As a Conservative Independent I foresee making the CBO’s assumptions, models, and methods public as misguided. The reason for keeping the calculational details private is to provide Congress with the most accurate forecasts possible, “real numbers,” unpolluted by politics and the one-sided data that advocates and opponents of legislation substitute for reality as they try to persuade legislators to see the issues their way. Advocacy and opposition have a vital role, but that role is in the deliberative stage of legislation.
The CBO was created in order to give Congress the “bottom line“ of legislative impact, calculated by serious, unbiased professional economists and subject matter experts. Arguments for opening their models to the public as “peer review” are ridiculous. We, the public, are not their peers and the idea that populist common sense is going to catch, in foresight, CBO errors that the bill’s sponsors have pointed out with the clarity of aftersight, is just not reality.
I started this comment as a supporter of Senator Lee’s bill. But as I read what I was writing I realized that for the reasons above it was wrong. I don’t want an economist to second guess my surgeon. And I’ll also pass on “We, the People” second guessing the CBO.
“NO” on S. 278.