The local "newspapers"
Wikipedia describes the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) as
a federal agency within the legislative branch of the United States government that provides budget and economic information to Congress.
As it and other sources point out, it's nonpartisan as it reviews the possible impacts of major legislation. During the Obama presidency, the Wheeling papers routinely told us how they should be trusted and how nonpartisan they were. For example, from 2014:
the widely respected, nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
That assessment comes from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which has an excellent reputation for objectivity and accuracy.
And from 2015:
The CBO is not an arm of the Republican Party. It is not part of a conservative think tank. It is a strictly nonpartisan agency established to give Congress solid facts.
But not an entirely unpredictable thing happened in 2017 as the Republicans took power: the CBO disappeared from editorials and Myer columns. Instead, we got to read opinion pieces by right wingers like Jeffrey H. Anderson, who works for the Hudson Institute - a “conservative think tank” and writes for the Weekly Standard, warning us:
Don’t Rely on CBO Health Care Data
Consequently, we never saw what the CBO said about the various Republican health care proposals (20+ million Americans losing care). Nor have we gotten major coverage of the CBO’s assessments of the Republican tax plans. ($1.7 trillion to the debt and major tax breaks only for the rich within a few years and budget cuts to Medicare starting next year.) Instead the locals have depended on a conservative think tank’s (the Tax Foundation) unproven conclusion that a reduction in corporate and personal taxes will spur the economy and make-up for the lost revenue caused by the tax cuts. (Both papers editorially cited the Foundation’s questionable conclusion yesterday.) Beyond their hypocrisy, the unwillingness to provide us with the necessary information to draw informed conclusions brings us to what they’re mostly about – propagandizing for the Republican agenda.
Representative McKinley has done the same thing. The CBO was frequently the source for his attacks on the Obama administration. But now that the CBO has consistently given bad grades to Republican legislation, McKinley can only criticize them even though his reasoning leaves much to be desired.
Last May, for instance, a WV Public Broadcasting reporter interviewing McKinley noted that the CBO had warned that millions would lose their healthcare under the House of Representatives health care plan. McKinley’s answered him that he was “skeptical” of the CBO’s numbers but he never explained why.
Yesterday, McKinley was on “Talkline” with Hoppy Kercheval. Here’s how Metro News reported his reaction to the CBO’s conclusion that the Republican plan would have a massive effect upon the U.S. deficit:
The U.S. Congressional Budget Office previously reported the deficit would increase by $1.5 trillion dollars from 2018 to 2027 if the House tax proposal became law. McKinley said that number does not account for people spending the money.
“Statically, Washington assumes you put that money in the bank or in your pocket and never spend it,” McKinley said. “But if you go out and spend $4,000, you now go over to that dynamic area that has an impact on the economy.”
Wow, Congressman! I’m sure an organization filled with economists charged with looking at the economic effects of legislation would never have thought of that let alone factored that into their conclusions! (For the wonky-types, McKinley is talking about dynamic scoring which is what the CBO does. See here, for example.)
Here’s a thought, congressman. Why don’t you defend your position in front of your constituents instead of friendly reporters who refuse to ask obvious follow-up questions?