Why the Left is Hyperventilating Over Dynamic Scoring


The Left is so used to controlling information that they believe it to be their birthright.  For nearly 100 years, they’ve assumed the mantle of impartiality simply to cover their own failed policy aspirations.  Now they are all going bat-guano crazy because the Republican majority in Congress wants to make a small dent in the gleaming fact-fogging machine the Left has built, by directing the Congressional Budget Office to use “dynamic scoring”.  Yawn.

A quick explanation:  if you raise or lower taxes, what will be the effect on consumer and business behavior?  Will businesses hire more and produce more if corporate taxes are reduced?  Will individuals buy more cars if you offer them “cash for clunkers”?  There’s no end of real world data that can predict these results.  Using that data and generating the predictions is dynamic scoring.  Without it, liberals can concoct all kinds of great-sounding policies straight from the manure pile of failed Marxist experiments and sell them as “revenue neutral” or “debt reducing”.  Dynamic scoring simply exposes the flaws in those ideas with real world analysis.

And that has the Left running so scared—like in the Lord of the Rings, Sauron’s realization that Frodo and the Ring of Power are at the Crack of Doom about to drop it in—that they’ve dispatched all their winged Nazgûl to stop it.  Obama stooge Jonathan Chait wrote in New York Magazine,

The Congressional Budget Office is a 40-year-old institution that has acquired enormous clout within Washington by virtue of its reputation for ideological neutrality. It furnishes Congress and the public with budgetary estimates that, if necessarily imperfect (as all predictions must be), are arrived at fairly. It is also a perfect modern expression of an old Progressive Era–ideal: that policymakers should be informed by the work of impartial experts. That the conservative majority has set out to corrupt this institution as one of its first major acts is, therefore, perfectly fitting.

“Impartial experts” means properly vetted ideologues who toe the Left’s position.  Chait doesn’t even try to cover this up.

The old methods CBO used to measure legislation would account for changes in behavior that a new law might create. (Say, higher cigarette taxes would lead to less smoking.) They did not attempt to measure legislation’s impact on the economy as a whole.

The “old methods” are based on a failed social engineering agenda, baked in with liberal assumptions (such as you can tax undesirable behavior into extinction, and people won’t find other ways to feed their habits; or you can simply raise taxes on corporations and they’ll stay in the U.S. and pay them versus leaving).

Matthew Yglesias called dynamic scoring “magic budget math” and trotted out the Laffer Curve along with his disco ball, again, not even attempting to cover up his “optics”,

Practically speaking, the scores matter because perceptions matter in politics. “Congress passes revenue-neutral tax reform” sounds better than “Congress passes deficit-increasing corporate tax cut.”

The Left wants to control all information, and make everything Republicans do look bad, and everything Democrats do look good.  It doesn’t matter what the facts say.  David Weigel calls ditching CBO chief Doug Elmendorf “partisan accounting”, as if 40 years of partisan accounting by the Left is somehow impartial.

Seeing the Left’s media warhorses all lathered up over dynamic scoring means it’s the right thing to do.  Maybe now we’ll start to see the insanity of doing the same stupid math tricks over and over and expecting different results.