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Tags: democrats | budget | dynamic scoring | congress

Democrats Use Previously Derided Budget 'Gimmick'

chris murphy speaks in hearing
Sen. Christopher Murphy, D-Conn., at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 27, 2021. (SUSAN WALSH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 23 July 2021 11:47 AM

Democrats in Congress have begun embracing the budget tactic known as dynamic scoring, which involves assuming that a certain policy will result in additional government revenue, despite criticizing Republicans for using the method in the past, Politico reports.

Republicans "introduced the concept!" Sen. Bernie Sanders, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, said earlier in July while brushing off criticism from the GOP. "The truth is that economic policy and tax policy has an impact on revenue. Everybody knows that. What nobody knows is exactly what it will do. It's a kind of nebulous concept."

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told Politico: "I’m very concerned that the pay-fors aren't real. Both parties bear some culpability. But I'm worried about adding so much debt in such a short period of time."

"I've listened to arguments over dynamic scoring. But I also am not afraid to borrow money in order to pay for certain investments that clearly have a payoff in the long run," Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said. "So roads and rails, early childhood education, are examples of investments that don't pay off in a five- or ten-year timeframe."

While both parties have previously used dynamic scoring, the practice has been criticized as a budget trick that relies on inaccurate or inflated estimates for revenue.

"Everything I’ve seen us do — on both sides, with whoever is in the majority over the last 10 years in terms of putting budgets together — has been squishy," said House Budget Chair John Yarmuth, D-Ky., who added that "everybody plays games with it."

David Wessel, a director of fiscal and monetary policy at the Brookings Institution, said that dynamic scoring could help Democrats pass some of their priority policies, noting that "we’re way beyond the frontiers of what we can be confident of, economically. It’s just a way for members to pretend that they’re paying for something."

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., denied that the party’s use of dynamic scoring is similar to the way Republicans used it in 2017.

"Let me be really clear: There are going to be revenues to help pay for this package," he said to Politico.

"It's going to be a little hard for people to claim that there's any kind of comparison to be drawn here," the senator continued. "That was a $2 trillion-plus tax cut without any offsets."

"Every forecasting method that’s used is an estimate, it’s a projection," added Sen. Tim Kaine D-Va., who sits on the Senate Budget Committee. "If that’s okay with Republicans, then we’re going to use it in the same way."

"Now that it suits their political agenda, [Democrats] are all too eager to embrace the idea," said Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., the ranking member of the House Budget Committee. "Only in Washington does that math add up."

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Politics
Democrats in Congress have begun embracing the budget tactic known as dynamic scoring, which involves assuming that a certain policy will result in additional government revenue, despite criticizing...
democrats, budget, dynamic scoring, congress
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2021-47-23
Friday, 23 July 2021 11:47 AM
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