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Democrats Embrace Dynamic Scoring Gimmicks to Reduce Cost of Their Proposals

“Everybody plays games" with the budget books said House Budget Chair John Yarmuth.
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Cooking the Books Democrat Style

Cooking the Books Democrat Style

Politico reports Democrats Embrace ‘Cook-the-Books’ Tactic They Bashed Under Republican Reign.

When Republicans have used dynamic scoring in the past, Bernie Sanders called it a "gimmick" and a way to "cook the books." Now Democrats are using the same strategy.

The hypocrisy is not lost on Republicans. They endured the ire of Sanders and other Democrats in 2017, when they used dynamic scoring — the controversial technique that involves assuming that a policy will ultimately result in increased government revenue — to justify their $2.3 trillion tax overhaul. Democrats dismiss the GOP backlash as a bit rich.

"They introduced the concept!” Sanders said this month, scoffing at Republican criticism of using the budget forecasting ploy, which he neither defends nor decries these days.

David Wessel, a director of fiscal and monetary policy at the Brookings Institution, said dynamic scoring could help Democrats squeeze through priorities that would otherwise be iffy under the rules of the reconciliation process, which they’re using to pass their $3.5 trillion package along party lines. Every piece of that massive bill has to have a significant effect on federal spending, revenues or debt within a 10-year budget window, or Democrats risk running afoul of the Senate parliamentarian and tanking parts of the package.

"You know, there's limits to it,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.). “But I would agree with using some dynamic scoring.”

A group of senators is also weighing dynamic scoring as a way to yield about $60 billion in savings for their bipartisan infrastructure package, helping offset nearly $600 billion in new spending.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the Budget Committee, said Democrats could always dial back on their reliance on dynamic scoring in the massive party-line bill. But if Republicans are entertaining its use in a bipartisan infrastructure measure, he said, the scoring strategy is fair game.

Interesting Math

Dynamic scoring supposedly will "help offset" $60 billion of a $600 billion infrastructure bill.

It seems to me that is not much help, especially when everyone knows it's a fantasy offset. 

To satisfy Tester's concern, I suggest Republicans abandon the gimmick as well.

Cook the Book Hypocrisy

Everyone likes to cook the books then point the finger when the other side does the same thing.

In this case, Democrats need it more. We have not seen the final proposal yet, but some Democrat goals are not even budget items.

What gets included in the final bill must be a budget item or Senate parliamentarians will strike it from the legislation. 

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Grade School Playground Logic 

"They introduced the concept!,” said Sanders. 

Sanders' defense sounds like what one would hear in a second grade playground. Well don't blame me Father Ted. Susie did it too. So did Jimmy. Look at Bobby. He started it.

That unfortunately is the kind of reasoning needed to pass $3.5 trillion boondoggles. 

The rationale never changes, but the pricetag keep going up and up.

Key Question Remains

Given there can be no Democrat defections for the bill to pass, the key question remains: Are Manchin, Sinema, and Tester On Board Biden's $3.5 Trillion Socialist Express?

It seems increasingly likely that Tester is on board with most of it. Place your bets.

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