Imagine your frustration if a sportscaster never gave you the right score of your favorite team. That is the frustration Republican members of Congress have with the scores given by the Congressional Budget Office. But it really isn’t their fault since they must score legislation based on the gimmicks written into the bills.
Senator John Cornyn wants an honest cost estimate of the tax and spending bill now before the US Senate. He argues, “The American people deserve more than smoke-and-mirror accounting from Washington, DC.” That is the request he made in a letter to the heads of the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
Both agencies released scores for the bill that the House passed and sent to the Senate. Even using their accounting, you have a bill that spends $1.6 trillion while only raising $1.3 trillion in taxes.
One organization not required to accept these budget gimmicks estimates the bill would require $4.6 trillion in spending. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget set the figure at $4.9 trillion.
Why the difference between the CBO estimate and the others? The bill sets arbitrary sunsets and expirations to make the legislation look less expensive but have no bearing on reality. Once these child allowances and tax credits are given, it is unlikely any would ever be revoked. Former president Ronald Reagan observed that, “The closest thing to eternal life on earth is a government program.”
If this inaccurate cost estimate isn’t bad enough, you still have members of the Biden administration arguing that spending trillions of dollars on new government programs won’t cost anything. Talk about an economic statement completely divorced from reality. Here’s hoping that someone in one of these agencies is finally willing to get the score right.