The CBO Director You DIDN’T Hear From
Posted by Anthony on March 22, 2010
A fantastic op-ed from the New York Times, posted Saturday. Think anyone saw it? Me neither.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who was the director of the Congressional Budget Office from 2003 to 2005, is the president of the American Action Forum, a policy institute.
ON Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office reported that, if enacted, the latest health care reform legislation would, over the next 10 years, cost about $950 billion, but because it would raise some revenues and lower some costs, it would also lower federal deficits by $138 billion. In other words, a bill that would set up two new entitlement spending programs — health insurance subsidies and long-term health care benefits — would actually improve the nation’s bottom line.
Could this really be true? How can the budget office give a green light to a bill that commits the federal government to spending nearly $1 trillion more over the next 10 years?
The answer, unfortunately, is that the budget office is required to take written legislation at face value and not second-guess the plausibility of what it is handed. So fantasy in, fantasy out.
That is basically what the scoring is; fantasy in, fantasy out. The little tricks the Democrats played can’t fool everyone. So does the bill really lower the deficit?
In reality, if you strip out all the gimmicks and budgetary games and rework the calculus, a wholly different picture emerges: The health care reform legislation would raise, not lower, federal deficits, by $562 billion.
Aha! So they…lied? Well at least the CBO isn’t partisan…is it?
Even after all of the waste is spent, there will still be 18 million uninsured in 2019. But think of the glass as half full! With the pattern Congress has taken, passing bills before reading them and “fixing” them later, that number may go down!