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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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