When Republicans take full control of Congress on Jan. 6, they will face decisions on major changes at the Congressional Budget Office, including possibly naming a new head and changing the rules used to assess the cost of legislation.
Conservative groups have been calling for the replacement of CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, who was appointed by Democrats in 2009 and whose term expires next month. They argue that a Republican-leaning economist would more readily adopt a cost analysis known as “dynamic scoring” that incorporates expectations of higher economic growth associated with legislation.
Analyses by the CBO, a non-partisan office, show how much a bill would increase or decrease the federal budget deficit over a 10-year period.
The budget math used under dynamic scoring has long been a goal for Republican lawmakers, including the incoming chairman of the House Budget Committee, Representative Tom Price, and the current chairman, Paul Ryan, who next month will take over the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.
Under current congressional analysis rules, if a bill cuts tax rates, government revenues fall. Dynamic scoring assumes that lower tax rates would boost growth and income, helping to offset at least some of the lost revenues.
Higher tax rates are always onerous but lower ones can have very positive effects, so why not factor that potential in? Unless, of course, you’re on the side that now calls taxes “revenues” all the time in an attempt to dupe the American people into feeling better about having income confiscated from them. Or you’re deliberately trying to avoid a conversation about the economy-stimulating effects of less confiscatory behavior on the part of our, ahem, “representatives”.
So you can see why Democrats will probably be opposed to a change like this.