Republicans Getting Ready to Jettison CBO

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Last month, OMB chief Mick Mulvaney was griping about the CBO. This seemed kind of pointless, since the CBO exists and it obviously isn’t going anywhere in the short term. So why bother? My guess was that Mulvaney was just preparing the ground for a flank attack on the CBO’s tendency to produce inconvenient estimates:

It turns out that the Senate Budget Committee isn’t actually required to use CBO estimates. They always have in the past, but that’s a custom, not a rule. They have the authority to make their own estimates, and all it takes to make them stick is a majority vote in the committee.

Mulvaney is basically trying to start up a campaign to put some spine into the SBC’s Republican members to ignore the CBO and simply score the tax bill using a model that will pronounce it deficit-neutral. That’s what this is all about.

As happens so often, I was a little too timid. This was the point of Mulvaney’s public complaints, but Republicans aren’t waiting for the tax bill to make up their own scores. It looks like they plan to do it right now:

And there you have it. Just ask some friends at HHS to make up a score, have the committee chair bless it, and off we go.

Is the score anywhere close to reality? Maybe. Maybe not. Does it really matter anyway? In the long run, the heat death of the universe will get us all one way or another.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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