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Dynamic Insecurity
Author: Raine    Date: 01/08/2015 13:49:05

This week we welcomed in the 114th Congress. Both the House and the Senate are now controlled by the Republican party. As with every new congressional session the House and the Senate pass parliamentary rules to guide them for the year.

In the new rules is this:
Cost Estimates for Major Legislation to Incorporate Macroeconomic Scoring. Subsection © requires the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation, to the extent practicable, to incorporate the macroeconomic effects of “major legislation” into the official cost estimates used for enforcing the budget resolution and other rules of the House. The subsection requires, to the extent practicable, a qualitative assessment of the long-term budgetary and macroeconomic effects of “major legislation”, which is defined to cover legislation that causes a gross budgetary effect in any fiscal year covered by the budget resolution that is equal to or greater than 0.25 percent of the projected GDP for that year. This subsection also allows the chair of the Committee on the Budget, or in the case of revenue legislation the House member serving as the Chair or Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Taxation, to designate “major legislation” for purposes of this rule.

This subsection also repeals the existing provision in clause 3(h)(2) of rule XIII that requires a macroeconomic impact analysis of revenue legislation, which is superseded by the new rule.
This is also known as Dynamic Scoring. The Hill elaborates a little more on this rules change.
The House on Tuesday adopted a controversial rule to require macroeconomic scoring on major legislation in the new Congress, which opponents say will politicize impartial budget analyses.

The provision, part of the rules package that the House considers at the start of every new Congress, passed largely along party lines by a vote of 234-172. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) voted "present."

So-called "dynamic scoring" typically offers a more favorable view of cutting taxes, which is part of why Republicans support the method,

GOP lawmakers argued that emphasizing macroeconomic scoring, which factors in economy-wide impacts like the rates of inflation and employment, simply provided a more comprehensive assessment of a bill's impact on the federal budget.
Dynamic Scoring has been called Voodoo Economics, Supply-side Economics and wait for it — Reaganomics.

George HW Bush actually coined the term.
It was left to later Republicans to "end welfare as we know it". The social security system of retirement benefits was actually strengthened by a bi-partisan report which called for higher taxes and a later retirement age.

George Bush senior famously called Mr Reagan's ideas "voodoo economics" before he became vice-president of the United States. While challenging Mr Reagan in the Republican presidential primaries, he said he did not believe that supply-side reforms like ending regulation would be enough to rejuvenate the economy.
Never mind that 'Supply Side' theory of economics has long been proven to be a failure, the GOP is pushing it thru. The link above statistically proves the following statements, with info graphics at this link.

• Investment growth was weaker under supply-side policies
• Productivity growth was weaker under supply-side policies
• Overall economic growth was weaker under supply-side policies
• Employment growth was weaker under supply-side policies
• Income growth for middle-class households was lackluster under supply-side policies
• Hourly earnings were flat or declined under supply-side policies
• Our nation’s fiscal health deteriorated under supply-side policies

Dynamic Scoring is actually fuzzy math.

I don't even have time to go into all the problems this could be from a programming/technological POV, so here is a link to explain that can of worms.

The Center on Budget Policy and Priorities is very against this economic model. Dynamic Scoring is easily manipulated.
Including macroeconomic feedbacks in the cost estimate for a budget or tax reform proposal would impair the credibility of both the proposal and the budget process itself. Congressional leaders could cherry-pick the model and assumptions that give the most favorable estimates.

Chairman Camp, for example, chose to tout the JCT’s most optimistic estimate of the revenue his plan would generate, which was more than ten times larger than the most modest results. He also relied on estimates of the plan’s distributional impacts that omitted the cuts in transfer programs (a category that includes programs such as Social Security and SNAP, formerly food stamps) that were assumed in the dynamic estimates he chose to highlight. The distributional analysis of the plan would have been much less favorable if it included those cuts.
The CBPP "is one of the nation’s premier policy organizations working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals". Their agenda is to keep an eye out for the middle and lower class.
The Center conducts research and analysis to help shape public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that policymakers consider the needs of low-income families and individuals in these debates. We also develop policy options to alleviate poverty.

In addition, the Center examines the short- and long-term impacts of proposed policies on the health of the economy and the soundness of federal and state budgets. Among the issues we explore are whether federal and state governments are fiscally sound and have sufficient revenue to address critical priorities, both for low-income populations and for the nation as a whole.

Over the past 30 years, the Center has gained a reputation for producing materials that are balanced, authoritative, accessible to non-specialists, and responsive to issues facing the country.
That is their agenda. It is completely opposite from the GOP's agenda.

I mentioned at the top of the blog, the new rules that Congress has set for itself. Included in those rules, the Republicans are once again setting the stage to slash Social Security.
The House on Tuesday passed legislation laying out parliamentary rules for the year. The bill included a little-noticed provision blocking Congress from shifting funds to prevent a 2016 shortfall in Social Security's disability insurance program.

The Social Security Administration's actuaries have projected that the disability insurance program's trust fund will run out of money next year, resulting in a 20 percent benefit reduction for nearly 11 million Americans. Since last year, Social Security advocates have been calling on lawmakers to shift funds from the retirement program to make up the difference -- something Congress has done 11 times since the 1950s. (snip)

Congress could prevent the shortfall by raising taxes, cutting benefits, or both -- though cuts are a favored GOP option. Many Republicans have lamented the rise in disability rolls, which they have suggested is something of a welfare sham. Johnson described the program as "fraud-plagued."

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) sharply criticized the measure in a Tuesday statement that argued shifting Social Security funds from retirement insurance to disability insurance has been routine in the past.
Once again, conservatives are misleading people about disability fraud. here are some instances of deceit from the press .

You see, Dynamic Scoring and its use will certainly make it far easier for the new majority to slash Social Security (along with other social safety nets) needed for the poor and middle class.
In addition, the rule could lead to misleading mismatches between the cost estimates used for tax proposals and distributional analyses of those proposals that the House might separately request. As noted above, the economic growth and budgetary estimates that Chairman Camp touted of his tax reform plan came from a model that assumes future Congresses will take controversial deficit-reduction actions that policymakers have long resisted. Those estimates assumed not only that Congress will subsequently act to cut future deficits enough to stabilize the debt as a share of the economy, but also that all of this deficit reduction will come from cuts in transfer payments, a category that includes programs such as Social Security, unemployment insurance, and SNAP (formerly known as food stamps). Yet the distributional impacts that Chairman Camp relied on in presenting his bill failed to include any of these cuts in transfer payments, showing only the tax changes. The distributional analysis of his plan would have looked very different — and much less favorable — had it incorporated the cuts in benefit programs that Camp’s favored dynamic scoring estimate assumed.


Everything old is new again. It's nothing more than Reaganomics and the "welfare queen" cleaned up and given a new name, and it's nothing more than a sham on the middle class.

It's a shame the media is too lazy to tell you this.

and
Raine

36 comments (Latest Comment: 01/08/2015 21:29:26 by Raine)
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Comment by Scoopster on 01/08/2015 14:23:42
Comment by TriSec on 01/08/2015 14:25:27
My ancient transport reluctantly started this mornin...but it did start. Perhaps new wheels are not yet necessary.

Comment by wickedpam on 01/08/2015 14:28:07
Morning

Comment by TriSec on 01/08/2015 14:38:53
Huh. Two brothers involved in the French attack? Sounds familiar...

Comment by BobR on 01/08/2015 14:55:07
Quote by TriSec:
Huh. Two brothers involved in the French attack? Sounds familiar...



Comment by Raine on 01/08/2015 15:11:11
Comment by Scoopster on 01/08/2015 15:16:22
Quote by Raine:


and it's also hideous.

Well I don't mean to say this to be provocative, but a residential building that's this tall? In this day & age it just seems like a huge target for some nutjob or terrorist. Granted it's not an office building, or a residential building with many units on each floor (I'm trying not to get into the sheer grandiosity of that point). It's still a giant building that makes a giant target.

Comment by wickedpam on 01/08/2015 15:18:32
Quote by Raine:



and it's also hideous.


The one thing that usually repeats on loop when I see tall buildings -

"Firetruck ladders only go as high as the 7th floor."


Comment by Raine on 01/08/2015 15:26:28
Quote by Scoopster:
Quote by Raine:


and it's also hideous.

Well I don't mean to say this to be provocative, but a residential building that's this tall? In this day & age it just seems like a huge target for some nutjob or terrorist. Granted it's not an office building, or a residential building with many units on each floor (I'm trying not to get into the sheer grandiosity of that point). It's still a giant building that makes a giant target.
I hadn't thought of that.

But since it is a residential building, I think that is a less favorable target.

They want to his financial sectors — not the financiers.

Comment by TriSec on 01/08/2015 16:33:18
The Corner Office turns red in about a half hour...

Comment by Scoopster on 01/08/2015 16:36:52
Comment by Will in Chicago on 01/08/2015 16:54:08
Good morning, bloggers!

I am home again as schools are closed again. Wind chills are in the -20s. I am not sure if I will work tomorrow.

Raine, thanks for a great blog! Let me share something from E.J. Dionne, Jr. in his article The Right's Idea of 'Governance'.





Then there is the move by both House and Senate Republicans to change the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Currently, employers with 50 or more full-time workers have to provide health insurance to employees who work 30 hours or more, or pay a fine. Republicans want to limit the mandate to Americans who work 40 hours or more. In USA Today this week, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said the purpose of the change is “so more people can work full time.”

But the truth is that the change would have exactly the opposite effect. Currently, only 7 percent of American workers put in between 30 and 34 hours a week, but 44 percent work 40 hours a week. In other words, wrote Yuval Levin, a conservative policy analyst and a foe of Obamacare, altering the law in this way “would likely put far, far more people at risk of having their hours cut than leaving it at 30 hours.” So much for more people working “full time.”

Keep in mind that all these ideas come from the Republican mainstream, the people who tell us they are interested in “governing” and being “reasonable.”

How far have the goal posts been moved in the GOP? Just because Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell say they want to avoid government shutdowns and debt-ceiling hostage taking, they are to be regarded as heroes of sane policy-making. But if we’ve sunk so low that this is now the test of “governance,” we are still a long way from the real thing.


My hope is that the GOP will fight among themselves and will be less effective than many think.

Comment by Raine on 01/08/2015 17:00:17

That just sucks.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 01/08/2015 17:06:51
Quote by Raine:

That just sucks.



I am not happy either. The Republicans will have to defend a lot of seats in 2016, and Boxer's seat seemed to be safe. Does anyone know who will be possible Democratic candidates for the seat?


Comment by Raine on 01/08/2015 17:15:03
Quote by Will in Chicago:
Quote by Raine:

That just sucks.



I am not happy either. The Republicans will have to defend a lot of seats in 2016, and Boxer's seat seemed to be safe. Does anyone know who will be possible Democratic candidates for the seat?
This guy.

Comment by trojanrabbit on 01/08/2015 17:18:51
I don't think it's the media being too lazy to tell us about the latest Repug effort to dismantle the current safety nets, it's more like they would prefer the electorate remain uninfromed.

The ol' Honda reluctantly started, but the heater blower let loose an ear-piercing scream until it had a few minutes to warm up. Took at least 20 minutes (and getting up to highway speed) for the engine to approach normal temperature (even though the stupid gauge said all was OK). Many gauges only know 3 positions, cold, normal and overheating, not much better than the old-style idiot lights.

I was greeted with a lab temperature near 60. All the HVAC units along the outside windows were cranked on for full heat, fooling the central system that no heat was needed, so as I'm stuck in the central core with no windows I'm getting a blast of 50 degree air. Someone brought in a space heater so it finally reached 70 in here, but this building was definitely not designed for energy efficiency.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 01/08/2015 17:19:08
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Will in Chicago:
Quote by Raine:

That just sucks.



I am not happy either. The Republicans will have to defend a lot of seats in 2016, and Boxer's seat seemed to be safe. Does anyone know who will be possible Democratic candidates for the seat?
This guy.



Good choice, well known. I imagine that the GOP will spend a lot of money trying to get the California seat.


Comment by Scoopster on 01/08/2015 17:28:40
Wow. Mitch fuckin' McConnell. Wow. Really? The economy is improving because of the "expectation of a Republican Congress"?

Dude you are out of your fucking mind. If the citizens of your state had any sense they'd issue a recall election based just on the fact that you're certifiably in the throes of age-driven dementia.

Not to mention that the economy started improving five years ago as a result of this administrations economic policies and the passage of the ACA and economic reform laws.

Comment by TriSec on 01/08/2015 17:30:18
Hey Mondo-did you hear about the measles outbreak at Disneyland? I bet you could guess why...

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/08/2015 17:45:08
Quote by TriSec:
Hey Mondo-did you hear about the measles outbreak at Disneyland? I bet you could guess why...



Nope. Um because of selfish asshats who haven't gotten their kids vaccinated?

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/08/2015 18:14:48
Hey, Mala. I found out the Penny's in the slowly dying for years now Manassas Mall is closing this year.

Comment by wickedpam on 01/08/2015 18:28:02
Quote by Mondobubba:
Hey, Mala. I found out the Penny's in the slowly dying for years now Manassas Mall is closing this year.


oh good they probably replace it with a dollar store or something. That mall just sucks, esp since they let a giant walmart attach itself (oh and every time I'm forced to into that walmart its just filthy). Don't think I've been in that mall for a good 2 years.


Comment by livingonli on 01/08/2015 19:04:38
So cold that I just want to curl up in bed but too much to do and work tonight.

Comment by Scoopster on 01/08/2015 19:07:03
Quote by livingonli:
So cold that I just want to curl up in bed but too much to do and work tonight.

I just stepped outside without my jacket to see if the cold would provide some relief for the muscle spasms in my shoulder. No such luck - in fact it hurts a bit more now that I've come back inside!

Comment by Will in Chicago on 01/08/2015 19:19:59
Quote by livingonli:
So cold that I just want to curl up in bed but too much to do and work tonight.


I want to , but I have been busy with housework. Later, I will have to get out and shovel the 1 to 3 inches of snow we are expecting. Wind chills may be at -25 tomorrow morning, so schools here may be closed yet again.


Comment by Will in Chicago on 01/08/2015 19:41:08
Here is something to counter a right wing meme: Muslims Around The World Condemn Charlie Hebdo Attack.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 01/08/2015 19:50:05
Sadly, some French mosques have been attacked after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Comment by livingonli on 01/08/2015 19:58:54
Quote by Will in Chicago:
Sadly, some French mosques have been attacked after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Apparently Le Pen's daughter who now heads the National Front is using it to prop up her party calling for reinstating the death penalty amongst other issues.

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/08/2015 20:47:09
Kirby Delauter has apologized.

Kirby Delauter has learned from Kirby Delauter's error. Kirby Dealauter regrets Kirby Delauter's error in judgement.

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/08/2015 20:58:02
There were snow flurries here!






BREAD! MILK! TOILET PAPER! CLOSE THE BRIDGES



Comment by TriSec on 01/08/2015 21:20:56
I'm such a dork. I have a new speedometer app on my phone that will display my groundspeed...in knots.

Comment by Raine on 01/08/2015 21:28:09
Quote by Mondobubba:
Kirby Delauter has apologized.

Kirby Delauter has learned from Kirby Delauter's error. Kirby Dealauter regrets Kirby Delauter's error in judgement.

"I thought I had long ago learned the lesson of waiting 24 hours before I hit the send key, but apparently I didn't learn that lesson as well as I should have."
Dude, there is an solution for that:….



Comment by Raine on 01/08/2015 21:28:27
Quote by TriSec:
I'm such a dork. I have a new speedometer app on my phone that will display my groundspeed...in knots.

Nice!

Comment by Raine on 01/08/2015 21:28:59
Quote by Mondobubba:
There were snow flurries here!






BREAD! MILK! TOILET PAPER! CLOSE THE BRIDGES



Snow flurry fun!

It's just cold as phug here.


Comment by Raine on 01/08/2015 21:29:26
Quote by livingonli:
So cold that I just want to curl up in bed but too much to do and work tonight.

IS it cold inside as well?