Monday, July 27, 2009

Dueling Blogs

In the past I have quoted from the Blog of the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.  The CBO is supposed to help keep the US Congress on the straight and narrow by giving them the "facts" of legislation.  The CBO, under the direction of Douglas W. Elmendorf, brings us such scintillating reports as "Additional Information Regarding the Effects of Health Insurance Coverage Specifications Reflected in the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act."  On the other hand, it is the place to go to get the facts.

I just found out this morning that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has its own Blog, with posts under the Director's name.  Here it is—book mark it!

The latest OMB post is a come back on the CBO post on the proposed IMAC. The IMAC is discussed by The Washington Post's David Broder here. In his own analysis, Slate's Mickey Kaus opines that Mr Broder is destined for an early trip to an ice floe.

But, as for "Dueling Blogs," how about this last paragraph of the OMB Director's blog post (linked above)
A final note is worth underscoring. As a former CBO director, I can attest that CBO is sometimes accused of a bias toward exaggerating costs and underestimating savings. Unfortunately, parts of today’s analysis from CBO could feed that perception. For example, and without specifying precisely how the various modifications would work, CBO somehow concluded that the council could "eventually achieve annual savings equal to several percent of Medicare spending...[which] would amount to tens of billions of dollars per year after 2019." Such savings are welcome (and rare!), but it is also the case that (for good reason) CBO has restricted itself to qualitative, not quantitative, analyses of long-term effects from legislative proposals. In providing a quantitative estimate of long-term effects without any analytical basis for doing so, CBO seems to have overstepped.
Ouch!

Regards  —  Cliff

  OMB is part of the Executive Branch, with the Director of the OMB, Mr Peter Orszag, reporting to the President.  Wikipedia entry for Mr Orszag is here.
  Independent Medicare Advisory Council, a five member board to be appointed by the President, with the approval of the Senate to five year terms and modeled on the BRAC, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission.  The CBO Post appears to be this one.
  Mr Kaus cites the Lucianne dot Com blog, but I couldn't find it in a quick search.  My original link was from Instapundit.

1 comment:

C R Krieger said...

One wag back channeled me:

"Appreciated.  Glad to know that my tax dollars are letting petty bureaucrats fight it out in public."

I see it as information escaping the "Event Horizon" surrounding our Nation's Capital, allowing the rest of us to see what is going on.

Regards  —  Cliff