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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gingrich and the Congressional Budget Office

Newt Gingrich wants to abolish the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), calling it "a reactionary socialist institution which does not believe in economic growth, does not believe in innovation and does not believe in data that it has not internally generated." Indeed, he has long been critical of CBO's budget estimates. At the same time, however, he has often used CBO data to make his points. Some examples:
  • "Among the worst offenses found in the law: $522 billion in destructive new taxes, much of them on medical devices and investments--exactly the sort of lifesaving breakthroughs that improve healthcare. $2,100 per family in higher premiums according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)." -- "ObamaCare: No Repeal, No Budget Deal," Human Events, October 23, 2011
  • "For the first time since its creation, Social Security is now operating in the red. The Congressional Budget Office says it will continue to operate at a loss until its structure is reformed." -- A Nation Like No Other, 2011, p. 186.
  • "In preparing for health reform in 2009, the Congressional Budge Office (CBO) estimated that litigation reform in medical malpractice would save the federal government $53 billion over 10 years." -- To Save America, 2011, p. 35.
  • "And health insurers will recoup the new $70 billion tax on them by raising your premiums -- so said Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director Douglas Elmendorf when discussing the proposed fee on insurers: `Our judgement is that that piece of legislation would raise insurance premiums by roughly the amount of money collected.'" -- To Save America, 2011, pp. 106-107.
  • "[Arthur Laffer and Steven Moore] cite a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study, backed up by a later Treasury Department study, finding that `from 1994 to 2004 Americans in the bottom 20 percent of income actually had the highest increase in incomes.'" -- To Save America, 2011, p. 186.
  • "And what could they [Obama supporters] possibly be saying about a budget that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted last week will lead to deficits $2.3 trillion larger than the Obama White House is telling us?" -- "Americans Are TEA'd," Human Events, March 25, 2009.
  • "Based on the bipartisan Medicare Electronic Medication and Safety Protection (E-Meds) Act, introduced by Sens. John Kerry and John Ensign, Medicare will now pay higher Medicare reimbursements to those doctors who use e-prescribing to improve care. The act also includes a financial penalty for those physicians who still refuse to e-prescribe. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this market-driven, carrot-and-stick approach will save Medicare $2.5 billion." --"Taking Health Care High-Tech Deserves Broad Support" (coauthored with Sen. John Kerry), San Jose Mercury News, August 1, 2008
  • "Now, I was here in the minority, I sat right there where the gentleman from California is sitting, in the Whip's chair, and I watched the President of the United States, Mr. Clinton, right there is his first speech to the Congress. And he said to us: `We should score all of these things with the Congressional Budget Office.' He said it. Why? Because historically it was more honest, it was more accurate, and it was not under the political control of the President. -- Congressional Record, November 15, 1995