Two of them — House Majority Leader Hoyer and House Education & Labor Committee Chair Miller — certainly use the right rhetoric in proposing “paygo” legislation, the underlying principle of which many people (including me) support.
- We know how empthy rhetoric and proposals can be — e.g., the Republican spendthrifts of ’00 to ’06.
We know that both rhetoric and proposals often get smashed to bits on the brick wall of political reality — e.g., fighting to continue defense spending in your district despite the military’s consensus that it’s no longer needed.
We also know that fiscal responsibility is too often advanced via actual and threatened tax increases rather than spending cuts — e.g., the recurring shadow of taxing employer-provided benefits in the current, circuitous health care debate.
So, yes, kudos to Reps. Hoyer and Miller for saying and proposing the right things. But I hope they’ll forgive me if I don’t celebrate just yet — if instead I play my Missouri “Show-Me” card and demand to see the rhetoric, and the legislation that rhetoric backs, put into practice, yielding results, before I believe any of it. (And yes, that goes for you, as well — times two — leaders of the GOP.)