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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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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