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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Congress will have final say on PAYGO enactment

I read with interest Randall Burg’s “doom and gloom” prediction of cuts in programs affecting seniors, children and farmers if the Republican tax plan is passed (Letters, Dec. 13). I originally thought Mr. Burg meant that there was explicit language in the tax plan that would enforce these cuts, which there is not. I realize now he was referring to the PAYGO act (Pay-As-You-Go). Although he is correct in that the PAYGO act does exist (it was first established in 1990 and last updated in 2010), it still will have no effect because the cuts most likely will not happen.

This is due to information that Mr. Burg conveniently left out. I refer Mr. Burg and the Pioneer’s readers to the reality that PAYGO is not enforced on major bills because Congress can simply vote to waive the provisions from being enacted. This was done for example, with the permanent extension of most of the Bush tax laws in 2012 as well as Obama’s stimulus plan in 2009.

Congress can waive PAYGO with a simple majority in the House, but needs 60 votes in the Senate. Obtaining enough votes in the House won’t be an issue due to the strong majority the Republicans have. In the Senate, most if not all the Republicans will vote to waive PAYGO, as they will not want to have any negative issues affecting all the positive impacts this tax bill will have on our economy and the middle class. To get the 60 votes needed, it will take 8-12 Democrats to vote for the waiver. So if these cuts were to actually take place, ironically it would be due to the Democrats refusing to vote to waive PAYGO. They would be placing their thirst to fight Trump at every turn over the welfare of the very groups they profess to support.

It seems every time Trump and/or the Republicans remove a burdensome law or propose to pass legislation, the left screams the “sky is falling.” Yet somehow the sky is still there. There is an easy solution to this. Everyone who is against the tax cut can just do their 2018 taxes under both the new tax laws and the current ones. The tax savings they receive under the new law can simply be paid back to the federal government. I believe they will accept cash, check or a credit card.

Dan Jurek

Bemidji

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