Scroll for updates…9:54am Eastern…Boehner vows to do “everything we can to make sure this bill never, ever passes.”…Democrat whip James Clyburn announces the majority is “giddy” over the $940 billion price tag…
The CBO scoring of the House Demcare bill that the American people have not seen will be released this morning.
The poor number-crunchers have been working overtime as Speaker Pelosi and the Dems have re-jiggered and re-jiggered to meet farcical fiscal discipline goals. It’s Enron-style accounting and everyone knows it.
James Capretta at The Corner breaks it down:
The Washington Post reports today that CBO now says the latest version of the Democratic plan will no longer cut the deficit as the Democrats have claimed. That’s not surprising. To buy votes, they are upping the subsidies in the exchanges, expanding the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, delaying the Cadillac tax, and buying off countless members with other assorted and unseen deals (where are the C-SPAN cameras when you really need them?). Little wonder that even their phony deficit-reduction claims have now evaporated.
But the game is not over. Even now, they are going back to CBO with another bag full of tricks. They will never actually impose any sort of real budget discipline, of course. That would cost them votes. But no gimmick is too shameless for them; they will do anything if allows them to claim that enactment of another runaway entitlement program will actually improve our long-term budget outlook.
Fortunately, the public is not buying it. The American people see through the smokescreen. They know full well that Congress wants to put in place another unfinanced and expensive entitlement program, even as the federal government is piling up debt at a record pace. Which is why they are telling their elected representatives in every way they can to stop the madness already — and start over.
Question for the ruling majority: What is the role of the CBO?
Note this disturbing passage from The Hill:
Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.), leaving that same meeting, said that the delay is the result of numerous technical issues involved, and stressed that, despite any rumors to the contrary, the delays are not the result of policy problems.
“My understanding is this has been much more technical than substantive,” Andrews said. “It’s not like what tax has to go or what spending has to go.”
Andrews did say, though, that the CBO is also taking extra time to protect the legislation from invariable legal challenges to the reconciliation process, if not the eventual law itself.
“Protect the legislation” from legal challenges?
Is that in CBO’s mandate? Let’s check:
CBO’s mandate is to provide the Congress with:
* Objective, nonpartisan, and timely analyses to aid in economic and budgetary decisions on the wide array of programs covered by the federal budget and
* The information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process.
Nope, covering the Dems’ backsides ain’t in there.
Update: The number is out across the wires: $940 billion. Nothing on the CBO blog yet as of 9:30am, though. And we still haven’t seen the actual bill…
House Democrats say their plan that no one has seen yet “would cut the deficit by $130 billion over the next decade, and $1.2 trillion in the second decade of the plan’s implementation.”
Update: CBO report now posted. Director stresses that it is all “preliminary.” Read: Illusory.
Update: IBD’s Ed Carson outlines “Five Reasons The CBO Figures Are Phony.” Spread the word.
Update: At a press conference to trumpet the preliminary numbers that Dems are treating like definitive Scripture, Pelosi proclaims: “I love numbers. They’re so precise.”
So. Precisely. Bogus.