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Republicans Name Bush Economist To Run Congressional Budget Office

Oh boy, won't this be fun! He hates big government and taxes, but of course he'll be fair and balanced.
Republicans Name Bush Economist To Run Congressional Budget Office
Image from: TheHill.com

We warned you it was coming! Expect all kinds of crazy budget analysis in the next two years -- and remember, elections have consequences:

Republicans on Friday named Keith Hall head of the Congressional Budget Office, installing a conservative Bush administration economist atop an agency charged with determining how much lawmakers’ bills would cost.

Hall, who served on George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, is a critic of the Affordable Care Act who shares Republican skepticism of government spending and regulation.

He has criticized proposals to raise the minimum wage, expand regulation and boost anti-poverty programs.Hall will replace Doug Elmendorf, a Democratic appointee who has run the office since 2009.

The pick is the latest bid by Republicans to revamp Congress’ budgeting process since they took control of the Senate. Last month, House Republicans formally adopted controversial budgeting rules known as “dynamic scoring” that aim to account for the macroeconomic effects of legislation. Democrats call it fuzzy math.

Though many Republicans hope the combination of a new CBO director and the dynamic scoring rules, will make it much easier to cut taxes, revenue estimates are actually the job of a different office: The Joint Committee on Taxation.

The twin budget offices divvy up the scorekeeping responsibilities, with JCT focused on taxes and CBO handling spending, deficits and economic forecasts.

Hall will handle proposals to rewrite President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, as well as those to revamp the nation’s immigration laws, among other issues. Many Republicans were unhappy with the agency’s analyses of Obamacare under Elmendorf and are eager for a new director to declare a repeal of the law would boost the economy.


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