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Numbers Game: House Repubs Say CBO Report is Opinion

January 6, 2011

I just reported on this and sure enough, the Washington Post did too. It’s business as usual with House Speaker Boehner and the House Republicans

At a Capitol press conference, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) accused Republicans of “replacing pay-as-you-go with pretend-as-you-go,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said the GOP is practicing “voodoo economics” and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Democrats “are calling [Republicans] on what they campaigned on.”

Senate Democrats argue that the new House rules on budgeting contain broad exemptions that would result in ballooning the deficit over the next decade. Their $1 trillion figure is based on estimates that repealing the national health care law would up the deficit by $143 billion, extending the Bush-era tax cuts for upper-earners will cost $565 billion, permanently extending the $5 million estate tax exemption would cost $308 billion and a 20-percent gross income tax deduction for business would cost $50 billion.

House Republicans have pushed back against the health care repeal figure, arguing that estimates provided by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are not accurate.

If the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is not accurate what are the House Republicans basing their numbers on? Oh, I know, they are guestimating using their own House Budget estimates, literally, they are and that just ain’t fair. Rather than all parties working from the same set of numbers, the Republicans are making their own rules and want the others to play by them. Now that is NOT transparency. That is not humility. That is rigging the game.

The Post also reported…..The CBO estimate, released Thursday morning, stated that the $230 billion figure was still a tentative one, comprised of $130 billion in net deficit reduction brought about by the law, $15 billion in reductions brought about by the Medicare and Medicare Extenders Act of 2010 and an additional $80 billion to $90 billion due to the different time horizons for the repeal legislation and the health care overhaul itself.

The House Budget Committee on Thursday released its own estimate projecting that the health care overhaul will end up adding $701 billion to the deficit over 10 years and wind up costing taxpayers a total of $2.6 trillion.

In disputing the CBO report, Boehner argued that the budget office “can only provide a score based on the assumptions that are given to them, and if you go back and look at the health-care bill and the assumptions that were given to them, you see all of the double-counting that went on.”

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