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“It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low, and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now.” Who said it? Also, it’s time to fix the CBO.

President John F. Kennedy, in a December 1962 speech to the Economic Club of New York.

Obama and the Democrats consider any tax cut as a reduction in government revenue. Obviously that implies that ALL income belongs to the government..and the government will decide how much it’s willing to let us keep.

If the Democrats can still view the decade old Bush tax cuts as a transitory aberration, then it is time for the GOP to reshape the argument.  The new talking point should be:

“It’s time to make the JFK tax cuts permanent!”

Just saying it, over and over, every time a Dem rails against the Bush tax cuts, would be very effective. “Bush tax cuts” is a Dem mantra. In a 15 second sound bite, it’s hard to refute. So, counter it with another one. Perhaps Obama, Biden, Pelosi, et al will say that were JFK alive today, he’d probably admit that he’d “made a  mistake” in calling for tax cuts. Right..let’s see how that plays out. They always go back to the New Deal, the “safety net” as though it’s inviolate. Well, lower tax rates should be viewed in the same context.

Recall Scott Brown’s campaign for the Senate. He ran an ad showing JFK calling for lower taxes, and then Kennedy morphed into Brown’s image saying the same. It was wildly successful, went viral on the internet, and gave the sense, ( before polls showed how well he was doing) that Brown had a real chance. Some may say that this works only in Mass, where the Kennedy name is universally recognized, but I believe that that nationwide, the same image would appeal to the blue dog, Reagan Dems..that large constituency who often vote Dem but are increasingly more and more uncomfortable with the far left agenda of the Dems in Washington.

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It’s time to fix the Congressional Budget Office.

Eric has a superb column today, discussing how the CR being voted on today by the House, in reality cuts no more than a few hundred million from the budget, rather than the much ballyhooed $38 billion.  The source of this telling analysis is the CBO. Good for them. A great job of crunching the numbers.

On its home page, the CBO states that its mandate is to provide the Congress with:

“Objective, nonpartisan, and timely analysis to aid in economic and budgetary decisions on a wide array of programs covered by the federal budget, and

The information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process.”

However, go back to the debate over Obama. The same CBO stated that it would save a trillion, and cost hundreds of billions less than the true number.  Pure BS, as we now all know. And how does this happen?Well, the CBO is required to accept, at face value, whatever assumptions are made in the bill, or presented to them. Which basically means that the analysis is worthless. It’s GIGO..garbage in, garbage out.

Ultimately, everything that happens in DC is driven by political considerations. That’s never going to change. And when one party controls the entire government, even a “non-partisan” entity will sniff the political winds. The House needs to change the way the CBO operates, and generates its analyses.

At the very least, every report should be required to offer an opinion as to the veracity and viability of the assumptions that were presented to the CBO with the bill in question. Also, these reports are not generated in a vacuum, by one individual in a locked room.  When there is significant disagreement within the staff of the CBO, there should be a way for an alternative opinion to be expressed, just as an appeals court can have dissenting opinions attached to a majority decision.

Mark Twain popularized the phrase “lies, damn lies, and statistics.”  That’s the ultimate expression of contempt for so-called independent financial analysis.

As the country embarks, over the next two years, on the debate over the momentous fiscal challenges facing us, and how to fix the problem, the CBO will be an important player in that discussion. Think about it. It was,  in effect, the bogus CBO assessment of the costs of Obamacare that enabled the bill to pass..it gave cover to a few Dems to vote for the bill. Had we had a true statement of Obamacare’s costs from the CBO, it’s doubtful that Pelosi could have gotten the votes for passage.

This has to change, as soon as possible.

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