Sanders Calls ‘Dynamic Scoring’ a Gimmick

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, today blasted a proposed new House rule that would make the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation use a discredited notion that today’s Republicans call “dynamic scoring” but President George H.W. Bush labeled “voodoo economics.” 

“The Republicans have hatched a plan to force the CBO to cook the books and paint a rosy picture of the benefits of trickle-down economics. They call it ‘dynamic scoring.’ In fact, it’s a gimmick to help justify more tax cuts for the wealthy and profitable corporations. It’s what the first President Bush called voodoo economics – and he was right,” Sanders said.

“The purpose of dynamic scoring is to conceal – not reveal – how Republican policies will affect the economy,” he added.

The basic problem with what the right-wing economists call “dynamic scoring” is that it requires the CBO to count hypothetical growth as additional revenue. “That means counting the chickens before they hatch,” Sanders said.

The senator said the main reason Republicans want to change the budget rule is to disguise the impact of their plan to give more tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations. In fact, part of the reason the deficit is smaller today is that Congress in 2012 finally let tax cuts expire for the top 1 percent.

“What history shows,” Sanders said, “is that when you give tax breaks to the rich and large corporations, the rich get richer, corporate profits climb and the federal deficit soars. In these difficult times, we need realistic economic projections, not discredited theories, not voodoo economics.”

In vowing to fight any effort to adopt a similar rule in the Senate, Sanders said former heads of CBO and tax committee opposed dynamic scoring because they said it would force them to provide estimates based on “highly uncertain” assumptions. “The Republicans are politicizing the budget process in a way that will undermine the credibility of the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation, which have provided unbiased, nonpartisan analysis on the cost of tax and spending bills,” Sanders said.