That is what Obama is talking about today:
Obama used his weekly radio address to report that he signed into law on Friday night the legislation commonly known on Capitol Hill as “Pay-Go,” which has been used sporadically over the past 20 years by congressional budget-writers. Obama also repeated his call for $20 billion in budget cuts, a freeze in certain government spending, and the creation of a fiscal commission.
But it was the pay-go legislation that highlighted the address. Obama credited the concept with the balanced budgets of the 1990s and its abandonment for the deficits of the past decade. He signed the law as part of a larger measure that raised the government’s debt ceiling from $12.4 trillion to $14.3 trillion, as Congress authorized in a divisive vote last month. Obama’s address did not mention the debt ceiling increase.
“In a perfect world, Congress would not have needed a law to act responsibly, to remember that every dollar spent would come from taxpayers today – or our children tomorrow,” Obama said of the pay-go law.
“But this isn’t a perfect world. This is Washington. And while in theory there is bipartisan agreement on moving on balanced budgets, in practice, this responsibility for the future is often overwhelmed by the politics of the moment. It falls prey to the pressure of special interests, to the pull of local concerns, and to a reality familiar to every single American – the fact that it is a lot easier to spend a dollar than save one. That is why this rule is necessary.”
The pay-go concept has a rocky past on Capitol Hill. First used as part of federal budget legislation in 1990, it fell into disuse starting in 1998 and expired completely in 2002. It was re-established as a House rule — not a law — in early 2007, but was again waived in 2008.
Hrmm. What happened between 2002-2007? Who was President? Who was running the show in those years? Ah, yeah. The fiscal conservatives.