The Return Of Voodoo Economics: Paul Ryan Wants To Hide The Real Cost Of Tax Cuts
November 24, 2014

I'm going to take a real wild guess that our compliant corporate media talking heads will treat this as gospel. Because the winners are always right, amirite?

When Republicans took control of both houses of Congress earlier this month, they won an important new power: They can change how Congress does math.

Seriously. Republicans, led by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), their budget guru, are considering altering the way Congress calculates the costs of tax cuts—a move that could make big tax cuts for the rich appear less costly than they really are.

Here's how it would work. In January, Republicans will be in charge of Congress. And that includes the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), which calculates how tax laws affect revenue, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which produces official budget projections. Right now, when the CBO and the JCT calculate the impact of tax laws on government income, they consider how Americans might alter their behavior in response to tax rate changes. But these tax-math bodies do not evaluate how tax legislation could affect economic growth—largely because those sorts of impacts are hard to predict. Republicans have long claimed that tax cuts lead to greater economic activity that inexorably yields more tax revenues—a point much disputed. But Ryan, who in January will head up the House Ways and Means committee (which has jurisdiction over tax reform), and his fellow GOPers are looking to enshrine this Republican belief into the hard and fast calculations of Capitol Hill's number-crunchers.

Last week, in an interview with the Washington Post, Ryan said he will push to make sure that the two congressional budget scorekeepers use this accounting method—known as "dynamic scoring"—when evaluating GOP tax reform legislation. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who will chair the Senate finance committee starting in January, said last week that he was open to implementing the change.

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