President Obama renewed his call Saturday for a freeze on some domestic spending and also touted the reinstatement of a so-called Pay-Go law that requires Congress to limit spending increases as it writes the 2011 federal budget.
In his weekly radio address
, the president said he had signed the pay-as-you-go law on Friday along with language raising the debt ceiling to allow another $1.9 trillion in debt. The budgetary rule, in use off and on for the past two decades, is credited with helping Congress achieve a balanced budget in the late 1990s.
"In a perfect world, Congress would not need a law to act responsibly, to remember every dollar spent would come from the taxpayers today - or our chiildren tomorrow," Obama said ."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."
The Pay-Go law requires that future spending increases in certain programs be accompanied by tax increases or spending cuts in others. But it is not foolproof; it has many exemptions.
Obama is also asking Congress to freeze discretionary, non-defense related spending and cut $20 billion from the next budget.