Now that Nancy Pelosi and company had all morning to spin the CBO report prior to its actual release, here is some language in the report you will not hear reflecting that the end result of the report is not certain at all (emphasis mine):

  • “Although CBO completed a preliminary review of legislative language prior to its release, the agency has not thoroughly examined the reconciliation proposal to verify its consistency with the previous draft. This estimate is therefore preliminary, pending a review of the language of the reconciliation proposal, as well as further review and refinement of the budgetary projections.” [In other words, we don’t know if our estimates will comport with what actually ends up getting passed.]

  • CBO and JCT estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation—H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal— would produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $138 billion over the 2010–2019 period as result of changes in direct spending and revenue (see the top panel of Table 1 and subtitle A of title II on Table 5). Approximately $85 billion of that reduction would be on-budget; other effects related to Social Security revenues and spending as well as spending by the U.S. Postal Service are classified as off-budget. CBO has not completed an estimate of the potential impact of the legislation on discretionary pending, which would be subject to future appropriation action.” [In other words, the numbers include “off budget” gimmicks and assumptions about discretionary spending which may not be accurate, but we are required to include them when we do our estimates.]
  • “Our analysis indicates that H.R. 3590, as passed by the Senate, would reduce federal budget deficits over the ensuing decade relative to those projected under current law—with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between one-quarter percent and one-half percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The imprecision of that calculation reflects the even greater degree of uncertainty that attends to it, compared with CBO’s 10-year budget estimates.” [In other words, as uncertain as we are as to the first 10 years, we are totally guessing as to the second ten years.]

On this rests the survival of our democracy.

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