Barack Obama, commentary, congress, Congrssional Budget Office, Democrats, election, health care, health care reform, House of Representatives, mitt romney, news, Newt Gingrich, opinion, politics, Republicans
Republicans hate the Congressional Budget office because it tells the truth, and the truth isn’t useful in an election campaign. Take Saturday’s Republican debate, for example. Mitt Romney said he will repeal “Obamacare”, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, and save $95 billion by his fourth year in office.
That sounds great, but it’s untrue. The CBO says the net reduction by the next President’s fourth year in office would only be $5 billion. And without the annual net deficit reductions the Affordable Care Act would enable, by 2018 a repeal will actually start costing the government money.
So to be honest Mitt Romney should say repeal of the act will save $95 billion by his fourth year in office, except when you take the cuts to Medicare and tax increases that are part of the act out of the equation. That results in a $5 billion savings. And with those cuts and taxes out of the picture going beyond that fourth year in office, repeal actually costs money.
But Mitt Romney isn’t going to say that because he wants to score points with fiscal conservatives. And saying to them you’ll “save” $95 billion is like dangling raw meat in front of cannibals. Who cares if it’s true or not? Not Mitt Romney.
Some Republicans want to change how the CBO operates, effectively pulling its teeth and reducing its influence over policy. Some like Newt Gingrich want to simply do away with the Office entirely because they see it as an obstacle to their legislative agenda. Every time the Republicans make broad claims that this-or-that Democrat initiative would cost money, the CBO comes-up with actual figures. Sometimes this makes the Democrats look like total spendthrifts. Other times it makes the Republicans look as if they can’t do basic math. When the CBO shoots-down some Democrat for making outrageous numerical claims the Republicans are the first to quote the Office. Every time the CBO catches the Republicans in an outright lie, the Office is “partisan” and an “obstacle”.
The CBO exists for one reason: to give taxpayers real information that cuts through the political b.s. the legislature spreads with a trowel. It obviously doesn’t exist as a resource for Congress to use, otherwise they wouldn’t make these ridiculous claims they make. In their zeal to tear apart anything and everything the Obama administration accomplishes Republicans don’t have time for correct facts and figures – they have lies to tell, and the CBO is an obstacle to that.