A critical decision facing the new Congressional majority is the appointment of a director for the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO acts, in the words of former Bush economic advisor and economics professor Greg Mankiw:
Someone recently said to me that the CBO director is not really a player in the political game. He is more like the referee. That analogy sheds light on why Doug is the right person for the job. What do you want in a good referee? Competence and impartiality. Doug has demonstrated both. He is a superb economist and, over the past six years as CBO director, has shown himself to be scrupulously non-partisan.
Reappointing Elmendorf would be a horrible decision because it not only keeps the office that scores all financial legislation in the hands of a dyed-in-the-wool leftist but it validates the way in which the Obama administration passed Obamacare.
As Ben Domench writes in The Transom:
Republicans on Capitol Hill are unlikely to listen to them, though, because they understand that by supporting Elmendorf, you are supporting Gruber. http://vlt.tc/1pwp Elmendorf’s reappointment will mean that Gruber’s deceptive modeling methods will be retained, and the games CBO has played with Obamacare under Elmendorf will continue.http://vlt.tc/1pyr What does that mean for any free market replacement for Obamacare? It will mean that it is scored according to Gruber and Elmendorf’s deceptive practices, which have continued in the years since its passage. http://vlt.tc/1k9o So long as Elmendorf leads CBO and employs Gruber’s methodology, free market health care policies are effectively DOA – no one should have confidence in the ability or interest of CBO to score them fairly. It’s time to clean house.
People are also policy. By keeping a partisan Democrat — he was a senior political appointee in the Clinton administration, a position you don’t get by being “neutral” and “bipartisan”– in a key position in Congress, the majority essentially gives the Democrats a veto over all tax and spending legislation and risks having initiatives sabotaged by a CBO that will be more than a little unclear on who is in charge. It also deprives the GOP of the opportunity to develop its own farm team. So long as we allow ourselves to be bullied into being “bipartisan” when we are in power and allowing Democrats to be unabashedly partisan when they are in the …read more