Saturday, September 17, 2011

CBO Jobs Scoring Redux

I'm at the Merkley donor event in Portland, which has been great fun so far.

I've been emailing with some friends about Merkley's proposal to have the CBO score supercommittee proposals for jobs impact. One concern was that having the CBO regularly do such things might make it harder for big proposals like health care reform to pass, as they'd have to not only pass a deficit test but a jobs test. I don't think this is a problem. If the CBO was out there scoring it on jobs impact, health care reform would've probably been written differently in a more pro-jobs way. The money for jobs probably would've detracted from the deficit-cutting power of the proposal, but isn't that what we want to do these days?

The only people who have reason to oppose CBO jobs scoring are monomaniacal deficit reduction fans. They've enjoyed the advantage that only the thing they're interested in gets an official score that has a big role in guiding policy. Give an official score to something else as well, and people proposing things will trade off one against the other.

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