Thursday, February 10, 2011

Is the CBO nonpartisan?

One of the clichés I often hear is the “nonpartisan” nature of the CBO. As such, its budgetary projections can be trusted.

But is the CBO nonpartisan? To my knowledge, the CBO is far from nonpartisan. To the contrary, the CBO is highly partisan. It simply mirrors whichever party happens to be in power at any particular time.

The CBO crunches the numbers, but it must accept the budgetary gimmicks stipulated by the party in power as its starting point. So the CBO is a highly partisan scorekeeper. It merely changes teams from one election cycle to another, depending on the balance of power. Its estimates will always be partisan estimates. 

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