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Did Obama Just Renounce Pay-Go?

barack-obama-mosaic-of-people.thumbnail.jpgMatt Stoller thinks he did so in this excerpt:

Now, what is true is that Senator McCain and I have a difference in terms of the need to invest in America and the American people. I mentioned health care earlier.

If we make investments now so that people have coverage, that we are preventing diseases, that will save on Medicare and Medicaid in the future.

If we invest in a serious energy policy, that will save in the amount of money we’re borrowing from China to send to Saudi Arabia.

If we invest now in our young people and their ability to go to college, that will allow them to drive this economy into the 21st century.

But what is absolutely true is that, once we get through this economic crisis and some of the specific proposals to get us out of this slump, that we’re not going to be able to go back to our profligate ways.

Seems like a declaration of a principle that it’s ok to spend money without countervailing cuts or taxes as long as that money is an investment.  That’s a partial renunciation of pay-go.  I’d also say that relief spending like welfare, food stamps and unemployment benefit extensions should be exempted from pay-go as well, at least until after the crisis.  Of course, I think the US has more severe problems than Obama does.  Nonetheless, this is good to hear, and Obama deserves praise for it.

The job now is to make sure that he doesn’t change his mind.

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Ian Welsh

Ian Welsh

Ian Welsh was the Managing Editor of FireDogLake and the Agonist. His work has also appeared at Huffington Post, Alternet, and Truthout, as well as the now defunct Blogging of the President (BOPNews). In Canada his work has appeared in and BlogsCanada. He is also a social media strategy consultant and currently lives in Toronto.

His homeblog is at