Mark Thoma on politics of “dynamic scoring”

Via CBS news Mark Thoma addresses some coming issues in Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Tax Committee in Do tax cuts pay for themselves?

Now that Republicans have taken control of the House and Senate, they are pushing to change how the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Tax Committee (JTC) evaluate tax legislation.

The effort is being made on two fronts. The first is an attempt by many Republicans to replace the director of the CBO, Doug Elmendorf, with someone more sympathetic to a new approach to evaluating the budgetary impact of proposed legislation. The second is a push from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, who will take over as chair of the to the Ways and Mean Committee in January, to implement a new rule that would require the CBO and JCT to implement the alternative approach.

At issue is what is known as “dynamic scoring.”…

If dynamic scoring is likely to benefit Democrats as much as Republicans, then why are Democrats so opposed to this change?

Some Democrats worry that CBO director Elmendorf will be replaced by someone willing to cherry pick the evidence on tax cuts to benefit Republican proposals and minimize benefits of the change to Democratic legislation. That would politicize an institution that has done its best to evaluate the budgetary impact of legislative proposals based upon solid evidence rather than politics and ideology and do great harm to an important part of the legislative process.