningless promises” to cut “waste, fraud, and abuse”—it wants specifics:

Obsession with Senate “Holds” Is Misguided

With the start of the 112th Congress, Senate Democrats have offered a set of rule changes, most of which are geared toward the filibuster.  Some of these changes, such as guaranteeing the minority at least three amendments, make a great deal of sense.  I’ve long thought that the practice of the majority leader (of any party) “filling the amendment tree” did not make for good legislating.  And I say that, recalling as a former Senate staffer, the practice made my life easier on numerous occasions.

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