The plan, which is supposedly going to be detailed in Wednesday's State of the Union address, has given the normal front-page diarists at the Daily Kos the vapors, and the comment sections of Balloon Juice and other left-leaning blogs are aflame with threats of defection and complete withdrawals of support for Obama.
Now, on the surface, I'm not a huge fan of this idea. There are parallels between this and FDR's similar move in 1937, and that didn't work out well for FDR -- the economic gains of five straight years of stimulus took a serious dent when he cut spending in 1937, and it cost the Democrats 79 seats in the House in 1938. Cutting spending during a bad recession, when the focus needs to be on job creation, is not the soundest economic strategy in the books.
However, at the same time, we simply cannot continue to run up massive deficits. The Chinese are starting to get skittish, and since they are the ones who are basically financing our country by buying treasury bonds and making it so we don't have to print up more money and send inflation spiraling out of control, it behooves us to make sure they're happy. Getting unemployment below 10 percent doesn't mean jack shit if we're financially insolvent.
So, to my people on the left side of the aisle, can we possibly -- and I know this isn't the liberal way -- chill the hell out until we actually see what Obama wants to do? Seriously. Relax. Bump a Xanax and calm down.
[UPDATE] This move is exactly what Obama promised to do during the campaign.
Reinstate PAYGO Rules: Obama and Biden believe that a critical step in restoring fiscal discipline is enforcing pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting rules which require new spending commitments or tax changes to be paid for by cuts to other programs or new revenue.