The House Speaker, in his inimitable snotty-ass frat boy way, called the latest estimate from the Congressional Budget Office that Trumpcare would cost 22 million people their insurance “bogus.” Because when it comes to bogus numbers, Ryan knows what he’s talking about.
Usually, though, his bogus numbers are dusted with unicorn poop and pixie dust and say that destroying the safety net and cutting taxes for the very rich will save the economy. When the numbers are real, that’s when Ryan gets it all wrong, as every former director that the CBO has ever had is happy to tell him—along with the rest of congressional leadership.
The undersigned represent every former Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). We write to express our strong objection to recent attacks on the integrity and professionalism of the agency and on the agency’s role in the legislative process.
CBO began serving the Congress in 1975. Over the past 42 years CBO has been firmly committed to providing nonpartisan and high-quality analysis — and that commitment remains as strong and effective today as it has been in the past. Because CBO works for the Congress, and only the Congress, the agency’s analysis addresses the unique needs of legislators.
To meet the standard of nonpartisan objectivity, CBO makes no recommendations about policy, regularly consults with researchers and practitioners with a wide range of views (as can be seen in the agency’s panels of advisers and reviewers for major studies), and enhances its transparency by releasing extensive descriptions of its analytic techniques and forecast record.
In other words, Mr. Ryan, they don’t follow your practice of pulling numbers out of their asses. Instead, and this is going to be a completely foreign concept to Ryan, they use a “detailed understanding of federal programs and economic conditions, ongoing interactions with government officials and private-sector experts, the best academic research.” Imagine that: Public servants who take their jobs and their duty to the nation so seriously that they use actual information that acknowledges reality. Again, this is going to go way over Ryan’s head.
But there just might be some Republican senator out there who takes her job seriously enough to pay attention to what the CBO is telling them, and to let their duty to their constituents—and to the damn nation—prevail.
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